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Costa Rica 2016 Trip Blog

We Will Be Forever Changed

Mari Beth Poor

Costa Rica has been a blessing to all 51 people on the mission trip.  Words really can not describe how lives have been changed, both for the Costa Ricans and those on the mission trip.  The stories people have heard and shared move us.  Here is a short video giving a glimpse of what we did in vacation bible school. 

Blessings,
Stasi Bara

As I sit and recall everything that happened on Wednesday, my heart aches, yet is hope-filled. The day began with 30 extra minutes of sleep, which was great, and a quick breakfastbecause my son has felt so at home that he left his only pair of tennis shoes in another family's room. Needless to say, we looked and looked until it was found. Our day got off to an unexpected start.

Devotion was great, as always. We talked about kindness, a fruit of the Spirit, something so simple that seems to be often overlooked.  There is something special about this group of people who gave up time, money, security, and comfort to come to a country and a people to be the hands and feet of Christ. My family and I are just overwhelmed by the opportunity to serve with everyone on our team.

On Wednesday we boarded the buses and headed through the broken, yet beautiful streets and communities of this amazing country.  It's broken because of the living conditions of many Costa Ricans, but beautiful because of the wonderful imagebearers of God who live here. We snapped pictures in amazement as we passed homes and businesses, but with much excitement because we knew we had another opportunity to love a child, a mother, a father, a people. We love Costa Ricans!

On this day, Gabriel, myself, and the boys were on the food distribution team, which entailed going into the homes of a few families in Los Guidos. We delivered food, prayed with families, and just showed love as the presence of God went before us. You see, driving along the streets and seeing the dipravity was one thing, but being in the homes of each family was something all together different. My heart was touched many times over. I would do this trip all over againif I could. The people of Costa Rica are people just like us, who need hope and the Savior just like us. In those moments, as we stood in their homes, we were all one, we are all one. We felt the same things, cried together, prayed together and showed genuine love towards each other.

VBS was a success, although it wasn't just because we did our best, but alsobecause of the lessons the kids learned, the smiles on their faces, the hands that were held, the hugs that were given and the love of Christ that was shown. VBS is always life changing with our Mountaintop family whetherwe're in Birmingham or Costa Rica.

I have been reminded during this trip that even in places that seem dark and broken, including those places in ourhearts, God can still use one or many people to be lights of hope, and hands and feet of love. We will be forever changed by Costa Rica, and the amazing people who live here.

Ebony Warren