It was my second time to be in a provincial missión in Costa Rica. The first was with Ate Marie in Upala, where we stayed for 8 days and had KFC trainings for 2 barrios there. But it was my first time to go solo and give the KFC training alone all in Spanish.
I was really afraid when i arrived in Puntarenas since i don’t know anybody there (okay, i knew them by face). I just asked God to be with me on the duration of my stay and allowed me to just learn and enjoy evry moment of it. And i did!
The 3 coordinators i trained were young couples, each with one child. They are energetic, creative, and passionate and have very strong personalities. At first, i felt insecure of giving them the training because i really don’t speak the language well and they might not understand it. But God brought me there and i should just allow Him to use me.
We usually start our training nights with a dinner then officially start it at 9:00 p.m. with a worship (i’ll teach a song then use it for the worship). I love how they worship! They really inspire me with their love for God and their desire to bring God to everyone. After the worship, we always have ice breakers (activities that they can use for KFC activities also) and boy, never did i see individuals so competitive to win for nothing! (I don’t even have a prize for them, just for them to enjoy!) Then an interactive session every night where it’s like an answer-and-question segment about the talks. In this part is also where they can share their inputs or sharings for the benefit of the group and the ministry. We usually end our night sessions around 11:00 p.m. with a closing song and prayer.
I had outstanding experiences with this extraordinary group: first was the schedule. They are so motivated to work, they even planned a pyjama party for us just to finish all the sessions (praise God we didn’t because it’ll be tiring on my part, but our schedulke that night was 10:40 p.m. until 12:40 a.m.! i was the one who said “let’s sleep!”) and after this session, they had a 30-minute service meeting for an activity that will be held on end of March! another was during the 2nd workshop where they were asked to design a KFC activity and they included their children in the planning and the presentation (okayit was so good to see the kids involved in the activities of their parents); the mask-making activity where i thought it would be boring for them but everyone participated and came up with the funniest and remarkable masks; during the KFC song teachings where they really participated in dancing and singing even if they look and feel silly; and we always have the honoring session, where in we always affirm one another of our love and how we can help one another in our journey with God.
I arrived in puntarenas alone but when i left, i left assured that i have families there. They have less materially but they have so much love to share. Even if they’re having financial problems they still share food or for anyone who has in need. I honor my hosts, David and Ivannia, that even if they’re just making ends meet, they still chose to host a missionary. Everybody made me feel as part of their family.
I have learned during my stay there, that there are times you ahve to go to places alone and proclaim about God. But as long as i have Him, i am okay. I learned that the motivation of one tia to work for God (which i believe is a good motivation for us too) is that many people right now are really looking for God, but sometimes they just don’t know where to find Him; what we can do is provide avenues for these people to have a real Jesus-experience, like what they had experienced. I learned, during one of those sharing moments that language is not the most important in evangelizing; what’s important is that people can see and experience God through your actions and how you live your life, beyond the words you say. And being a missionary is such an honor because not only you bring Christ to the people you meet but also, you see and experience Christ in different ways, in different people, in different stories, in a manner you have never imagined.
By the way, during my stay there, the priest of Chakarita (another place) already approved to have Jóvenes Para Cristo in his parish and we’ll start working there on April. And when the tios learned about the KFC and YFC clubs, i cannot stop them now in finding schools to start these clubs! (we presented to a private school without any materials and only my Spanish and faith at hand, and after ten minutes of discussing the program, the owner gave a go signal to start the clubs there! Definitely, Puntarenas is a very hot place – for the weather and the people there! Wuhoo!!! More work for God!)