Trip is going great! This is part of our 25-person group from Landry Academy. We just completed our 2nd full day of our 21 mile backpacking trip. Yip! Yip!
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Costa Rica Day 5 (Harvest Church)
This is our first mission trip, and so far it has been an awesome experience. The first day after we arrived in La Fortuna, our bodies were having some trouble adjusting. We had to get used to the climate and the different diet. But once we started working, we slowly got into the swing of things. Each day has been filled with various activities including construction, devotionals, swimming, testimonies, and bonding with our team and the locals. Our construction project consists of building a dormitory for the people who come to serve as missionaries and also others who come to participate in camps that the church puts on.
Each morning after breakfast, we are given a passage from Psalms, we break off and do devotionals. After a few minutes we come together and share what God has laid on our hearts regarding the passage we read. Each person’s interpretation of God’s word never ceases to amaze us. We also got to be a part of their church service yesterday. Although there is a language barrier we all worship the same God and sing most of the same songs. To hear the two different languages mesh as one big song of praise is so heartwarming and refreshing. They worship freely without the fear of judgment, whether it’s dancing like a crazy person or singing at the top of their lungs.
We are about to start our first day of Vacation Bible School; the kids will be playing games, making crafts, and hearing the word of God. After meeting a few of the local kids, and playing and interacting with them, we could not be more excited to meet the other kids that are apart of the church and the community. We hope to be an example of God’s unconditional love and to provide a place of protection.
We are so thankful for this opportunity and for the thoughts and prayers that have contributed to this mission, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the mission trip has in store for us.
Avery & Victoria
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
What a day! Pancakes, morning devos, gear set-up & distribution, pizzadillas, tree climbing, food distribution, backpack fitting, packing gear, chicken & mashed potatoes, and so much more!!! Love my crew, love Landry Academy, love this group!! Our 21 mile God-awesome backpacking trip begins tmw!!
The team is finishing up work projects today and will finish out the day with the 2nd part of the children's carival, an Impact Point given by volunteer Chris Atkins, worship and testimonies given by 3 people from the Harvest Team. So far, we've heard testimonies from Billy, Sandi, Sandra, Chris (from Harvest), Kyle, Avery and Chayla. It's been so encouraging and healing to hear one another share their stories of how God has worked in each of their lives.
Again the Internet is down at church today, but I will be having several more people blog today and as soon as I can I will upload more photos and personal experiences shared by the Harvest Team!
And the trip begins!! Prepped all the backpacking gear Monday morning as we awaited the arrival of our 21 participants. We set them up with all their gear and they set up their base camp. We will spend Tues fitting everyone for their backpacks and fine tuning our packing before we leave on Wed for a 4 day 21 mile trek. So excited, but wishing Laurie could be a part. Thanks for the prayers & support friends :)
The team had another work day today! Victoria and Avery made a blog post, but the wifi went down at the church and I'm unable to get it off my computer tonight to upload. I'm hoping tomorrow it will be up and running so I can share. There has been a lot of wind here, which feels amazing and instead of manna showing up each morning there is a plethora of fresh mango that have fallen from the two trees just outside the bunk house! At night they sound like gun shots going off as they hit the metal roof we are sleeping under! Most of the students have gotten so use to them and have been working so hard they don't even notice it any more!
This afternoon we kicked off day one of the children's carnival. I won't share too much because I'm hoping the students will share more in another blog post tomorrow! In the mean time here are some photos of our days events!
We love you all and are so thankful for our family and friends back home who are praying for us.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
It's been a long day of building walls, making concrete and painting today followed up with a youth service and testimonies given by Billy and Corey! It's been amazing! We also had to say goodbye to Pastor Craig today. Although we were sorry to see him go, we were so happy he could join us for a short visit and work side by side with the Harvest Team.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
We picked up our 3rd Musketeer yesterday after having to reroute her flight at the last minute. With several stops along the way and NO MORE FLAT TIRES we made it to our destination around midnight. So it took about 30 hrs to travel 13hrs. Not bad - LOL!!
Friday, June 19, 2015
Good morning to our family and friends back home! It's been a full morning so far and the team is working hard at several different projects on the dormitory in the back of the church. From concrete mixing, digging a septic, moving blocks, sifting dirt to sanding concrete walls the team is doing it all with the help and guidance of several local Costa Ricans, including Pastor Danilo of the church here Fortuna!
This morning we read from Psalms 139 and each person shared what God was teaching them through it. I love how David described God as knowing us so intimately, kind of like an artist who works so attentively on a masterpiece in the privacy of his own studio. I like to think of God in the same way with us when David says, "My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth." (Psalm 139:15) Isn't a beautiful thought to think? God made us and knows us intimately and better than we or anyone else? Not only that, but that God has made us each with a specific plan and purpose, "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." (Psalm 139:16) God makes no mistakes, David recognized this in his writings where he says "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." (Psalm 139:14) He loves us, cherish us, pursues us, knows us, forgives us and holds us in the palm of his hand. A love like that is hard to find, but in God we have it! Can you imagine? Just think as much as we love others or know others, their love or our love cannot compare to the depths of God's love for us or how well he knows us inside and out, because of that, it should be my every day desire to know him more intimately and allow his thoughts about me flood my thinking and not let the world define me, label me or concern me. I love Psalm139:17 where David says, "How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!" From time to time we may not give God the thought, time or attention he deserves, but yet he's always thinking about us. Now that is incredible!
I'm not trying yo brag, but it only took us 15 hrs to drive 7 hrs away. GTD is also known as "Garner's Time Delay" - LOL!! We are staying the night with our awesome friends Kevin and Ashley Starner (again). Once we replaced all 4 tires it was pretty smooth driving. Alex and I have had so much fun today!! Lifetime of memories in less than 24 hrs. Can't wait for tomorrow's adventures as we pick up our last compadre Erin. Well, it's been a full day... We are heading to sleep. Goodnight friends :)