Thursday, March 3, 2011


 God has called us each to take on a unique role in life, and all of us have our own interests and abilities. One of the ways that teams share when they are here is by giving of these gifts and talents in their own special way. Our job is to facilitate these gifts in a practical way here in the community. We have the pleasure of connecting with a local teen shelter where teens with babies can live until they are 18. They receive a full education, hot meals, day care during the day, and a beautiful facility for them and their babies to eat, live, play, grow, and sleep. The last two teams that have come have brought very talented people. The Virginia team brough Eleanor, a hair dresser who has been augmenting people's beauty through hair styling for 43 years. The Mechanic Falls team brough Gemma, Faith, and Erin, three teens highly gifted at crochet. While these seem like polar opposite giftings, both sets of women got to spend time teaching the girls at the shelter. With both sets of lessons, the girls were given everything they would need to continue practicing their new art. I got the joy of learning alongside the girls while I translated. Here are their stories:

 Eleanor brought a suitcase full of hair dressing heads (thank goodness she made it through customs okay...imagine having to answer for that suitcase!!) The girls practiced combing and cutting on the manequins before actually trying it out on each other. They learned how to curl, straighten, cut, and blow dry. They mostly cut straight lines and simple layers.

Eleanor brought loads of hair styling magazines that the girls thumbed through.
They each picked out a new style and practiced cutting each other's hair
(with Eleanor right over their shoulders, of course).

 Each girl was given her own bag with everything she would need to start her own salon, including hair dryer, curling irons, clips, scissors, thinning shears, combs, brushes, spray bottles, and more!

The next team brought 3 enthusiastic teens who are super good at crochet.
They make everything from bags and blankets to flowers and gloves.
They taught the girls three different stitches.

This girl is a lefty. She had so much determination and perserverance even though she had to do everything backwards. She really did catch on quick with some hand-over-hand and
mirror image teaching.

These two girls had done some crochet before. They were super fast and accurate.

This is Faith Potter with one of the girls. I really saw her grow
during the three days of lessons. I saw her patiently teach the left handed girl and try to figure out
the best way to teach. She also tried
really hard to communicate and make friends
with the girls, even though it was hard.
She also picked up some Spanish along the way!!

My Spanish was also stretched. They don't teach "stitch", "double crochet", "bangs",
or even "curling iron" in Spanish 301!!!

I love taking people over to this shelter. It gives them a great oppotunity to use their own special talents
while teaching some one else. It gives these girls an opporunity
for employment when they leave the shelter.
Most importantly, it builds relationships
and positive, encouraging friendships while spreading the love of Christ
in a real and applicable way.
Everyone really enjoyed praying with the girls and
speaking blessings over them and their babies.
If you ever plan on coming to Costa Rica, think about the things you enjoy doing.
Think about the skills, talents, or passions
you could teach some one else.
God has given you unique gifts and abilities for a reason.
Who knows, maybe next year you'll be teaching art, dance, crafts, or sports with the teens at the shelter.

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