Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mission Trip to Costa Rica

"What I loved most about my trip to Costa Rica was seeing how friendly and happy the Costa Rican people were everywhere. I also loved trying all of the new foods. It was truly a blessing to have the opportunity to go to Costa Rica!"
- Ayanna Taylor (10th grade), Tiger Pause Work Program Employee

I will piggyback off of Ayanna’s comment; it was truly a blessing to have the opportunity to spread God’s love in Costa Rica! Along with the opportunity to minister to those in Costa Rica, I personally loved being involved in such a life changing experience with the young Tiger Pause girls, staff, and volunteers.  We bonded, worked together, and opened up our own lives to each other during our times ministering, working, and during our morning devotions.   It was incredible to see how the experience affected each person in our group in such a positive way.  

"What we saw in Costa Rica was restraint in the areas of food, clothing, cars, pleasures, appliances, things, and just stuff in general. They have everything, but they don’t have too much. Of course, in the slums and in the very poor areas, they have very little. I learned so much in Costa Rica in eight short days. My most memorable and humbling moment was at a Wednesday night prayer meeting where a young man prayed for “those who have nothing to eat tonight.” I cannot remember ever hearing or giving that kind of prayer request in all the years I’ve been a Christian. I, too, have almost forgotten the truly needy in the world."
- Fran Karczewski, Tiger Pause Volunteer 

“Joy” would be the word I would use to capture the essence of our trip. It may seem an odd choice of words when you consider some of the experiences we had. For example, in La Carpio, one of the poorest slums in Costa Rica, we walked through the community visiting homes and families who lived in structures made of tin walls and boards. In these homes, we would sit with families and pray with them. The following day we invited the families and their children to a street carnival. Our team was taken aback by how joyful and welcoming these families were to us. With what seems to be so little, the families were still joyful. Then, during our time in Glorioso Dia Boy's Home, we helped paint, sand benches, and clean. It was definitely the young girls’ favorite day. (Could it possibly be because we spent the day with young teenage boys?) Besides the girls’ attraction to the boys, they loved our time at Glorioso Dia because they were so impacted by the joy the orphaned young men showed in the simplicity of life. Laughs were endless as we played soccer and threw water balloons into the late afternoon hours.

As a team, we reflected on joy and what we consider joy to be.  Many link their happiness and joy to prosperity, but as believers, we should find joy in the Lord. “Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy. Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind. The Lord is coming soon.” (Philippians 4:4-5)  On our trip, we saw this joy exemplified in people who had very little.  While we went to Costa Rica with the full intention of witnessing and spreading the word of the Lord to others, the Lord spoke to us through everyone we met there.

Thank you to everyone who generously donated toward our trip! All our lives were impacted to the glory of God and we pray that He used us to plant seeds of His goodness with the joyful people of Costa Rica as well.


Erica Duffy
Tiger Pause Program Coordinator

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