Costa Rica OP Team 2012—“A Blessed Day #2!

Day Two –

Greetings friends and family from the Celebration O.P. team in Alajuelita!

Where to even begin! We have experienced such a FULL day of stretching, feeling, growing, blessings and thought provoking moments. We started our day with a trip to the local town market, visiting with a few of the locals and stopped in to see the local Catholic church which was BREATHTAKINGLY beautiful! We also took a stroll to a local juice bar….DELICIOUS, as well as walked through the central park to pray over the area. Many homeless call the park home at night. Now our day was about to take a deeper turn…..

Next on our agenda was to head to the “coffee fields”. I assure you…..these fields are NOT about coffee at all. The coffee field is approximately the size of two city blocks. The field has been abandoned and completely neglected by the family who owns it. It’s over grown, filled with trash and sadly, that’s not all. In those fields are countless lost and broken people. Drug addicts & alcoholics, homeless, and prostitutes fill these fields as well as many unimaginable, heartbreaking acts. We took a moment to pray over these fields and all those broken people who fill it. The feeling you have in the pit of your stomach and in the bottom of your heart is just indescribable. Oh, but if we as a team only knew….THIS flood of emotions had only JUST begun.

VERBANA. I could try all night to explain the burrow that the local’s there call home, but it in NO way would even begin to give you an idea of what Verbana is. The need, the brokenness, the darkness, the poverty, the conditions they are forced to live in are just unimaginable. We set up a feeding center, but unfortunately due to the rains that wouldn’t let up, most of the children and families did not come out. The locals believe that if they let their children come out in the rain that they WILL get sick. This would obviously create even more stress for them as doctor visits, medications etc are not an option for them. We did have a good handful of children & parents who came out to eat which was so awesome! The moment that struck me the most was 3 young girls who received their food, had their bowls covered with a piece of cloth and were wondering around in the rain trying to find a little bit of shelter so they could eat their food. One of the girls was so hungry, she just uncovered her bowl and started eating anyway. Her food was getting soaked with rain, but she just kept eating. I saw a small lip over one of the structures and walked them over to get under it. They were also trying to hold balloons we had given them and their juice. So we held their stuff as they ate. They smiled and were so thankful, so sweet. Looking in the face of these children, knowing that this is their day to day is a SERIOUS eye opener and “heart-shifter” for lack of a better description. We as american’s worry so much about how we’re going to pay our next bill with our next paycheck etc……they worry daily about where they are even going to get their next meal. A paycheck would be a dream come true for them. However, this is not their reality. It really gives you an entirely different sense of thankfulness! Not one of us left that place without impact and a change in our hearts.

After experiencing SO much today, our leaders here at 6:8 Ministries took us for some free time to San Jose, Costa Rica. We were able to see the sites, have an ADVENTURE on the local bus transportation. (Those who’ve been to Costa Rica will know EXACTLY what I mean by adventure!), did a little shopping and ate dinner together in the city. We boxed up our left overs and gave them away to the homeless as we left.

Back at the team house now; showering, decompressing and getting ready to prepare the toy bags for the children’s Christmas party tomorrow! We are super excited and want to say THANK YOU again to all of you who gave and contributed to not only US being able to come here for this, but for also helping to provide these children a Christmas they would not have had otherwise. May God bless each and everyone of you beyond anything you can imagine! We will be sure to take lots of pictures and post throughout all of our Facebook’s, etc..

What I’m personally most thankful and grateful for is having the opportunity to witness first hand the lives and hearts of my team mates being DEEPLY impacted. Especially the first timers. Seeing how God moves right in front of your eyes to transform another human being, well, there just aren’t many things greater or more beautiful than that! Thank you Lord for allowing me to be a part of the Costa Rica experience again this year.

Tomorrow’s a full and busy day with church & the party so I will close with a big send of love from our team to you all: Gail, Steve, Dena, Jerry, Bryan, Sandy, Beth Sunshine, Gina and Susan, from all of us, THANK YOU again and until tomorrow, “DIOS TE BENDIGA”!

Dena & Team

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~ by Celebration Missions on December 8, 2012.

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