Today is Monday. Monday is always the hardest day to realize you’re here, in America, and not in Costa Rica. Because a week ago today, we were all jumping off our giant bus whenever they yelled out, “Team 2! This is your stop!” A week ago today is when we began working in the community, with members from the local churches, to reach out, visit homes, and share the Good News of Jesus’ love and salvation. And a week ago today is when we all officially started to leave pieces of our hearts in Katira and Upala, Costa Rica.
I had already left a huge part of my heart in Katira last year, and God graciously, graciously allowed me to go back this year and give even more of it away. I saw it in the eyes of my fellow North American team members, too — they would never be the same. They were experiencing what I experienced last year: the slow realization that you’re never going to be completely comfortable again, and it’s OK and wonderful because you can’t imagine not feeling this way, as hard as it is some days.
When I signed up for my mission trip to Costa Rica last year, I had NO IDEA what God was going to do. I had no idea I would show up and be more humbled by my time with the translators and the people than I could have ever imagined. I could have never anticipated how God ended up moving, powerfully, to bring souls in the community to Him. I knew the second they dropped me off at the airport last year that He was calling me back. I’m so thankful for that call, so humbled.
He’s given me a passion, a love, a desire to reach the people of Costa Rica, and now I can’t imagine my life without that call. I love the Ticos, I love them so much. I love that God has called me to partner with them and minister to them.
On the way to Costa Rica this time I started reading a book called Kisses from Katie, an incredible book about an American girl who lives in Uganda, caring for the people and sharing Jesus, as well as being the adoptive mother of 14 girls there. I underlined this quote because it rings so true:
“It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your backyard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light. This is the dream, and it is possible.”
If we’ve put our faith in Jesus, we’re called to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:16-20), called to be the hands and feet to people around us, no matter what. So if you live in America, you’re called to do that to the people around you; if you live in Costa Rica, you’re called to do that there, too. This is something I pray I am better and am bold at doing now. But some of us are called to get out of our comfort zone even more, to go to a new country, to trust that He has a bigger plan for us than we have for ourselves.
Because here’s the thing: I don’t want to keep doing this alone. Of course, yes, there’s the selfish part of me that wants more people to come so I don’t feel so isolated once I’m back home, but there’s much more than that. I want people — loved ones, friends — to embrace and follow a call God may be putting on their lives. To give up their comfort zones, to give up a week of vacation, to follow Him into the unknown. This trip had people as young as 14 and as old as young-at-heart, with different stories, different backgrounds, different medical struggles…AND GOD USED ALL OF THEM.
If you’ve felt that tugging while reading my posts, my Facebook statuses, please don’t ignore it! I’m here to answer questions and put you in touch with the right people, too. That is my prayer, what God put on my heart at the end of this past trip. This isn’t about Molly-goes-on-a-trip-once-a-year-yay-for-her! This is about all of us. What is God calling us to do? I don’t want to go back alone next year; I want to be there to support and see others follow the Great Commission.
There will be more stories I’ll share from Costa Rica in the coming days, but this is what God wants to share first. Feel free to reach out to me anytime!