This is Pastor Adolfo in Liberia, Costa Rica.
PLUS – My family and I got to serve together the whole week!! It was marvelous!
Eric is smiling in a picture, so without me say without me saying anything you know he’s an amazing man! It’s true. He is.
Pastor Adolfo is almost 70 years old. The sweat stains on his shirt are from him jumping and dancing in efforts to praise Jesus. He’s not afraid to weep before the Lord (and his congregation), he is the most compassionate and humble man I’ve ever met, and he does not care what he looks like when he’s serving the Lord. After our first night worshipping in his church and seeing the passion and love he has for the Lord, I knew I had to tell him something. I ran over to him and said, “My goal for the week is to learn to love Jesus like you do.”
He just bowed his head and tears started running down his cheeks. He explained to me the reasons why he loves the Lord so much. He said that when you are forgiven for much, you learn to love much. AMEN. And when you’ve been alone and forgotten, you learn to love the One who never leaves or forsakes you. AMEN. He told me that his mother died during childbirth. He told me about how he had an accident when he was 8 years old that left him unable to see in one eye. He had to stay in the hospital for an extended amount of time. NO ONE… not even his dad… came to visit him in the hospital. That’s when he met Jesus… and He has never left his side since. I’ll forever be changed… and challenged to praise and love the Lord like this pastor. I had to video it. He is the man on the stage to the left! Tell me that doesn’t just get you pumped up! (CLICK THE LINK BELOW)
Not only was the pastor amazing, but the team we got serve with was incredible. Part of the team was from Deleware (I know right… you forgot that was a state too, huh?), and the other part was a family from Missouri.
Although our other teams have embraced us and Eric the entire summer, this team went above and beyond to form relationships with us and make Eric feel like a part of the team. By the second night, Eric had already moved his bed and his bags into the room the team was staying in… that’s a big deal! By the end of the trip, Eric hung out with the team with NO hat on and swam without a shirt with them… if you know him, THIS IS HUGE! haha! We all loved each of the team members… we really did. I feel like if we lived close, we really would be friends! That’s a good feeling… to serve with friends!
This team was special. First, the Group Leader, Nate, will actually be moving to Costa Rica in June to be Praying Pelican Missions full-time missionary. His family and he will be the hands and feet on the ground for us all year round. Thank you Jesus! It was so fun to be able to spend time with him, get to know him, and really see his heart for the people and country. I trust him 100%! Jacob convinced him to pose on the beach like a model… obviously we are a VERY serious staff! HAHA!
Along with Nate comes the AMAZING blessing of Darrell!!! Tell me this isn’t a God thing! Darrell is the son of Nate and will be moving to Costa Rica with the fam. He graduates high school this year and is an awesome guy! It was an honor to see him serve the Lord and to see Eric watch and look up to him. Cannot wait to see what all the Lord has in store. Nate and I think Darrell and Eric should start a soccer camp ministry next year! How cool would that be? Here’s a few pics that just warm my heart…
If that isn’t enough, this team was ALL ABOUT SPREADING THE GOSPEL! I know… you thinking… “well it was a missions trip, right?” Yes. That is correct. But sometimes we can get distracted and lose sight of the main goal – loving people to Jesus! This team stayed focus. Regardless of the place – school, soccer field, elderly home, on the streets, etc – their hearts were for people to know and believe the Gospel. Yay! It was humbling to sit back and just watch them minister in different ways – through skits, dramas, Bible studies, leadership training, playing, balloon animals, face painting, construction, and holding the hands of the elderly. This was the team’s second time to this same church/community. Last year they came and helped with building the bathrooms at the church. This year they came ready and willing to assist with starting the foundation of the parsonage (the pastor’s new home). Pastor Adolfo could NOT stop smiling!
Serving the elderly
We were also able to sing with/to the elderly. It was so moving to sing the song “How He Loves Us…” in Spanish over them. Here’s a video of the amazing Ciri doing so (CLICK THE LINK BELOW):
We ALSO got to go back and visit Pastor Warner’s feeding program on Tuesday night. Nate (the soon to be full time missionary) helped start and fund a feeding program at Pastor Adolfo’s church after learning about Warner’s ministry! AMAZING! I was so excited to see some of my favorite Tico faces again!
Blessings on blessings this week… I also got to work with the Dream Staff Team!! It was an honor to serve alongside this Costa Rica staff – Jacob, Ciri, Mark, Edwin, and Pastor Warner! Although there were a lot of staff this week, working with these people is ministry to my soul in and of itself. Pastor Warner and I called it “The Week of a lot of Chiefs.” Haha! I was grateful to be called the Trip Leader (for some reason) and be supported by these wonderful people!
I was challenged in many ways during this week. One thing I will never forget is the way that Pastor Adolfo loved God and loved people. I was also pushed to keep the main thing the main thing… share the Gospel. Love people to Jesus! Everything else will fall into place!