I just returned from a six day Scout/Speaking trip to Costa Rica. This summer Youthmark will have a few teams headed to Central America. I was honored to have my friends Anthony (C.O.O. of Hope Partners International) and Mac (Lake Sawyer Christian Youth Pastor) with me on this trip. I will post a few blog entries about this trip, but for today, I will give you the top “Pictures that tell you 1000 or more words.” These will begin to give you a glimpse of a few of the things we were able to see and experience.
1. Costa Rican Christian Television! No make-up, no big-hair and unfortunately, no Carmen! Oh well! On Tuesday we were in studio for a 30 minute television show. We were asked many questions about Youth Ministry. It looks like Youthmark may be playing a key-role in a national Youth Leaders Conference in 2011. The guy on my right is Ronald, he was the talk-show host.
2. Blessings! It seems each day we were gone for many hours; but the longest day was Monday, we drove to a coastal town where we met Fernando. Several months ago this Christian leader discovered he had cancer, the doctors now give him just a few months to live. We visited him in the morning and discovered he and his wife are sleeping on the floor (with a 1970’s mattress on the ground). He is in great pain (especially his back). We left spent the rest of the day visiting many others, driving hours away. But Fernando stayed on our minds. On the way back we stopped and got an Orthopedic mattress and surprised them by returning and presenting him with the mattress. In a quiet moment several minutes after we gave the gift, I found Fernando overwhelmed and crying on his new bed, praising God. He said, “God is so good to me, I can’t believe how good He is to me…I believe God will heal me, I will continue to serve Him.” I promised Fernando that we would have many back in the states praying for him. Would you please lift up Fernando right now?
It was reported to us the next day that he had a VERY good night sleep!
3. Church! Many of you know I am a BIG fan of the book of Acts. This trip to Costa Rica felt very “early-church” to me. On Sunday we got to experience two church services. I was asked on Saturday evening to preach on Sunday morning at a church about 90 minutes away. What an honor! The worship was pure and genuine. We were so blessed by this humble setting. An 11 by 45 foot room is what I’d guess. In the afternoon I was asked to preach the message again at our second church back in San Jose, during worship I was led to change up my message, Erick confirmed that each message was the right one for the two different congregations. The second house-church was truly that, 30 people gathered in a 14 by 14 room. I thoroughly enjoyed how well they loved each other and devoted themselves to the things of Acts 2:42-47. After church we shared life, watching the Costa Rican National Football (soccer) team play on TV.
I can’t wait to share more. God is at work in Costa Rica. I am happy that He is blessing several from the US to join Him there this summer.