Weather Alert:

Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

Programming Note:

Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

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Costa Rica - Day 4


Costa Rica: June 1-8, 2024

What a day!! After losing power overnight, we were truly “unplugged” until this morning. We were excited to get the power back on but some of us (me!) slept so hard the bright lights and fans didn’t even awaken me when they instantly all turned on in the middle of the night (thanks to Kiley for getting everything turned back off). 

By 6:30 am we heard the sounds of saws cutting wood and commented about how the early risers nearby must want to get to work before the heat kicks in.   We soon learned that our incredible hosts at CRMP had “secretly” made plans to extend a portion of their sidewalk by 6 inches in a 12-15 foot section of sidewalk that is leading to the dining hall and is just a little too narrow for one of our participant’s wheelchair. They had already framed and poured part of the concrete! That was the sound we heard so bright and early! When Will spoke of what a church is and does: that we must be as open to receiving from our Costa Rican partners as we are to serving, THIS is what he meant. How beautiful. My heart was so touched, the surprise brought tears to my eyes. 

The breakfast of cheese pupusa (two fried tortillas with cheese, egg or meat inside), beans & rice, and fresh mango was delicious and the excitement was rising to get to work in Santa Marta. 

By 8 am we were loading the buses with hands full of hats, sunscreen, bug spray and water. Now we were all feeling a little more confident in our roles, the jobs we learned to do yesterday, and all the progress we hoped to make today. McKinley lead us in a devotional and prayer then Kristen lead a game of “It’s in the Bag.” Bethany’s playlist got us hyped up as we drove by the sugar cane and pineapple fields. 

The jobs were plentiful today. Some painted metal scaffolding, some finished working on stacking the concrete walls for the Sunday school classrooms, others filled in were needed on electrical and many moved around and helped in various roles.  No matter what “job” you had, everyone was focused on our role of supporting one another…. In building friendships and in “being church.”

John, Pastor Ann, and others helped Padre complete the roof on the parsonage! John was a trooper on the scorching hot metal roof for almost 3 hours. You could feel the heat radiate to your waste when you stood on the roof, as the sun kept its rays especially strong today. We tossed water to each other and took meaningful breaks and even our youngest participant got to climb up and help. Then, he pointed out how even his new rubber gloves were melted a little from touching parts of the roofing. 

We stopped for a refreshing lunch of chicken and rice, salad, sandwiches, watermelon and chips. It was a joy to have one of the students from the school next door come join us for lunch because her family attends Santa Marta and she was excited to see the progress. She told us through an app that translates about how iguana tastes a lot like chicken! (I’m not sure I’d agree). 

Under the new roof of the Pastor’s house, shade began to cover us and those working on chiseling the concrete received some relief from the sun. Jeremy, Rachel, Amanda, Anderson, and others from our South Carolina group (Kate, Pastor Ann, and Julie), all took turns with the beastly chisel to get their full body workouts in and enjoyed getting to know more about each others stories. The sweat was dripping!

We made huge progress on the Sunday school classroom walls. The team (Coleman, Mason, Drew, Wayne, Adam, Alec, Caroline, and Harris), had grown into a well-oiled machine and BIG progress was made! Half of the walls are now up and others helped wheelbarrow concrete and stabilize more posts for the classrooms in the back of the building. Watching the crew move the pulley system they are using to manually hoist the large concrete slabs was symbolic too. The apparatus looks a lot like the cross of Jesus and to watch the team pull the rope and lift the slabs is as if you’re watching Jesus hands reaching out… and holding onto the rope too. 

The painting crew (Ava, Bethany, Fiona, Rafaela, Margaret, Beverly, McKinley & Lyla, & Anderson) made huge progress on painting the metal beams to frame the classrooms. The humidity measured 87% today. No wonder the metal framing has to be cleaned with paint solvent & multiple layers of paint applied to ward off early rust!

The kids had a good time taking a break to walk 10 minutes down the road to the local store for fresh fruit and ice cream breaks. They have decided that the bananas, mangos, and orange sherbet are all better in Costa Rica!

Annabelle spent time at the daycare today reading Bible verses to the kids. She also spent time with Yolanda (Will’s wife and loving prayer warrior) purchasing food for their pantry and personal hygiene essentials using funds Annabelle raised. We missed her in Santa Marta but are so proud of her individual efforts to support CRMP & we’re so excited to hear about all her and Yolanda were able to provide. 

After a very fun and productive day, we loaded our sweat soaked selves onto the buses and headed back to CRMP. The rain came in later today than yesterday so we were able to unload the bus and start showers pretty quickly.  Not quick enough though! So sorry to the ladies who got caught in the showers when we lost power again! The shower heads have electric insta-hot flash heaters… wow, that’s a COLD surprise! Evidently, loss of electrical power happens frequently at CRMP so many of us hustled through cold showers.  

This time of year it is dark at 6 pm and dawn comes extra early…. Around 5:30 am in Costa Rica. So, the loss of electricity gave us an opportunity to enjoy a delicious candlelight steak dinner with green papaya, chickpea lettuce wrap, rice, and strawberry banana jello! It was pure darkness (requiring flashlights to get around the mission center), but a candlelight dinner surrounded by native coffee plants, palm trees, banana trees, and the sounds of joyful conversation was unforgettable! We even met a special Costa Rican friend, Henry, whom is recovering from an accident but made a special trip up to see Drew and his family. 

After dinner we had a special treat. Our driver, Daniel, took us to the local ice cream shop, Pop’s,  and we enjoyed banana splits, with various flavors of ice cream, including alien flavor, cocunut, pineapple, dulce de leche, and more. Then, what goes better with ice cream than puppies? How about 1.5 week old Shar-pei puppies? Daniel’s son Eduardo, shared his recent family additions with us and you can imagine the squeals! We lost count of how many times “they are soooo cute,” was repeated. Just see for yourself!

To close our day together, a few played cards together (the power was back!) and Kristen read a chapter from Bob Goff’s book Distracted. All a pleasant reminder to stay present in the moments, make them count, and to be intentional about our focus. 

This team is so welcoming and willing to step in, teach, love on each others families, and is truly filling each others buckets in ways that some (like me) probably didn’t know they needed filling. By spending time together, working side-by-side, we have felt the spirit of Christ and are growing together in Him.