Well, it’s been a week since team Panarica has arrived here in Costa Rica! It’s been such a full week of amazing ministry opportunities and fun team time.
We took a red eye flight into Costa Rica and arrived here early Saturday morning. It was a long day of sleeping and trying to adjust to the RAIN. Yes, rain. Not what any of us were expecting. Nevertheless, it’s gorgeous here and we all love it.
Throughout the week, we have been going to and fro from the YWAM base we’re staying at and town. Sunday, first thing, we got to lead worship (in Spanish… Yikes!) and also share a testimony. The people of the church were so welcoming and we really felt like part of it. Monday, we started out with the “Amazing Prayer Race”. We spilt up into three teams and each team had a list of questions and topics to ask people. It took us around the city of Heredia and we got to meet some awesome people. Tuesday, our team took food to homeless men in the city. That was such a great experience. The men were all so sweet and you could tell they just wanted someone to listen to them. Granted, none of us can really understand what they’re saying. But through our wonderful translators, we had conversations and we got to pray with most of them. That morning was a favorite for all of us. It was such a blessing to be able to sit down and get to know these men. The afternoon was a bit harder for all of us. We were split into groups again and we set out to pray for people. Trying to strike up a conversation and keep it going proved a little difficult for most of us. Especially with the language barrier. Having to speak through a translator feels slightly impersonal. It was a little discouraging, but we’re all asking God to help us come out of our shells.
Wednesday looked a bit different from our first couple days. We stayed at the YWAM base and helped out with the animals, the garden, and other odd jobs. A group of us got to learn how to milk the goats, which was awesome! And weird. After the goats were milked, they were taken out to the field to have time outside of their pen. We then proceeded to clean their stalls out. Sweeping and cleaning up the poop. As well as the horse stalls. It was definitely an experience. Others worked in the turkey/duck area. They were given the job of digging a hole for the little pool for the ducks. Lots of mud. Lots of fun. This base is very focused on becoming self sustainable. They have an aquaponics area, ducks, turkeys, horses, goats, chickens, and it’s amazing. I’m very impressed. Thursday, we went back into town and had the chance to go up into El Fortin. An old fort from Costa Rica’s civil war. We climbed the many, many stairs and reached the top and prayed over the city. The view was simply fantastic. As most Latin American cultures, Costa Rica is primarily Catholic. And so some of us prayed over that. I just know that the Lord wants to reach all these people here.
Yesterday was our off day. So we decided that going to see a volcano was a must. We all piled into a big van and left at 7 am sharp. It was a pretty long, bumpy ride up the mountain. But along the way was beautiful scenery. Green all around and a lot of rain. When we got to the ticket booth for the crater of the volcano, the woman told us that it was too cloudy and rainy to see anything. So why pay the money, right? So we turned around and stopped at a cute little restaurant called Restaurante el Descanso. There we got coffee, hot chocolate, and the highlight of the day, fried plantains. We ate, drank, and were merry. We paid, piled back into the van and made our way to a waterfall. But, they charged us too much there so we decided to go home. It sounds a little like a failed trip but I definitely think everyone had quite a lot of fun. Even though most of our time was spent in the van. Today, we helped with this base’s kids ministry. A group called King’s Kids. We played with a bunch of adorable kids (yeah I know, it was really difficult. 🙂 and helped out with lunch and also danced and performed a skit for them. They were all so sweet and willing to play with us. Despite the language barrier.
Clearly, we are keeping busy. I can already tell that this time is not going to go by slowly. God is already doing awesome things through us and in us. This team is growing closer and it’s only been a week. We are all family and we’re ready for the adventure God has for us as we make our way through Costa Rica and Panama.
Thanks for reading this lengthy post! It was a full first week and there are going to be plenty more.