Costa Rica volleyball – 5.21.14 update

Our first full day in Costa Rica was spent together as a team preparing for the ministry that will take place in the next 9 days.   It was a full day of learning more about Costa Rica and the Latin culture as well as Push The Rock and the different types of ministry activities we will be doing.  We also spent some time outside practicing together as a team to prepare for our games.  We finished our training day with a trip to Pops, a must-do experience for each of our teams that come to Costa Rica.  Pops is a brand of ice cream that is only made and sold in Costa Rica … and it is delicious!

Wednesday was our first full day of ministry.   We started the morning off playing volleyball in Costa Rica’s largest women’s prison with about 100 inmates.  We taught some basic skills to start off our time there.  Later we divided the women up into teams, each team having 1 or 2 of the team members helping the ladies out.  It was a unique experience to watch our team of mostly men teach and play volleyball with these women.  They were true gentlemen, showing the inmates respect and love that many have never experienced by men before.  When it was time to go, they were asking us to come back again soon.  I am sure we would all love to return, but unfortunately there are many others here who also need to experience Christ’s love, like the foster home we visited in the afternoon.

After lunch the team traveled to a government-run foster home to hold a volleyball clinic.  There are about 80 kids from the ages of 2-18 living in the facility.  All of the children have either been abused or abandoned by their parents before the government placed them in the foster home.  Push The Rock Costa Rica runs a weekly sports program for the kids between the ages of 6-12 there.  It was extremely encouraging to have some of the older teenagers who normally do not want to participate with the younger kids, join us this afternoon.  We were also blessed that God answered our prayers in holding off the rain.  It poured before and a little after our clinic, but not during!  Gracias a Díos!

In the night we played our first match!  We played against 2 different co-ed teams from Costa Rica’s National Bank.  The 3 girls on the team were extremely thankful to have the opportunity to play since our next 2 matches will be just for the men.   After we had played both games, shared a testimony, prayed with the teams, and taken pictures, we assumed we were done for the night.  However both teams wanted to play another game with us.   We were more than happy to play more volleyball!  It made for a late night, but I am sure we would all agree that it was more than worth it!  One of our opponents who is a believer shared with the team how she understood how difficult traveling to another country and doing ministry can be, but that she was so thankful the team was willing to come to Costa Rica.  It is always encouraging to hear your work is appreciated!

We closed our day with a late dinner and a testimony from one of the team members.  Thursday we will be doing a volleyball clinic in the young men’s prison and an elementary school.  We will finish the day with a men’s match against a local club team.  We are so thankful for all your prayers and support and look forward to sharing what else God does through the team in the coming days!

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