Lessons learned in Costa Rica

There are very few moments in life when one can definitively say, “that changed my life.” The Costa Rica mission’s trip from Hope Church in Wilton was one of those moments.
From the start, the people there changed our outlook on life with their warm and welcoming personalities. Their immense gratefulness and generosity was something extremely impactful. Every day we could count on them to smile at us and begin to forge bonds that endured in spite of the large and frustrating language barrier. Even though they were speaking a language we did not know at all, we could still tell the love they had for God and each other, which was truly inspiring. The only thing we had in common was our love of God, and yet that was all we needed to feel a true connection with these people. The spirit of the Lord truly broke all language barriers and allowed for growth in all of us.
The first day, we attended a feeding shelter for a poor community that was set up by a woman and her husband because they felt God was calling them to do this. This feeding shelter gave the women the opportunity to get in touch with the community, show them the love of God and invite them to church. All of the children were very sweet there and they colored in books, and ate cereal at the end. There were ants in their cereal, but the children were still joyful because they were eating food, no matter the quality of the food.
This was a truly eye-opening moment for a lot of us on the trip, and has inspired us to be more grateful with what we have and see just how blessed we are in America. The people who ran the feeding center had such a servant’s heart and truly showed us the meaning of loving others as God loves you.
Every day, we ran Vacation Bible School for children in the community. Making connections through “football” with the kids and making bracelets and other crafts allowed for growth in us because they were so happy even though they had so little. Often times we can get caught up in a consumer-oriented society, but these kids and people showed us that truly all you really need to be happy in life is God.
Finally, the people of the church, Monte de Dios, showed us what the word faith really means. They completely trust the Lord to provide for them and to give the money for the new church as the needs arise. They have $3,000 for a $350,000 church and yet they are completely content in knowing God will give them what they need. It was a joy to work on the church for them, and we feel blessed by the opportunity to serve.
Their thankfulness, faith, and happiness were truly awe-inspiring and we can’t wait to go back next year!
Hope Church sponsored a missions trip to Costa Rica July 18-25.