Costa Rica Volleyball – 5.29.14 Update

The team is back safe and sound in San Jose!  As I write this at 1:30 am, everyone on the team is still up.  At 3:00 we leave for the airport, so we decided to just pull an all-nighter.  We spent the day (Thursday) traveling back from Los Chiles.  As we traveled, the team stopped at different tourist attractions near Volcano Arenal.  We took a boat ride in the lake near the volcano, enjoyed the natural hot springs heated by Arenal, and soared through the rainforest in the canopy tour.  We arrived back in time for a late dinner and completed our final team time at 11:30.  We are passing the night by packing, listening to music, playing games, and eating lots of pancakes.  Thank you Jessica (our committed and selfless volunteer who was with us 24/7 this week!) for making them for us so late at night.  We love you!
Our time in Los Chiles was very different from our experiences in San Jose.   First of all it was very hot!  We were definitely not in the city anymore either!  Los Chiles is a very rural, poor area, but the countryside is gorgeous and we saw a toucan, monkeys, snakes, and an anteater.  We also had some wonderful days of ministry!
The first day was spent working on the farm that we were “camping” at.   We helped our hosts clear a field of trees, stumps, and shrubs with machetes and shovels.  It was very hard work and so hot, but the team never complained and we were able to accomplish a lot.  We were very thankful for our siesta (traditional nap time after lunch) and cafecito (coffee and snacks in the late afternoon)!
Wednesday was our last day of clinics.  We were very tired, but excited to have one last opportunity to teach volleyball and share the Gospel.  We went to a small elementary school in the morning and a soccer field in one of the local communities that afternoon.  The clinics reminded us of the movie Field of Dreams.  We “built”  (put up) the volleyball field and the kids came.  The coaches thoroughly enjoyed investing in kids’ lives who have very little in comparison to the families we know in the States.  What a blessing to be able to provide an opportunity that these little players have never had before.
When reflecting on the past 2 week, the team could not be more thankful for all that has taken place.  New friendships have been developed, the message of the Gospel spread, testimonies shared, and love displayed all through the sport of volleyball.  All the glory goes to God.  It was only through His Holy Spirit’s guidance, protection, and provision that we were able to accomplish anything in Costa Rica.
The team will have a 5 hour flight to Newark Airport today and are expected to arrive in the States around 1:30.  I am sure they will be exhausted, but they are excited to take back what they have learned and experienced  to share with their friends and families.  Thank you for all your prayers and support!  We could not have done it without you!

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