Costa Rica Summer 2014 Updates | The Master's Academy

Costa Rica Summer 2014 Updates

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Here you can read updates on TMA's summer mission trip to Costa Rica.  See our TMA Facebook page and TMA Christian Life Instagram account for photos!

Update 5

Our last full day in Costa Rica has been full of great fellowship and eye-opening outreach. We started the day out with devotions and worship. Our time together in God's word has been rich and transforming as we have studied 1 John 1:1-2:6 with a focus on repentance.

After devotions we headed to San Jose for souvenir shopping at the market. The kids had fun bartering for gifts for family and friends, and of course picked up some things for themselves. It was a great experience for them.

After lunch in town, we headed to one of the poorest neighborhoods in San Jose for our final VBS. It was a heartbreaking eye-opener for our kids, but they had so much fun playing with the kids there and showing them so much love. We were able to give them lots of candy, toys, and the rainbow loom bracelets that we're made by TMA lower school students! The children were so excited to receive these gifts, but our prayer is that they remember the seeds that were planted today for the greatest gift of all - Jesus Christ.

Thanks to everyone for all of your prayers this week. We have benefited greatly from them and God has truly blessed each of us by being here. We'll see you soon!

Update 4

We had a fun and relaxing day at Los Lagos Hot Springs today. The kids had a blast hanging out together and competing for style points on a big slide. The drive here was beautiful as we went in and out of the clouds and saw some amazing scenery.

Our plan for tomorrow is to do some souvenir shopping in the morning and a VBS in the afternoon at a place we visited last summer. The kids from last summer will remember it as the place at the bottom of the hill. It was one of last summer's highlights, so I'm very excited to end our trip on a high note!

Update 3

It has been such an honor to see God at work in and through our students this week. For the past couple of days they have gotten the chance to build relationships and share the gospel of Christ with a lot of teenagers.  We've seen over 30 teens make new decisions to follow Jesus, and even one teacher!  It has been incredible to see the way that our good God orchestrates and directs the details of each day's circumstances and interactions to draw people to himself. We are so blessed as a team to see His glory so clearly revealed. God has been doing a great work through us, but he has been doing an even greater work in us.  Our time together each day in worship, bible study, and sharing has been so transforming. We've been learning about true repentance that begins with focusing on the free grace of Jesus until our hearts and minds are transformed. The students are really taking it to heart and putting it to practice within their relationships with one another. It's incredible to see them own their sin, grieve and confess it to one another, and run to Jesus together trusting in his grace and righteousness to cover them.

Right now we are driving to Los Lagos for our free day of swimming and relaxing in the hot springs.  The scenery is beautiful and the friendships being built are rich.  I'm so excited to see how God will continue this work in this group of students this year!  I'm so very proud of each of them and know that you would be as well.  Thanks for all of your prayers and the investment you've made in each of these students! 

Update 2

On Sunday we had the opportunity to worship at Pastor Jeremy's church. Some of our students led Sunday school for the children while the rest of us attended the adult service. In the adult service, Adam and Sierra shared their testimonies, and Mr. Johnson preached the sermon with Kevin (Lamar's son) translating for him. Our students received a fresh perspective of the global church as we sang some familiar worship songs in Spanish.

After church we finished our soccer outreach. It was a blast watching the Ticos and our students cheering for their teams. Before the championship games, our students divided into small groups to present the gospel with each of the 9 teams. Pastor Jeremy then presented the gospel to the whole crowd and several accepted Christ! We gave TMA soccer uniforms to the winners of the tournament, and they were excited to receive such nice uniforms for their team. One thing that was very encouraging and eye-opening for our students was that the Ticos gave jerseys to them too. These were not just old jerseys, but the Ticos’ favorite jerseys that they were wearing that day. It meant a lot to our students to receive such a valuable gift.

Half of our group is teaching English and sharing the gospel at the largest high school in the city of Atenas. The Ticos are having lots of fun playing a variety of games designed to help them learn English.

The other half of our team is back at our hotel leading an outreach for local teens. There they will play more fun games with the Ticos, share the gospel with them in small groups, and Eduardo will also present the gospel to the entire group.

We have an amazing group of students. We haven't heard one complaint yet, and everyone is stepping up and out of their comfort zones. It is such a joy to see God clearly at work in each of them!

Update 1

Our time in Costa Rica has been amazing so far! We have a great group of students who are working and growing together while stepping out of their comfort zones. They are already meeting and sharing with Costa Rican children and teenagers. The entire team is displaying an impressive willingness and ability to speak Spanish and have conversations with the Ticos (Costa Ricans).

After a long, yet glorious thirty-six hours of travel, we settled into our hotel and started our big soccer tournament outreach. Ticos are passionate and skilled at fútbol (soccer). They play all day, every day, so our team didn't score any goals Friday night. But on Saturday we made progress by not getting skunked. In fact, we had a total of four goals! During the soccer matches, the rest of the team built relationships and hung out with Ticos. They’ve already had some great opportunities to share the Gospel!

Saturday began with a team devotion in which we talked about what repentance looks like when it's rooted in our union with Christ. The kids really opened up and shared a lot!

Then we split into two teams: soccer and VBS. The VBS team led two outreaches and a kids’ festival. They did an awesome job performing a skit and leading songs, games, crafts, and lessons. Some generous neighbors donated some massive mangos to the team. This was the first time many of our kids tried these delicious delicacies.

Throughout the day, the team had the opportunity to savor some succulent Costa Rican food. We ended the day with a powerful time of worship, with songs sung in English and Spanish simultaneously. We can't wait to see what God has in store for the rest of the trip!