This is a picture of our 3 worlds colliding – our Troy world, our new world in Trussville, and our PPM/Costa Rica family! Our week with Southside Baptist and FBC Trussville in Altamira (the mountain village) was surreal and such a tangible picture of God’s faithfulness in our lives.
Altamira was the first community we went to in Costa Rica… as participants. We hiked up a mountain with heavy backpacks to minister to a community of people who we hesitant to let us know them. The needs… spiritually, physically, and emotionally… of the Altamirans impacted us in such a way that this village will forever be etched in our hearts and part of our story. The women were so hard, showing no emotion, and having so many walls up I thought we would never break through. BUT GOD… through the simple act of sharing the Gospel and washing those ladies’ filthy feet, broke walls and made a way for love to win.
From that first trip in 2013 to this third trip up the mountain in March, the attitudes and openness of the entire community has done an about face! It’s incredible to see. It’s nothing we have done… but the people have allowed God’s Spirit to move, mend, and love. And that has made all the difference!
Since our first time in Costa Rica, we have become full-time with PPM, moved from Troy to Trussville, brought Eric home as our son, and are now pregnant! So crazy. But as Jacob led this team… and united 3 of our favorite places… our hearts were overjoyed at all God has done. It was impossible for us to look out at the group during our nightly meetings and not be reminded of God’s faithfulness, His calling, His providence, His love, His grace, His guidance, and His will through it all.
When worlds collide with the goal of Jesus, regardless if it’s this trip or another, the Church can be THE CHURCH! There was complete unity, encouragement, love, and a common reason for everything that happened. The purpose of getting extremely sweaty climbing up a mountain to a remote village in Costa Rica was JESUS. The purpose of building a kitchen in the unique Costa Rican fashion, playing with kids until your muscles were sore, sitting on hard benches until your butt ached, hiking into the rainforest to fetch rocks for the foundation (HARD WORK), and sleeping in hammocks one on top of the other… JESUS! That’s how it should be. No division. No language barrier. No cliques. No excuses… just the goal of being Jesus to the people.
It was a blessing to be a part of this trip and an honor to call both of these groups ¨churches¨ – one where our ministry as a married couple started and the other has become our home in the present. It was a privilege to lead and minister with them in the country and with the people (Ticos) we love so dearly. I was an incredible week that will become another anchoring point for my faith… another time when I can look back and can say ¨Only God can do that…¨
Here’s some pictures from the beautiful week.
This is what it looks like to fetch rocks from a rainforest to lay a foundation for the kitchen! This was seriously intense work!! Each boy carried about 5 or more big rocks out of there… once they tossed them out of the river and up the bank… and they did this ALL day for TWO days!
So cool – the pastor wanted the team to leave their mark in the community. So, he asked them to put their hand print in the sidewalk they poured leading up to the church! Incredible!
This is the traditional Gyuami dress for women. It’s an enormous honor when one is given to you. The pastor’s wife, Cecilia, made and gave these dresses to me and my Tica sister, Cirielle. We both cried when she called us over to hand these to us. It’s an invitation into their culture, a thank you, and a tangible gift of her love and acceptance. Wow.
So grateful I get to call this my ¨job.¨ Only God…