Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Costa Rica Monday & Slideshow from Thursday-Monday

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This morning we had breakfast at 7 a.m. then headed off to Los Guidos where we helped out with their children’s program. They took care of singing and the message, so we just did our skits and dance, played games, made crafts, etc. At the end we threw about 100 balloons off the second floor and the kids went nuts! It was a really fun service! Afterward we did a lot of hanging around before and after lunch because we were supposed to have an afternoon service, but it got moved to 7 p.m. We decided to go ahead and do our souvenir shopping today and tomorrow we are going to go to a volcano and to some hot springs where we can swim. Should be fun! We spent about 2 hours at an area with lots of shops and the team had fun shopping. After that we hit up a Burger King for dinner on the road and drove to a rough, poor area for our final service. It was a tin shack in the side of a hill, and when we descended into it, it was very tiny. We figured they could seat perhaps 40 people. However, they told us that they would have about 200 kids at the service! Believe you me, there is no way that capacity would be allowed in the states, but ... that’s the beauty of other countries! lol! The service started off well. We were interacting with the kids who were hanging all over us and giving us high fives - there was a lot of excitement in the air! The team had made over 100 balloon animals and we were excited about giving them out at the end of the service. When the service started, it was so full that people were standing outside trying to get in. Crazy! After doing a skit, David & Tiffany led some upbeat songs and it was full-on audience participation! This was going to be fun! David then shared his testimony followed by a little game I had prepared to fit in with my lesson. The game went awesome! But, as soon as I started to preach, the crowd started losing control. I constantly had to stop and ask them to please be quiet. It was very hard to talk, so I was cutting stuff out and trying to get through the important parts simply and quickly when all of a sudden, two boys started having a fist fight right in front of me. The pastor’s wife grabbed one boy but the other one was still attacking him. Being the closest one I jumped in and grabbed the boy and pulled him away. He was kicking and clawing even at me, so I had to restrain him. I was waiting for one of the adults from the church to come and help, but they were all the way in the back so Adriana asked Giovanni (who was in the room behind the stage and hadn’t seen the commotion) to come and help. G took the boy from me and carried him out as the boy tried to bite him. At that point the entire place had erupted and Mike said we needed to stop and leave. I calmed everyone down assuring them that the boy was OK and I prayed. I was ready to just leave the ministry stuff with the church and leave because I knew that until we left the children would not disperse and I didn’t want a mob scene, but Mike and the local leaders got the kids organized and we filed them through and straight out of the church with either a balloon or a bracelet. When the kids had left I got word that Giovanni and two other full-grown men were still having to restrain the little boy because he was determined to hurt someone, and had in fact head-butted Ken in his flailing. When I went outside they were really praying for him and it was apparent that it was a demonic attack. After getting the team on the van, Mike said we needed to leave, so we turned the boy over to the pastor and some others and left. It was a somber ride home. This was supposed to be our climactic ministry time, and it seemed to have derailed. But that humbling experience was a powerful realization for us on a lot of levels, and our bus was filled with intense intercession and passionate weeping for a good portion of our ride back to camp. When we arrived we had a group meeting and a good chance to unpack the day, especially the situation we had just been through. It was a powerful experience for sure!

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