Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Our mission team has arrived safely back in Charleston!!! God is good!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Today started off with a constant downpour.  Thankfully, it happened today instead of any of the other days as it would have hindered us from many of our tasks. After we enjoyed breakfast at the church, we decided to go to a boat tour (but due to the amount of water and rain we could not. So, we went to the Snake Garden. It was very interesting and had lots of different animals (turtles, snakes, an American crocodile, frogs, etc).  A few of us even held a Python!  Next, we walked around a biological preserve. We got to see lots of wild animals (poison dart frogs, little monkeys, and a toucan). Tonight, we are wrapping up and we will see y'all back late tomorrow in Charleston (11:30pm). Thank you to Mr. Bill for dropping us off and in advance to Mr. Bowers for picking us up! This has been an amazing trip and I invite you to join in the future if you can.  It is an experience that can not be fully described unless you have had first hand experience! Thank you for all your support and prayers! See you soon!!!

Holding the Python
Wild Red-Eyed Leaf Frog


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Today, we joined Pastor Enrique at his church in Los Arbolitos! During the service, Pastor Minor shared a message and a member sang a couple songs. We were also able to play with the children in Los Arbolitos. The kids decorated bags and made bracelets. We were also able to play soccer and Frisbee! We wrapped the day up with a dinner in town and bonding at the hotel!

Welcome to Los Arbolitos!
Games with the Children of Los Arbolitos
Getting ready to decorate bags

 Look at my bag!

Internet was down the majority of last night. So, I apologize for the late update. Yesterday, we had our clothing distribution, construction, and more children's activities.  We began with adults coming to the church for clothing distribution and the children in the Plaza for playing.  The clothing distribution ran smoothly. We were met with many smiling faces and all of your donations are in the hands of our Tico friends. During this time, in the Plaza, the children decorated pages with gems, markers, stickers, and the words, "Jesus me ama!," which means Jesus loves me. With construction, the lighting was finished and added cement walls around the bathroom. After lunch, the whole group went back to the Plaza and distributed our gifts. The children were very gracious to receive the jerseys and socks that the YMCA donated, donated toothbrushes and toothpastes, glow sticks, and candy. We finished the evening with a dinner on the town at Pollo Frito (Fried Chicken) and yummy ice cream at Jireh Ice Cream Parlor.

Outside Activities

 Bible Stories
Costa Rican Ice Pops for the Children
 Vamos a Costa Rica
 YMCA Jerseys

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fulfilling is the word to describe the day! The construction group almost completed the lights; however, they did turn on! The children's group made visors, necklaces, bracelets, sun catchers, crosses. The big activity of the day was making God's Eye with string and sticks.  The children were very enthusiastic about this activity.  I would like to say I am very proud of our group because they have stepped up to the plate, faced the communication boundaries, and have hit a home run! The children love to talk to us. They are very patient and will explain words that aren't understood. It's awesome how much we are able to communicate with each other. After lunch, we returned to the Plaza and divided the children up into girls and boys. The girls made bracelets and necklaces. The boys went outside to play.  This trip has been abounding with love of and for these children! When we returned to the church, we were just in time to see the lights turn on!


 Manuel (CCI member) playing with the children
We have lights!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Today was another great day.  We had 4 CCI members join us today for construction and children's activities.  The construction group began putting up the new lights and well as tearing down the old bathroom. They also begin construction of the new bathroom. The children's group hosted Bible school! First, we played in the Plaza to show the children we were here and to get them to come. We had at least 70 children attend.  The walls of the school we were in were packed full! We began with a Bible story (The Parable of the Sower).  Luz (CCI member that is with us all week) told the children the story.  We then colored a picture that matched our story.  The children appreciated this activity as well as the crayons that came with it.  Then, we decorated bags with markers and stickers. They really made them their own with their unique styles. Soccer and frisbee followed along with the big ball, of course.  After returning from a wonderful lunch, we made cross necklaces and bracelets with beads.  The children enjoy wearing them for the remainder of the day.  We finished up the day with some more playing and headed home. We send warm wishes for fabulous fourths tomorrow!

The Plaza and the School

Working on the Bible Story
Making the bags!

 Modeling the Cross Necklaces
Putting up the Lamps

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Today was an amazing day! The men of the group sized up the church and went to buy the materials needed for construction. The women of the group got to hang back and play with the children all day long! We made friends instantly! Of course, having a gigantic beach ball helped out some. The children played with it from the time that we got it blown up. We were able to walk to a near by field called the Plaza and we hit the ball back and forth. Eventually, an intense futbol game was to be had. During the game, it began to downpour. We all stayed and played. Pretty soon, mud was splashing and puddles became obstacles. There was so much laughter and fun being had and to think this is just the first day! Our day didn't end there. After we enjoyed a delicious lunch at a house near by the church, we were able to go back to the church and continue our bond with the children. Surely enough, even after going home, they were back to play. We played several hand games. Many of the games I had played as a child and others I didn't,  some the consists of catching you off guard and then poking you in the belly.  The kids quickly found out that this was easy to do for them, mainly because we weren't fully sure what expect and when to expect it. This of course made them laugh. We also played several games that after an explanation and demonstration and maybe a couple repeats of those, we came to realize that once again they were games from our childhood (red light/green light, mother may I, and a few others). It is amazing to me that we grow up in two different countries at two different times yet these games still occur! Eventually, the men's group make it back to the church with the needed materials (it only took about 5 or 6 hours). We are now back at our hotel and awaiting another delicious meal! Today was spectacular. I cannot wait until tomorrow! The plan for tomorrow is more children's activities, beginning of construction, and maybe some clothing distribution.

The Big Ball!
 Help blowing up the big ball
Our Dining Area
 Hot Potato
 Our Costa Rica Home

  Poison Dart Frog