Monday, July 27, 2009

Costa Rica....a month later

Wow....It has been WAY TOO LONG since I have updated this blog. I am actually a little embarrassed:( I have to warn you that this is going to be a long post, because I have a lot to tell!

Costa Rica

As most of you know, Rob and I spent a week in Abangaritos, Costa Rica, doing a mission for a church there. It was an amazing week, and God showed us so many things while we were there. Below are some pictures, with captions of course.

Saturday: We started our day by waking up at 3:30 AM. Yep. that's right, AM! You know I am not a morning person, but I was up with a cheerful heart, anxious to see what God had in store. By the time we had landed, waited on our transportation, and survived the first 30 minutes of our 3 hour drive to our village, I was wiped out. I don't know why everyone thinks it is so funny to get a picture of me sleeping on every trip I take, but I'm glad Casey didn't break the tradition.

Speaking of transportation: There was not enough room in the mission vehicle for all of us, so we rode in the trailer all week. Edgar had so much fun speeding through all of the mud puddles all week. We could always see him laughing in the mirror:)

The church had services several times while we were there, and we participated in all of them. This is the Father's Day service. Notice all of the men up front...Normally, men sit on one side of the church, and women on the other. We introduced them to the good ol' southern meet-n-greet during a fellowship song. They LOVED it!

Rob had the opportunity to use his electrical knowledge to help the "contractor" install some new electricity. Here at home, we take it for granted the resources we have. This is Rob looking absolutely thrilled about this electrical gadget. He had a good time with all of that business:)

The first couple of days were really draining for me and Rob. When we were in Nicaragua last year, our only focus was evangelism. We had never done it before, but we spent seven days doing only that. We had the same expectations for this trip. But it was not the focus of this trip. I really struggled with the fact that we were not getting to spend time talking and witnessing to the people there. I have never felt something so strongly telling me I was not doing what I was supposed to. We talked about it with a couple of people and prayed that God would give us the opportunity to reach out to the community. We thought it would be great if we could go out, and recruit some men to come help with the construction, and witness to them while they were there.
The next morning, Edgar told us that we needed a minimum of 15 men to get the trusses lifted for the roof. We only had 5 on our team, plus another 3 from the church that had been helping. Some of those 3 had to work that day, so he thought we could go into the community and see about getting some to come help. Is that a GOD thing, or what? He had no idea we had prayed that exact prayer the night before. God is AWESOME! The guys went out to the bar, and there they found Liver, who was extremely drunk, but God can use drunks too! They also found several more. When it got time to lift the trusses, we had 15 (that's right, 15) men there ready to go. Some of the men had to come and go during the day, but we were never less than 15 strong. At the end of the day we even had 20! Liver never left our side. When the construction crew quit for the day, he came and helped with children and youth. He even took our recorder class. At the end of the week, he made the decision to accept Christ. What a BLESSING!

Once the red beams, pictured below, had been painted all of 60 times each, they were finally ready to be hoisted in the air as trusses.
We had children's programs every day we were there. They made crafts, played games and learned about Jesus. They got loads of candy and toys, and followed us everywhere we went. After the children's programs, we had youth programs for the teenagers.

This young couple, Goudy and her husband, had quit coming to church. Pastora Belen had requested that we go and visit with her. We got to her house, and she broke down, telling us of all the trials she was facing in her marriage. Her husband drank all the time, she had 3 little ones to take care of, and her husband had gotten very mean to her. I was able to share mine and Rob's story. She really opened up once I shared what God had brought us through. I had asked if her husband was local. I was thinking Rob could come talk to him. He happened to be there at the house (Another GOD THING!) I ran up the road and got Rob. He spent a lot of time talking to him, and sharing his testimony about his drinking, and the problems it caused. Rob was able to spend the rest of the afternoon with him, helping him dig trenches to relieve the flooding at their house. I really feel like this was our divine appointment for the week. It helped remind me that God brings you through the rough times, to share them with others to glorify HIM. It makes the long journey worth it.

Sweet Little Daisy! She followed us around all week. Isn't she the cutest little thing?

After I had some time to reflect on the trip, and the mixed emotions I had about it, I realized that God was showing me that my plan is never perfect. What I have in mind, isn't what He has in mind. I must pray and ask for direction and wisdom, not head down a path that I think it should be. God was able to use us all in different ways, and show us time and time again that HE answers prayer!

The roof didn't quite get finished, but our guys are headed back in a couple of weeks to finish it, and do all of the electrical work. We are excited to see how God will use them the second time around. Then we're off to COLOMBIA in October. Please be praying for both of these mission opportunities, as we seek what God has planned for us.

I will update tomorrow with the rest of the Vaughn adventures. Have a great day!