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First Church of Christ

Serving In Costa Rica
July 1, 2012

We're Here!

by Laura | July 1, 2012 8:12 PM

After a long day of travel, we're excited to finally be in Costa Rica! We stopped along the drive to have dinner at a great lookout spot (see photos below). For some of us, it's our first time seeing the Pacific ocean. What a view it was; the sun was just setting as we drove alongside of it. Tomorrow morning, we'll begin the Vacation Bible School with Pastor Marvin and Mision Christiana. Please pray for fruitful ministry and for God to perform BIG things on this trip; in and through all of us.

Whatchya looking at?

by Laura | July 1, 2012 8:14 PM

Any guesses?
Whatchya looking at?

Los Cocodrilos

by Laura | July 1, 2012 8:18 PM

The crocs below!
Los Cocodrilos


by Laura | July 2, 2012 10:33 PM

Our day started off with a surprise presentation from the school! Different groups shared all sorts of dancing styles; ranging from traditional Guanacaste (a province in Northern Costa Rica) to current day cheerleading moves! The director introduced the groups to us and shared how it has been his dream, for seven years, to see this court built. We excited to be a part of it!


by Laura | July 2, 2012 10:37 PM

Here we are, just starting construction on the court. We moved rocks and leveled it today. The rain held off and we were able to lay over half the rebar down. We're hoping to start mixing and pouring the concrete tomorrow.


by Laura | July 2, 2012 10:42 PM

In Paso Canoas, there is a group of elderly people that meet once a week to hang out, stretch, do some exercises, and pray with one another. We were able to share a skit and music with them, as well as paint their nails.

Music Lessons

by Laura | July 2, 2012 10:45 PM

An example of the body of Christ and the different gifts we can all contribute; Anna teaches 3 children in the community how to play the ukulele. They are excited for their second lesson tomorrow!
Music Lessons

First Official Day of VBS

by Laura | July 3, 2012 6:30 PM

Because of the presentation from the school on Monday, our first day of VBS started today! Over 70 children showed up to experience the crafts, Bible stories and games with us. We split them up into three groups, Rojo (ages 6-7), Azul (ages 8-9) and Verde (ages 10 and up). Here we are at our opening, singing some songs with one another.
First Official Day of VBS

Making Flowers

by Laura | July 3, 2012 6:32 PM

The children, boys and girls alike, LOVED making these flowers today. They spent time individually fraying the edges of the tissue paper to make it look extra pretty.
Making Flowers

Cooling Off

by Laura | July 3, 2012 6:33 PM

The games squad helped the kids cool off by playing "Drip, Drip, Splash" with them. It's like duck, duck, goose...only with water!
Cooling Off


by Laura | July 3, 2012 6:40 PM

"Valiente" was the word used by the foreman to describe the hard workers on the court today. While it still means both brave and courageous, when said in Spanish, it also describes the type of worker they are. This word is reserved for the hardest workers. Our group rose to the challenge today, laying down the first strip of cement.

Team Worship

by Laura | July 4, 2012 11:58 AM

We had some time before breakfast to worship with one another. You'll also get a glimpse into the living quarters for the ladies.
Team Worship

The Temple Tax Skit

by Laura | July 4, 2012 12:01 PM

Here the team is performing a skit at the beginning of VBS.
The Temple Tax Skit


by Laura | July 4, 2012 12:03 PM

Here's a glimpse into our life in Costa Rica; there is a Mamon Tree right outside the Pastor's house. Some say it tastes like a pear mixed with a grape. We pick and eat them every day. Thanks Pastor Marvin!

Time for the Mothers

by Laura | July 5, 2012 10:27 AM

These mothers have been bringing their children to VBS every day and helping out. They were well deserving of a break. We watched their children so they could have some girl time and manicures.
Time for the Mothers

Bracelet Making

by Laura | July 5, 2012 10:28 AM

While the mothers spent time with some of us, we made friendship bracelets with their children.
Bracelet Making

Progress on the Court

by Laura | July 5, 2012 10:29 AM

It's sometimes difficult with the afternoon rains, but we are working extremely hard on the court every day.
Progress on the Court

Shoveling Gravel

by Laura | July 5, 2012 10:32 AM

Helping load the mixer with plenty of gravel.
Shoveling Gravel

Happy 4th of July!

by Laura | July 5, 2012 10:33 AM

Here's how we celebrated the fourth! In the evening, Pastor Marvin passed out Oreo's to the team in celebration of our independence day.
Happy 4th of July!


by Laura | July 5, 2012 10:49 AM

Vielka (Pastor's wife and the cook for us this week) asked if some girls could stay behind to help with making tamales. Give an American a tamale, they can eat for a day. Teach an American how to make a tamale, and they can feed all of Highland Hills Baptist Church!

Saying Goodbye

by Laura | July 7, 2012 8:52 PM

After a fantastic and blessed day yesterday (a journal entry won't do it justice; we'll tell you when we're home!), we had out final day of rest and relaxation. We drove to Playa Hermosa to swim in the waves and explore on land. Next stop was Dominical, where we spent the rest of the afternoon shopping, hanging out with one another and surfing. We'll be leaving bright and early Sunday morning for the airport. These past few nights, we've had the chance to worship and pray with the congregation of Mision Christiana. The relationships that we have formed with members of the community go deeper than any language barriers or cultural differences. We are the body of Christ and that was never more apparent than this week. We are excited to share with you all of the pictures and stories once we're back home. Thank you for your support and prayers this week.

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Mark Bastianelli

July 8, 2012 7:30 AM

Looks like you made it there safely - Hope you had a wonderful trip and were able to do some great work. Have a safe trip hope!

Beth Fenton

July 7, 2012 9:02 PM

I would like to THANK Laura for updating the Site daily. I ENJOYED following along what the students/adults did while in Costa Rica. I CAN'T wait for Samantha to get home to share her stories with me. THANKS again. And HHBC have a SAFE trip home.


July 7, 2012 10:09 AM

Praying for safety and peace as your mission trip is coming to a close. Know you will bring home many stories, and maybe even ideas for continuing a relationship with this church that you ministered to. Praying for the whole team today, but especially for Abbi, Tye, Hannah, Caroline, Samantha, Rachel, Wendy, Randy, Anna and Travis. Thank you al so much for answering the call to go to Costa Rica and be Highland Hills to these folks serving in His name. Be safe.

Dave and Sharon Hammer

July 7, 2012 9:31 AM

Hi Abi, We are so happy that you had this experience. We look forward to hearing all about it. We will be praying for safety for all of your group as you travel home tomorrow. Remember that we love you dearly and that we are very proud of you. God bless, Papa and G'ma

Gingersnap and Oreo

July 6, 2012 9:45 PM

We sure do miss our people!


July 6, 2012 9:28 AM

Hey Hannah, Caroline and Tye, I am so proud of you for giving of your time and immense talents to serve the folks in Costa Rica just like you do at home. I expect you are already receiving blessings from your work there....I know the lives you touch will be better for your visit and they will surely remember you. May there be deep and abiding joy in all your hearts. Love you, Moof

Ken and Norma Carter

July 6, 2012 8:46 AM

Hi Anna, We have been following your work this week. We are so proud of you; you are providing great service. I also know who I can call on to move gravel for me the next time I have a project! Just teasing. Continue having a good week and have a safe trip home. -- Nana and Papaw

Joe Beitz

July 5, 2012 8:37 AM

Tye, The activities your group is doing is very inspiring. I really enjoy being able to see your daily progress and the impact your efforts have on the local community. I'm sure this experience is one that will be remembered for a lifetime! Keep up the great work and return home safely. God Bless!

Sharon Lembright

July 5, 2012 8:30 AM

Go Team Go!!!! Praying for you each and every day. I know that you have formed some life-changing bonds with people of God and have brought light, hope and bright smiles to those around you, Lov you all so much--can't wait to hear about all you are doing for Him. Much love,

Dave and Sharon Hammer

July 4, 2012 9:51 PM

Hi Abi, We were so happy to see the pictures. As usual, your smile brightens our day. What a wonderful gift your group is giving - a true labor of love- and what a wonderful gift you will receive in return for having been there ! May God bless and keep you all. We love you, Grandma and Papa

Pat and Mary Moore

July 4, 2012 4:48 PM

Hi Abi! We are thinking of you and praying for you this week! So blessed to see firsthand how you are all being the hands and feet of Jesus. Can't wait to hear all about this wonderful experience! We love you so much and are so very proud of you! Love, Mom, Dad, Caleb, Noah, and Jonah


July 4, 2012 2:45 PM

You guys are doing an awesome job. I so enjoy reading your journal and what you are doing daily. Praying for the team but especially on this Fourth of July praying for Maddie, Tina, Megan, Julie, Emma and Ella as you are doing whatever you are asked to do to teach and tell these friends about the love of Jesus. Be safe.

Dave and Sandy Walkenhorst

July 4, 2012 1:35 PM

Hi Matt, Thinking about you and praying for you throughout the week. We hope you're working hard and will have a lot of wonderful experiences this week. Love, Mom and Dad

Jane Ari Jake Caleb Jackson and Miley

July 4, 2012 12:53 PM

Happy 4th everyone You guys are truely His hands and feet. Miss and love you and Julie the Reds arren't doing so well without you.

Diane Beach

July 3, 2012 9:17 PM

Hi Matt....we hope you are having an amazing time on the mission trip. You are such a hard worker, I'm sure you've been very instrumental in building that court. We can't wait to hear about your trip when you get home. We are so proud of you!! Love, Aunt Diane & Uncle Jeff (and girls)

Beth Fenton

July 3, 2012 3:53 PM

Wendy you are a TRUE GIFT from GOD. I knew those children could depend on you when it came to the part of the Basketball court after the way I seen how you worked at Rise & Shine for our church. I hope you are enjoying yourself. Can't wait to hear your stories about your trip. Luv Ya!!

Barbara Walkenhorst

July 3, 2012 9:21 AM

Matt: I am so happy you are a part of this wonderful experience. You are in my prayers as you build and serve. Enjoy and make the most of this week. Love, Maw Maw


July 3, 2012 9:03 AM

Whether you all are touching a hand or a shovel handle, you are touching hearts and lives....bless you as you share God's love in so many ways just by being who you are. You are a GOOD group!

Linda Z

July 3, 2012 8:18 AM

Awesome pictures of what you're doing with bulding the basketball court. Awesome how they've prayed for this court for several years and now their prayers have been answered. Beautiful costumes of the dancers. Praying for all of you today but especially for Kayla, Haley and Amy Yeager and Steph and Ben and Matt. Thanks for being open for what God is wanting you to do today. Be safe.

Julie & Bryan Carter

July 2, 2012 9:18 PM

Glad to see so many smiles in your picture.

Russ and Amanda Noss

July 2, 2012 9:07 PM

May God bless and protect you on this mission. We are so proud of you and your willingness to go and fulfill the Great Commission. We are all praying for you. John 14:6. Ben, don't pet the crocodiles!


July 2, 2012 5:07 PM

I am so glad to be able to see and hear aboiut your activities....because I am sooooooooooo with you in spirit. Not only am I praying for you, but so is Faith United Church of Christ in Bradenton, Fl. Count on it!! Huge hugs full of love especially to Tye, Hannah, Caroline and Travis.

Pat and Mary Moore

July 2, 2012 3:14 PM

So happy you have all arrived safely. You are all in our thoghts and prayers this week as you share your love of Christ with the people of Costa Rica. What a blessing you are! Much love to all of you!

Beth Fenton

July 2, 2012 1:39 PM

Randy & Wendy. Hope you guys are having a GREAT time. THANKS for taking care of Samantha this week. Take LOTS of pictures! Luv yas!

Beth Fenton

July 2, 2012 1:37 PM

Samantha I hope you are having an AMAZING time. I can't wait to hear all about your flight & trip. I love you!!!

Linda Zimmerman

July 2, 2012 1:31 PM

Amy, have some awesome news if you haven't already heard it. Yesterday little Courtney Born accepted Jesus. So when you return from your mission trip, she wants to talk with you. I prayed with her and Bob and Brent announced it to church, but she wants/needs to talk with you. Hope you all are doing okay; praying for all of you.

Sharon Lembright

July 2, 2012 11:05 AM

Dear Tye, Hannah and Caroline, So glad that you are on the island safely. I will be praying for you and the others in your group throughout this week. I know that God will bless you abundantly as you bring The Light to others. May your harvest be bountiful.

Jeff Cutshaw

July 2, 2012 10:39 AM

Tye, so glad that you and the group made it to your destination safely. I will be checking back in on you all and seeing your progress. Be safe and God Bless you all!

Jeff Cutshaw

July 2, 2012 10:37 AM

Tye, so glad that you and the group made it to your destination safely. I will be checking back in on you all and seeing your progress. Be safe and God Bless you all!

Jill and Sarah Lembright

July 2, 2012 9:01 AM

We are so thankful that you all made it there safely. Praying for a life changing experience for all of you and the people you serve. BE SAFE!

lembrights grammie Sue

July 2, 2012 8:02 AM


Linda Zimmerman member of HHBC

July 1, 2012 10:19 PM

Glad you all got there safely. Am excited to hear what God will be doing as you start with VBS. You surely will be blessed in doing His work.

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