By Ariel McClellan and Summer Beasley
We begin each day with a time of worship and bible study. Conway is leading us through the book of Philippians, in which Paul writes to the church of Philippi about joy. Throughout our study today, I was amazed by the similarities between the book and our trip in Costa Rica. Paul specifically brings a message of joy in suffering to the Philippians in order to remind them that they can be joyful despite their circumstances. The churches of Costa Rica are nothing like that of America. These people have nothing and are constantly faced with tragedy, yet they cling to God for even their basic necessities. Their joy comes from the Holy Spirit rather than their circumstances.
Today we spent a lot of time with the leadership team from the church we are working with. As we interacted with them, I couldn't help but think about how Paul interacted with all of the early Christian churches. It is so awesome that we can come to Costa Rica and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to continue their work in this country.
A big part of our day was devoted to Vacation Bible School in the streets of Los Guido. First, we walked through the streets to invite kids, passing out candy and balloons as we went along. VBS was a great time to share Christ's love with these children. We played games, danced to worship songs, and made bracelets that explained the gospel story in a way that the kids would understand. We really enjoyed being able to give the kids an opportunity to escape from their everyday lives and experience the love that Christ has to offer them.
In between VBS and lunch, we took a moment from our schedule to stop and pray for one of the families that is very involved with the church. Sometimes seeing the life style that the people from these small cities survive through can be discouraging, but God reminds us that He is still here. It's very eye-opening to see people who struggle to survive each day have such a deep faith and commitment to God.
Our favorite activity today was rollerskating with the youth from the leadership team. The majority of them had never gone rollerskating before and clung to the members of our team. Let's just say everyone spent most of the time on the floor of the roller rink laughing so hard we could barely pull ourselves back up. The youth and the team members had such a blast we spent hours circling the rink. We took a step in bringing our team closer by building a stronger relationship with the youth leaders.
After each VBS the kids are taken through the "Bridge Illustration" which explains the Gospel in a way that is easy for them to understand. Over 150 kids have already been taken through this illustration during our last two VBS events.
Heilenia is the youngest member of our team and is proving VERY helpful with her spanish speaking skills! The kids love that she can talk to them and our team loves that she can help US talk to kids.