Costa Ricisima! - Esther Peterson
Wow, how can nine days be so significant? Over spring break I went to Costa Rica on a mission trip with a group from my Bible College. It was absolutely wonderful! Before we even got there we missed a connecting flight from Miami and had to take a later one. Because of this God gave me the opportunity to witness to a guy sitting next to me, in Spanish! He didn't accept Christ, but I know I planted a seed and it was an amazing experience. I think back to all the times in Argentina when I couldn't speak Spanish well enough to help much in evangelism, but by the grace of God He helped me learn!
I am continuously amazed at the beauty and creativity displayed by God in the world and people he created. You can see in the pictures (on my space: http://godslittlerocker19.spaces.live.com) it was another little glimpse of Heaven. We spent our time in Jaco, on the West coast (home to Central America's largest brothel), working with a missionary family that graduated from our same college. We got to participate in their church services, one which meets on the basketball court of a tiny elementary school, and one that meets at a super fancy, expensive resort. During the week we worked in a slum called "El Cartel." It's a neighborhood full of drugs, prostitution, and abused women and children. We ran childrens meetings and a very special Bible study for the women, reminding them that no matter what they have done, or what the rest of the world thinks about them, they are loved and valued by God. On the last day, we painted the women's nails, something they never expected from us. It was very special for all of us. We also did a prayer walk for the city.
Our team was a wonderful group of crazy and committed Christians and I was so blessed by getting to know them more. The missionaries we worked with inspired and taught us. I was reminded that I'm not going to Bible college to get grades and a degree, but to learn and develop godly habits. I believe that what I learned in this week will make me a better student for the rest of my time at college. God is great! He also allowed each of us to be able to use our specific gifts in the work, be it singing, sewing, speaking Spanish, organizing, etc. I used a lot of things I learned in Argentina: dramas, songs, and most importantly, Spanish! On our day off we got to go waterfall jumping and splash around in the beautiful beach.
The country and city really captured my heart and I would love to go back some day. I'm believing with the missionaries that out of the children in that little slum will come pastors and missionaries who will change their culture for Christ! It was an honor to have a small influence on their lives. I want to thank all of you who prayed for me and supported me financially for this trip! I would say I've grown more from that trip than I have from all of my classes so far. It was a special blessing to be able to be a part of it. Praise God! He is so amazing! He deserves all of the glory for everything that happened!!!
Much love and gratitude to all of you, ~Esther~