Costa Rica Missions Update #6

January 3, 2018

Matt LaFree

Well, we did it!! Our week down here in Costa Rica is coming to a close, with just a short night’s sleep and a travel day left. But oh, what a week it was. These students worked hard this week, and the work that was completed was absolutely astonishing. If you have been keeping up with our updates, you’ll know that we had four main projects to do, and we completed ALL of them. We were able to move an older couple from a house that literally had holes in the wall and where rats were eating away at the concrete to a new home.

We also were able to complete a project of replacing some concrete and putting in tile floors for a family that has a child with severe allergies. The new floor will help it stay cleaner and lessen the reactions of the allergies.

We helped host a Kid’s Carnival were somewhere between 400-500 kids came. This event was special because it was put on by the Vina Palmares children’s ministry team. The children’s ministry at the church is growing, and that is partially due to the beautiful children’s ministry building. This building was built in part by a Vineyard Mishawaka adult team several summers ago. It’s always nice to see some of the fruit of our church’s labor.

The last project was the biggest of them all. We partnered with La Vina Oeste. They are doing church in a one-room warehouse-type building. This includes children’s and student ministries. The goal was to complete the main wall, simply separating the building into two rooms. But our team was able to get not only that wall is done, but also the walls for four classrooms. I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of ministry that is going to happen now in this newly refurbished area.

We were able to cap our week off with a vacation/rest day at Baldi Hot Springs Resort. This was a day to just simply relax. The resort has 24 different pools that are heated naturally by river water from the volcano that neighbors the property. It’s really hard to describe just how beautiful this place was. It was a great way to just relax and spend a Sabbath. We talked several times today about how having a good Sabbath day can spark the rest of the week, and spending time in natural hot springs is a good Sabbath.

In true mission trip fashion, there were some frustrations, some stretching, and some tiredness, but that was all put to rest by what was accomplished. I don’t know if I can really portray in words just how proud I am of this group. They accomplished projects that were difficult for high schoolers, but they never complained about what we were doing. They just jumped right in. Rayner Rojas and the entire Palmares family were very gracious hosts for us this week, and we could not have done it without their help. Also, I want to shout out to Joe Brown and Kathy Smarrella for leading on this trip. They did a great job of leading projects, but more importantly, investing and pouring into the lives of our students.

So while we’re coming home tomorrow, the impact of what was done this week will remain. I’m so happy and blessed to have been the leader of this awesome group of students and leaders.


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