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Final Reflections from Team Costa Rica: A grateful experience, a difficult farewell.

Updated: Apr 19

We have all been profoundly impacted by our experiences in Costa Rica. Our perspectives have dramatically changed as we have seen extreme poverty and intense love. We’d like to thank our prayer partners and sponsors for making this mission trip possible. You have touched our lives with your generosity and support. 

We are forever grateful, 

The Costs Rica Mission Team 

Jesse Remington Student Quotes:

“Using Spanish has become more instinctive. Being immersed in it makes speaking Spanish more natural!" Esther Cross '24

"The children of La Carpio, are “squishy little fun people.” ~ Sophia G. '25

“This trip was more then I excepted and impacted me just as much as we impacted the children and adults in Costa Rica” ~ Mandie '26

"Going to the children centers, “is like visiting puppies, when they aren’t yours.” ~ Caiden F. '26

"The kids are like ticks; they latch on and won't let go" ~ Carter W. '25

“We have followed the voice of Jesus here to Costa Rica.  What are we going to do with all that we have learned? Give our burdens to God as He tells us to in Matthew 11:28-30 and He will give us rest. Remember we are not anyone’s savior. People need Jesus!” ~ Josué Sanchez , Missionary

Lyrics/Poem:  One World God

Before the dawn when the lights still on,

In the middle of the night when the rain patters on,

Where my cheeks are streaked from tears long worn,

When everything feels lost and gone,

In the silence of the night within my fears,

Oh God I’ll search for you. 

From the poverty of La Carpio,

From the loss and grief, of the fatherless in Pavas,

You are our hope, Lord of all.

You are our God in Costa Rica, 

You are our God of the USA, 

You are the same for everyone,

Our One World God!

Oh become their Savior…

take control over the gangs in Pavas,

And  bless those in La Carpio,

Heal the children in Alturas and Renuevos

Provide for all in San Jose.

You are Christ For the City, Our One World God.

You care for the hurt and love the fatherless, protect the weak, 

and revenge the wronged. 

You are our hope in a world gone wrong,

When we live day to day and can’t see the light, 

You make our wrongs right as right, 

You have the big picture in your hands, 

You are in control, You Are Our One World God!

In Costa Rica, a third world country, 

With a One World God. 

Jesus, the hope for the nations, the light for us all. 

~Alyssa B. 25’

From Coach Doug Langlois: 

"On the night we went to the homeless ministry in downtown San Jose I met a man named Daniel.  Daniel was 31 years old and not the typical homeless person.  He was intelligent, lucid and eager to find real help, not just a hand out.  It was his first time coming to this street ministry.  He spoke English fairly well so this made our interaction much easier than I anticipated.

Daniel was trained as a chef but had been working with a local communications company.  He had lost his job about 8 months previously.  Unable to find more work he slid into the streets where things got worse and substance abuse became a problem although he claimed he had been avoiding them for some time now.  He had family in the local area including a father who was well off but unfortunately would have nothing to do with Daniel. The reasons were unclear but there was no help coming from that place.  

As we talked I heard a desperate man wanting to find a job, anything. But as he described things, no one wanted to hire a man with one set of tattered clothes who smelled of the streets. Each day he tried to scrounge up enough money to pay for a cot in a shelter where he could spend the night and not risk getting mugged like he had been recently, suffering broken ribs from the beating he took. 

My heart broke for Daniel. Surely he had played his part in the situation. And he was willing to admit this to a degree.  But not even his own father was willing to help. And this is not at all uncommon in a culture where the men find it easy to leave their families in search of greener pastures or to just get away from what they view as too difficult a situation. I could sense some sadness and anger when Daniel talked of this.  Regardless, jobs are not a given, even when a person can speak two languages.  From the pit Daniel had fallen into, with figurative lions all around, escape was not easy.

I wasn't going to be able to solve his problems this evening. Most likely I would never see him again. But there was help. This street ministry and at least one other I knew of in the city specifically ministered to men like Daniel. Perhaps some hope was the best I could offer. So we talked about these ministries and he seemed very interested.  We met with the leaders of the street ministry and talked about a course forward. They could immediately help him to craft a resume and possibly some find some better clothes. But he would need to return in the weeks to follow and prove he was not abusing substances and demonstrate he was earnest about the path forward.  

We prayed on the curb as I put my arm around a man the same age as my oldest daughter thinking that what he really needed was to know the grace and peace of a sovereign God who readily welcomes all who call on His name. Daniel's circumstances are more extreme than most of us have known or will ever know.  We all have problems and we all have needs that go unmet.  Problems that we cannot solve and needs that we cannot meet by ourselves.  We have all made mistakes, perhaps not as bad as those of Daniel, perhaps worse though by some measure. So in effect we are all like Daniel to some degree. We all have our struggles. We should never look down upon those going through struggles because it is only by God's grace we aren't in a similar place.

So I ask all of you reading this to say a prayer for Daniel.  Pray that he will come to know the grace and peace of God and to join a family whose Father never turns His children away. Pray that Daniel will find the hope that we know and the rest that follows.  Pray that we would always see others as Christ sees us, that we will act as the Good Samaritan and not pass by the downtrodden.  Pray that we would be prepared and seek out the opportunities God puts in our paths to do what He has called us to do while we are on this planet. There is no higher calling than to love God and to love the people He puts in our lives. Remember what God has done for us and be eager to tell others about it.  His is the best family in the universe and there is room for all in it. Amen!"

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