Thursday, July 2, 2015

Perfect Timing (A Photo Blog) Costa Rica 2015

 Costa Rica Mission Team 2015

This is a month late, but despite having 4 weeks to put this week into words, it cannot be done!

But I have to try...

I cannot tell you about May 23-31 without telling you what led up to this being possible...

April 2014 - While on the World Race (Month 4 in Costa Rica), I felt led to fast and pray about the upcoming "months and countries."  Brett did the fast with me back in the States.  We began Easter 2014.

On Easter the missionaries in Costa Rica invited the team (WR team) to a big Easter dinner with a group of several missionaries serving in Costa Rica.  When it came time to leave, a lady (Holly) at the dinner offered to drive us down the hill to the bus stop.  During the drive down I overheard Holly telling one of my team mates about her ministry and all they did.

The three days following Easter we fasted and prayed; much to our surprise we felt complete peace about me traveling home instead of continuing on the race.  Also in that time Brett and I both felt like God was calling us to open some doors for the people in our community who felt led to step into missions and what God was doing around the world.

Fall 2014 - Brett and I began to pray specifically for our first trip to lead a group on.  We had two places on our hearts and already and been in contact with ministries who could use our help; both were orphanages, one in Africa, one in Asia.  Yet while praying, Brett was brought to remembrance of his trip to Costa Rica several years ago, and I recalled overhearing of a ministry in need of help!

I contacted my teammate who had spoke with Holly that day.  She was in Asia still and I knew it would possibly be weeks before she was able to get back to me and I wasn't even sure she had contact info for Holly. But, she got right back to me and I was able to get in touch with Holly in less than a week!

October 2014 - We Arise Missions scheduled it's first trip to Costa Rica for Spring Break week 2015 to serve with Mission of Hope!

November 2014 - Dates of the trip were changed due to school schedules of some of the team members.  The mission was now set for May 23-31st!

December 2014 - Team members began fundraising, many for their first ever mission trip!!!

January to May 2015 -  To attempt to explain all the ways God worked in these 5 months would be absolutely impossible!  Please if you know anyone who was a part of this group, take time to ask them about the ways God worked not only on the trip but in the months leading up to boarding the first plane!

May 2015 - Just weeks before the trip, Mission of Hope received funding to start a feeding program 5 days a week in a local impoverished community.  The local church had a kitchen, however it was not suitable for serving hundreds of kids.  A new one would need to be built and they did not have enough man power or money to build it...However, A team of 14 was coming with a project budget!!!  Our week schedule was changed to make our main project building a kitchen in a community built out of pallets and scraps.

May 23 - Due to a parking mishap, our team of 14 walked into the Dallas/Fort Worth airport with 8 minutes to get everyone of us checked in, bags checked, through security and on the plane...and it happened!!!
Can we all agree God was in control!

May 24 begins an incredible week, I'll let pictures do the most talking...

This is the church in the community where Mission of Hope would start holding a feeding program 5 days a week...

This is the church's kitchen

This was their stove

And these are some of the kids from the community...

To say we fell in love with them is an understatement!!!

Our team had an amazing time building a new kitchen for the church; a kitchen that would be able to support feeding all these kids all week long!

As well as construction, we all spent time playing with the kids and loving on them! We painted their faces, jump roped, played soccer, and attempted some balloon animals (worms and snakes are EASY!)
Bubbles were also a favorite.  This kid was to...this is Jeremy, his dad helped out with the construction of the kitchen.  Jeremy definitely has a place in everyone of our hearts!!!

Before we could start building, there was some demolition to be done!  The church is made of mostly pallets and tin scraps, so we tore out the back "wall" and cleaned up all the rocks, scraps, and garbage piled around the church!

Some rocks took some extra muscle!

When the guys have all the tools and you have to build a bridge to get into the door of the church...
We call it "God's hammer"  - One less rock they had to carry off!!!

The back half of the church also got a new roof! - The locals all thought Brett was too "grande" to be up there!

It is starting to look like a real building!

The 2015 Costa Rica Mission Team was blessed enough to raise enough funds to also purchase a real sink and a cook stove to be installed in the kitchen!

Constuido con amor por We Arise Missions!
Constructed with love by We Arise Missions!

While in Costa Rica we were given the opportunity to spend some time with a kindergarten class at a local catholic school!  Brett got to tell the kids about the three Hebrew children while the rest of the team acted it out!  Afterwards we played some games, painted some faces, sang some songs, and helped them each make a salvation bracelet and share with them the story of Jesus!

We also had the privilege to join Mission of Hope in their ministry feeding the 
homeless in one of the local parks!

We fed their bellies with pancakes and their hearts with the love of Jesus!

Our last day in Costa Rica we returned to the park with the youth group 
of a local church and helped put on an outreach.

I finally stepped up my game and created a flower!

By the end of the day I was a professional at making flowers, dogs, swords,
and even mastered 2 "mariposas" (Butterflies)

During our activity in the park...

12 people got saved for the first time, four of them are going to the church now!
15 people rededicated their lives
We prayed for 40 people for different necessities
10 people, mostly homeless, got their hair cut
4500 tracks give away
50 new testaments
50 cross necklaces
196 lunches and 53 breakfasts    

May 31st - The group landed in FL with just under a 2 hour layover before boarding time, Customs however, took 2 hours and 10 minutes.  You cant get 14 people on the "next plane!"  In an attempt to get at least some of the group on the plane everyone raced to the gate hoping to catch it at the last minute.  But due to being short staffed the plane was delayed and after a meal and a nap, all 14 of us got on the same plane back to Dallas!

God has perfect timing
Never early, Never Late

It was overwhelming enough to experience it, and remember it all in one week, but to look back at all the ways God's timing was absolutely perfect leaves me speechless and in awe all over again!

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