Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Costa Rica Thursday

This morning we were up, packed up, and eating breakfast by 7 a.m. We enjoyed a typical Costa Rican breakfast of rice and beans, ham, cheese, bread, juice and coffee. After breakfast we loaded the bus for our 2 hour ride to Pueblo Nuevo. our ministry base for the next four nights. Along the way we had the great ptivilege of driving through the Baraulio Carillo rainforest! Wow! Amazing! And it was raining for a good portion of our trip through. When we arrived we unloaded our gear into our dorm-style rooms at an Assemblies of God camp called La Cumbre. An American girl named Lynette from Arizona welcomed us and gave us a brief orientation. She told us that the showers do give hot water - well, not hot, but a warm, but that the water is heated in the shower head, so the less pressure used the warmer the water. Twenty yards behind our dorm is the beginning of the rainforest! She told us that at night we would hear the howler monkeys, that we would also hear geckos in our rooms that sing, that we would all be supplied with mosquito nets to cover our beds since there is no glass in the windows, just bars, that if we needed to watch our steps to ensure that we don’t startle or step on any snakes, and that there are leopards and panthers around so if we see them we should calmly get back to our dorms. Wow! Now this is missions! The best thing ever is to watch our resident tough guy Giovanni act like a school girl at the thought of seeing anything other than humans. This is going to be fun! Following our quick stop everyone on the team less Terry and Peter got back onto the bus and drove an hour to Santa Rita, our ministry location for the day. Terry and Peter stayed behind to cook dinner for our late night return. Adriana and Giovanni were both sweating and almost had bladder problems during the ride. The roads were narrow, bridges even narrower, winding up and down beautiful mountains, and, oh yeah, there were no real guard rails or any of those nice, false securities that we love. With lots of tractor trailers also using the roads to transport jungle foods like pineapples from the many pineapple fields we were driving through, it was quite an adventure! At the church we spent the day painting the entire inside of a church. They did a really great job! Another couple of very funny moments ... At one point Adriana set David up by asking him to inspect an outside wall for the prospects of painting it. As he was next to the wall Giovanni dumped a rain catch filled with water on an unsuspecting David! He got soaked, but Ady did as well. She was not far enough away to avoid the waterfall. Also, while cleaning the paint supplies with paint thinner, I noticed a bit of paint on the sidewalk outside the church, so I used some thinner to get it up. A few minutes later G was complaining that it was hot outside. It had rained and was wet outside, so he assumed the place he was sitting was just wet. Nope! You guessed it! It was paint thinner! A few minutes later he hopped up yelling that his butt was on fire! lol! Oh we laughed! No sooner had we finished than the power went out and it started pouring rain! It was near dusk, so we soon had to break out flashlights, and you know that singing and dancing in the rain was inevitable. We were worried about the prospects of a service, but with assurances that the rain and the lack of power would not keep the people away I asked the team to begin a time of focused prayer and I was mentally planning alternatives that did not require technology. No sooner had they started to pray than the power came back on. Within minutes tens of people showed up and we ended up having a terrific service with probably 150 people. We did our “Sin Chair” skit, I preached on living in Christ’s victory, Brendon shared his testimony, David and Tiffany sang “Rescue”, we had 30+ minutes of altar ministry, and Adriana sand a song. After we were done with our formal ministry, the pastor came forward to bless us and pray for us. He gave a word to Adriana and me about God opening doors around the world for us to minister. Earlier he had given Ady and I a verse, Isaiah 60:11. He then gave a word to Brendon about how God is going to use him to speak a powerful word to teenagers around the world. Wow! So awesomt! It is now 10:30 pm and we are driving back to camp. They were expecting us at 9 and it will be at least 11:30 pm by the time we get there. Welcome to missions!

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