Costa Rica Post #5

what does love look like?

March 9, 2008


the pizza saturday night was great! we enjoyed getting to know some of the teenagers in guacimo.

we left the church after dinner and headed back to the hotel. along the way we stopped for ice cream. many of the students got ice cream and a coke or bottle of water. 54 seniors and tons of food for them for a total of $103! you can´t beat that.

when we returned to the hotel, we went straight into our time of devotion. everyone was really dirty, so we decided to do devotions so that afterwards everyone could get a shower and head to bed. last night was my chance to lead devotions. we looked at i john 3:1-3 and john 13. we talked about how God has lavished his love on us and set an example of what it looks like to love others. i commended our students for painting a wonderful picture of God´s love with their service this week to each other and to the people we have met here in costa rica. i asked them to share stories where they had seen someone on our team figuratively ¨wash someone´s feet¨ during the trip. it was a blessing to hear the students praising God for their classmates! it was another sweet time of worship. we said it would be brief, but it ended up lasting an hour and a half with all that the students were sharing.

at the end of worship, i invited our students to participate in our special offering. we were collecting money to help purchase additional chairs for aby´s church. they have had tons of new people each week and need more chairs. the cost of the chairs is $25 each. i put hunter´s hat on the floor and put the rest of our ¨team expense¨money in their to get it started. by the time it was all said and done, our team gave $740 towards the new chairs…praise be to God! it was such a blessing all week to hear students making a choice between buying another souvenir or snack and saying they´d rather save the money for the chair offering.

after devotions, everyone had a little more energy and several students headed up to the pool for a night swim. i went up there to see how it was going and to hang out. my intention was not to go swimming. however, hunter palmer, zack griffith, and billy gleeson had different plans for me. yes…i got thrown in. it was pretty hilarious! shortly after that, mr. campbell got thrown in too. i was still in my dirty work clothes, poor mr. campbell had just come from the shower in clean dry clothes! but…he was a great sport about it too!

we all turned in a little after 10pm. this morning we were to be loaded up by 7am. many of you know that today was the time change. however, they do not observe daylight time here in costa rica. many of our students…girls actually…had some trouble about what time to get up. their cell phones updated the time thinking about the time change. at 6am, we had a whole group of girls out in the hall all packed up and totally confused about where everyone else was. i heard them and told them it was 6am…you should have seen their faces! i found out later some of them had been up since 420am because their cell phones updated to daylight time in atlanta! we all had a good chuckle about that.

we headed to aby´s church for breakfast and worship. breakfast was a wonderful caramel pastry, cereal, fruit, and juice. it was amazing…lots of folks got seconds!

worship started at 930am. aby announced that the church had set a new attendance record today even without us…they had 187 costa ricans! some of our seniors worked in children´s church. they had 60 kids and all of them were smiling…seniors and costa rican kids. during worship, kameron, chaz, mc, and smr led us in some special music…they have been a tremendous blessing to us this week! ben whitlock and stephen kessler both spoke and shared testimonies. both guys did a great job.

i had austin cooley give aby our chair offering. the look on his face was priceless! he was amazed with how much we had collected and he gave cooley a huge hug.

aby´s message today was about the urgency of salvation. it was a great message and 5 or 6 costa ricans prayed to recieve christ. it was a great time of worship. at the end, he asked everyone who had a birthday the past week to come up front. one of the costa ricans came up along with stephen prather, deborah pater, and laura pater and we all sang happy birthday to them.

after church, we all changed into our travelling clothes and ate our last meal in guacimo. lunch was shepherd pie, vegetables, and salad. once again…very good!

we loaded the bus and headed to san jose. the ¨man van¨stopped back by the hotel to load all our luggage in the luggage trucks and met us here at the score villa. those guys were really great to help with that project.

we made it here to san jose in just about 2 hours on leo´s school bus. we have really enjoyed getting to know him this week. he has driven the nccs group for the past several years that we have been here. he is a great driver and a lot of fun. no english, but i think he gets more than he lets on!

it is 330pm right now. some of the group has gone to the grocery store to load up on snacks for the trip home. at 545pm the bus will come to pick us up for the goodbye banquet tonight. we will eat a wonderful costa rican meal and also reveal our secret prayer partners at the banquet.

after that, we´ll come back to score villa for our closing devotion and chance to reflect over God´s blessings this past week. we are to be loaded up and ready to roll at 4am tomorrow…pray for us :)

we are anticipating landing in atlanta at 145pm. if you are coming to the airport to pick up your senior, please remember that you have to come inside to sign them out with mrs. carr or i and pick them up at delta baggage claim. we are hoping to be rolling by 230pm.

we are looking forward to seeing you all. we have appreciated your prayers this week and can´t wait to see you and share many more stories and pictures. thank you for your investment in our students and leaders this week.

signing off for now…

mark 10:45
for even the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.

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