Costa Rica STM Day 7 - The First Goodbye

Today marks one week since we have been here in Costa Rica. Time flies! We began our day with devos led by Gary, the long-term missionary we are working with. Because we went over John 15 and bearing fruit through Christ yesterday, we continued on this topic with what it means to be useful despite being broken. We opened up devos with a song titled "A Japanese Bowl", and it struck me on how gracious and good God is. God is so good and so gracious, He allows for broken lives to be a source of encouragement for other broken lives in order to restore fellowship with each other and Him.

 Freshly painted walls!

Freshly painted walls!

In Pavas, some members continued to add a second coat of paint on the walls, others began to start painting the columns, and the rest helped serve lunch to the mothers and children. There was one moment when a mother was telling two of our members something, but they didn't understand, so they called me. It was a little difficult for me to understand her because she spoke very fast but quietly. From what I made out of what she said was that she was upset that one of the members whom she was talking to and communicating with just left without saying anything to her, it was at this time when we needed to clean up because we had to head to La Carpio.

Karina mentioned that this struck her because the thought of us being there for such a short amount of time, and our absence or exit giving a negative effect on those whom we are serving, really shows how much of an impact we can make as servants. Perhaps this mother really needed someone to talk to just for comfort, and the leave of one of our members only resulted in unhappiness for her. I hope that this mother will comfort and peace with that local church.

 Our final day in La Carpio with the young ones :(

Our final day in La Carpio with the young ones :(

After Pavas, we returned to La Carpio for the last time in our trip this year. The children and teenagers behaved pretty well today; most, if not all, were attentive and paying attention to the lesson given by the interns. The teens were pretty attentive today in comparison to the rest of the week; perhaps today's lesson focused on Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. Personally, I was unsure if I would embrace one or any of these children or teenagers, and I didn't for the week until today. And God sent me two children to hold...at the same time! I am pretty sure the entire team today embraced many of the children and teenagers because it was our last day. 

Reflecting on this week's serving time in La Carpio, I'd say that the week started off with awkward interactions with the children and teens, and frustration with misbehaviour and rowdiness. But by the end of our time there today, we just could not let them go. Our team is joyful for such an amazing opportunity and experience to be there for them. Seeing the smile on their faces when we talked to them, embraced them, played games with them, did crafts with them, and spent time with them brought enormous amount of joy. Knowing that we had some team differences several times this week, but then being brought together through these children really displays how God will use the broken to form something so precious. God is so good!

We said our goodbyes to all the children and teens, as well as the interns and local helps, then headed back home. I honestly believe that our team was really joyful that we ended our time in La Carpio on such a good note. The amount of love and joy today made this week almost too surreal. 

 Our STM team along with the interns, locals, and some of the children

Our STM team along with the interns, locals, and some of the children

On an important note, tomorrow morning we'll be heading to Guapiles, where we'll be staying at for the next couple days. Based on the information I was given, the next serving location is in the forest area with a lot of bugs and humidity. The site we're serving is a developing rehabilitation program and center, which has been taken over by Henry and his wife, Jahaira. There, we will be serving the community through physical labor during the day and hosting games at night. On Sunday, we will be helping with worship, and Brandon may preach. After our time there, we will be returning to San Jose on Monday afternoon, and hopefully attend the homeless feeding ministry again with Pastor Christian that night. With that said, I most likely will not be able to post a blog entry until then.

Prayer Request(s):

  1. Protection from bugs and insects in our time in Guapiles
  2. Spiritual protection
  3. Energy and strength
  4. Patience

In Him, 

Oscar Tsai

Karina's Blog: afraidyetfilledwithjoy.wordpress.com

Costa RicaOscar Tsai