Costa Rica J-Term Trip | The Master's Academy

Costa Rica J-Term Trip

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Day 7 
Sunday, January 13th

We started our Sunday off by eating breakfast in the cafe connected to the hotel. After eating, we got ready for church. One group headed out to the church in Tronadora and the other to the church near the hotel. Both services went well and we were off to lunch by 12:00. After lunch, we headed back to the school to finish painting the fence. We worked hard for 3 hours and at 4:30 we went to a local soccer field to play with the Costa Rican kids. By the time we were done and we had said goodbye it was getting late so we headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up and hang out for a little bit. Around 7:15 we headed to dinner at a popular local restaurant. In the evening, we had a deep discussion about what we are going to do when we get home so that we are keeping the same passion we have in Costa Rica. We talked about some of the things in our life that are troubling us and how to handle them. We are headed to bed and we have a fun day ahead of us. We will start off Monday with painting the inside of a local school and then head back to the hotel to pack up. Next, we will get on our busses and make the two hour trip to Los Lagos where everyone will be staying for a night to relax. Everyone is safe and having a great time!

Day 6 
Saturday, January 12th

Today we woke up around 8:15, had breakfast, and were ready for Lamar (the local missionary) to get the day started by 9:15. Lamar continued his lesson on being a disciple and was finished by 9:30. Group 1 headed to the local church, Nueva Esperanza, for the last day of VBS while group 2 headed to the public school where they continued to paint the fence. Group 1 had one last chance to be with the kids and help them grow in Christ. A 14 year old named Jose prayed over us and had some emotional words for group 1. He told us how much we meant to him and that he loves us, will miss us, and hopes to see us in the future. By the time it was over, lots of tears were shed and the group headed out to lunch. Group 2 met up with group 1 for lunch after working extremely hard on painting the fence. After we had another delicious lunch prepared for us by the women of the church, group 1 went to paint while group 2 headed to the church in Canas. They had one last VBS with the kids of Canas which was life changing. Pastor Monroe gave a sermon on spiritual warfare. This resulted in 20 kids getting saved. After they finished up at VBS, there were sad goodbyes, full of many tears. Next, both groups headed to the church in Tronadora for a youth activity. Many lives were changed as the majority of our kids went to the front and rededicated their lives to Jesus Christ. Tonight was very emotional, but it resulted in enormous spiritual growth and a lot of tears. Lamar gave an amazing sermon and played a huge part in changing the lives of the people in the room tonight. After the sermon, we had the privilege of eating, yet again, another delicious meal served by the women of the church in Tronadora. We played games with the teenagers such as: jumping rope, doing push-ups, and soccer (which is a must with Costa Ricans). We finished up at the church and headed back to the hotel. Our day concluded with our usual discussion about what went well throughout the day. Everyone is safe and sound and getting rest for tomorrow.

Day 5 
Friday, January 11th

This morning started with an early morning breakfast and devotions so that we could get our day going.  Group 1 went to the church for VBS and group 2 went to paint a 600 ft fence around a local public school. VBS went off without a hitch as our team began really building relationships with the kids. Group 2 began painting a chain-link fence and worked extremely hard all morning. At 12:30 both groups met at a local restaurant for a much needed lunch.  After lunch, both groups headed to another church for VBS. Group 2 did VBS while group 1 finished painting a house that they had started yesterday. Both groups worked with enthusiasm and started making lasting relationships with the kids. At 4:00 we all loaded the busses and headed to a school in Canas for a youth event. Both our kids and the Costa Ricans had a blast playing awesome games. Lamar (the local missionary) gave a convicting sermon on the spiritual battle happening in our presence between good and evil. This resulted in 11 Costa Ricans coming to know Christ for the first time and three from our team rededicating their lives to Christ. God is really doing amazing things here! We left the school around 8:20 and went to a  local church for dinner. We finished our meal and headed back to the hotel where we ended with our usual discussion about what we saw God doing in us. We conversed about the good and bad things that happen to us and how we can benefit spiritually through the things we are experiencing. Everyone is safe and getting ready for bed as we prepare for another great day.

Day 4 
Thursday, January 10th

¡Hola! We all woke up at 7 A.M. and were ready for breakfast earlier than usual. By around 8:20, we were having our daily devotions together followed by Kasen Raines leading the group in worship songs. Next, Lamar (local missionary) spoke to the group about our duty as Christians -- to go and make disciples. After devotions, we walked to a church in the city of Tilaran, where the smiling children greeted us. One group stayed at the church to lead worship for the kids, provide snacks, and play active games such as soccer, volleyball, and other games involving a large parachute. The other half of the group led VBS. After VBS, the team handed out tracts to some of the people in the town of Tilaran. On our adventure, we came across goats tied to trees, chickens running in the street, and lots of dogs!

After lunch, the two groups split; group one painted the inside and the outside of a family's house. Group two taught VBS, made crafts, and played outdoor games at a church in Tronadora. The kids loved the prayer journal during craft time. Even our students who didn't think they were gifted with children found themselves loving the time spent with the beautiful kids of Costa Rica.

Next, we loaded the buses and traveled to another church in Tronadora where we wrestled with a tire, played on obstacle courses, sang, and worshiped our Lord with the other teenagers. After the long, but very fun and successful day, we travelled back to the hotel where we had our final team meeting of the night. Please pray for our mission’s team as we head out tomorrow for another day of VBS and painting houses! 

Day 3 
Wednesday, January 9th

Our day started at 4 am today!! The buses were loaded and we pulled out of the hotel by 5 am to head to the dock where we would take a boat to the island of Chira. However, when we arrived at the beach, the boat was sitting on dry land 40 yards from the water. After a tremendous group effort we were able to push the boat along the shore, get it into the water, and then enjoy a scenic trip to Chira.

Once on Chira, we rode a school bus to the church where we ran VBS. Everyone jumped right in to the activities and interacted well with the Costa Rican children. After teaching the kids some Spanish songs with hand motions, some of the more advanced Spanish students performed a skit about how Jesus heals and then led a lesson.

After thanking the church for allowing us to come, everyone piled back on the bus and headed for our boat. On the way to the boat we saw many children playing outside with the balls that we had given them. Because the students’ attitudes were so good about pushing the boat, the boat driver took us on the scenic route back to the dock. We then drove about 3 hours to the town of Tilaran, to our new hotel where we will be for the next several days.

Today was exciting to everyone, as we saw 70 children come to VBS and it was the first time for our team to interact with the Costa Rican children. We continue to embrace the idea of flexibility as plans constantly change. We appreciate your prayers; please continue to pray for our team and the ability to impact the lives of everyone that we come in contact with.

Day 2 
Tuesday, January 8th

Today was a successful day in San Jose! We woke up at 8 am and ate breakfast around 8:30. The students practiced and perfected their skits as well as other activities that will be used for VBS later in the week. The missionary took us to a great spot in downtown San Jose so that we could share Christ through drama. The first group performed their skit. One student shared the gospel and then everyone passed out pamphlets. I was very impressed with the amount of kids who stepped out of their comfort zone and had spiritual conversations with the Costa Ricans. The second group performed their skit which drew an even bigger crowd. Missionary Lamar, Mrs. Raines, and Jessica Guevara helped translate other student’s testimonies and prayers which resulted in some of the Costa Ricans coming to know Christ. After the drama ministry we drove to a marketplace where we could purchase souvenirs that are unique to Costa Rica. We ended the day with a discussion about what we thought our impact was on the Costa Rican community and on what God is doing through us. We are all safe and sound and are heading to bed as I type. We have an early morning tomorrow - up at 4 to travel to the Island of Chira to start VBS. Pray for safe travel, spiritual growth, and good times.

Day 1
Monday, January 7th

Today we got off to an early start! Out of bed at 3:30 and to the airport between 5:00AM and 6:00AM. Next, we caught a flight to Miami and then on to San Jose, Costa Rica. Some were able to have lunch in the Miami airport while others were able to eat at Burger King in San Jose. Lamar, the local missionary, has instructed the team in what is safe to eat and drink and what to be avoided. He does a great job getting the students prepared to learn and enjoy the culture. 

The team is really starting to come together. It is great to see them bond so that God can use them as a team for the next ten days. Everyone is safe and settled into our accommodations for the first two nights. A big thank you to our team's parents who have allowed and encouraged them to come and minister far away from home. We are heading to bed to get some much needed sleep.