Costa Rica STM Day 2 - Paid in Full
Today was pretty much a day of traveling and planning. Beginning with the most adventurous aspect of our day, Gary took our team to Irazú Volcano, which is located about an hour away from San Jose. Despite the cold and windy weather, being on this volcano was an amazing experience. We were able to walk around most of the volcano's perimeter and look at the neighboring mountains. It was an incredible site!
Probably the most important part of our day was our visit to The Basílica de Nuestra Señor de loa Ángeles (Our Lady of the Angels Basilica), a Catholic church located in Cartago. Gary explained to us that Costa Rica is primarily Catholic by culture rather than religion; however, the Catholicism in Costa Rica has been mixed with superstition.
At the Basilica, there is a small statue called La Negrita, which was found by a little girl in the woods in the 1600's. Costa Rican locals believe that it possesses supernatural powers because it is believed to grant prayers, such as healing of the body. In addition, there is an area beside the church where water pours out of the wall, and Costa Rican locals believe it is holy water. They fill jugs and containers, wash body parts they desire to be healed, and drink the water.
Upon entering the basilica, Gary said something that struck me: "Jesus paid the price, yet people are still [choosing] to pay the price." Wow. Similarly, I often find myself trying to earn my salvation. However, my salvation cannot be earned because my sin is too great. Still, Jesus paid the price in full on the cross. As a result, my salvation should influence my works, not the other way around. And this is a great reminder, especially being here in Costa Rica to serve.
I was called here not to do work to prove my self-worth, but to show others the worthiness of Christ. He died for us to wash our sins away, and rose again to prove He is God and show His power over sin.
I look forward to what God has in store for our team for the upcoming week!
- Unity among the team
- Constant love and encouragement
- Strength, energy, and boldness for a week filled with serving
- "He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:5 ESV)
- "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)