Dancing and the Gospel in the Slums – Wednesday December 31

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Today was more extraordinary than most. We set out to la finca to pick up the youth leaders and then endured a very bumpy bus ride to a poverty stricken community in los Guido. We rolled up with candy, toys, and balloons and began to walk the streets. Split into groups, we walked up large hills and through tiny, dirty alleyways to knock on doors inviting the children to come and experience Gods love – in other words Vacation Bible School or in Spanish, “Esquelitas”. Slowly but surely the children of Los Guidos heard the music and followed the sound to a corner where we were set up. First we made balloon animals, swords and flowers, which they loved, and handed out candy and stickers.

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Their faces lit up in such a way that could outshine the sun. It was truly beautiful to see the children’s smiles despite their surroundings. It was as if in those seconds the danger, poverty, and heat from the sun didn’t mean a thing. We turned up the music and began to dance. Imitating the moves the leaders came up with was so fun. We probably looked like complete fools “swimming” and doing the chicken dance in the middle of the street but it didn’t matter. We played some games and then sat the kids down to make “Gospel bracelets”.

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We stayed up putting exactly 5 beads and a string in a bag the night before. Each of the beads had a significant meaning. Black- signifying our sin. Red-Signifying Jesus’s blood. White- signifying that His blood has washed us white as snow. Green – signifying how we should continue to grow, and finally Yellow- signifying the gates of heaven. After this was taught, Memo and Michel read verses relating to salvation followed by a repeat-after-me prayer of salvation. Such an important message was put in a plastic bag and taught by teenagers. We serve such a great God who is doing incredible things in Costa Rica and 10 Americans had the privilege of experiencing just a taste of that today. Glory to God.

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After dinner we walked through Wal-Mart collecting 80 of 12 different items to distribute to families of los Guido. Imagine the line on New Years Eve and us in it. Imagine the employee ringing up our items. There were some technical difficulties but it resulted in 680,000 colones paid, sore arms, and a packed bus. Tomorrow should be an adventure but until then, the night is young and the New Year is coming. Felize Año Nuevo a todos!

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– Carmina Garcia

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