We all rose early to get started on our first full day in Costa Rica. After an early orientation to Harvest Hands Ministry, Los Anonos and Jasmin, we were off to church at CCA - Center for Christian Adoration (or close to that at least). We worshiped with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ together -- they sang in Spanish, some of tried and most sang in English, all at the same time. Good thing that God can decipher it all out! The pastor's sermon was on the importance of being a servant rather than seeking a place of authority and prominence in the Kingdom of God.
We were taken by two events in the service: The first was when people with physical handicaps -- many in wheelchairs or struggling to walk on crutches were brought to the front and given certificates to commemorate their baptisms the previous weekend. As the church cheered them on, I was reminded that Jesus cam to minister to the weak, not the strong. The pastor spoke of the excuses that we often come up with for not obeying God and I realized that these people had every reason to not step out and declare their faith through baptism...and yet chose to do so to truly identify with their Savior's death, burial and resurrection. The second was when a couple who had been given a home loan by the church and then worked with members to build their home (Habitat for Humanity style) came to the front to receive their "keys" -- the physical keys to their new front door AND a Bible, their "key to the Kingdom". We later discovered that this couple, who have been together for 10 years and have one son showed their new-found commitment to Jesus by getting married this afternoon in their brand new home -- starting what is truly a brand new life!
After lunch at the church we headed to Jasmin, a small, close knit village built on a VERY steep hillside. We made our way up the rutted streets to the place for our home build. We would be building for the young woman pictured in the photo a few days ago -- a single mom with one child living in deplorable conditions. We will also be helping to finish the other home we planned for too. Craig and Phil became friends with a couple of young guys from Indianapolis named...wait for it...Craig and Phil! Our two CR foremen are both in the recovery ministry of the church -- great men working to free themselves from addictions, instead depending on God alone!
We spent the rest of the day planning out the house, digging 49 holes for the foundation (some of us actually knew what we were doing, so I'll let you figure out who was who!) and hauling equipment, wood and concrete columns up the hill to the site. Next time were bringing way more 20 and 30 somethings!!!
We were all good and tired, ready for a good night's sleep and charged to do it all again tomorrow.