Costa Rica – We Have Arrived

Day 1: Nov. 3, 2018

The day started early for 15 missioners as we gathered before sunrise at the airport in Tampa to begin our journey to Pura Vida Missions in Ramon, Costa Rica. While our flights were on time, our passage through immigration at our destination, rather than being the anticipated 15 minutes, took almost two hours. Our hosts for the week were, however, patiently waiting when we finally departed the airport. Between the luggage and the people, the van was full to capacity for the 45-minute drive to the mission house. We were captivated by the beauty of the lush countryside as mountainous terrain made uphill climbs a challenge for our vehicle.

Arriving at Pura Vida hours behind schedule, we sat down to lunch at 2:30 p.m., knowing that it would be just a few short hours later that we would be back at the table for dinner. It was an attempt to get us back on schedule and to end an already long day on time. In between our meals, we were given an overview of this mission house and the plan for our week ahead. We’ve had rain today and expect some rain every day — which will be a challenge as some of our plans have us interacting with the children on a soccer field. But we have all worn our flexibility caps and will roll with the punches and deal with each new challenge as it develops.

Tomorrow afternoon we will begin our work, both construction and Bible study. And as we anticipate our work ahead, we can’t help thinking, as we settle into our home for the next week, that our original plans would have had us elsewhere — at El Ayudante in Nicaragua. Many of our group have been there in years past, and it is hard not to make comparisons. The place is different, the food is different, the routine is different. But we also are aware of the first line of our mission statement — It’s not about me. And what hasn’t changed is that we are blessed to be called by God to serve. And we will do so this week — making God’s love real here in Costa Rica.