Warning: this is my first blog ever. I don’t really know what I’m doing. And I don’t really have a way with words. So I’m just going to spill my heart out to you, and hope that you can follow along.
Life is happening.
I have so much to catch you up on.
A month ago I left for Colorado to work at Quaker Ridge, an affiliate camp in Woodland Park where we have Wyld Life camp. I thought I was just blessed with another opportunity to serve alongside some epic people for a month at a Young Life camp.
But Jesus had so much more planned. It was so full of divine purpose. My three weeks in Colorado were even more rewarding than I could have imagined.
First off, for the first time since high school, I was surrounded by middle school kids at Wyld Life camp. It was a reminder of how much fun middle schoolers are, and how much I love them! Which is a big deal, because during my 10 months in Costa Rica, I will be working with middle schoolers.
My job while at camp was Guest Services. I wasn’t really sure what that entails, but everyone kept telling me, “You’re going to do so great!” One week in, I still wasn’t sure that I was doing my job very well. It was discouraging. I dropped the ball a couple times. But I got to serve alongside some of the most amazing staff. I was under the leadership of some all stars who constantly reassured me that I was worthy. I was definitely overwhelmed and under qualified for my position. But that is when God can use us the most; when we’re fully reliant upon His strength.
I had to leave camp a week early to head to Costa Rica with Genesee County Young Life for an Expeditions trip. It was bittersweet. I definitely didn’t want to leave Colorado. I love that place and those people so much. The relationships that can blossom in two short weeks while serving Christ together blows my mind! #qridge2014 is family now.
But I was crazy excited to serve in Costa Rica, and catch a glimpse of what my life will be like for the next 10 months.
I was nervous for Costa Rica. I wasn’t sure if I’d be overwhelmed by the culture and the language. Or if I would be able to stand the insane heat and disgusting bugs. (Two things you should know about me: 1. I used to leave spanish class in college because I’d get anxiety just listening to the professor only speak in spanish. 2. I like being at a perfect temperature. Too hot or too cold and I’m complaining. #diva, I know).
So I flew out of Denver, and met my team in Houston. We flew to San Jose, CR. It was very hot. And there were way too many bugs.
But I loved it. I don’t know how else to explain it except that it just felt right. Before we made it to our hotel, I was already looking forward to returning for a year!
So 15 of us from Genesee County, ages ranging 15-50, spent the week in Alajuela, Costa Rica. We painted the walls, bathrooms, and built a roof over some bleachers in the outside gymnasium where they hold Vida Joven club.
I would love to tell you every detail of our trip, because it was beyond epic. But I’ll just share with you my two favorite parts.
1. We had the opportunity to attend a Vida Joven Capernaum club! Capernaum is Young Life’s ministry for those with special needs and disabilities. A leader giving the message started with asking kids review questions. I sat near one of our guides who translated the message. The questions were something like, “Who is God?” “What is love?” etc. The answers the kids gave made my heart full, and had me smiling from ear to ear. It was an honor to watch the leaders love their kids so well. We couldn’t communicate well with each other because of the language barrier. But we sang and danced and cheered together. Shouting “VAMOS TICOS!” instantly made you friends with anyone. Vamos Ticos and love seemed to be the only communication that was needed. They may have disabilities. But they know the gospel, love The Lord, and love people around them so well. Capernaum club is LIFE TO THE FULL. Heaven on earth.
2. One night we all split up and stayed with a Costa Rican family. My girl Madii and I did our home stay together. It was SO AWESOME! Our family was so excited and grateful to have us stay in their home. We ordered pizza (our favorite food), ate ice cream, and had our own concert put on by the father and daughter. It was beautiful. They loved so well. The father told us he wants to be amigos with our fathers, and that maybe one day they come to Costa Rica. I could go on and on. This family has all they need, nothing more nothing less. And they ooze Jesus. Being immersed in the culture with this family gave me so much peace and excitement about living with a host family for 10 months!
So our week in Costa Rica was epic. Ask any of us about our trip. We want to tell you everything that happened!
Jesus is doing big things in Costa Rica, and I can’t wait to be a part of that.
So now I’m home for six weeks, trying to raise $11,750. That number is big. But I am so confident that The Lord is sending me, I know He will show up in amazing ways, provide, and fulfill his promise.
I have to constantly remind myself that it is not all relying upon me and my human efforts. So feel free to pray against that with me.
“It does not, therefore depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Romans 9:16-17
So the journey has begun.
And I am beyond grateful for your willingness to be in this with me.
Gracias, mi amigos.