Author of Today’s Post is Elisa

Our last day at VBC and it was truly an amazing day!!! Each day was filled from morning until night, today was no exception. Today we had Carter, Jacob, Dianne, Rick and Martin head to the Cocori church where they continue to paint the beams with the rustoleum paint. Pastor Barnabas shared his testimony with the team, he is 24 years and was assigned to this church three years ago, he has a huge heart to serve the community and has the passion and drive to make things happen. The community is turning around, many of the homes that had previously been used as drug homes are being demolished and many more people are coming to church. One of the ladies that cooks at the campsite still goes to the Cocori church even though she has moved out of the neighborhood still feels it’s important that the leadership team does not fall apart as a result of people moving in and out of the area. She is committed to helping the church and community even though she is no longer a resident.

Jason, Lincoln, Fletcher, Carol and Elisa stayed at the campsite and played with the preschool children. First the children sat in class to learn ways that they can help mother earth. In Costa Rica there is an Ecological initiative that is helping to make the people in the country more conscience about the impact they have and obligation to keeping the country clean. The children learned about not letting the water run while brushing their teeth, picking up litter and much more. They were then quizzed on what they learned. Afterwards they made a flag that included the earth. Through this initiative organizations can earn a flag that represents their commitment to keeping Costa Rica clean. The daycare hope to earn one that they can prominently hang. Once the flags were made and we ate papaya we headed to the play ground that was funded in part by KIDSCor. We played tag, blew bubbles, danced to songs and simply had a fun time with the children.

After lunch we headed back to the Pavones church for our last day at VBC. We played a variety of games, Jason and Carter once again shared their talents by entertaining the kids by balancing a french bread. They even ran around the children while balancing. The kids absolutely loved it! Martin who is a master juggler shared his talent by juggling 3 broken pieces of bread. Once the talent show was complete we did the hokey pokey and broke out into our groups for either a craft which consisted of painting rocks or making crosses or fish from pipe cleaners. The other 2 groups headed to the Football and Water bucket game. You could hear the laughter rising up high above our voices, what a true joy it was. We ended our session with our lesson which consisted of wrapping up our week discussing Worship, Bible studying, Serving, Giving and Sharing. During which we finished laying hay in baby JESUS crib and HE was brought out to rest in HIS new bed. We discussed the significance of caring for baby JESUS and nurturing our Christian values. We ended our time with giving out the prizes to the 2 children who had displayed the most Spiritual Gifts that day and the final drawing which included names of all the children who had attended VBC. In total we had over 88 children attend the 4 days. We made many new friends, had amazing fellowship as a result, grew to understand the culture of Costa Rica and all felt blessed to have been a part of this experience.

During the evening we had the finale which included a short sermon given by Pastor Alex. Prior to the sermon Pastor Alex shared his testimony and all of us were humbled by his experience and so appreciated his willingness to share. He truly left a mark on each of our hearts. After the sermon the children sang a couple of songs and we all had dinner together. Pastor Alex shared that he could not believe how many people had come to this Family celebration which ended the launch on Sunday to VBC and now the family gathering. He thanked the team members for all that they had done during the week, he felt the team members visiting the community made a difference as many of those in attendance had been individuals that had been visited. The woman with cancer, Jefferson the young adult, the woman who had lost her son just 2 months earlier. Each of them came and spent time at the church. We are so thankful that GOD called each of us to go to Costa Rica, it was an amazing experience with an amazing team. Thanks to Martin and Carol who along with their children Lincoln and Fletcher made the trip fun. Thanks to Dianne who was a true joy to spend time with. Thanks to Jason and his son Carter for always helping out whenever and whatever was needed, so loved the talent show aspect of VBC. Thanks to Stewart and Elle for bringing laughter to our team. And a special thanks to Rick and his son Jacob for teaching us about the culture of Costa Rica and being awesome music leaders. The following are names of people that we met, they will forever leave an imprint in our hearts:

Wil, Yolanda, Isabelle, Pastor Alex, Cynthia, Tiffany and siblings, the VBC children, Naomi, Fannie, Beatrice, Jessica, Hugo, Hugito, Gabby, Stephanie, Pastor Barnabas, Nicole, Pedro, daycare teachers, daycare children, bus drivers and the many families that we visited. A special thanks to each of you for spending the time with us this past week, we have learned much from our experience.