Wow, it's hard to put into words how incredible the last 24 hours has been.
Last night our Costa Rican cook, Lela, made our favorite dinner - chalupas!!! Absolutely delicious!!! Out of this world!!!
We were invited to be a part of a small group Bible study last night in the poorest part of town. We were expecting to just be observors, but I (Doug) was asked to speak right before it started. I've learned through the years that when I don't have any time to prepare, the best thing to speak about is what God is currently teaching me. It's fresh & something that I'm usually most passionate about because I love learning from my heavenly Father.
There were about 25 men, women, and children there. I shared about the journey God has had me on over the past 4 years in ministry. Since I'm typing this on my cell phone I will have to keep it to that brief description, but I look forward to blogging about the specifics in a few weeks. It was an honor to be a part of their small group. Like most people in Costa Rica (and especially in this small town) the people are so warm, friendly, and welcoming. Everywhere we go it's like a big group hug from the family of God.
It was such a blessing to see the leaders of the small group Bible study reaching out to their community with the love of Jesus. There were several people in need of the power of Christ in their life as the world has sucked the life out of them and left them empty.
Heather and her 12 year old daughter Adalyn have already fallen in love with this community... and vice versa. As the Bible study ended last night all the kids played together outside for about 2 hours. Adalyn was a big hit with the local kids and had a blast playing games together. While the kids played, Heather, Laurie and I went on a search-and-find mission. Laurie brought down a lot of pictures of the community kids from last summer's carnival day. Our new friend, Julio, took us door-to-door to find the kids and hand deliver the pictures to them. They were so happy to get the pictures. It was a big hit!
This morning we started the day with an excellent breakfast made by Lela. Afterwards we studied Matthew 17 for our morning devotions. There's no better way to start the day than in God's presence!
The weather is PERFECT as we are right in the middle of Costa Rica's summer. Temps are around 75*F with clear skies and pleasant breezes.
After devos we painted the bottom of 22 trees on the church property with a special fluid to prevent insects from damaging them. It was a good project and a great way to serve our brothers in Christ as they serve the Lord.
We enjoyed a lot of fresh fruit during our work break.
After finishing our project we went to visit our bus driver Luis and his lovely wife Marieta. They are such incredible people. Before we even sat down Marieta began making us an incredible lunch of steak, rice & beans, salad and plantains... Followed with ice cream bars!! Wow, can she cook!
Luis is such a wonderful man-of-God. We loved listening to everything that God is doing in his family's life. We were also saddened to hear that he will no longer be our bus driver. God has him on a new journey that includes 3 businesses. He now owns his own dairy cow farm, is starting a guided tour in a national park (he and his business partner just finished preparing their tour wagon that holds 25 people), and has a third business starting up in San Jose. Because of this he & his wife will be moving about 30 minutes away at the end of this month. We were so happy for them and so sad that we won't see them as much as we want to. Luis was the absolute best bus driver we could have ever dreamed of. He has been an answer to prayer for our ministry. He will be greatly missed!
There is a youth service at church tonight. It's such a blessing to watch & hear these young people worship God! Adalyn & Heather are loving it!
There are so many other things I could share, but I'm out of time! We have laughed so much on this trip. Praise God for laughter!!
Blog u tomorrow! We are planning to go to church, the ziplines, and hopefully have a town-wide movie night watching "Courageous" =)