Costa Rica STM Day 1 - Child of the One True King
The morning started off with a team meeting to go over the schedule for the next two weeks. Gary, the long-term missionary we are working with, began the meeting with a reminder that each team member, and all the Costa Rican locals we are working with and serving, are children of God, meaning we are loved. And because of this love, we as Christians are to serve and share the Gospel. Gary made an important note in terms of what we are doing as a team and that is to help the local churches and build them up, rather than establish churches.
After lunch, we headed to Tirrases where Pastor Horacio leads a small service for local children and youth. And that is when things definitely got real for me. First, I was asked to translate for the team, which I ended up failing at because I have forgotten so much of my Spanish. Second, the team leaders had discussed with me that my role in this trip is to be part of the team first and a videographer/photographer second; consequently, documenting everything established a sense of seclusion in me. A large part of me felt like I did not belong because everyone else was talking and serving the children while I was in the back. Third, witnessing the joy of serving these children by the words and actions of my teammates and Pastor Horacio encouraged me to do the same. Despite the language barrier between my teammates and the locals, my teammates' willingness to serve and be with the children is such an amazing event to witness. How great God is to use His servants for His glory!
Afterwards, we headed back to our base located in San José to regroup with Gary and his wife, Grettel, because they invited us to attend a service at a local church called PAS. From the outside, it looked like an artistic office building one would see at Silicon Valley, and the inside was almost like a mega-church. I was pretty excited because I attended Spanish-speaking church services before, so I was eager to witness one in Costa Rica.
Worship was phenomenal. With the mixture of a concert-type worship plus Spanish lyrics and Costa Rican energy, I felt the power of worship, and I enjoyed it very much. They even performed one of my favorite worship songs in Spanish: Cornerstone.
Amazingly, the message was focused on pursuing Christ through acts of serving others, which is exactly what my teammates and I came to Costa Rica for. The pastor ended the night's message with Jesus washing His disciples' feet, and asked an important question, "How is it that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords got down and washed these dirty feet?" Truly, this is an act of serving and love. And this was a clear sign from God that He will be using us for His glory and will.
Aside from all the things I felt and experienced, it is important to note the purpose of this whole trip as I stated before: we are here to serve by building up local churches. God is amazing in His works and great things will happen here in Costa Rica. As far as I know, the local churches have come a long way, and there are more and more locals witnessing God's love by acts of service from the local churches with the aid of missionary teams. I can't wait to see what God will do next in the upcoming two weeks!
- God to give me the boldness I need to help serve
- Constant team communication as we prepare activities with the children and youth for the next two weeks