Our days are running away from us as we try to complete the tasks we are working on here in Los Anonos. We are finishing a closet for a little girl - tomorrow we paint butterflies on the front of the closet & set it up in her room. Lisa & Edison have a toddler class for young moms in the morning. Alan is doing a lot of church leader training & we are hosting a dinner for about 20 church leaders Saturday night. Cindy is helping with all these things plus getting ready for the garage sale on Sunday. We bring nicer donated items like clothing & shoes, etc which the church sells for a pittance, allowing the neighbors to buy quality goods for a small price while earning money for the building fund to purchase the current church facility. We’re having a baking party tomorrow as we put Lisa in charge of cupcakes for the leadership dinner.
We also have been so saddened by the hundreds/thousands of Venezuelan refugees we see all over San Jose. As their country fell apart, people were literally jobless & starving - such a horrible situation. Many have left for neighboring countries while many have begun walking to the US, carrying small children, sleeping on sidewalks, walking through rivers & mudslides & dangerous jungles. The US just closed the border to all but a few thousand refugees, those coming by air & those with visas. This has left hordes of families trapped in CR & others countries, as neighboring nations open & close their borders. Nicaragua closed their borders then opened them but now Panama has closed their borders. These people are trapped with no place to go. Seeing these young families is just heart-breaking. We made up some toiletry bags & passed them out to very thankful families. Please pray for wisdom for these people and bright new lives for them “somewhere” - somewhere safe & free to work & raise their families in peace.
We’ve also been watching such a sweet story unfold here. We brought Edison, who is 15, and a young teen, also 15, in the community has had a rough season & he’s not in school right now so he’s been working with us every day! Pastor David has been working with this boy, giving him tasks at the church & allowing him to help with teams. He & Edison have been working on the closet together, neither speaking the other’s language, but communicating the best they can! It’s been a great blessing watching them work together & the boy has been learning lots of new skills. He’s also in a safe place with people who care about him - it feels like the way the church began 15 years ago! Aimless kids who found missionaries who taught them about Jesus & invested in their lives! That is still happening & it’s very sweet & exciting to watch. Anonos is a beautiful place, but every day HARD things happen. So so many difficult situations - cancer, police raids, drugs, abuse, lack of jobs, sickness, poverty, hopelessness. But LaViña stands as a beacon of hope as they share the Gospel that is big enough for hard things!
We took our morning “off” to travel about an hour into the mountains to a waterfall park with animals & amazing flowers & waterfalls. Despite a LOT of walking, it was a beautiful day enjoying the natural paradise that is Costa Rica. Our weather has been mercifully dry and very warm & sunny - a great blessing! We ended the day with a night of worship, the church gathering for time set aside to praise & adore the Lord. It was humbling to see people work all week then walk a long way in the dark, many with toddlers & babies to carry back & forth. Their reliance on the Lord is inspiring.
Late to bed - I will regret this in the morning but we have busy days & nights! Keep praying for smooth successful events & impact in every way. We have loved re-connecting “old-friends” and meeting new people. We have 2 BUSY days ahead then a long day of travel on Monday! Pray for stamina & good attitudes & “finishing well!” Pura Vida!