One of the things we talked about when we were trying to decide whether or not to make this move was our church family. We really didn’t have to make any decisions where we would worship here in CR. Our church back home, Bartlett Woods, supports a church here in Costa Rica, The Barva Church of Christ. We had personally never been there but we knew that several of the people we know and love see the people here at the church as part of their family.
We knew that we would love it there and would feel at home with the people there but with any big life change comes some uncertainty. I’m not sure the church here knew exactly what we were about and I know that we were needing a little help to get to know them better. The language barrier was part of it but there is a level of trust that we needed to build.
Our church from home comes here every July and helps facilitate a Campaign. There is a basketball camp, a VBS, nightly worship services and Ladies Day. The kids and I were able to participate in all of the daily activities and Nathan got to join us for one of the evening worship services.
This was exactly what we needed to bridge the gap between our home congregation and our new one here. We learned very quickly that we don’t have to speak the same language to have a great time and worship God.
The first night that the group was here we got to play and reconnect. This helped the kids feel more comfortable getting in the middle of things. Several of our very active Young Adults from the group we worked with in Memphis were here so we were pretty giddy:)
The kids really enjoyed basketball camp and our new Costa Rican friends showed us how to identify and crack macadamia nuts. It’s not easy!!
Our friend, Kadra, had the idea to have friends from church to write us notes. We really enjoyed reading each and every one of them. There were a couple that really had us laughing and some that made us want to cry.
For some reason I thought it would be helpful for me to act in one of the skits for the VBS day………WRONG!!! I totally messed up!! I entered the stage at the wrong time and said my line in spanish very loudly and I was very passionate just like they told me to….Anyway, they had to close the curtain and reset and I had to do it all over again at the right time. I was so embarrassed but I just decided to let it be a really good inside joke with my new friends. I don’t think the kids even noticed.
I also really enjoyed Ladies Day. I was so proud of my friends Baylee and Hannah. They both got up in front of everyone and did a speech and Hannah even did the speech in Spanish and translated for herself in English. It was very inspiring.
At lunch they encouraged us to sit by someone we don’t know and my new friend Melissa pulled me over to sit with her and her family. I grabbed Hannah Anderson to sit with us to translate. We had a really nice lunch and by the end I had made plans to hang out with Melissa and her family the following Sunday so she could show us around town and get to know each other better.
On the way home that day we saw a man on a motorcycle pulling a very small trailer with a goat on it!
Saying goodbye to our friends was very hard but we knew that we were better off when they left than before they came. We were able to make several connections that we probably would have eventually made but this helped to expedite. And it really just gave us the boost we needed to keep pressing on. So long until next year….