Costa Rica SUB-30 – Arriving to work the field

We arrived in Alajuelita expecting to see God move and He’s done nothing less and so much more than we imagined during our months of preparation.
Our group of seven has much to be grateful for as we begin to close our evening of worship and fellowship. For six of us, this is our first time in Costa Rica… and we can honestly say the soul shock of being exposed to such stark poverty is eclipsed only by God’s supernatural outpouring of peace, unity and LOVE. The natural beauty of Alajuelita’s mountains and wildlife provide an incredible backdrop that testifies to our Creator’s design and mirrors a truth about the city and its people.
Our first ministry experience was a  rainy prayer walk through Alajuelita’s streets. We stopped and listened to our amazing missionary guides, Brian and Amanda, explain the reality of this struggling community and their heart and vision for God’s mission field. Within a few short hours of landing the plane, we knew our lives would never be the same as God moved and weaved our hearts together in powerful prayer.
It’s amazing how God writes the human experience in such a way that the natural and the spiritual testify plainly to His truth. As we stopped at what was once a thriving and beautiful coffee field, Brian explained how nothing good could ever come from it without totally tearing it up and starting new. We stared through the barbed wire fencing at the lush trees and listened to him explain how hidden in the field, past our sight in the darkness of the shadows, are untold amounts of people strung out on crack, prostituting themselves and drinking lighter fluid to reach their next high only to find a deeper low of hopelessness and despair. He said that it was too dangerous to go in there, but they are praying that God will make a way to tear down this field and turn into a place of beauty and community.
The second day of our trip took us to a shanty town – literally a place where the poorest of the poor live and build their makeshift homes out of leftover scraps – and we helped run a feeding center and played with children as many of the area residents ate what may be their only balanced meal for the week. The community is located down a steep, winding hill along the base of a river that runs through the province. We were told that the river, once clean and beautiful, could no longer be used for anything good because it is so filled with sewage and garbage from the shanty towns along its banks.
In an area where crack sells for roughly $1 and prostitution is an legally accepted way to earn money, the challenges do not take long to emerge. The key to gaining ground in these dangerous communities is relationships, our missionary leaders explain. They seek out the broken and the lost to offer a piece of God’s hope by tangibly meeting needs and sharing how the power of Christ is Love that sets the captives free. The missionaries here are inspiring and encouraging, because they model such genuine and simple faith. There is evidence that they do not grow weary in doing good works, because they remain rooted in the Vine where their hope is secure.
We continue to press into God as we walk through new experiences in this beautiful and broken community. We are reminded that this is the call on our lives as believers – to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God. In our weakness, the grace of God is all sufficient and His power is made perfect. We feel so blessed to help in a small way.

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~ by Celebration Missions on June 15, 2012.

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