Monday, June 13, 2011

Pura Vida People

It has been an active couple of days since we landed in Esterillos. Dennis Leon, our host, encouraged us to focus more on being than doing in this phase of the trip. To "do" the "being" requires placing ourselves in the middle of people (not hard in this seaside rural village where everybody knows everybody's name!). As we have focused on relationships God has opened doors for the outreach ministry of Pura Vida Church to go forward. We have made friends through card games, soccer games on the field, watching soccer games, eating in people's homes, soccer games on the beach, helping run a community fundraiser carnival so the local school could be funded, helping to lead worship on Sunday with the church (see pictures of church above) and more. Through all this it has been our desire to extend the good name of this ministry in the town and beyond and open the doors for a more healthy and sustainable ministry. God continues to lead us.

Though we have seen God's handiwork in the beautiful creation we find in Costa Rica we would all agree the people we have met have made our lives richer and we trust God has used us to do the same.

Every day we have had a team meeting where we talked about the good, the challenging and the silly things we have experienced each day. You would have loved sitting in the circle last evening to hear the great things God has been teaching each of us. I am asking team members to write down the one big thing God has been teaching them. You will be encouraged to see what they shared when I present those in a future blog. I was reminded again of another important reason we sacrifice so much money, time and talent on these trips. God reaches in teaches each of us in areas we could have never previously imagined. It is my prayer that some of these team members will be on future missions teams, lead future missions teams and maybe follow God into full-time ministry!

Tomorrow is our last full day. In the afternoon we will be taking the kids of Esterillos on a field trip to the waterfall. This is a treat for them and another way we can show the love of Christ. Pray for us as we do this event together.

We are grateful for good health throughout the trip. The team has gotten along well and been a joy for me to lead. Thanks to all of you who have invested in their character and spiritual lives. They are a blessing.

On Wednesday we will leave Esterillos about 11am California time and will ultimately depart San Jose around 6pm arriving at LAX around 11:30p. After customs and packing the bus we should be on the road by about 12:30am with final arrival in Santa Barbara by about 2 or 2:30am.

This will be my last blog until we return. Thanks for your prayers which have sustained us. Pray for us as we re-enter our own culture. This will be a challenge for all of us. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding. Thanks for your faithful encouragement and love.

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