I was in Costa Rica. Wait what? What is that? My mind still cannot comprehend that concept. I spent my spring break on a mission trip in Costa Rica. THAT IS SO CRAZY TO ME! I’m overwhelmed by my experience and all that I saw and felt while I was there. I’ve spent the past 48 hours mulling everything over and wishing I could go back. So, obviously, I’m about to write all about it. Brace yourself.
Selfless Service. I’m not one to work. I’m not very strong, and I’m a huge complainer. But I absolutely thrived every chance we were given to work. Our team built walls and shoveled dirt and hammered cement, and it ruled. It felt amazing to be doing something that benefits someone else without expecting anything in return. Each day I woke up expecting to be tired or worn down by the physical work done from the day before, but I felt nothing but rested and ready to jump into another day of labor. God answers prayers. He really does. I spent a lot of time in prayer asking God to give me His strength so I could work whole-heartedly each day, and He answered my prayers immediately. If only I felt that way every morning getting up for school.
Childlike faith. I saw first hand what childlike faith looks like. It’s funny, but even though none of us could speak fluent Spanish, it didn’t seem to effect our interactions with the kids. I love them. My God, I love those kids so much. Playing with them and talking with them and hugging them was just the icing on top of a perfect week of work. Ironically, I feel like I was changed more by them rather than they were changed by us. I think I sort of assumed that when we would meet those kids from the church that they would be the ones overwhelmed and taken aback by us. That was silly to think, because I was so wrong. We were the ones that learned from them and grew by playing with them. Saying bye to the kids the last day after playing soccer, and duck duck goose, and frisbee with them was so hard. A couple of my friends even shed tears hugging them goodbye. Those children just love life, you know? They are so young yet they seem to know so much. They didn’t know anything about us prior to meeting us, but they still trusted and played with us all the same. How sweet is that?
Lessons Learned. I learned that sometimes all anyone wants is love, and someone who is willing to give it. I discovered that you have to go into anything with an open mind. I realized it’s not about what can be done for you, but what you can do for others. I remembered that all that I do and say should be for the glory of God, because He is Lord and King. I decided that sometimes it’s better to be silent and listen instead of trying to throw in your two cents every chance you get. I made friendships that will continue to develop even though the week in Costa Rica ended. I grew from those experiences and was humbled by the people I came to face to face with. All in all, I learned about life, and how important it is to take advantage of any oppurtunity given to step into someone elses shoes and live for a moment in their world.
Til next time, PURA VIDA!