We gave this outreach to God from the very beginning, but couldn’t have ever anticipated what that could mean. It’s crazy to think that it has only been six days! The time has passed in that herky jerky way that it does when we zoom through the country side for six hours, then wait anywhere from two hours to two days until the next burst of transportation.
Day 1: Just six hours after Christmas day ends, we are up, packed, fed, and walking out to the dock for the flurry of hugs and well wishes. The thirteen of us pile into the Coastal Express boat with our backpacks in a mountain in the middle, and we’re suddenly shooting through the water away from base and toward town! The transition between lecture and outreach has officially begun. We walk through San Pedro to the airport, and get to take Tropic Air instead of a water taxi to the mainland. Then we hop into the airport van to the bus station, grab the second bus to Punta Gorda, and set up camp in the gorgeous penthouse suite of a cozy little inn for the night. Day one, complete.
Day 2: We walk out the door and down the street to where we buy boat tickets, and go through our first border control experience. We were officially leaving Belize! We squeeze into the boat for Guatemala, but after one of the engines stops working, leaving us at a less than zippy speed, we transfer boats mid-voyage! The delay means that it is now too late for our driver to get us across the border of Guatemala into Honduras and back before it closed at 6pm. Paul, our contact, offers to let us crash for the night. We hand off our bags into Paul’s van and appease the immigration office before getting in the bus to his ministry. We settle in for an evening of conversation, basketball, and good food, and got to build some amazing new relationships with the people there.
Day 3: The thirteen of us, Paul’s wife, the driver, and Brandon, the doorman, strategically fold ourselves into the “bus”, a glorified fifteen passenger van with our bags strapped to the top. We ride across the border into San Pedro Sula, Honduras. We stiffly unload into a hostel for what ended up being an extended stay. Our amazing leaders, Travis and Josh, stayed calm, attentive, witty, and wise through the next few days of combatting complications with getting bus tickets for the rest of the way to Costa Rica.
Day 4: We eat, worship, and watch a Holy Spirit movie in the hostel.
Day 5: We walk to the mall and break up into small groups for ministry; each group walks, prays, and acts according to what we feel the Holy Spirit is leading us to do.
Day 6: Before sunrise the hostel keeper drives us to the bus station in three groups. We slump into the lovely seats of the charter bus which took us across the border and into the city of Managua, Nicaragua. We walk all the way down the hallway to the convenient bus station hostel where we slept that night, none of us conscious for the turn of the New Year!
Day 7: We find our seats in another charter bus that takes us into Costa Rica! Where we get to meet Darrel! Darrel leads us through San Jose onto another bus. We just love buses. The bus brings us to Grecia, a suburb of San Jose. We walk to the beautiful Strong Ministries base and get to unpack into our cabin-style rooms, one for the girls, and one for the guys.
Team Costa Rica still stands strong. We learned about faith in our times of intercession and mall ministry, trust in each other and our leaders during the potentially stressful moments, and the eternal power of having a good attitude and loving the best we can. Our cultural blinders are being lifted; we’re getting to experience first-hand how God moves. It’s not always as glamorous as we expect, but the effect is worth the discomfort when we are in His will. The funny thing is as long as we are seeking Him, we can’t escape it, any of us.
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