The month of August has been filled with adventure and excitement it has been wonderful to be part of God’s work in Costa Rica. Time after time God shows me why He keeps bringing me back to the Bribri reservation. I truly feel like I have a family among the indigenous people of Costa Rica, from the community in Watsi at the entrance of the reservation all the way to Alto Coen, one of the remote villages in the Talamaca mountain range.
The week of the 5th - 13th I was in Coroma, Talamanca. Experience Mission has been working in this community for the last few years partnering with the community to build a high school. Currently there are about fifty-five students attending the Coroma High School. A couple of years ago when the high school was started there was only twelve students and there was only a couple of standing building, currently there are four functioning classrooms, and one kitchen with a small dining room.
Our project this week was to help continue building a two-story classroom at the local high school. The First level will be used as a classroom, the second level will be used for dormitories since the three teachers that are currently teaching have to walk about an hour and a half to teach in Coroma everyday.
There was a couple of highlights of this trip, one of the main highlights of this mission trip was that the local church in Coroma received 2 proclaimers. The Proclaimer is a digital player dedicated to playing God’s Word in the local language which in this case is the Bribri language.
Here’s the way it works:
This device is perfect for the Talamanca area since there is no electricity in the coroma area. This will be a great tool to share the gospel in the reservation. I felt so excited and privileged to be part of this project to take this playback device to people who may not have any other source to hear God’s Word.
August 31, 2010
As I sit here in my room reminiscing about the past couple days, I can hear a rain storm rolling in. The clatter of the rain on the roof reminds me of the moments shared this week between the community and the team members. As it is the beginning of Costa Rica’s rainy season, the weather played an important part in each day’s work and progress. Many times work had to be halted in order to take cover for the sudden bursts of pouring rain- more rain then I have ever experienced in my life. While the rain may have stalled work for a while, it also was the cause for many relationships to be formed and connections to be made.
One of the most touching effects of the rain took place at Crispin’s worksite. At this site, the teams are working hard to build a house for a family. They have the pleasure of working with Franklin, the maestro, who has been lovingly deemed the Clint Eastwood of Costa Rica. While the relationship between Franklin and the group has truly been a blessing, the real story is seen in the love that the family expressed for the students. After the first day of rain the team left wet and dirty, caked with mud from head to foot.
Granted, this is half the adventure and joy of working in Costa Rica. However, when they returned the next day they were surprised to find a shelter that the family made for them out of bamboo and leaves. The beautifully handcrafted structure not only provided shelter for future outbursts of rain but also from the beating rays from the sun. It doubled as a place to rest and eat lunch together, providing shade to keep their water supply from boiling.
I loved hearing about this shelter and being able to see it later in the week. More than the resourcefulness of the shelter and the people, I found the love of God that they expressed through it heart warming. They didn’t have to build a shelter from the rain and they don’t have to be at the worksite with the teams every day to help – but they are and they come to simply love and be loved. While we are out here to help families by building homes, painting schools, etc. the main reason we are here is to love God and love the Costa Rican people. The teams showed this love with every bag of sand they carried, every nail they hammered, and every smile they extended to the people. But the love of the community cannot be overlooked, for they too love unconditionally – through smiles, through hugs, through shelters, and through their willingness to welcome us into their lives.
In awe of God’s love,
Hola de Costa Rica!! This summer has just begun and plans are on the way for the many groups traveling out to Costa Rica, the first team arriving in one week. Everything from the kind-hearted people to the welcoming sound of the ocean has brought an excitement for the upcoming weeks. We all arrived safely to Costa Rica last Saturday and have spent the past couple days scoping out possible worksites, visiting with members of the community, and putting together plans for the summer.
Throughout the community we have been welcomed and treated warmly as though we were family. Thatia, Chris, and I have had the pleasure of getting to know the staff at the Hotel Jaguar, where teams will be staying, and also getting to know various community members. God has been truly working in this community and we are excited to be able to join in with the community where He is already at work. Consumed with an overwhelming love and joy for the people, their families, and the community, we await the arrival of the teams with growing anticipation.
Fifteen minutes ago we arrived back from a quick jaunt over to the market to get water for tomorrow’s hike to visit with Leopoldo, a BriBri man who lives in the mountains. Beauty is seen all around us here near the Caribbean and we are excited to see God’s masterpiece in a new way tomorrow. Furthermore, please pray for us tomorrow as the hike with be somewhat demanding and we are still adjusting to the change in climate and elevation here- though the warmer weather is more than welcome. No matter where we go, we look forward to making new acquaintances and having the opportunity to see God through different eyes; whether it be down the street to “la tienda” or an hour and a half hike up the mountains. As the day turns into night we find we must say: Hasta Luego y Dios de bendiga!! (Until Later and God bless)