Senior Mission Trip BLOG – Class of 2018
November 3, 2017
The Class of 2018 arrived at SCA about 2:20 am Friday morning after a long, uneventful day of traveling. Many thanks to all the parents for being at school when we arrived.
It was an honor and a privilege to serve side-by-side with the seniors at the Abraham Project. What a blessing it was to see them being the hands and feet of Jesus as they interacted with the children, worshiped the Lord, prayed with the youth, worked at various jobs, and bonded as a class!
We truly enjoyed the time we spent with them in Costa Rica.
-Mrs. Lehman, Mrs. Goetz, Mr. Harris, and Mr. McDannell
November 2, 2017
Hola!! This is our last day in Costa Rica :(. We made the best out of today. This morning we went to the “ Biggest Slum of Central America”, La Carpio. The scenery driving from San Jose to La Carpio changed very quickly. The closer we got to La Carpio, the more poverty started to show. We could see houses stacked upon each other by a river, and the closer the houses got to the river, the poorer they got. We arrived at the church where we were to help. There, the pastor and his wife explained the history of the church and of their involvement with the church. Today we did a “soup kitchen” at the church for the children up to the sixth grade who are very poor, as well as children who are left alone at home while their parents go to work. The church provides this care for the children five days a week. We were blessed to be able to help and give these kids love and care. After we served them, we moved upstairs to play games and dance with the kids. There was this fun song where we danced around, held onto each other’s shoulders and had others crawl through our legs and then hold onto the person’s shoulders in the back of the line. We played several games as well. At the end of our time in La Carpio, we said goodbye to the kids and had lunch ourselves.
We headed downtown after that to the souvenir shops. There were so many different and cultural objects there. It ranged from bracelets to coffee makers to shirts to hammocks. The market was small and compact but had quite a number shops within it. A lot of the shops had homemade things like jewelry, bags, and clothing in addition to other things. Surprisingly, most of the shop keepers spoke English. We learned to bargain with the shopkeepers in order to get a better deal. By the end of the hour in downtown, everyone had bought a couple things, whether for themselves, their families/friends, or both. We headed back to Franco’s after that. Since this is our last night here, it is more of a laid back, take your time and pack type of night. Anyways, that’s about it! See ya soon!!
Today was a very eye-opening day for me in a few ways. We went to La Carpio, and I just really realized how much I take for granted. When we first got to the slum, I was standing outside and just looking around. I saw little kids that were younger than 5 years old just walking alone down the road with their younger siblings. This would be bad enough to do in Chambersburg, and they were walking alone down the road where 7 gangs were based! I just really take for granted that I have always had parents to take me where I want to go and that they care enough for me to never let me do something that dangerous. These kids just wanted some loving. As soon as a lot of them arrived, they were wrestling with me and just wanted me to put them on my shoulders. After they all arrived we ate lunch and this was so sad to watch because they completely cleaned their plates and ate so fast. These little kids wanted this meal so badly because they did not know where their next meal was going to come from. I just thought about how we are so picky with our food in America, and a lot of times we don’t even eat everything on our plate. I also thought about how there are so many rich people in America spending their money on absolutely ridiculous things when they could be giving money to kids in other countries that don’t even know where their next meal is coming from. It just made me want to adopt kids someday all the more. We played games with them in the gym after their lunch and just tried to get all their energy out of them which was a lot of fun. In the afternoon we went to a market and went souvenir shopping. There were pretty much no set prices, so we had to barter to get the price we wanted. I got $6 knocked off the price of a mug, just because I gave the lady a hug… which I thought was very funny. After that we went to Franco’s and ate a delicious meal and are just enjoying our last evening in Costa Rica! Thanks for reading!
November 1, 2017
Today we went to the Irazú volcano. It took us forever to drive up all the roads that wound up to the parking lot. The scenery was beautiful though. There were tons of farms and little farmhouses. We got to see a lot of workers in the fields as well. As we were driving up the mountain it was really really foggy. We could hardly see out the windows. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to see a thing once we got to the top. Thankfully, the fog cleared and we were able to have a mostly sunny morning. The volcano was so pretty. We were lucky enough to see the lake inside the volcano. Most of the time, there is no water in the crater because the earthquake tremors cause the water to fall through the cracks of the volcano. The water we saw was a really pretty aqua blue. Pictures don’t do justice to how pretty it was. It is just amazing to see how creative our God is and how he designs things to be so beautiful. I really enjoyed going up to the volcano. It was really peaceful, and it was just a really nice time to relax and think. -Brooke
Children’s Homes: Another thing we did today was going to the Abraham Project and babysitting the children in the children’s homes. We did this so that the house parents could go out with their kids and have family time together. We played soccer, basketball and other games with them. Then we ate with them and had some time to connect with them. These children we spent time with are the ones who are waiting to be adopted by a loving family. They need prayer for the right family to find them and adopt them. They’ve been through a lot in their lives and many of them have issues with behavior and such because of neglect and abuse. Everyone’s prayers for them are appreciated. -Brett and Mychal
October 31, 2017
HEY EVERYBODY, how’s it going in the USA? It’s going pretty well down here in Costa Rica! I can’t believe we only have 2 more full days here! I’m gonna talk about our last day in daycare (🙁👎🏻) This morning when we got to the Abraham Project, Bruce shared a little devotional with our group and then we split into the daycare crew and the work crew. My group was with 3 groups… the 4-6 year olds, 8-9 year olds, and the 3-4 year olds. For the first group, we shared the story of the paralyzed man getting lowered in from the roof. They responded well and loved the craft we did with them. We also played duck, duck, goose with them… they really enjoyed that too! The next group was the older kids, so we ended up playing spoons with them. It was so fun to see how competitive they were, but also see how they wanted to interact and have fun with us. Then for the last group we had, the 3-4 year olds, we did the Bible story and the craft again for them. They really just enjoyed having our attention, hugging us, and giving us really intense high fives! We also sang “I’ve Got the Joy In My Heart” with the kids, but we sang it in Spanish. Steph also accompanied us with her ukulele!! Then we said goodbye to those kids and headed off to lunch… I’m pretty sad it was our last day interacting with the kids in the daycare, but thankful that God blessed us with the opportunity to minister to the kids☺️
So today was our last day working at the Abraham Project, and I have to say I’m sad that we cannot work there for a couple more days. Today while the daycare went and did their thing with the kids, some of us went over to work at Phase 2. We worked on cutting more brush and whatnot down in the field in order to clear room for the building of the planned bridge. We also dug out stumps and trees as you will see pictures of in our presentation. I’ll tell you what though, that was some hard, tiring work that took almost all of the energy we had left. So today was satisfying as we got a lot done and cleared out a lot of debris and stuff to clear the way for the coming construction. So I am thankful for the ability that we could work to serve the Abraham Project as they continue their journey forward in growing.
October 29, 2017
Hola, amigos y Familia! Yesterday, our class went on a boat trip to Tortuga Island to spend a day on the beach. We left Franco’s at 5:15 in the morning, took a bus into the city, boarded a charter bus, and rode to the dock. At the dock we had breakfast, and then we boarded the boat. This boat had nets you could sit on and look at the water underneath. It was really neat to be in the nets we had seen in pictures for 13 years. Once we reached the beach, some of us went snorkeling and others just swam before we ate a four-course meal. Afterwards, we took rides on the banana boat. It was a lot of fun. With the wind and ocean spray in your hair, it was like a water roller coaster. We ended our time at the beach swimming and playing sand volleyball. Then the boat took us back to the dock and we watched a spectacular sunset. It was a great day for us to bond as a class and have a little break from the hard work of Phase 2 and the Daycare.
Today we went to the church that Bruce and Angie attend. We got to sleep in a little bit and left for church at 9. For most of us, the service was hard to understand since it was all in Spanish, but it was wonderful to be able to worship with everyone, even if we were limited by language. After the service, we hung out with the youth group from the church. We ate lunch and were pushed into conversation with the people around us, challenging us to break the language barrier. After lunch, we played games (relay races, nine square, etc.) and spent more time with everyone. When all the games were done, we broke off into pairs of one Costa Rican and one American and prayed for each other in our native languages. It was such a great experience, being able to make friends with the other youth despite the language barrier.
October 28, 2017
Just a note – The seniors will be traveling/sightseeing all day Saturday so we will likely post the blog for Saturday on Sunday.
October 27, 2017
Today in daycare the groups went through rotations. I was in group A, and we went to 2-3 year olds, first graders, and 3-4 year olds. We told the story of the lost sheep. We acted it out for the kids and told them that God loves each one of them as much as he loved that lost sheep. We made sheep heads out of paper plates and cotton balls, and afterward, the kids pretended to be sheep and constantly said, “Baaaaa.” I love to see how our team is building relationships with the kids. They respond so positively to the love and attention that we give them, and I know many people are already sad that we only have one more day with them. I’m so glad we have this chance to love these kids, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget them. – Sarah
This morning we started work in Phase 2. Several of us had machetes to chop down grass. Travis had a weed whacker to get rid of the low, thin grass. We cleared the grass on one side of a river, then went to the other side of the river to clear more grass and dig out old tree roots. After lunch, some people continued to clear grass, and some people finished up the painting on the wall by the children’s homes.
October 26, 2017
Today we started to apply a second coat of paint on the wall at the back of the property. Some others were cleaning chairs in the sanctuary of the church, some were putting up trim and reframing doors in closets inside the children’s homes, and then others were weeding flower beds. homes, and then others were weeding flower beds. Right after lunch, Bruce and Angie had a surprise for us. They had papitas for us to drink out of. A papita is a young coconut and Bruce cut them open and we drank the water out of them with straws. Unfortunately in the afternoon it started to rain. Those who were painting had to stop and we helped those who were pulling weeds in the rain and mud. We were all soaked through our ponchos and rain jackets. After the flower beds were done being weeded, we waited inside for a little longer than an hour until our bus came. This was all that the construction crew accomplished today. -Martin
Today in the daycare we went through rotations again. My group went to a group of 4-6 year olds first, where our story for the day was of Zacchaeus. For some of the classes we acted out the story, which the kids really enjoyed. We did a craft with them where they traced their hand and colored it like a tree and drew leaves and grass and birds and glued a printed Zacchaeus in the tree. After the first rotation, my group went to a classroom of first graders. We did the craft with them too, and it was interesting to see how the first graders cared to be more artistic and neat. Our last rotation of the morning was 3-4 year olds. When we did the activity/craft with them, they definitely needed our help more to trace and write their names on their papers and draw other things. Right before we were about to leave, we said our goodbyes and started giving high-fives to the kids. Soon, instead of high-fiving one or two kids, we were being bombarded with a crowd of giggling children.
When the morning rotations were over, we went into the “sanctuary” and we listened to both Angie and Bruce’s testimonies, and their testimony as a couple. It was intriguing to hear how they felt called to serve in San Jose.
In the afternoon, our first rotation was with 4-6 year olds, doing the same story and craft with them. Then, we sang a song with them. Our second rotation of the afternoon was with first-graders. We sang with them also, and Stephanie Kniss played her ukulele while we sang with them. The kids really enjoyed that. When we were done singing, the teacher told us that they had prepared a dance for their end of the year “program”, and they wanted to share their dance with us. They were very happy that they could show us their dance and very glad we came to be with them. Our last rotation of the afternoon was with fifth and sixth graders. When we were with them we taught them how to play spoons. Some of the boys and girls got really competitive once they figured out how to play.
For me personally, the language barrier between us and the kids has definitely been a setback, but the more I have spent time and been with the kids, the easier it seems to become. It has been really neat to see connections being made with certain kids to members of our Shalom crew. -Kylie
October 25, 2017
This morning when we got to the Abraham Project, we split into two groups: the people helping with daycare and the construction people. The daycare people split up again into two groups and we went to different classrooms to work with the kids. For my group, the first classroom we went to was with 4-6 year olds. We taught them the story of Jesus walking on water, then did a craft with them. It was really fun to be able to bond with them. They were so funny and had no shame in telling us that our Spanish wasn’t very good – they really had no filter! Then, we went to a 6-7 year old classroom and did the same thing. These kids were a little more understanding and could explain things differently in Spanish so that we could understand and communicate with them better. The last morning group we had was 2-3 year olds and they were just so cute! They didn’t follow directions well but it was mostly because they couldn’t understand us. They pretty much just liked to be silly and play with us. After lunch, six of us stayed in the daycare and the rest of the people went to work outside. We first went to a group of first graders and we taught the same lesson and did the same craft. Then, we went to a classroom of third and fourth graders and taught them how to play spoons. They loved it! They were definitely more mature and they also knew a little bit of English, so we could all talk to them easier. They really had fun learning how to play spoons and they got really competitive! It was just really fun to be able to bond with them all and make connections. They all really enjoyed having us there and I can’t wait to go back tomorrow! -Sophie
This morning when we got to the Abraham Project, we split into two groups. Eleven of us went to the daycare, while fifteen of us did construction work outside. For those of us that did construction work, we began by dividing up the jobs amongst ourselves. Most of us were assigned to paint a stuccoed concrete wall, while others were assigned to do lawn care. Among the painters, there were those who had to do detail work around the different edges of the wall, and others used rollers to paint the wall. While the painters did that, others mowed the lawn, weed-whacked, and trimmed the grass around buildings. After lunch, the construction crew gained five members. Those people then washed off chairs, while the people from the morning crew continued to do what they worked on in the morning. By the end of the afternoon, the construction crew had painted a majority of the wall we had begun to paint in the morning, finished mowing the lawn and trimming the weeds, cleaned out the rafters in a building, and power-washed a deck. By the end of the afternoon, everyone in the construction crew felt fulfilled by the work that had been achieved, and we are all excited for the work we will be doing over the next few days! -Jacob
October 24, 2017 – 2 – The Seniors landed safely in Costa Rica and have made it to their home for the week! This evening they are headed to a Costa Rican BBQ at the missionary’s home.
October 24, 2017 – 1 – The SCA Class of 2018 is on their way to Costa Rica!
October 23, 2017 – Dr. Patty Flood
The seniors and their parents were part of the commissioning service today as they prepare to leave for Costa Rica. After a time of worship, Steven Livermore presented the challenge of students being asked to do tasks on the trip that they don’t want to do or don’t know how to do. He encouraged them to take every thought captive and to believe that God can do anything through them and in them. He also included that they may discover qualities in themselves that they didn’t realize.
Seniors will be spending 10 days in Costa Rica working at the Abraham Project. They will be posting updates.