Wayumi Expedition

July 21-26th 2019.

We embarked on a “long” trip to Jersey Shore, Penna. for a week of rustic sleeping, delicious meals, and solid Bible teaching. Along the way we discovered the many people groups who do not have the Bible in their own language, the difficult task of learning the language of unreached people groups, translating and teaching them the Bible and much more.

We engaged in the activities that ranged from visiting a tribal village, hiking near various waterfalls, competing in team games, and what it would look like to go through customs in a foreign nation. We also took a swim in the local creek and played lots of volleyball.

Our teens learned a lot about missions, what missionaries do, what it takes to reach people around the world, specifically unreached people groups with the message of hope. They were challenged to consider the trajectory of their lives and how God desires to use them in His plan to build His kingdom.

It was a great week, truly impacting our lives with God’s heart for His creation.

Our Final Day in Costa Rica

Today we went back to the school that we started at last Thursday. We didn't see any of the kids that we saw then, but it was fun to be back at the same place. It was an exhausting day, but they were older kids, so they were a little more well behaved. We played clothes pin tag, pinney tag, steal the bacon, and soccer. It was a beautiful day and the sun actually came out for most of the morning. 

After our clinic we returned to AMCA house for a delicious lunch and then headed out to buy coffee and other snacks. Most of us bought a lot of coffee and I can't wait to try it when I get home. After coffee we returned to the house and played games for a while. We then went out between the rain storms to buy bread and snacks for breakfast tomorrow. 

We had a great time of debriefing tonight. It's hard to believe that our trip is coming to an end. In some regards it feels like we have hardly been here, and the other it feels like we have been here for a very long time. I know that I am looking forward to seeing my family and sharing the highlights from our trip with everyone at home. 

Take Two Tuesday

Today we returned to the school we were at on Monday, Linda Vista Christian School. It was fun to return because we were able to see many of the kids that we saw and connected with previously. In between classes they have about a 20 minute break to play in the gym area. During that break we played soccer and handed out candy. 

Today we had grades 1-3, which were definitely harder to control, because they didn't listen well to instructions, but they we fun because they were so full of energy and smiles. We ran three rotations, playing games like clothes pin tag, pinney tag, cone soccer and dodgeball. We ended each session with a students vs coaches soccer game. 

The kids made quick connections with our team. Many of them coming back again and again during their break. They gave us hugs, climbed on us, and one girl kept barking and meowing at me. Needless to say many of them stole our hearts and will hold a special place forever. 

In between our second and third rotation, we did another service project. This time all of us were in the attic space organizing the supplies there. We found out that the headmistress is in love with all or most of the supplies up there so we kept most everything and just organized it. It wasn't all bad except the heat, the bad smell that gave the impression something died up there and the small work space. 

After our work at the school was done we went back out to the market to buy some more souvenirs. After some people found what they were looking for there we wanted to walk done a pedestrian area with different stores and shops. We stopped briefly to feed some pigeons and while trying to take a video of Mason begin swarmed by birds, I was viciously attacked by one. I survived and so did my phone when I dropped it. 

It's hard to believe that we have one more day of ministry here in Costa Rica. It has definitely been a wonderful experience. We are all excited to share with you when we get back home. Thank you for you constant prayers and thoughts for us this past week. 

Ministry Monday

Today was another early day as we headed back to the school to run another clinic. We were greeted by a very energetic crowd. It was a long morning as we worked with three rotations. 

In the beginning of each rotation, we introduce ourselves and have the kids try to remember them. It is fun to see them get halfway down the row and then forget a name. With each rotation it seems to be the same names, either Brandon, Rileigh or  Shawn. Three of us shared our testimonies with the different groups. 

Between the second and third rotation, we helped move a bag or rocks, stack and organize desks and sports equipment. We also tried to help organize the attic space, which we will be doing again tomorrow too. After working for about 15 minutes we broke for lunch and ate sitting on the steps of the school. It was entertaining to eat while the kids ran up and down the steps. 

After lunch we ran our third rotation and left the school. We made a short stop at a shopping district to look at stores for souvenirs and then to a grocery store for more snacks and soda. We returned to the AMCA house and played card games before dinner. 

Looking forward to another day of ministry tomorrow. Can't believe that were are on the last couple of days of our trip. 

 

Church, Mall, Soccer

Today we had the pleasure of worshipping with our brothers and sisters at CED. It was a wonderful experience where the music was obviously in Spanish, but did not lack any power in the message. It was encouraging to see the people so passionately praising our Lord and Savior. The sermon was equally powerful, the pastor preached with incredible conviction and the translator even mimicked his movements and hand motions. The sermon was on being expectant of God's miracles. Like Elijah when he went to the widow, we should move by faith, even though we don't know where or what God has around the corner. 

We went to a local mall for lunch and ate with some of the people from church. Apparently many of them go there every week. The mall had a food court, where so of us ventured to try new things, while others stuck to more familiar (U.S.A.) brands. After lunch we gave the teens the chance to walk around the mall and explore. Most everyone came away with something. Go figure. 

After the mall we came back and changed quickly to go play soccer with some people from church. Originally it was supposed to be some of the teens from the church, but ended up being mostly people who have some investment in Push The Rock here in Costa Rica. It was a challenging game, played on an indoor turf field. We battled hard and only lost 3-2. 

Ice Cream came next - a popular spot here in Costa Rica, Pops. It was a nice little treat before we came back to the AMCA house for dinner. Following dinner we had our team time and prayed for each other. We also sang a few songs, one of them being one we sang this morning, only this time in English. 

Tomorrow we are back in the full ministry swing. We have 3 rotations at the school and then we are cleaning up around the school. Pray for us as we continue to work as a team and fight off the temptations to be short and irritable with one another. 

The One with a Volcano

Today we woke up early and drove two hours to go zip lining in the canopy. To say it was a wonderful experience would not do it justice. Over the course of 11 zip-lines, we went from hillside to treetop back to hillside, with a few surprises in the middle. Our favorite surprise was not doubt the Tarzan swing. They hook you up to this long cable attached to a really high branch, and they literally pull you up and push you out over the ledge. It was a wild ride. 

To finish the zip line they suited us up in these jumpsuit looking harnesses and we flew superman style across the valley. This was definitely the longest and the best view of the whole experience. A few of us paid pictures and videos, which we look forward to sharing with you when we return. 

After the canopy tour, we hopped back in the bus and headed towards a volcano. At the base of the volcano is a resort, home to several hot springs. After a buffet lunch of chicken, pasta, fresh  fruit (I could really get used to fresh fruit), and delicious desserts, we changed into our bathing suits and tested the waters. Picture a water park, with different pools that have different temperatures of water. The most popular feature, at least for the guys, was the water slide. This was a brutal slide that literally threw you into the water. It was rated to send you down at about 27mph. However it felt closer to 50 when you we in it. It had a turn that got you airborne in the the tube and you couldn't be sure where you would end up the bottom. 

After the hot springs we hoped in the bus for the long ride back to San Jose. These rides truly test the patience of the team for each other. They also provide some of the best bonding experiences as well. We arrived safely "home" to a dinner of burgers and potato wedges. 

We ended our night with team time where a few shared their testimonies and we prayed for them. We sang several songs together which was a wonderful experience that we will hopefully repeat later in the week. 

Until next time, 

Jared

A Walk in San Jose

Buenas dias!

Today was quite an exciting day! We slept in nice and late with a wake up time of 8:30, and started our adventures, as always, with an amazing meal at 9. We finished breakfast and, after a short morning devotion, headed off to the city of San Jose.

Our first stop was the huge Costa Rican soccer stadium where we took about a 3 mile walk in the park surrounding the stadium. We then drove into the heart of San Jose, where we experienced a traditional Costa Rican market and the reality of Costa Rica's weather- the rainy season! We got the chance to dry off a bit though, when we sat down at a typical Costa Rican restaurant. We each got rice, beans, caramelized bananas, coleslaw, a potato-meat dish, corn on the cob, and your choice of either chicken (pollo), beef (carne), pork (cuerdo), and fish (pescado). It was delicious! I also found my new favorite fruit: Guanabana. Everything was absolutely delicious!

After our meal, we shopped at more stores and bought lots of gifts :). Our next and final experience was going to a Costa Rican Walmart! It's shocking just how different something like a Walmart can be when in a different country. It was a really awesome experience!!!

We concluded the night with a filling dinner and some great devotion and fellowship. God has worked so much in this trip already, and its only the second day! Thank you all for all your prayers and support, they are powerful and effective (James5:16). And now we're off to bed for an early morning tomorrow!

Hasta luego! Dios te bendiga,

Rileigh

Day 1 of Sports Clinic

Today we were up nice and early again! We were up at 5:30 and had breakfast at 6:00. It was delicious and there was fresh pineapple and watermelon! All the food we have had at AMCA has been delicious. We left at 6:30 to go to Los Cuadros Christian School. We had three groups from 1st-3rd grade. The groups ranged from 5 kids to 22. We all loved the kids! They were all so loving and patient with us since we don't all speak Spanish :)  We played clothes pin tag, cone soccer, pinney tag, and dodgeball. After the clinic we went back to AMCA and had lunch. We had salad, cannollis (lasagna), and something that was sort of like cornbread.  After lunch we headed to Los Guido Christian School to their after school program. The kids were in 1st through 3rd grade and there were 28 kids. It was a ton of fun! We played the same things as we did in the morning.  My favorite part is when we would play clothes pin tag.  It was funny to see how the kids would make up their own rules for each of the games!  After the clinic we went back to AMCA and then headed to the park by the house! We all wanted to go on the exercise equipment that they had at the park! They were all really fun. We then played soccer together and while we were going over to the grass to play Kim started talking to some people and found out that she went to school with the guy in Venezuela. What a small world and what a big God we serve!! We had a lot of fun playing soccer and 6 Costa Rican boys came over and joined our game after a while. It was us against them and we actually didn't do to bad!! Of course they were showing off and trying all these fancy moves but we were able to hold our own.  We then went back to AMCA and had dinner. Which of course it was delicious! We had rice and then a potato, meat, and veggie dish with chocolate muffins for dessert! I personally am loving getting dessert each day and having the fresh fruit drinks at every meal:) We finished off the night with team time and playing uno. Overall it was a great day and we all had lots of fun! We appreciate all of your prayers and hope you will keep praying for us as we continue working with the kids!

Blessings, 

Ashlee

Travel Day

Greetings, 

We left early this morning around 4am. We encountered rough rain on the way to the airport, but beyond that we had rather uneventful flights, which is always a good thing. 

We arrived at the AMCA house and got settled in before sharing our first meal together in Costa Rica, chicken and rice. Following lunch we had time to relax and unpack a little bit. Then we had our first meeting to prepare for tomorrow. 

Tomorrow we are hosting several rotations at one school and then an afternoon program at another one. Please be praying for our team as each member will have the opportunity to share and/or lead a part of the program. 

FUN FACT: It gets dark around 6pm here in Costa Rica. 

Thank you for your prayers and continued support for this trip. 

We Leave Tomorrow

Thank you for all of your prayers and support. In less than 24 hours we will be departing for Costa Rica. Please pray for strength during traveling as we will be leaving in the early morning. Please be praying for boldness as we have the opportunity to share the gospel with those we meet as we journey to Costa Rica. 

We had a wonderful meeting on Sunday, making final preparations for the trip, spending time at the Rodale outdoor trail for a cross run (a team bonding/spiritual awareness activity that Push The Rock does before every trip) which resulted in stronger team unity and excitement for the trip. 

Please be in prayer for each member of our team as we seek to follow the Lord's calling for this trip, and as each of us brings our own talents and abilities that God has given us, to work together, putting aside any selfishness or vain conceit, but rather that we would "look not only to his own interests, but also the interests of others. Having the mind among ourselves, which is ours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in human form, he humbled himself to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Phil. 2:4-8 ESV)