Our Last Day
By Adam Chittenden
Unfortunately, today was our last day of serving the people of Costa Rica. Yesterday we hit the beach for the “fun day”, and the only thing I could think about was being back at La Finca with the kids. So, today came with great joy because we were heading back to the streets of Los Guido. Cory, our bus driver, dropped us off at the top of a hill with the rest of our candy, balloons, stickers and silly string.
We walked through the streets handing out Jolly Ranchers. It’s so cool to see how everyone, from the toddlers up to old grandmas, was so excited to receive a free piece of candy. We found a dirt lot with minimal sewage, perfect for VBS. The neighborhood called it their “park”.
The woman that lived next door to the park allowed us to plug our boom box into her house. She was a grandma, who has probably lived there since the shack was built. About 50 kids showed up in the first fifteen minutes that we were there. She told Mark that this was the happiest she has seen the park in her whole life. The local gang stood by and watched as we spread the gospel to their people. It wasn’t long before they joined in and played with balloon swords and silly string.
As we finished up at the park, the youth leadership team asked the kids if they would follow us on a 2 mile walk back to the church. About 20 kids joined us in the long trek. I thought for sure Josh wasn’t going to make it. At the church we set up a slip and slide and squirt guns for the kids. It’s so funny how they beg to get squirted in the face over and over. We finished up the day with an old tradition, the Gringos vs. Ticos futbol game. The game ended in a first ever non-loss for the Gringos. We tied.
This trip has been such a great blessing for me. I grew up going on a lot of family vacations, but I truly feel that this trip was just as good, if not better than any vacation I’ve been on. A few years ago I was very skeptical about mission trips. I used to tell my wife it was a waste of money, and that I thought with all the money we could do more good in our own city. I quickly realized that I was wrong. This was the most receptive audience I have ever seen. Obviously these people accepted the gifts that we brought, but they also loved seeing “the gringos” and actually wanted to hear the gospel.
Thank you God for paving our path on this amazing journey.