Day 12 - I Would Stay In Costa Rica Forever
This morning, we arrived at Pavas and visited a drug rehabilitation center. The center is open to everyone (but space is limited). Patients stay at the center for fifteen days (free). During the fifteen days of rehabilitation, patients learn about the bible, ways to stop drinking, and skills for life such as how to use the computer. Funny how I never realized that learning how to use a computer was a huge blessing. The center is funded by a man named Jonathan. Jonathan runs a car wash just a block from the center. All the money from his shop goes to help improve the center.
After the center, we went to house called "Gary's House". The house is a non-profit "Ronald Mcdonald like" house, the only one in Costa Rica. A Ronald McDonald House is that “home-away-from-home” for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost. (quoted from website) Gary's House believes that when a child is hospitalized, the love and support of family is as powerful as the strongest medicine prescribed. The people who run the house said that everything (from appliances to sheets) was from God. It was amazing to see how passionate they were to help those who's child is hospitalized.
Brandon's old host family came out to meet us when we were in Pavas. Henry, Jahaira, and their son Aaron will be moving to Chile very soon to minister to the people there. Henry felt that this was the right season due to little signs from God, such as his family's health, both physically and spiritually. We were really happy to see (and meet for some of us) them.
In the afternoon, I led worship with three songs: Gloria Señor, Every Move I Make, and Joy Joy Joy. Karina then shared her testimony with the audience, followed by a lesson on the Sword of the Spirit and the Helmet of Salvation by Brandon. We had them do a worksheet and make their own helmet of salvation. Their creativity was an 11/10... it looked nothing like our sample, but so much better. Every person's helmet was unique to their personalities. They all thought outside the box with the materials given to them.. See for yourself in the slideshow below!
Excerpt From Karina: Today, Danielle and I got to talk to a girl that was participating in our program. She shared with us that she was essentially pushed out of her family and the often felt empty inside. As a result, she had been cutting herself for 4 years and continued to do so. It broke my heart and I was at a loss for words. I told her that God loved her more than anyone on earth could ever love her. We ended our conversation in prayer and she thanked us. As we were getting into our van to go back to base, she rushed over and gave me one of the bracelets that she had been using to cover her scars.
This whole week at Pavas has been stressful, yet rewarding. We had to share the space with a group of 24 people from Idaho. They ran two ministries, while we ran one at the same church. They ministered to the women and children, while we worked with the former alcoholics, drug addicts, and gang members. Thus, three ministries going on at the same time caused a lot of chaos and noise. It was really heartbreaking because at times, the kids upstairs would be so loud that our audience could barely hear Brandon speaking. I began to wonder.. is it possible that the spiritual warfare here in Pavas could be built within the system? We were all doing God's work... yet there were times when we felt that we were competing with the other group for the attention of our audience. Nevertheless, God did prevail at the end, and through his grace and power, our audience really seemed to enjoy the worksheets, crafts, games, and lessons that we had planned out for them these past three days. They kept on coming back and it was so encouraging to see how hard they worked on their worksheets and crafts. Their creativeness and work ethics amazed me.
My experience at Pavas was beyond anything that I could ever have imagined. I can't believe that I went into it thinking, "how is this going to top Tirrases?" There was no "top" between Tirrases and Pavas... both ministries were just different. At the end of the day, I gained so many memories and relationships in Pavas, along with 10 new facebook friends! I hope that I was able to share a little bit of God with all the people that I've met, and I will continue to pray for their growth with the Lord.
In the evening, Melissa, Brandon, and Luna came over to spend our last night together. We played card games and sang Frozen songs. My favorite game was Jungle Speed... which Brandon was horrible at... haha!
Prayer Request :)
- Safety for tomorrow's zip lining adventures
- Pray that God will continue to grow with everyone that we've met in Costa Rica. I hope that we were able to show them a glimpse of God's greatness
- Pray that the team will never forget their experiences and memories here in Costa Rica, and that this will not just be a "missions high" for all of us. Pray that we can have a missions mindset at home and minister to those around us.
Spanish Phrase of the Day: Te echaré de menos (which means I will miss you... I wish I knew how to pronounce this correctly when saying bye to everyone at Pavas)
In His Love,