Sunday, July 30, 2006

Grecia Lightning

I sent my last team home 5 days ago before spending 3.5 hours in Denny's and sending Tyrel home; all before 8:30 in the am.

The team got in on Friday the 7th. Our orientation lasted 24 hours and we headed to Grecia Saturday. We spent the rest of the day with our families. Joe and I were with the pastor and his wife and kids-- two awesome young men that have a lot going for them. But they're also struggling in their faith.

Sunday we played soccer in the morning, had a time of relaxation back at the church, and then in the evening we joined them for worship. I translated, while Jeff, the youth pastor, gave me the material.

The mornings throughout the week were taken with construction, as we helped to build some aulas Sunday school rooms. Mixing cement and laying cinder blocks were the main duties. But even with such a small team, eight, plus the two missionaries, we had plenty of time to hang out with those that were around.

Monday evening we held a meeting for the leaders in the church and talked about missions and that they start right there in Grecia, reaching out to those around you.

Tuesday was our long day. After constructing in the morning, in the afternoon we held a children's activity at the community room. There were clowns and games for the children to enjoy. For our craft, the team brought down some bracelets with different colored beads on them. Jeff talked briefly about the colors and their significance before we let them loose. One family that was there showed up at the church that night, that had never been before.

Growing up Presbyterian, I had never really been there before. The pastor held what he called a "service of ministration". Translation? Healing. He oiled up our palms and we prayed for just about everyone in the building. Some fell, others wept. It was pretty powerful and interesting.

Wednesday was work again in the morning and just a regular service in the evening. Not knowing what the protocol was until about 15 minutes before the service, as the group walked in the door, I asked four of them to share their testimonies. They were all well received by the congregation and despite all their nervousness the group members did wonderful.

Thursday afternoon the women had a women's time, where they did womanly stuff--I don't know what they did there. The men had a meeting that night, where we did manly stuff--I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Jeff talked about what it means to be a man and about generational sin--sin that gets passed down from father to son to grandson and what it means to stop that sin. It was a very powerful time for the men of the church.

Friday we went to the Poás Volcano. I had never been there and it was a really special thing that the pastor took us up there. We had a great time crammed in the van and eating lunch and then some craft shoppinng in nearby Sarchí. That night was the Farwell service which was tearful as usual. A great time for everybody.

We headed out the morning of Saturday and had a great time relaxing and reflecting at the beach, but we forgot our tool boxes back in Grecia, so the church came out to see us, which tugged at some heart-strings again, but was over all a joyful time.

The team headed out that Monday morning at the literal crack of dawn. And my time of team leading came to a close. Please continue to pray for me as my transition here at home continues and I'll update more shortly.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Second to last....

I have been meaning to update my blog, but I haven't had internet in my house for about 3 weeks now and I'm just barely hanging on as it is with my emails.... But so I can let you know how some things went here's a quick update.

I had my second to last team 3 weeks ago and it went great, after a few hang ups at the beginning. We worked with Ronald and his ministry out in Guarari and in a local church we had services every night. We helped with the kid's clubs and the feeding program. Everybody was great!

After moving around a few times, I finally found a house that I could live in. I'm still in the same area and the family is great. They've lived in the States and also were missionaries in Mexico for some time.

Tyrel and I went to Manuel Antonio last weekend. Neither of us had ever been there. The monkeys would come right up to you. It was like living in a zoo.

Last night to celebrate the fourth of July, some of us younger missionaries went to Denny's and gorged ourselves till we had to be rolled out of the place. It was rather disgusting the amount of food we ate, but strangely satisfying at the same time.

I have my last team coming in on Friday and we'll be working with a church in Grecia, just outside of San Jose. I'm excited for them. Please be praying for us!

I'm almost done down here, so please be praying for my last 3 weeks here. It has been a wonderful year and I've learned a lot.