So we’re finally here in Shiroles, Costa Rica and have been preparing all week for our first team that will be coming in this Sunday! This place is absolutely incredible, and I have already fallen in love with the people. There is so much to learn from the Bribri who have preserved so much of their culture and way of life. It’s incredible how self-sustaining they are, I find it really admirable. We were on the road today and saw a man with a homemade chainsaw, it was intense! The beauty of the Lord’s creation is all around us, and there is tranquility in the village that lies in the midst of mountainous jungle. The first day, I was already hit by culture shock with the stream of natural water that will serve as our shower and our dinner that night…a pig that had been killed the week before, haha! Susie and I went on a walk to debrief on our experiences and feelings, acknowledging that the Devil is out to attack us in this time of vulnerability and uncertainty. What an awesome thing though that the Devil is scared of US because we are tools of the Kingdom of God. With this in mind, we encouraged one another and realized that there is no way we could ever adequately love and serve these people on ou`r own accord. Praise the Lord, that this is not our love to give or our ministry to establish, it is His. And nothing is impossible with God.
All week we have been meeting our host partners and forming relationships with those who we will be partnering with in the community for construction projects and outreach. To say there is a lot to do in Costa Rica would be an understatement. The beautiful thing about Shiroles is that our partnership with the community models what I feel missions is all about. We are not coming in trying to change their lifestyle or completing a work project on our own agenda. The projects this summer have all been brought out of the people’s own vision and they are going to be working alongside us to take part in it all. It’s such a beautiful unity, and I pray through our partnerships that we can build relationships that will be long lasting and that God’s love will shine through us as we work with them.
This Sunday, we will be hosting our first team, Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church, and we have had incredible training all week and our confident that we are ready for this first team. The Lord was so faithful to my prayers over the team I would be having in Costa Rica. Our host partners even told us last night how beautiful it was that we were so unified and communicative. The Lord is first in our team, always, and we have relied on prayer so heavily through these days of learning this new culture that we will be immersed in within the next couple of months.
Please be praying for our host partners, we will begin construction on a chapel and bathroom for Pastor Indalecio’s church, where we will also be holding kid’s clubs. Please pray for Sarah who will be cooking our meals and her husband Victor who will be helping us lead construction projects. Please pray for Jonathan, the pastor of the church who is hosting us this summer. Please also pray for safe travels; each week will be travelling through the bumpy roads and rivers to make the 6 hour drive to the San Jose Airport. Finally, please pray that the hearts and minds of the Bribri will be open to receiving us, our work, and the message of Christ that we bring. We are the only Americans in the village, and our host partners told us last night to be ultra-sensitive within the relationships we form. Many do not understand why people would volunteer to serve in the way we are without any agenda or without profit. Please pray that the Lord will begin working in their lives, that through us He will be glorified- and there will be a desire to discover who this Lord of Salvation truly is, and the eternal life that He offers.