Today had a more relaxed feel, and this could not have come at a better time. The team for the most part was sore and drained from two full days of games and activities. We were able to sleep in, enjoy an extended time of testimonies, wrapped some christmas presents for a local ministry, and walked to a local park to hang out for the afternoon. The time at the park might have been the most enjoyable time thus far.
We arrived and set up volleyball a net beside a field where a casual soccer game was taking place. Next to the soccer field, skateboarders and basketball players and soccer players shared the concrete court. The people, like they have been everywhere, were warm and welcoming when a few of us asked to join their soccer game. They were also happy to let us jump in and play basketball with them. Later, a few of the team members played volleyball with some interested local people who were out enjoying the weather with their children. We did everything but try to skateboard because that would have probably ended with a wipeout and injury. We wore our Push The Rock shirts that have a Bible verse in Spanish on the back. This was a good conversation starter and even if we could not communicate, the people knew that we were all about Jesus.
Now it is time party at church! We are attending a New Year’s Eve church service at the local church where the Costa Rica Push The Rock members attend. Apparently, we are singing two songs so we need to go practice before we leave! Buenas noches y Feliz Ano Nuevo!
At 8:00 AM while we would normally be eating breakfast and preparing for church, we were playing our first volleyball match of the day! The church is having a big service tomorrow night to welcome in the New Year, so there was no service this morning. The women’s team played the Tibas club first thing in the morning, followed by the men’s match at 10:00. The women’s team swept the competition, winning all four sets. The men’s team, improving greatly from the night before, took two out of five.
Since our women’s team has only five totally healthy players, we have been forced to ask the opposing team for a player. This “unfortunate” circumstance has in many ways been a blessing as the women’s team has embraced the players beautifully. It has simply been another opportunity to show the love of Christ in a different way.
The Push The Rock folk from Costa Rica have been wonderful. They have translated, helped us navigate, jumped in and helped in the clinics and everything in between. They have a heart for Jesus and for the people of Costa Rica, and it is an honor to be a part of the ministry they have going on! They also helped us shop today! We went to an outdoor market and bartered for souvenirs, then went to a supermarket. Afterwards, we ate another amazing dinner with rice, beans, plantains, and chicken.
To finish the night, we gathered for worship, prayer, testimonies, and eventually Tim Hawkins. Everyone was greatly encouraged by God’s Word and we are excited for the rest of the trip!
We hit the ground running as our first day in Costa Rica as we ran a two-hour outdoor volleyball clinic, and the women’s and men’s teams both competed in very competitive matches. The morning clinic was run for boys and girls ages 5-12 who regularly attend the “El Nino Y el Bola” foundation. This local program, literally translated “The Boy and the Ball,” is run in a low-income area of San Jose. We set up our net in the middle of a large soccer field and after long wait about 50 kids poured in. The drills and stations ran smoothly and it did not take long for the campers to begin hanging on our legs. We taught volleyball, gave a lot of hugs, shared our testimonies, and spoke in one-word sentences accompanied by energetic hand gestures to show the love of Christ.
After this we were able to play two high-level club teams. Both the men’s and women’s PTR teams were competitive but were unable to come out with a win. We were able to have some personal conversations with the players after the game and two people gave their testimony.
Great first day!
We have arrived safely in Costa Rica! Yesterday, our team had an excellent day of preparation, as we were able to prepare mentally, physically, and spiritually for the trip. We went over our individual roles and details regarding travel, received our PTR attire, and grew closer together as a group. As a bonus, we were able to get some hands-on experience as we ran a volleyball clinic for three of the women’s club teams.
We were greeted by our Push The Rock contacts at the airport and hopped right on the bus. On our way to our guest house, we were delighted to open all of the large bus windows and soak in the warm breeze. We had a small snack at the AMCA house, went over plans for the next day, and settled in for the night.
Training day finally arrived. After months of preparation, the trip has started! There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm throughout the busy day. In addition to getting to know one another better, we talked through trip details, practiced, ran a clinic for a few club teams, and spent some time in praise, worship, and prayer. I think we are about as ready as we are going to get. Now it is just time to get on the plane and head south.
We would appreciate prayers for the trip down to Costa Rica. The team will arrive into Costa Rica late in the evening, just in time to hit the ground running with a few matches on Saturday and clinics shortly thereafter.
Check back here for regular updates.
Push The Rock is hosting a boys basketball tournament on December 27 & 28 at Bethel Church in Emmaus. The tournament is open to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys and can be school teams, AAU teams or recreational youth teams. Please see the tournament “flyer” and the “rules and regulations” document for more information. You may also contact Mike Kauffman at 610-967-6861 for questions and further information.
2012 Rules & Regulations
You may send the completed registration via mail to
* P.O. Box 95, Emmaus PA, 18049
or send the registration via email to
firstname.lastname@example.org and mail payment separately.
We are happy to announce that after more than a year of fundraising and prayer, PTR Costa Rica was able to purchase a vehicle for its ministry throughout the country in detention centers, prisons, schools, and communities. Nattie Gomez, our full time employee in San Jose, also sends her ‘thank yous!’ On behalf of Nattie, PTR Costa Rica, and all of us here at PTR, we are grateful those who helped make this happen through prayer and financial contributions. !Muchas gracias! You can see the vehicle in the pictures below.