The Bethel BFC Youth Group team arrived in Costa Rica in the afternoon yesterday. They’ll have the opportunity to run several sports clinics over the next week. Please click on the link below to learn more about the team and following along with their journey in Costa Rica.
Greetings from Costa Rica!
The Hope College team arrived in Costa Rica early in the afternoon today. We’ll have the opportunity to run several sports clinics and install many water filters. Please click on the link below to learn more about the team and following along with our journey in Costa Rica.
Greetings from Costa Rica!
The Hope College team arrived in Costa Rica late in the evening on Tuesday. We’ve had the opportunity to run several sports clinics and install many water filters already. Please click on the link below to learn more about the team and following along with our journey in Costa Rica.
This morning we had the chance to go into San Jose to shop at the market and see more of the city! We spent a lot of time going up and down the lines of shops in the market and picking out some souvenirs from Costa Rica. Everyone in the market wants you to come into their shops to look – “looking is free!” We ate lunch at a local Costa Rican restaurant right across from the market before we headed to our last time of ministry.
We headed to Zurqui, the juvenile prison, to spend a few hours there. We had a handful of boys from the prison come down to the gym to play soccer with us for a couple hours. David is in this prison every Friday. We opened the time with a word of prayer. David asked if any of the guys from the prison would like to pray, and one volunteered. This was exciting for them because it was the first time that one of the guys had offered to pray.
We went on to play many games of soccer. We split up the entire group into three teams and had some good games! We enjoyed our time with them, and we finished the time with Kyle sharing his testimony. The guys were very respectful and receptive!
We are excited to see more of Costa Rica tomorrow as we end our trip with a canopy tour and time at the hot springs. Costa Rica is beautiful and we are excited to see more of God’s creation.
This morning we headed out bright and early for Linda Vista, a Christian school here in San Jose. This was another school that Push The Rock Costa Rica has never been in, and we were able to pave the way for a weekly program there. We had three groups come through. After our first group, we were invited to join the school for chapel time. That was personally one of my favorite experiences at the schools we’ve been at.
When worship started the students all got up, pulled our team out into the middle of the floor and we danced through a song with them. The second song they sang was just a beautiful time of worship, with their hands in their air, praising the Lord. There was a short message, and we learned a verse with the kids. Some of our WSCA students were pulled up front to help the students at Linda Vista learn motions to help them remember the verse. After chapel, we had two more groups come through for basketball clinics!
After lunch, we headed back to Los Guido, the school we were at yesterday afternoon, to work with the sports club that David works with on a weekly basis. This ended up being our biggest group of the week, with about 50 kids in the gym area. We split the kids up and did a lot of large group games. The kids in the sports club had a blast!
We are excited for one last day of ministry tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers from home, and look for another update tomorrow!
Another day in the books! This morning, our group was split between 2 different ministries. Kyle took two guys and went to La Reforma, a prison that Push The Rock Costa Rica is in regularly. They got to run a basketball clinic, play with the inmates and Kyle was able to share his testimony. They reported that the guys they worked with were very respectful and very attentive when they shared!
While they were at the prison, the rest of the group had the opportunity to do a service project for the morning. We went with the Eagles Wings Disc Golf ministry (a branch ministry of Push The Rock) and were able to help them with the disc golf course they are building in Costa Rica. Some of us painted signs, some painted bricks, some dug holes and some went through the course, helping to clear pathways between holes. It was fun to get to know the other team that is staying in the house with us, and to be able to assist them in their ministry here!
This afternoon, our team met back up at Los Guidos, a school here in Costa Rica. We had three groups of kids come through for more basketball clinics! We shared sportsmanship thoughts, testimonies, and played lots of basketball. These kids were all 2nd and 3rd graders. We ended the day with lots of piggie-back rides and running around!
Tonight, we will gather for dinner and team time. We will also have another rec time tonight! On Monday we had the opportunity to get in a local gym and played 5v5 basketball for the hour. Tonight, we will play soccer! We’re excited to visit a new school tomorrow morning and get back to Los Guidos tomorrow afternoon. Look for another update tomorrow!
We just got back from our 2nd full day of camp! For quick updates of our last two days, check out a picture and update on our Push The Rock Harrisburg Facebook page.
Today, we spent the day at Escuela Los Cuadros, a public school about 30 minutes from where we stay. For the first hour and a half, we had 2 groups of 1st-3rd graders come through. The second group that came through was 4th-6th graders, and for the last two hours of the day we had kids anywhere from 7th grade through high school. During these basketball clinics, we always start out with a sportsmanship thought given by one of the kids. A sportsmanship thought is basically a word that we want to focus on during that time, such as obedience, teamwork and enthusiasm. We then break up the students into 4 groups and send them to stations (passing, dribbling, rebounding/defense, and shooting) and our WSCA students lead 8-12 minute stations for each of the 4 groups. At the end of stations, we bring them all back together and have the opportunity to share a testimony with the group.
The team has been doing an awesome job leading stations, stepping up, and sharing sportsmanship thoughts and testimonies! One challenge we faced today that we didn’t yesterday was the language barrier. The students at Escuela Los Cuadros spoke very little English and we had to find other ways to communicate and show what they needed to do in each drill.
David, who works for Push The Rock Costa Rica and is with us for the week, shared that our clinics we ran at the school today were instrumental in their ministry. This is a school that they wanted to build a relationship with to start a weekly program. Because our team came to run a clinic for them and because the students at the school had a great time, and listened to what we asked of them, David and Push The Rock Costa Rica will now be starting a weekly program at Escuela Los Cuadros next week. It was exciting to help them in that way in their ministry here!
We have dinner and team time yet tonight. We have been sharing longer testimonies and studying 1 John during team time for the past few nights, and it is a great time to spend with the Lord and grow together! Thanks for all the prayers from home! Look for another update soon!
Day 14. Thursday, July 2
Another great day. Much like yesterday, the routine has become very familiar now. Everyone knows where they are going, what they are doing, and what comes next. A good flow, the team is in a groove. This is a good thing for camaraderie, unity, bonding, and more, but sometimes it can require teams to refocus and keep the task at hand before them. With the clinics going smoothly, there was a slight change this morning with the Santa Ursula clinic. Push the Rock partnered with the local Summer Camp and provided the morning activity for an extra 30+ kids. Only for today, Push the Rock worked with the leaders of the summer camp to incorporate their kids with the Push the Rock morning basketball training. This was held at a different gym only 5 minutes away from our typical gym. Making the adjustment was easy for the kids as well as the coaches. All of the kids had a great time as they learned more about basketball and had a great opportunity to develop their skills. A great lunch and another meaningful team time remained an important part of the day. Testimonies of God’s redeeming work in the lives of frail humans were shared and all listening had the privilege of hearing how God brings to pass all that He has promised in His word. The afternoon clinic also went well. 3 v 3 games were held at the end of stations and it was a very profitable time. The coaches were able to help the players put into practice all that they have been working on so far this week and also had the opportunity to give better attention to the players as individuals. A great teaching time, the coaches are excited about the possibility of doing it again on Friday. A quick snack was eaten this time at the church since it is in walking distance from the gym in which tonight’s game was played. The game started a little later than most games this week, but it was worth it. Almost 15 guys showed up to play against the Push the Rock boys in tonight’s game against the local players who often play pick-up basketball in the very same gym as the game. The beginning of the game was back and forth, put soon Push the Rock pulled out a lead. The lead grew and the Push the Rock team received a victory. However, greater than the score on the scoreboard was the testimony that each of the Push the Rock team members had this evening. While playing with all of their hearts, they maintained their composure and honored the Lord with both their words and deeds. After a quick meal, the team headed back for some much needed rest. Tomorrow is the very last day of the clinics and the team wants to be ready.
For the team,
Day 13, Wednesday, July 1
Today is the midpoint of the second week of the trip. With 1.5 weeks down and only 3 days left, the end of the trip is getting closer. This topic is typically avoided since the conversation will bring an emotional response, but it is a reality that will soon be upon us. Building relationships has been an integral part of the trip and is one thing that will make leaving very difficult. Nonetheless, the bonds that have been made are very good for the work that is being done here by the church and this pleases the Lord. The out-pouring of love from the 12 individuals who left Emmaus, PA on June 19, 2015 contributes to the church’s love for the community and strengthens the concept that Christians love other people and they share that love with others. This is seen among the coaches and the kids as well as between the coaches and the local church members. Kids at the clinic run and give the team high fives, hugs, and big smiles. They work hard during the station time. The respond positively when asked by the coaches to do something again, to help out, or to give more effort. The sit close to the coaches when in the big group and in many more ways, they communicate acceptance to the team. What a blessing this is to us. But beyond that, what a great visual of Christ’s love.
The clinics in both locations went well. The number of kids at each clinic remains close to be the same as it has been on other days, with just a little variance with who is new and who didn’t come today. The kids are improving daily, especially those who attend both clinics every day. Even more impressive are the handful of kids who were at the clinic in the South (Adeje) and are participating in the clinics here in the North. Lunch and team time today followed the same pattern as yesterday. Songs of praise and worship were sung and testimonies were given. Moving and powerful, we heard stories of how choices made by self and choices made by others have brought to the forefront the reality of the need for Christ’s saving grace. The Lord was honored as we praised His name for the work He has done in the lives of His people.
Following the afternoon clinic, the PTR girls played a rematch against the La Victoria girls. Coming off a 3 day rest period for the first game, the PTR girls played extremely well. Having had less opportunity to be as rested for this game, the PTR girls struggled a bit during the first 3.5 quarters of the game. The score would stretch to a point differential of 7 and then down to 1 and then back up again, always with the PTR girls hanging on, but still behind. With 4:15 left to go in the 4th quarter, two made foul shots by the PTR player from Kansas, PTR took the lead by one. With stellar defense and good shot selection, the PTR girls ended the game with just two more points than La Victoria. Despite the fatigue, sore muscles, and injuries, the PTR girls persevered and kept their focus on their testimony. Winning with grace, the PTR girls were able to shine the Light so that others may see their good works and glorify their Father in heaven. Another meal at the church finished the team’s time together as they then headed back to their host homes for showers and bed. Another successful day, it was a blessing to be here on the island of Tenerife, impacting one life at a time.
For the team,