Last week I had 2 more awesome groups – Trinity Lutheran Church (from Washington State) and Our Redeemers Lutheran Church (from Montana)! They bonded together as one great team. It was a fantastic group! 31 (THIRTY ONE) girls shared 3 showers and 1 (ONE) toilet… and NO ONE complained!!!! That = great week! I knew God was up to something BIG with this team simply because of the dates of the trip. Most of our teams come from Saturday to Saturday… but not this group. For some reason or another, this group came Tuesday to Tuesday. Small thing, right? Nope. God always has reasons and His ways trump ours. Get this… Originally these teams were scheduled to work with Pastor José in Liberia… on the other side of the country. A few weeks before the trip, Pastor José became really ill and was not able to host the team. Ugh. We panicked for a bit, and then one of our amazing pastors in-country invited to the group to serve in his community of Rio Cuarto. Small, right? Nope. These 2 teams have been really passionate about sharing some dramas/skits with the people they were serving the entire time we’ve been planning the trip. One of their main methods of ministry is performing their dramas. So, when the trip was switched to working with Pastor Milton in Rio Cuarto, there was a HUGE ministry opportunity that was revealed! On the Sunday (when most teams would have already departed), the church’s 7th annual Christ Arts Festival was scheduled!!! It just happen to be planned for that time! This was an ENTIRE day devoted to the sharing of dramas, songs, skits, etc.!!!! Alrighty Jesus! Because my team was staying until that Tuesday, they were able to be a instrumental part of the festival! I love how God works! Cool, huh?
Here’s Pastor Milton posing with his church. We (all of Praying Pelican) love this man, his heart for his community, and his vision for his church. Please pray with us for the people of Rio Cuarto and all that God has prepared him to do!
This is the set up for the Christ Arts Festival! It was AMAZING!
The group also worked in schools all week sharing God’s love, playing with the kids, making balloon animals, making bracelets, and more! They also worked hard in a cemetary on a project. Kinda funny we were working in a cemetary but it was an important project for the community and the pastor we were serving. The pastor’s parents are buried in the cemetary, so beautifying the area was special to him. If you haven’t figured out yet… soccer (the real futbol) is SUPER SUPER important here in Costa Rica! Playing soccer with the community breaks down any walls and builds relationships faster than anything else. These teams were amazing at getting the community involved and sharing Christ while playing hard!
The team, although some were unsure about it, did outreach in the community. They went out picking up trash, handing out sodas (which is a treasure), going door-to-door, and praying with individuals. It was an amazing time of stretching for the team and ministering to the people of Rio Cuarto!
Something really special this group got to do was go on a prayer walk around the property that will one day be the new campus of Pastor Milton’s church. Because of the vision God has given him, the property will not only be a church sanctuary, but also a gym and a school! These facilities will impact this town in ways that only God knows!! It will give the youth of the area a hope and a future. Many of the teenagers in this area are involved in drugs and are not highly educated. The school will be used as a K-12 school as well as an university in the evenings, empowering the youth to fulfill their destiny!
ANOTHER amazing day of baptisms in the Costa Rican ocean! God has placed baptisms on both of my teams’ hearts for the last day! It’s been amazing. I feel so unworthy to be a witness to it all!
One more shot of my awesome, fun team!
My prayer for these teams was that God would OPEN OUR EYES to whatever He was trying to reveal and teach us. I prayed that God would take the scales off our eyes so that we could SEE Him in a NEW way! The last night in Rio Cuarto (the Arts Festival) closed with a concert. One of the last songs played was “Open the Eyes of my Heart.” The band, which was AWESOME by the way, sang the song in English and in Spanish. BLEW ME AWAY! Despite language barriers, we have ONE God. We worship an awesome God who has no barriers and knows each culture, person, and heart intimately. God is so much bigger than me… and He knows each person individually. He is able to open eyes and change hearts! He is wonderful. Here’s a video with different languages praying that God would open eyes!