"God worked on me in a few ways during our week in Costa Rica. It started on Sunday when we attended worship at the Los Chiles church. It was an unfinished room, with plastic lawn chairs and a podium with speakers. With our group and theirs, I think there were 60 or so people in the service. Although all the singing was in spanish and the words of the pastor were choppy in translation, I have never felt people so in touch with God. They sang with all their might and you could feel the energy. It's an energy I have never felt in church.
On Tuesday, our youth woke up early, rode the bus to the village (approximately 3 hours) worked in the heat until it was time to leave, then rode the bus home (another almost 3 hours). When they were back at our hotel getting ready to eat dinner, the members of the Agua Viva Serves team invited anyone who wanted to go to come to the Catholic church. There were a number of African and some middle eastern refugees that had been there a while and they had ordered some pizzas to take over. Although many of them were exhausted and dirty, several went over to meet the refugees. And the meeting turned into a dance party. God gave them the courage, the energy and the freedom to bring joy to people they did not even know.
The final way God worked on me was when we were sitting on the bus to leave Los Chiles. Fransisco, one of the members of Agua Viva Serves who was working with us asked to speak to all of us. Although there was a translator, his message came through without it. To the point of tears in his eyes, he thanked us not only for coming, but for investing ourselves in the community for the week. He told us that he, and his other team members, now considers us family. It was clear that we not only provided a physical resource (clean water) but also emotional and spiritual resources."
As for what I am going to do next, I am not sure. I think God has me looking at everything through a new lens and only he knows where he is going to take me. I do know that I have been doing nothing but sharing the experience with everyone who will listen. Encouraging others to take the opportunity to partake in a mission trip, and thinking about when my next opportunity will arise.
Danae is the Director of Youth Ministries at KIUMC. She has a B.A. in Culinary Arts and Service Management from Paul Smiths College in Paul Smiths, NY. She has attended KIUMC for the past 8 years. Danae enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends, and is a complete Disney Fanatic.