Hello again to all of my family, friends, and supporters that I miss so much,
October has been such a busy month here in Costa Rica! Luckily, we have finally gotten a little bit of rest here in the last week. However, the rest of the month felt like we were constantly on the go. There have been multiple high points and accomplishments in such a short amount of time. But, as the weather is changing and becoming cooler for you all, the weather has not been as gracious to us here in Costa Rica, or in Nicaragua when we were there. There has been an overwhelming amount of chaos, destruction, and devastation in the towns of Jaco and Herradura this month. However, we know that through it all, God is there and His work is made perfect in our weaknesses and times of need.
At the beginning of the month, I was visited by my parents! It was a much needed visit where my parents got to see what my life was like with my mama tica (host mom) in San Jose. My mama tica, Mayela, was so welcoming and warm to them. I’m so grateful for her and how much closer we were able to become during their visit. We also visited a ministry called Tactica, that really interested my dad and was based in San Jose, Costa Rica. We learned a lot more about their work there and how my dad could serve in their police tactics and gospel training in the future. My mom was also able to bring the Save the Dates for my upcoming wedding, so I got some wedding planning done that week, in addition to, exit exams and interviews at my language school. To end my time and their time in San Jose, the school held a graduation ceremony just for me. I had so much love and support at the ceremony and was even able to give a small speech in Spanish. I finished my course at The Spanish Language Institute withn102hours completed and feeling at least sufficient in my Spanish speaking and listening abilities. I left the school feeling so much more equipped to do the work God has called me to do and with amazing friends that are already planning to come visit me in Jaco in the coming months.
Immediately after graduation, my parents, the Ailor’s, my friend, and I all embarked on a trip to Nicaragua. My friend, Alyssa, and I both had to do our first visa run this month and we chose a quick weekend trip to Nicaragua to complete it. For those unaware, without residency or a work/student visa, it’s required to leave the country every 90 days because we’re technically tourists. The road trip and border crossing was actually the easiest part of the trip. We stayed in a town called San Juan Del Sur and met up with other missionary friends serving in Nicaragua. However, that particular weekend was when Hurricane Julia hit Nicaragua and Costa Rica. We were rained out the whole and only full day that we were there, but we were kept safe by the grace of God. Thankfully, we were able to venture out for a couple hours the next morning after the storm passed and before our departure. We all made it back to Jaco, Costa Rica safely after a prolonged drive due to landslide traffic. So, after a very good, adventurous visit, I had to say goodbye to my parents.
Fortunately, there wasn’t much time to be sad about my parents leaving because we had to prepare for our next mission team arriving just 3 days later. This team of 6 women from Beale Memorial Baptist Church was truly amazing in the love they spread, in how flexible they were, and in how willing to serve they were. Before I even met them, they showed a special kind of flexibility and resistance as they navigated their trip being delayed 3 days due to the hurricane. Once they got here, these ladies served in as many ways as they could. They made and served dinner for the homeless and served at the Horizon church volunteer breakfast. They also held a VBS at the local Pequeños Angelitos school despite hurdles of rescheduling because of schools closing for a week. A large portion of their time was devoted to an impoverished community called Cristo Rey. There they delivered prayer shawls and diarios to in-need families and some families even welcomed them in and taught them how to make homemade tortillas. In the church in this community, they delivered a parenting lesson to the mothers who attended. Additionally, they held a lesson with each one of the 3 NOW CR youth groups where they taught them all how to sow their own vest, sash, or book cover to track their achievements. All of these activities and service events had been planned in advance, however, due to an unexpected flood, the ladies also served so willingly in an effort to bring relief to the struggling citizens of Jaco. Overall, the mission trip was so spirit-filled and provided so many opportunities to connect with and disciple the people in this place.
Monday, October 17, devastation struck most of Jaco and multiple parts of Herradura in what many people are calling the worst flood they have ever seen in the area. Jaco does normally flood 2-4 times per year. However, this flood has shaken the whole community as it was so much stronger than they are used to. To this day, families are still struggling to get back up on their feet. The day after the flood, with the mission team, we went out and bought water and snacks to make 300 bags to hand out in the streets. It was very humbling and sad to see the amount of food, mattresses, refrigerators, cars, and much more that people lost. We heard multiple scary stories of people who thought they or their children weren’t going to survive. Luckily, we are plugged into an amazing church here that has been offering relief daily. They have been providing weekly food rations, mattresses, and clothes for those who come in need to the church. I also got the opportunity to serve in the efforts of cleaning out houses. Many of us rallied at the church and then split into teams to go help clean out the mud and destroyed furniture from houses left covered in mud, sometimes up to the waist. Although it was sad to see so many families struggling and desperate, it was also amazing to see the community come together in an effort to help, and help in the name of God. We know that the Lord's strength is shown in the hardest of times and weaknesses. So please pray for His love to continue to shine in this town and for all the families who lost so much. Pray specifically that they would find Jesus during this time instead of turning to the other many evils that may look appealing in this community.
To finish off a busy month, I have started seriously planning my upcoming girls group session and volleyball ministry up until the end of this year! I’m so excited to start both of those next month. I have also started Tuesday and Thursday mentoring programs with 3 of the girls from my group that need extra special attention. At times, I’ve felt unqualified to be mentoring these girls who’ve experienced such trauma and have so many questions that I don’t always have the experience to answer. However, I have been blessed with a Discipleship Bible study that has given me peace in that Jesus is enough. I will never be qualified enough, but He is. All I need to do is listen to Him, listen to them, and try to do life with them. So, I’m excited to continue to learn and draw closer to God alongside the people I’m growing in relationship with here.
Please pray for the families of Jaco and Herradura who are recovering from the devastating flood.
Please pray for the girls group, volleyball ministry, and mentoring groups that will finish out this year.
Please keep the land we are in the process of purchasing in Herradura in your prayers. Pray that God’s will is done in this process.
Please pray for Jordanna and Jenna in their future possibilities of starting Revelation Wellness classes here since they are now both certified instructors!
As always, thank you so much for your support, prayers, and encouragement. You all play a huge part in keeping me going and motivated here. I pray peace and blessings over you as we enter into the holiday season. May the Lord bless you and keep you.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9