June 10, 2011

Oh, the joys of the Costa Rican life... :)

The smell of the Costa Rican air is so sweet today... I'm writing from the living room with the doors and windows open. Maybe the sweet smell of the air will venture its way into this post. :)

Wednesday was full of walking a gazillion miles, holding on for dear life while riding the buses, a hospital visit, a trip to the National Museum and the Artisan market, and an absolutely wonderful night at Bible study! Yesterday was filled with a trip to the grocery store and an amazing conversation with a new "Tico" friend, while today has been filled with another trip into San José, walking forever and a day, and holding on for dear life while riding the buses.

Wednesday Ligia and I went to the hospital near downtown San José so that she could visit her sister, who has had a serious infection. Praise Jesus she is doing much better...she is staying with us for the next couple of days. We arrived at the hospital after taking 2 different buses, holding on for dear life while on them, and walking a good bit. Once inside we were told that we'd have to wait an hour before Ligia could see her sister. So off we went to sit outside and chat for the next hour. During that time Ligia and I talked some of the difference between Costa Rica and the United States. She also shared with me her testimony, which was quite precious. 12 o'clock quickly came and back inside we went. Ligia was able to finally see her sister. While she was off visiting I sat in the "lobby"...more like the outside area between the 2 buildings. For the entire 20 minutes or so I sat silent, and if you know me then you know that I normally am very much the opposite of silent! And not to mention I was the only gringo (American) there. After our hospital visit off we went to grab some lunch then on to visit the National Museum of Costa Rica. After walking around in circles, literally, we found the entrance and went through the museum. It was pretty and had some cute little things all throughout it. After the museum we went to the Artisan market, which was full of all kinds of sorts of things. From bracelets to dresses to stuffed animals to chairs to hammocks to kitchen tools...they had it all! Finally around 4 or so we made the trek back home... a forever long walk and a bus later we made it!

Now for the absolute most wonderful part of that day... around 6:45ish Ericka and I left for Bible study. In my mind I had pictured it to be in a church somewhere in the neighborhood, like a normal church service except smaller. This Wednesday night was movie night, so I also figured we'd be watching a "Jesus movie". I was wrong about both... it was way better than I ever could've imagined! It’s an in-home Bible study that was started by a handful of “Tico” college kids. They average about 10 or so every week. We started the night off with prayer, and let me just say… those precious people know how to pray!! It was absolutely beautiful to hear! After praying we then dug into the Word for a few minutes. Basically we went around the room and each shared what God had been teaching and showing them this week. It was so wonderful to see and hear them pour out their hearts about all that God has been doing. Once we made it around the room we prayed and then we all watched “Life As We Know It.” They were all super nice and played the movie in English for me and had Spanish subtitles for them. To not only see what God has done in and through these precious kids in starting a Bible study, but to just sit and talk with them and see their hearts is amazing! Not only did I have an amazing time digging deep in Jesus with these precious brothers and sister, but I also loved getting to help them with their English while they helped me with my Spanish…such wonderful people!! I also found out that night that one of the guy’s aunt, uncle, and cousin live in Trussville, AL and not too far from where I live…can you say, small world?!?! His cousin actually went to the same school as my brother last year…crazy amazing!!

On to yesterday… Yesterday was a much needed day just spent relaxing here at home. That is, after our trek to the grocery store. After breakfast Ligia and I walked to the grocery store. It’s forever away and almost like a mini WalMart. We got the needed groceries and thankfully we took a taxi back home… I can’t imagine us trying to trek back home with tons of groceries in hand…oh my! Not too long after getting home and putting away groceries I had an amazingly wonderful conversation with a guy from Wednesday night’s Bible study, Jason, (the one who’s family lives in Alabama). He is hoping to come to the US to finish his nursing degree at UAB. He and I had a wonderful convo regarding him coming to the US and how God was equipping him while He’s here, so that when he does come to the US he can be used as a missionary at UAB. He was telling me that he didn’t want to come to the US and his focus be turned from God to the things of this world. Please tell me…how many times do we think like this? If you’re like me then your answer would be never. He and I continued to talk regarding him coming and him not wanting his focus to be changed. I told him that when he does come to the US that he is more than welcome to go to church and Bible study on Wednesday’s with me… he was super excited about that! Our convo continued and we ending up talking about what he would like to do once he gets his nursing degree. He told me that he would love to work in the main hospital somewhere with both, children and adults. Not only that though, he said he wants to help with their physical needs, but more importantly he wants to make sure they are being helped and fed spiritually. He told me that he specifically would like to work with teenagers and college kids, making sure that they know that they way the world has portrayed sex and marriage to be is wrong, and teach them how it’s supposed to be Biblically. I really do wish you all could meet all of the precious people that are in this Bible study group…you would all LOVE them! I am so thankful that God allowed me the opportunity to talk with him….As we were finishing up our convo he told me that I was the first American that he had ever been able to talk with about God, church, Christianity, etc. It’s been so great getting to see God move just in the first 5 days I’ve been here… absolutely amazing!!

Today’s been another semi-lazy day here in Costa Rica. The day began with cleaning around the house. Around lunchtime Ligia and I left and headed off to a bank nearby. Something wasn’t working properly there, so we had to head into San José so she could go to the main bank downtown. After a crazy bus ride and walking for forever we made it. We spent a few minutes there and then headed off to McDonald’s for lunch… it was quite odd eating American food in Costa Rica, but nonetheless it was yummy! After lunch she we went to the big market downtown… we ended up leaving with some type of beef, chicken, and some type of chicken skull with some meat and the beak still in tact. I’m praying I don’t have to actually eat it…from the little bit I was able to understand after asking what it was, I think she’s going to use it for soup to give her sister. I’ll guess we’ll see… After our trip to the market we hopped on another bus and headed on back. Thankfully we made it back in 1 piece!! I’m telling you… any and every form of safety goes directly out the window here in CR!!

Thank you all so much for the continued prayers… they are all greatly appreciated!

In closing, I ask you to please pray with me for Jason and the plan that God has for him, whether it be to come to the US and finish school there or to stay here and finish. Please pray with me that God would give him clear direction and guidance regarding his desire to teach teenagers and college kids about the Biblical way sex and marriage would be fulfilled…that he would continue to cling to our sweet Jesus and not allow to world to sway him in its direction. I also ask you to please pray for me as I start class on Monday.


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