7:30 a.m. Yesterday we had a safe trip down and arrived more or less on time (as airline travel goes) along with all of our luggage! One interesting thing that happened on the plane deserves mention. The brief version ... a lady and I were talking on our flight from New York to Atlanta. She had just dropped her son off at West Point and was flying home. She asked about our team and in the conversation mentioned that she was a Christian. A bit later I was asking our kids if they were going to summer camp. Brendon said he wanted to go but didn’t have the money. Fast forward ... I got up and walked to the lavatory at the back of the plane. While waiting for it to become available the lady walked back to me. She extended her hand toward me and put something in my hand. She said that she was rummaging through her purse and found $200 that she thought she had lost, and felt the Lord instruct her to give it as an offering so Brendon could go to camp. She included a note written on a napkin listing the names of her children and asking our team to pray for them. It also said to use the money to help “the boy” go to camp, and requested that I not draw attention to her on the plane. I expressed my gratitude and assured her we would pray for her and her children. Later I informed Brendon that someone had paid for him to go to camp. He couldn’t believe it.
When we disembarked the plane in Atlanta we were greeted by Kent and Terry Denton, our LendaHand team leaders from Virginia. After hitting the restrooms and grabbing a quick bite to eat we were off to Costa Rica. Other than two screaming, obnoxious kids in the back row with a mother who had lost the reigns, the flight was uneventful. After landing, going through immigration, collecting our luggage, and going through customs with the tremendous blessing of an airport worker who basically walked us through after explaining that we were doing missions work, we were met by Bobby Hoyle, the founder of LendaHand. We loaded onto a bus and drove about 45 minutes to our accommodations for the first two nights - which, of course, was changed at 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon (it wouldn’t be a missions trip without surprises! - former military barracks! We were excited about the rugged sounding adventure only to be mysteriously disappointed when they were actually very nice and more like hotel rooms. lol! We enjoyed a fairly decent night sleep and were pleasantly awakened at 5 a.m. by some people playing soccer outside. Now we are off to do some painting, and tonight we are doing a church service.
1:30 p.m. After about a 45 minute drive we arrived in Los Guidos. We met up with the construction team from Virginia and together had breakfast of eggs, toast, bunuelos, and lichas - a fruit that looks like a blowfish. After removing the spiny outer shell inside you find a grape-like fruit. Everyone did well and actually enjoyed them. After breakfast we were to begin painting the children’s center, but unfortunately the supplies and paint had not arrived, so we found ourselves playing the waiting game. Brendon hooked the iPod up to the speakers and we enjoyed listening to some music. After quite a while the kids got on stage to run through their dance. Sure enough, the paint arrived. They got an oil-based paint (yuck!) and here they mix it with paint thinner. Unfortunately it did not mix well and was too watery, so it took us some experimenting to get the consistency right. When we finally did I gave a quick painting lesson and the team got working. They knocked out the main wall in no time, and we are hopeful that by our quitting time at 4:30 pm we will have the entire first floor done. After lunch the team will continue working while I run out to hopefully get some Wi-Fi at McDonald’s to get this post up.
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