Well friend, this post is well over due (and I apologize for that fact). This past week after Costa Rica has been a blur getting back into the swing of things. So without further ado…
SABBATH MARCH 24, 2012
This was our last full day with our people in Costa Rica. We faced the day with mixed emotions. Glad that we had come this far and sad that we would have to say good-bye later in the day.
We ate breakfast around 8 and headed out on the vans that would take us to the sites at 9.
This Sabbath was a bit different from the other two. This day, the sites consolidated. Those that had been meeting in tents and open places went to the closest church building (except for those who were close to Sixaola in the tent. See Rain (Reign) Down from March 13).
I was assigned to the local church in Cahuita. It was a nice break to walk for 5 minutes down the road to the church rather than riding for upwards of one and half hours in a van full of people. The Eastlands from the Laguria site, the Armijos from Hone Creek, and Daniel and Arisbe from Cahuita, were all there.
We walked to the church around 9:30 and arrived while they were having Sabbath school. The adults were all inside the church and the kids gathered in the fellowship hall and split into groups divided by age.
They moved into the church service around 10:30 and everyone came inside the church for prayer and praise. The place was packed because of the 3 different sites that were gathering there.
During the church service, they called all the international evangelists to the front to give them thanks for the work they had done in Costa Rica. Each elder from their sites, respectively, gave a little speech detailing the speakers and children’s ministry personal had impacted the lives of those at their sites.
After more singing and prayer, Daniel got up to speak.
This was the first time I had heard Daniel speak to his church. He was very, very, very, very excited (and that’s not over doing it). He got the people involved, having them call back responses and asking questions. His message for the morning was about the reality of heaven. It was a nice note to end the series of meetings on: the hope that if we would not see each other again on this earth, we would meet in heaven.
While the sermon continued on, the kids had left and gone back over to the fellowship hall for their church service. Arisbe was leading out, telling stories and singing with all 50 of the kids. They worked on crafts as well.
Once church broke up, a group headed down to the ocean front for a baptism and lots of group photos.
That was followed by potluck and socializing with each other. Kids were running all over the place with huge grins and many were asking for pictures.
After about an hour of that people began to say their good-bye’s and head home. Like I’ve said before, this was a bittersweet moment.
Once just about everyone had left, and we had gotten all the pictures people wanted, we headed back to the hotel to change and relax from the tiring 2 and a half weeks we had just been through. A trip to the beach came shortly after and we spent the rest of the afternoon basking in the beauty of God’s creation in Costa Rica.
Around 4, everyone had returned from their sites and we met on the beach for the baptisms of Ismael and Olivia from our group.
We stayed there at the beach for a while after to enjoy the sunset (which was pretty cloudy) and play in the surf. Everyone seemed glad that our time in Costa Rica was drawing to an end.
That night, we packed and relaxed at the hotel pool.
SUNDAY MARCH 25, 2012
Sunday we ate our last breakfast at Roberto’s and loaded up in a bus around 10 to embark on a 4 hour bus ride to San Jose. It was nice to the see the scenery that we had previously seen in darkness, in the light of day.
In San Jose, we stayed at the Adventist University there.
We played basketball and soccer with the students there (which was pretty fun) and others got their fast food fix at the mall that was near by.
The night brought rest for the early morning the next day.
MONDAY MARCH 26, 2012
Alarms sounded as the 4 o’clock hour struck and we awoke to load the vans that would take us to the airport. We got to the airport around 5:30 and got everyone in the group checked-in by 7:45 for our 8:30 flight. After boarding the plane, we sat on the tarmac for about 20 minutes as maintenance fixed a leaking coffee maker on the plane. Once that had been taken care of, we took off with our sites set on Dallas, Texas.
After our 4 hour lay-over in Dallas, we took off again on the last leg of our journey. We were Albuquerque bound.
A short hour and a half flight later, we were walking out of the terminal in Albuquerque greeted by a large group of family and friends smiling and shouting, excited that we were home. It felt good to be home.
And we are now only continuing our journey, bringing back the experiences and lessons we learned in Costa Rica back home to apply them to our home lives.
Thank you, friend, for hanging with us on our journey to Costa Rica and back. Thank you for the prayers and support. Many lives were changed on this trip.
Until next time.