TURRALBIA, COSTA RICA | JUNE 17-24

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DAY #1

Travel time from the States to Costa Rica was over 10 hours! We are beat. After two flights and a bus ride into Turrialba we had a great lunch with an even better view. Everything is SO green here. We’ll spend the remainder of the day resting in our Tico Homes to prepare for the full days of work to come during the rest of this week! Pray for our energy and attitudes. Gracias!!

DAY #2

Grace Wakeling: After eating breakfast with my wonderful Tico mother, Marcela, I came to the church where we began our daily devotional to spend time with God. Today we read Psalm 133 in order to focus on our purpose in being here in Costa Rica and unity as a team while we serve and are served. Then our team was split into several groups and dispersed throughout the church to do a certain job. A few of my team members and I were sent to sand the external walls of the church to prepare them to be painted. If you have intense arachnophobia like I do you can probably just skip the rest of this paragraph. While I was sanding the wall, a HUGE red spider crawled up from the ground at an alarming speed so obviously I ran away in terror. BUT, a construction man that was working with us walks over and just squishes it with his hand!!! Literally the spider he just squished with HIS HAND. I was in shock. He then proceeded to ask me what’s so scary about spiders and I just looked at him extremely dumbfounded. Anyways, that’s my Costa Rica horror story thanks for listening.  

 After working for a few hours we ate lunch prepared by some of the women who attend the church we are serving at. Then we split off into other groups to deliver food and gospel messages to two different local Costa Rican families that were in need of our help. Both of the families my group talked to were extremely grateful for the food we brought for them and for the fact that our team had the heart to come out to Costa Rica to serve. 

 Next, our team put on a VBS-like program for some local children. There were approximately 40 kids who came today and they all are beyond excited to return tomorrow and even bring their friends! I worked in the craft activity with them where they decorated drawstring bags that they keep and bring back for the other days of our program. I love getting to know the kids who come to our VBS and I especially enjoy attempting to speak Spanish and having the kids help me out as we try to understand what each of us is saying. The children are all so sweet and I can’t wait to see them all tomorrow!!

 After VBS, our team cleaned up the church a bit and our Tiko mothers all came to pick us up to bring us home for dinner. After a very long day I was really excited to see my Tico mom and siblings. Our family enjoyed a delicious meal of traditional Costa Rican spaghetti and then we all cleaned up and went to bed excited to do all of this again tomorrow. 

DAY #3

Isaac Seltzer: It’s day 2 in Costa Rica and we have all had a blast. From construction to VBS to staying in our Tico homes we have all connected with each other, with the kids in VBS, and our Tico parents. Day 2 in Costa Rica was fun and interesting. 

 I was painting the bathroom with Lucy, Hayley, and some other people from the church. One person named David accidentally spilled paint on Brian. Brian thinking that is was on purpose threw paint on David. Then Hayley put paint on my leg and then I returned the favor. After that it turned into a paint war. One moment we were painting the walls, the next we were painting each other.  

After construction we had lunch then we did home visits. Our group visited two homes. During our second home visit we met a lady. She had a bible but did not know how to read and write. We shared some verses with her and later found out She had not accepted Jesus into her heart. We asked her if she wanted to and she did. 

Day 2 of VBS ran much more smoothly than Day 1. There were way more kids here today! We all knew what we had to do and everyone did there part and made day 2 much better than day 1. I worked in rec and we played a game called clumps. We would call out a number and all the kids had to get in a group of that number. And kid who didn’t have a group of that number was out. It ran very smoothly and the kids loved it. We also played musical chairs which the kids also loved. 

 Finally at the end of VBS we went to the University of Costa Rica and played sports with some people from the church. I played Basketball with all of the guys from our group and from the church group. We all had a blast. At the end of basketball all of our shirts felt like they just came out of the washing machine. Soaked! At the end of day three everyone was tired but we had lots of fun. 

DAY #4

Julissa Becerril: Day 3 of Costa Rica: I woke up more tired than ever, got dressed and was ready to eat breakfast with my tico family. The breakfast was simple but good. First I had a bowl of cereal and once I was done my tico mom gave me what looked like an omelette but she said it was a burrito but they call it burro for short. When I was done eating everyone in the house was ready to walk to church. The walk to church was nice it was cloudy but it wasn’t raining which was good because I didn’t want to carry my rain jacket in my backpack. When we arrived at church everyone was already there and they were waiting for us because we were late 🤷🏽‍♀️. Once everyone was seated we were ready to start our day off with spending time with God. So we all separated around the church and spent time reading a passage from the Bible and answering questions relating to the the story and ourselves.

Then a couple minutes later we started doing construction but we were mostly done all we had to do was paint and clean up the church. Then once everyone was finished it was lunch time! I don’t actually remember what I had for lunch but after that we did home visits. What we mainly did with our 2 home visits was read romans scripture and then the person who translate would tell the people in Spanish. Then 2 people shared their testimony in the 2 home visits. Then we asked if they have any prayer requests and once they said their prayer requests one person in the group prayed for them. Then we started walking back to the church to get ready for VBS. Everyone was getting prepared for the kids and since it was the last day it was WATER DAY! After all the kids went home we packed up and got ready for the goodbye church service.

We were all dressed up and ready to go eat dinner with our tico families. For dinner we had a LOT of rice and potato chips and it was pretty good. Once everyone was done with their dinner we all sat in the rows of chairs and wait for the service to start. We did four worship songs the first two were Reckless and Oceans but while they were singing in Spanish we were singing them in English and it was funny because the little kids kept looking at us while we sang but we still had the best time. After the pastor finished his message each member of the team went up one by one with their tico families and said a little speech and said some really sweet things. When it was my turn to go up with my tico mom and Sarah it was so sad because it was our last day and she was honestly the best tico mom ever. She was like a second mother to me and Sarah and for that I am extremely grateful to have her in my life even if it was only 3 days.

Once the service was over we walked home and I was playing cards with Sarah and Issac till 10:30 and when we arrived my tico mother offered me and Isaac dessert and of course I accepted! Then it was 10:30 and we walked Isaac and his tico family to the bus stop and then left. After they left I got took a shower and said good night to my tico mom and went to bed.