Costa Rica Day 5We missed worshipping at FBCO this morning, but we had a sweet time of worship and communion in our hotel lobby after breakfast this morning! Paxton led us in songs of worship and Dan gave a message out of Ephesians 2, reminding us the truth of the Gospel: it is by GRACE we are saved, not by works. In a culture that is so works based and success driven, it’s hard to believe that grace is the only thing that can save us. Nothing we can do (not even spending a week ministering to the people of Costa Rica) gains us extra “points” with God, or makes Him love us more. It was a great reminder on this beautiful Palm Sunday that we are covered with grace and made sons and daughters…no longer slaves to sin.
An hour and a half bus ride took us to our Basilica tour which was a really neat experience. We walked around and saw where hundreds line up to touch and taste the holy water that drips from small pipes in the wall. We watched people crawl on their knees from the back of the sanctuary to the front to confess their sins. It was interesting to see how these people believed that they could only be cleansed of their sin and their shame by touching water and confessing them in a Basilica. Praise God that we have access to a Great High Priest who loves us, extends grace to us and is ever-present.
Ephesians 1:7-8 “In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all grace and understanding.”
This afternoon, we had lunch at Egidio’s house, finished up some jobs and played with kids at the local school, went to the hotel to freshen up and had dinner at the Waterfall Restaurant.
Team Member Testimonies-
Sam Gardner: 9th Grade. Now a days, we are always thinking that we are the center of the universe. This week in Costa Rica, through the mountains I’ve seen and the people I’ve worked with, God has shown me how small we really are compared to His glory and righteousness. Without God, it would be a straight line downward to chaos and disaster. Today we throw around good words about God and how great He is. This week in Costa Rica, I’ve seen how great He really is.
Dawson Waldrop: 10th Grade. As I look at the mountains of this beautiful country I see GOD in every glance. He has been with us this entire time. I’ve realized I’ve taken the luxuries of our country for granted…when we go into the villages they have only the basics. The kids are really engaging and it is fun to try my broken Spanish out. I’m really excited I came, and very excited to see what GOD will show me in the next two days.
Sydney Alexander: 10th Grade. On this trip I have seen, more than ever before, that God really has a hand in everything we do. Yesterday, we went to this little village to play with kids and just bring light to the people of the community. While there, Katherine and I were kicking a dodgeball around with one of the younger girls. The girl kicked the ball to me and of course I missed it and had to run to go get it. When I was on the way back to where we were playing, a man called me over to him. I got panicked and called to Kat. When we went over there he showed us their church. I had no idea that building was a church, and it was very cool to hear about the church and interesting how I came upon it.
Holly Grace Robinson: 12th Grade. Every bus ride (one hour +) has captured my attention because of the mountainous scenery. Worshipping and having quiet time in Egidio’s backyard was so breathtaking because it was literally on the side of a mountain. After, Taylor came up to me and said, “Holly, look at this picture I took of you…it is amazing.” And it was. The camera screen had me in the bottom left corner, looking about as big as a centimeter, and the rest had as much of the mountain scene as the screen could fit – which was about 1/4 of the actual view. I know God creates all things and that He is so much bigger than I, but I have only seen that through my eyes. I have never seen myself in comparison to how big the world is…how big God is. That picture really just made that fact come alive to me.
Leigh Whatley: Chaperone. Each day I am amazed of Egidio, Louis and his family! They are such an incredible example of loving their neighbors and serving others. They have showed our team what it truly means to be a servant of God. They remind me how I need to be more intentional in taking time to be the hands of feet of God wherever I go! How blessed I have been to be a part of this trip.