Costa Rica STM Day 5 & 6 - United or Divided
These past two days have been good in terms of serving. Yesterday, we continued to serve in the local feeding center by either assisting with distributing plates and talking to the mothers and children, or painting over the walls. I saw the new enlarged kitchen space, and I felt really encouraged that the vision for this building is getting closer and closer to its final stage.
Our serving time in La Carpio went well as well. The children and teenagers were a bit more rowdy in comparison to the previous day, but it was nice to see that they are still continuing to come out and learn about Christ. It's really heartwarming to see the smiles on the kids faces as we introduce crafts with them because most of these children and teenagers do not have toys or something to play with. However, our hope that these crafts are not just items for them to play with, but also reminders of what they learned about Christ.
I was really encouraged to see two Costa Rican locals in La Carpio get up and share their take on Christ and the feeding of 5,000. This situation was an important reminder that although we, as a team, may not see fruit during our time here, our support to locals, and those who are serving full time in Costa Rica, provides a sense of encouragement. And I hope that we are providing that source of encouragement for them to continue to witness to these children and teenagers.
Last night, we decided to hold a small gathering amongst ourselves and two other missionary friends. Brandon, one of our co-leaders, made chao mein for everyone. It was nice to just settle down for a night, enjoy dinner, and fellowship with each other. After dinner, we held a team meeting to discuss our schedule for next week, which then made me realize how soon this trip will end.
Today, things were starting to get a little difficult for me. The team meeting we had last night brought into light the issue of whether or not we are doing enough in our time in Pavas. Because the goal in Pavas is to finish remodeling and painting the feeding center, it was disappointing to realize that we had not finished much of our work. The team decided that it was best for us to do as much as we can for the remainder of our time there this week, and return next week to finish.
Thinking about how much needed to be done, my attitude was primarily directed towards getting as much as we can done today. And we did pretty well; overall, we finished painting about 75% of the room, with 50% needing a second coat of paint and the remainder needing paint overall. There were several instances when I began to get frustrated with other members because I felt like I was doing more work than I needed to; but, I pushed that thought aside and did what needed to be done.
Serving in La Carpio was a bit difficult today. The children and teenagers were a bit more rowdy and paid little attention to the interns sharing the lesson. There was a young boy in particular who kept disrupting the lesson by teasing other boys. Because today's craft involved food coloring, there was an incident when a couple of the younger boys poured the colored water into a bag filled with small fish from the river, which greatly affected one of our team members. It was a little difficult because we have learned that we cannot just tell these children and teenagers how to live their lives because we're foreigners, and we had to accept the fact that this is how they will choose to live at times.
Personally, I realized I have had little to no time for myself; I don't think I have some time alone to fully grasp on everything that has been going on. I began to feel socially exhausted. Luckily, I was able to have some time alone after dinner to just rest, listen to music, and reflect on this trip and my part in it. It was pretty refreshing, but I still feel pretty physically tired.
Overall, today was a good day. Each day has its struggles and worries, but I am confident that our team is spiritually and emotionally strong enough to hold it together. May God use our weaknesses to humble ourselves and make us stronger for His glory!
- Find joy in serving
- Reminder of who we are as Christians and why we are here
- Humility, patience, self-control, and good attitudes
Karina's Blog: afraidyetfilledwithjoy.wordpress.com