We Enter to Praise, and We Leave to Serve.

IMG_5464[1]We enter to praise and we leave to serve. Thank you to a local Nazarene Church for this snazzy title but in all truth, this is our mission. We embarked on this trip to bring honor and glory to the name of Christ through serving his global church by supporting the ministry of Jordan. That being said, I should probably start at the beginning of the day. We left our church at 4:00 am, after forgotten passports and wonky hitches, we were on the desolate road to BWI by 4:15. The car ride down went quickly, we were all in pretty good spirits despite the lack of sleep. As our van was munching on some blueberry little bites, we pulled into BWI nice and early. We checked our bags efficiently with seemingly little problems. Just as I was discussing Sherri’s luggage misplacement mishap in NM, we got news that they directed our luggage to domestic instead of international flights. This meant they had to go searching for our luggage… well, that was a fun time. We didn’t know until our luggage retrieval in San Jose whether or not they had found our luggage. So after we checked our bags into the vast airport conveyor belt network, we got into the winding security line, which happened to be using a very adorable drug dog. They seemed to make a sign just for Kayla that said “do not pet the dogs during work.” Quite apt as we were just talking about her urge to pet a previous service dog she had come in contact with. We got through security and found our gate with little problems. We boarded our 4.5 hour flight. During the flight we all were able to sit together and there were no mishaps! Praise be to Him!

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The flight was made interesting by an eccentric flight attendant. In fact, apparently it was shark week coming up and in order to get people to care about the oceans, she went around with a cardboard cutout of a shark and had people take photos with it… of course the sleep deprived Kayla and me had to partake. From the flight we went through customs without a hitch. Though a guy behind our group got flagged. We met Jordan at the airport, drove to the Score Villa, had a delicious sandwich lunch, and flew into the bus to get to the youth group we were leading. Jordan forgot something and Costa Rican driving, i.e. traffic, is the stuff of nightmares, so we were like an hour late to the youth group. Luckily no one minded! From here, you will have to read Ben Webber’s post to find out how the youth group ministry went!

I did want to say quickly why I am on this trip. I am not in youth group, in fact, I am a rising senior at Messiah College. However, I came along with the youth group to Costa Rica the first time we ever came here and had an amazing experience getting to serve in this community. I wanted to come back in a more senior role to be able to use my Spanish I had learned and to also learn and walk alongside some amazing ladies from our church youth group.
One of my majors at school is Spanish, I studied abroad last year and have a deep love of learning the language. I had not spoken it in almost a year before today though. A prayer request I would ask for would be for confidence and for knowledge as I speak and translate for our team. Another prayer would be that as were minister, we are bold in our interactions and not afraid to step out of our comfort zones – which much easier said than done.

     – Sarah Long

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