On Thursday, we returned to one of the areas where we had passed out groceries on Monday. We spent the morning on the side of a one-lane dirt street playing with some of the children of La Carpio. We were fortunate that the week that we were in Costa Rica was one of two weeks that the children are on vacation from school.
We had lots of children to show up. Most of the children brought an opportunity for us to build a bridge for Mark and the missionaries to share the gospel with older brothers and sisters and moms. We spent about three hours face painting, making balloon animals, blowing bubbles, tossing frisbees and making salavation bracelets.
While the language barrier can be frustrating, we all learned that a smile and a hug say a lot in any language. While I was making balloon animals, the kids would come up to me and start talking. I would say, "No espanol" with my best southern accent. Then they would start pointing and talking and I would try to figure out what they were saying. When I thought I knew I would say "Si" and start doing whatever I interpreted them to mean. I got it right about half the time. The other half, they would go "No. No." and we would start all over again.
In the afternoon, we worked around the mission house. I mention this only because my daughter and her team left without me to pick up trash in the streets and at a park near the mission house. I ended up having little to do and they came back to find me taking a nap on the couch. They're still reminding me about that one.
On Thursday evening, we went to Teracillos (pronounced - terr-uh-see-joes) for a mother-daughter banquet. The church that is meeting in the area is relatively new. The pastor and members had gone out the Saturday before to pass out invitations. It was the first time they had tried a mother-daughter banquet and were unsure of what kind of response to expect.
We were supposed to start at 6:00pm. At 6, there were only about 20 people there. We waited to start and by 6:30, the room was full. Amanda Rollo shared the gospel using the salvation bracelet. It took about 30 minutes to go through the entire process of explaining, translating, and passing out beads. Amanda did a great job and then the pastor of the church gave the ladies a chance to pray to receive Christ. Afterward, we served a meal of rice (of course, EVERY meal, including breakfast, had rice), beef, and cole slaw to the ladies.
The night ended with us saying "Adios" to a lot of the nationals with whom we had grown very close. The week was awesome. Again, if you've never experienced missions in an international setting, you need to plan a trip.
That's all for me from Costa Rica. If you want or desire more info, I'll gladly answer questions. As always, thanks for praying for the team as we went. Thanks for reading about the experience. I hope it inspires you to go and be the hands and feet of our Savior to those near you as well as those around the world.
-- Peace, Jamie