Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hiking to the cross

This year the team from Mountain View, in Culpepper, Virginia, happened to come to Costa Rica on their one week missions trip during Semana Santa (Holy Week). They had a packed week of work projects, fellowship, and unique memories. Here are the highlights from their trip:

We started off the week painting in one of the local elementary schools. Brenda, Lester's older sister, asked if we paint her daughter, Brithany's, classroom.  It was the worst classroom in the school, with peeling, fading paint. So we got right to work. It looked like a whole new room by the time we were done.

 After that, the men got to work re-roofing Pipo's house. They tore off the old, rusted tin roof (Tiiiiiiiiin roooooof!!! RUSTED!!!) and gave it a shiny, new one. They worked quickly to keep Pipo's house protected from the rain. Rainy season is transitioning upon us!!!

While the men worked in the morning, the women taught a vacation Bible school. The theme was Easter. They started with the triumphal entry and ended with Jesus' resurrection.  They did everything from palm branch races, to palm branch limbo, a re-enactment of Jesus riding the donkey (Jesus rode a burrito, which is hilarious to us gringos, but not quite as humorous to the ticos), and all the Easter themed crafts a child could dream of. On the last day the ladies did the resurrection eggs with the children and the Bible school 
culminated with an all-out Easter egg hunt.
We opened each day with kids songs...motions included!!

 I LOVE LOVE LOVE Joshua's face in this picture!! Even though he can barely see over the table, he looks like he's having the time of his life!!



The afternoons were also packed with workshops. Lynn and Martha taught three women from the community how to sew using sewing machines, Chris taught guitar lessons, Val taught people Adriana how to use her computer, the guys continued on the roof, and Jeremiah worked in various people's houses teaching how to do electrical work.

Of course the whole trip wasn't about projects. It was also about connecting with the people in the community and building friendships. Jeremiah, the guy doing the electrical work, was promptly adopted by Noileen and William's family. His wife, Jennifer, was fondly given the nickname, "Barbie". The ladies were invited over for afternoon coffee.

Many good connections were made this trip. Since it was Holy Week, we made an open invitation to the church to hike to the three crosses up on the mountain that you can see from our house. We loaded a 28 passenger bus and headed out!!
The party bus :)

Pictures really can't do justice for how steep of a climb it is to get to the crosses. Especially as you come from the first cross to the second. It's a series of steep switch-backs that are basically in deep-cut trenches. Fortunately it's the end of the dry season, so the mud wasn't unreasonable.

 The dudes take time to reflect...and the foot of the cross.

4-year-old Itzel made it all the way to the second cross on her own!!! She's such a big girl!!!

 Pino and Seidy made it all the way, too.
 By the time the guys got to the third cross they were pretty tired. But we made it!!!
 Kevin did help Itzel make it from the second to the third cross. It's a shorter, but fairly steep, hike.
 I guess this brings new meaning to taking "UP" your cross.

The guys took a "short cut" down by rolling down 
the steep side of the mountain. 
They landed pretty hard :)
Every one had so much fun!!

The team also was able to celebrate Passover at the house. We had a full Seder meal and Rodney lead us through the Jewish tradition with a Christian twist...relating the elements of the Seder meal back to Jesus Christ. 

Overall it was a packed trip with lots of unique experiences and amazing friendships that will last into eternity!!!


  1. An absolutely awesome week!! Thank you guys for having us! :)

    - Valerie

  2. great wrap up of our trip! thanks Julie Lynn

  3. I was truly blessed to be able to come down and serve with you all! :)