Costa Rica Blog

Friday, March 31

by Kenna Whatley, 11th grade 

Words cannot even begin to describe the emotion I have felt over the past week. This trip to Costa Rica was one of the most bittersweet and eye-opening moments I have ever experienced. The purpose of this mission trip was to build a home for a family of 5…in 3 days. Although this mission seems impossible at first glance, I truly feel that God's will was what made it possible.

After many hard days at work, we were called to present the family with a key to their new home. As we huddled around the family and shared words of encouragement, it became apparent why God calls us to serve those around us. I cannot put into words how incredible it was to see the presence of Jesus so clearly. It was so great to see God working in the hearts of those who we served.

This trip has not only reminded me of the goodness of God, but has reminded me of the significance of loving gently, intentionally, and selflessly. This group holds such a special place in my heart, for these people are perfect examples of Christ followers. I don’t think that this experience would’ve been half as impactful if it weren’t for the loving group, encouraging leaders, and strong relationships that we had on this trip.

Thursday, March 30

by Andrew Clark, SEnior
Yesterday we went white water rafting and ziplining through the forest. We got to experience the beauty of God’s design in Costa Rica through seeing his wonderful creations when we saw monkeys and sloths during the rafting. We stopped halfway down the river for a small break, and we enjoyed fresh cut pineapple on the river with each other. I felt so fortunate that God had created something so wonderful not because he had to, but because he wanted to.

During the ziplining, we experienced beautiful views like nothing I had ever seen before, and it just blew my mind thinking about how great our God is to create something like this.

Wednesday, March 29by Lucy King, NCCS Senior
The Lord’s presence is moving and is amazing. Today was an awesome day filled with many hugs, smiles, tears, and joy as the Costa Rica team was able to present the house to the family! This week our group built a house alongside five Costa Rican workers, a translator, and members of the family.

It was a lot of work and through it all, God was moving to say the least! Building a house was beautiful, but the relationships built was all the Lord. As we gave the house away, with tears in my eyes, I could feel God’s presence. I will never forget this experience! 

Mrs. Collins' 4th grade class did chores to earn money for us to purchase groceries for the family. I was in the group that went to the store to help the family shop. They were so happy to be able to fill two carts full of items they needed!  From the faithfulness of our group, we were able to put money together to supply a fridge! That was another testament of the Lords faithfulness. 

by Carrie Peterson, Upper School Faculty
Today was the day that we worked so hard for, as we completed the house and were able to present the keys to the family!  We arrived to the homesite early on Wednesday morning to put the finishing touches on the home.  At 10:30 a.m. a group of students and I took the family to the grocery store to buy almost $300 worth of groceries!  

When we were shopping, the others were at the house building the furniture, and making it a “home.”  After lunch, we had a key ceremony where we passed the key around the circle and each person said a blessing over the family.  It was a sweet, sweet time and it was quite emotional.  God used us as His hands and feet this week, and then we gave this family a huge gift!  

What the  students had to say to this family was just incredible, and there were many tears all around. I know that the students will never forget this day for the rest of their lives! Our students definitely have impacted the world for Christ! 

Tuesday, March 28

by Amber Bartlett, Upper School Nurse

Day #4 | Today we had the opportunity to witness the goodness of God! After morning devotions and breakfast, we headed back to Pavas to continue working on the house for Angelo, Lucinda, Davies, Genesis and Jazlin. The students finished putting the drywall up, completed the roof, nailed the trim into place, and then touched up the paint on the walls and trim. Due to the tight space, the students worked in shifts to complete the work. It was such a blessing to interact with the family, communicate even more in Spanish (we’re all getting better every day) and laugh together as we tried to understand one another (usually through charades)!

This family has so very little, but were joyful and eager to work together with us. This group of students is very special. The area we’re working in is tight, hot and uncomfortable, yet not one person ever complained. They are eager to serve, and when there’s downtime, they’ve enjoyed interacting with one another. We are on the jobsite from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the students have been content without their phones. They’re a fun group that laughs together, gets creative with extra time by playing games together, and ultimately have loved serving together.

We ended the evening with a wonderful meal and devotions outside at a local mall. We always end the night asking the kids, “Where did you see God at work today?” Jalen’s response (9th grader) stood out to me. He shared that even though he couldn’t speak a lot of Spanish, he connected with one of the local workers by making a special hand signal to him that the man started returning back to him. Now it’s a cool way to connect and acknowledge one another without using words. God’s love breaks all boundaries. He is so good to us, and He is where the joy is found. It was a great day!

Monday, March 27Written by Carrie peterson, Upper school faculty

Day 3: We got up early and ate a wonderful breakfast. Before we departed, we read the letters from Mrs. Collins’ 4th grade class prayer partners, which was a nice reminder that we are being prayed for on this trip! We loaded the bus and headed to Pavas to begin the house build.

We walked through the narrow makeshift walkways to the build site, and it was there that we met the family. It’s a family of five, and the mother is expecting her fourth child. After a time of prayer, we divided into two groups; one framing and one painting. The students went right to work and believe it or not, three walls were up and all painting done before lunch! It was very hot and sunny, so the paint dried very fast today!

We went to the church and had some lunch before heading back to the build site for a few more hours. It was such a precious time to see our students interacting with the children and people of Costa Rica!

We ate another delicious meal before heading back to the hotel for a devotion from John 4, where Jesus talked with the Samaritan women at the well. Senior Cole Carden led us in worship again tonight. We also discussed, “Where did you see God at work today?” We are hoping that we can finish building the house tomorrow!