Before going I was kinda of worried about the language barrier, but once we left that was no longer a thought. I knew God would use our group to reach them. Once we got to Upala, where we served for 5 days, it was something beautiful God had created. It was awesome communicating outside of words and the challenge of communicating was exciting. I surprised myself with how much I could understand, or should I say that I understood anything. The people there are so open with their homes. One day we split into groups of two, me and Andrew were together, and we went to a families home. Neither of us spoke Spanish and the people we went with didn't speak any English. It was the best experience I had out of the whole trip. It was so awesome to communicate and see the beauty in their culture.
Another awesome thing was working with the kids. Those of you who know me well know my heart and passion for children. Also I have a passion for people in need, so working with the kids was awesome. Costa Rica is not a third world country and by many cultures standards they are well off, but they still had so much less than I did. It's awesome to see the joy in the kids faces and how the simplest thing's bring them the most joy.
Then the last 2 days in Costa Rica our group was able to experience and fulfill our need for adventure. We were able to see and enjoy the work of God. On Thursday we went zip-lining in the morning and then in the afternoon went white-water rafting. It was such an amazing experience and it was absolutely incredible. Then on Friday we went to the Pacific Ocean all day. Me and Andrew rented surfboards and I went surfing all day. It was incredible. The first time I went we had little 2 foot waves. Here we had 6 foot waves, and the surf shops were saying that they were some of the biggest waves they had seen. Needless to say I got the crap beat out of me, but I was able to get up 3 times and rode plenty of waves on my knees. It was such a rush and for me, there is no better way to soak in the beauty and power of God. It was incredible.
This is getting really long so I'll wrap it up and you can ask me more about it if you want to hear some stories. Through this experience, I felt my heart in the mission field. This may have just been a result of being on the trip, but over the past 3 or 4 months I have been feeling a stronger and stronger pull to go into full time missions. No matter what though, I know God is going to do incredible things in my life. So many times I plan out my future, but God is just laughing saying, "You of little faith, I have so much more in store for you. I have huge plans for you, if only you trust and rely on me." So that's where I'm at now. Continue to pray for me and for our youth group, that we could take this experience and the passion of the people there, back to our home church and light a spark in our church. God bless!