Thursday, March 17

Costa Rica Day 2 by Taylor McQueen

Our first official day has been one for the books! We woke up to a breakfast of rice and beans, cantaloupe, caramel bread, eggs and ham and buttered toast! YUM!


We traveled to San Martin (about an hour away) and toured the local school house, where the kids that we will be ministering attend. We hiked up a mountain that over looks miles of Costa Rica…and the view was absolutely breath taking. Egidio shared with us his vision for that particular pasture and his desire to see a safe and fun playground for local kids, and how he eventually wants to see a church built overlooking the mountains. We want to be a part of his vision and partner with him in making this possible! We spent about an hour in personal reflection and worship on the mountain…an experience we will never forget. 


 We enjoyed lunch at Egidio’s house (always yummy and always generous!) before departing to our three different ministry sites.

Ministry Site 1: Wood working and helping build and assemble beds for children. We formed an assembly line and it looked like Santa’s workshop in the hut! Everyone had a different task- sanding wood, tracing lines to be cut, passing wooden blocks to the next person, and trimming ends of wooden pegs. Everyone had a different small job, but all of the tasks led to assembling a headboard! Very cool to see small pieces turn into the big picture.


Ministry Site 2: Ministering to local kids with Vacation Bible School type activities. This group sang songs, made crafts, played “Hot Chicken” (Alan’s creation!), had snacks, played whiffle ball baseball and helped set up relationships for the rest of the week.



Ministry Site 3: Help add a ceiling and new light to an elderly woman’s house. (Before & After)


After our ministry projects, we went back to Egidio’s house for dinner, team reflection and worship. Such a sweet night with our team recapping God’s faithfulness and power, and how He blew us away on our first day here!

Tonight we close our blog with some Team Member Testimonies-

Elizabeth Hyatt: 11th Grade: This morning when we were doing our quiet time in front of all of those mountains it was incredible. It made me realize how big God actually is – like I know that God is bigger than anything, but to actually see something that He created was breathtaking. After we finished our quiet time, Paxton led worship while we were still sitting in front of the mountains and he sang “Overwhelmed”. When he sang “I’m overwhelmed by You”, it was exactly like what I was feeling because looking at those mountains made me so overwhelmed by God and how big He is.

Audrey Crowe: 11th Grade: Jesus is so apparent in Costa Rica. You can see Him in the people’s faces here- the children who have so little but are so playful and lovely and joyful, the many kind people of the community who let 26 people come in and walk all through their houses, our drivers who sacrifice so much of their time to get us where we need to go. He is in the view off the face of the mountain that is Egidio’s backyard and is so incredibly amazing that I’m not even going to try to describe it. My favorite part of the day was hearing Egidio share his testimony and I was hit with the reality of how much Jesus cares about us so deeply and personally. 

Ellie Whatley: 12th Grade: God’s love is universal and has no borders, that’s what I learned today. We can be the hands and feet of Christ by simply loving others. Coming into today, I thought it was going to be so difficult sharing the Gospel because of the language barrier, but I was wrong. God showed me that if we can share the love of Christ to the people, they will see a common thread of where our love comes from. I am so excited to see how the Lord is going to use us this trip simply because we are willing to love on the community of San Martin.

Caleb Moses: 12th Grade: Looking across the valley from the top of a mountain was breathtaking. I was listening to worship music and having a quiet time while taking in God’s creation. A big thought in my head was that God had a plan for all 26 members of this trip and the people we are working with before we even knew about it. It’s just really cool to physically see that we are such a small part of a much greater plan.

Brandon Crowley: College at AU: Today God used our contact, Egidio, to teach me about being faithful with what He has blessed me with. I learned that it is not about how worthy you feel, how much you think you can do, or what others think of you. What matters is that you are faithful with what God has given you, however little or much it may be. 

Wednesday, March 16

We have arrived! What a day it has been! We started this travel day at 4:30am and haven’t stopped since. Some of our students rode on a plane for the first time ever, and for several people, the first time leaving the country!

We arrived in San Jose around 11:30am, and took a 3 hour bus ride to our lunch spot in Cartago, “El Camionero”. We had the choice between chicken, fish and beef! It was true authentic Costa Rican dining experience!

 We continued our bus ride up the mountain from San Jose to Santa Maria. The farther up the mountain we got, the cooler and breezier the weather was! Our bus journey was literally like driving through the set of Jurassic Park (which was actually filmed in Costa Rica!) – breath-taking views of the city and mountains!

Before arriving at our hotel, we stopped at a local market and grabbed some snacks. Let’s just say: ice cream tastes good in every country!  


We also celebrated a very special birthday today! Joseph Hyatt turned 18 today and we have had fun celebrating him all day! 

Our leader, Edigio, has helped accommodate us in every way possible! We are relaxing at our hotel before going to bed. Praying for a restful night for our team! 
Some things you could be praying for–

1. Health + Safety. We are fully covered in bug spray!

2. Team Unity. We have such an incredible and diverse group of 26 on this trip. Our prayer is that we would work together this week and serve each other while serving the Lord and the people we come in contact with.

Tomorrow we will be spending our first full day in the San Martin community. We are excited and expectant of what the Lord will do this week.

Our wifi connection is very limited, but we will have another blog post tomorrow night updating on the events of our first official full day!