Friday, March 20, 2009

It's so overwhelming to me to think of where to begin sharing about our trip to Costa Rica. I'll share some pictures and try to explain some of what we did, but it's so hard to explain everything God showed me and how he changed me. I hope this is a start....

Here are some pictures of the areas we were working in...







I was impacted before we even left by all the people that brought things for us to bring to Costa Rica. We were overwhelmed by how many people felt led to give supplies. I felt so privileged to be the one to be able to pack those things in tubs and carry them to these people that had absolutely nothing. I just kept thanking God that He gave me that opportunity. When we got there and began unpacking all of them, you just wouldn't believe how everything seemed to just multiply. And it was incredible how we would have exactly what we needed of so many of the supplies. For example, the school supplies we brought to the school--when we opened them up so much turned out to be exactly what we needed, and some we had more. One of the ladies with us made bracelets for the kids at the school, and we ended up having the exact # for the kids. God showed Himself to us throughout the week! We brought most of the clothing to an extremely poor area called La Cuenca. This area literally broke our hearts--there is a problem with lack of food, abuse, and there is no sewer system so it just runs down the "streets" of the area. There are some incredible missionaries there who are doing selfless work with these people, so we wanted them to give the things we brought to the people so they would know it was provided by God and not a gift from Americans.



Some of the men in our group were talented construction workers, so we had the opportunity to work on a man named Mario's house. He and his wife have four children, and the house they lived in consisted of two tiny bedrooms and one hall. They had no sink, and their toilet was outside. We added two rooms and doubled the size of their house, enclosing their "bathroom." Even though this famly had hardly anything, they were incredibly kind. Mario gave each of the men from our team a gift he had carved out of wood.





This is Mario and his sweet family: Our team with Mario's family:
While most of the men were working on Mario's house, the rest of us painted a school for children of single mothers. The day we spent in LaCuenca was probably my favorite day. I could've stayed there the whole week, and even now I just can't get them off my mind. We played games with them and had ice cream. We would take their picture and then show them on our digital cameras--they loved that--most of them had never seen a camera, and many of them don't have mirrors and didn't even know what they look like. I had a great conversation that day with Carlos, one of the missionaries there, and I keep thinking about what he said to me. He said that even though those people have no material possessions and many are in horrible situations, when they learn about Jesus and accept Him, they have everything they need. It's so easy to think we need so many other things, but the reality is, He is all we need too!




Another day we worked in a school in a really sad area with a lot of Nicaraguan refugees. It is a dangerous area and the school is completely locked up with gates surrounding it. This school is so overcrowded that some of the classes have over 40 kids in them, but they do provide breakfast and lunch for the kids. The school doesn't open until 7 AM, but many of the children are outside the gates by 5 AM because they are so hungry, and the only meals they receive are at the school.


Michael and I don't speak Spanish, so it was frustrating not to be able to communicate as much as we'd want to with the kids. Before we left, one of Michael's friends gave him this cool necklace of a cross made out of nails, and he was able to use it to tell the kids, "Jesus te ama" (Jesus Loves You).





I know this is probably the longest blog post ever...I have so much more to share, but I'll save that for my next post....

9 comments:

Mary Michael Conkin said...

Amazing! What an amazing experience.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to hear more, Summer! What an incredible experience! Thank you for sharing!

Kristi

Patty Sisk said...

I praise God for what He has done in you and Michael and through you. Till all have heard!!!

lauren said...

i LOVE seeing this photos. i'm so excited to hear more from you guys in person!

jess said...

summer-you have always been a beautiful person to me, but hearing your heart on this and seeing you love these people makes you even more beautiful! i am so encouraged to hear how God used those supplies so specifically!

Anonymous said...

I KNEW YOU TWO WOULD HAVE FABULOUS PICTURES! What an amazing trip and what amazing "hands of Christ" you guys are! Love you...and can't wait to join you one day! Stacey

jessica said...

so incredible! thank you for sharing such an amazing trip with all of us. and what a great reminder that all we need is Jesus and to see those precious children with nothing and being content. pierces my heart!

Mitch said...

Thanks for sharing, Summer. What a wonderful opportunity for you and Michael to share. You can post more if you want :)

Langleys Mom said...

I'm so glad to hear your experience. So happy you all were able to share with the families and children there!