Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July from Costa Rica!  While many of you are celebrating our nation’s independence back home, we spent the day celebrating the independence of two families whose homes we built over the past four days. I know that my words will not do what happened today justice, but I will do my best.

The day started off around 8 a.m. when we gathered outside the hotel for a delicious pancake breakfast that was provided by Maximo Jr. After breakfast, we headed out to the home of Brenda and Rodrigo to dedicate their home. We pulled up to the house and were welcomed by the family, dressed in their Sunday best, with humongous smiles on their faces. We spent some time looking at the new house and interacting with the family.  The family had already moved all of their belongings from their old house and put up curtains on all of the windows. This was no longer just a house to them, it was their home.  You could see on all of their faces just how proud they were that this was theirs.  After a bit of mingling, everyone stood outside of the house and we were given the opportunity to say something about the family and our experiences this week. I can confidently say that there was not a dry eye in the house after members of the family and members of our team spoke. Even though there was a language barrier, the emotion was there and we all felt it.  We wrapped up the dedication with a closing prayer in which we referenced the beautiful sign that was made by one of our team members. I learned that it is tradition for a sign to be made and hung above the entryway of the home.  Before we left, we sang the song “De Colores”, which is a Mexican folktale.

After leaving Brenda and Rodrigo’s, we headed over to Edwin and Maureen’s for the dedication of their home.  The dedication was very similar to that of Brenda and Rodrigo’s, except Jeffrey and Cal led us all in communion. After we were done with communion, we were treated to lunch by our new home owners, Edwin and Maureen. They cooked us pizza in a fire oven! Not only were our hearts full, but so were our stomachs! It was so great to be able to share lunch with our new neighbors and continue to build our long lasting relationships with one another.  Afterwards, it was time for some fun! Many of us brought gifts for the children who lived in the homes that we built and they were beyond excited for their new toys and were eager to play. Many of us split up and were playing baseball, frisbee, and even water balloons! I think the adults were having more fun than the kids. 🙂 After about an hour or so, we brought everyone back together and sang “De Colores” again before saying our goodbyes.   After leaving the site, we came back to the hotel and enjoyed each other’s company by the pool before heading out for dinner.

As I am sitting here writing this blog, I am reminded of something that we talked about on our recent youth mission trip to Atlanta, Georgia. Mid week, we ended the night asking the question, “where did you see God today?” I told myself that I would ask myself this question on a daily basis upon my return. Today, I saw God in various forms and it was amazing. I saw God in the proud smiles of the families as they stood inside their new homes. I saw God in the tears that were shed as the families and team members shared their heartfelt gratitude for the work and relationships that were built the  past four days. Finally, I saw God in the laughter of the children that ran around in their new home.  God is everywhere, you just have to take the time to look for him.

I thank God for this trip and the opportunity to work alongside some amazing team members and families.

Until next time!

Brenda and Rodrigo’s new home – Dedication Day


Brenda and Rodrigo have already made the house built by many hands into a home.


Bedroom – Brenda & Rodrigo’s home.


Dedication of Brenda and Rodrigo’s new home.


Edwin and Maureen’s home – Dedication Day.


Enjoying Maureen and Edwin’s new porch.


Edwin, Maureen and Joan (Johan)


Edwin and Maureen’s home


Sharing the bread and the cup


Enjoying food and fellowship following the dedication of the house.


Miguel and Caleb enjoying their new toys.