Hi Family and Friends!
I had such an amazing time in Costa Rica. It was way too short! I cried when I got home. I have made so many friends there, and I love the kids and it’s always hard to leave people you love.
Left to Right: Amanda, Hannah, Morgan, and Me
This was my first trip that I coordinated and led. It was a learning experience for sure! It was a lot of fun though! It was so much fun sharing with other people, a country and a people I love. I spoke the most Spanish out of all the girls, and I LOVED serving as a kind of translator. Although, I am by no means fluent, I was able to understand most of what was asked of me and carry on small conversations with those who spoke no English.
Christy Hepner a missionary in Costa Rica does community ministry and helps at the orphanage a few times a week. She graciously opened up her home for us to stay with her. Since the children’s home is quite full with the kids and staff, two of us stayed with her while the other two stayed at the home. I stayed at her home the entire trip, since I had already had the experiences of staying at the children's home, and the other three girls took turns staying at Christy’s. This gave us all an opportunity to experience the bus, which is always an adventure, especially when you miss your bus stop! :-) Since Cherie was in the states, Christy was helping take care of the children’s home.
We did a lot of daily chores at the children’s home from cleaning bathrooms and floors, laundry, and helping with meals and cleanup. We also did crafts and evening devotions with the kids. Because of the national teacher’s strike that was in it’s fourth week while we were there, there were no buses running so we helped drop off and pick up the kids from school (the ones that had school).
We did a few other projects outside of the children’s home. Morgan and Amanda helped another missionary couple get ready for a short-term team they were getting ready to host. We all went and helped a new missionary couple paint their new house. We were also able to provide $100 to purchase groceries for families. We were able to bless two families, with rice, beans, coffee, paper and cleaning products, and so much more! Hannah and I were able to go with Christy to buy and deliver the groceries. It was so much fun surprising them with an unexpected blessing!
Going to church is always one of my favorite things about going on mission trips. The opportunity to worship the Lord, with people who do not speak the same language is amazing! When I stop and think about how God understands every single language, I am just in awe! Our God is so awesome! We were warmly welcomed into the church, and I enjoyed the sermon even though I couldn’t follow it too much.
Cherie McCullah, the director and house mom of Residence of Life, was actually in the United States when we were in Costa Rica. She is trying to raise funds for a new house for the kids, since the owner of the one they have been renting is wanting to move back in. It was disappointing to miss her, but I was able to have lunch the week before I left with her and another friend that I met last year in Costa Rica. The new home she wants to buy, also has room to house short-term teams, and room to house even more children!
I am not sure when I will return to Costa Rica, but I know that I will go back. I am hoping sooner, rather than later. I feel like part of me is still there, and it didn’t get the memo that I am in the United States. All I can do is pray and do my part for Cherie and the kids right where I am, and believe that I will get to go back.
I got home and jumped right back into work. I work two days a week at a YMCA early learning program, with mostly Spanish speaking families. Moms bring their babies and rotate through activity stations. It’s an awesome program! Three days a week I work at a YMCA summer camp at a low-income housing development in Kansas City, KS. Torey is still working for the sheriff’s office, and is thankfuly always supportive of my love for missions and Central America.
God gave me a heart for missions, and I pray that as you read this it encourages you to ask God what you can do to help missionaries and support missions. If you are ever interested in going to Costa Rica and working at the children’s home, please contact me! I would love to tell you more about my experiences, and how you can support Cherie and the kids, and the ministries of Christy, John and Jill, and Matt and Kris.
I love you all! Without your support I wouldn't have been able to go, so thanks for sending me!
Isaiah 6:8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us? Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”