This past week we went on the 2019 Costa Rica mission trip! It was a marvelous time and we as a team accomplished and learned a lot.

We split up into two VBS teams that visited two sites each. The first group went to two neighborhoods called Pastoral and Linda Vista. There were a lot of kids at both these sites! We had fun playing soccer, parachute games and teaching the children the Bible memory verses. We also had fun practicing our Spanish while teaching the kids English! We spent the first half of the day at the first site, took a lunch break and then went to our second site for the rest of the day. The second site was a small church with room to play. 

The second group went to two different neighborhoods called La Unión and Copan. La Unión was a smaller VBS group because a lot of the local kids were in the school down the street but, as soon as the school got out, the kids would rush to our site and we greeted them with balloons and people to play with! At this site we hung up a basketball rim and net where there hadn’t been one for years. As soon as it was finished, the kids were so excited to shoot around! We taught kids how to play the game “horse” and they had a blast. At the site Copan, there was a huge soccer field. Each day we played soccer and fun soccer drill-type games with the local teenagers and young boys. They had a blast and taught us so much about soccer (while running circles around us). It never ceases to amaze me how talented they are at soccer and how much endless fun it brings. At this site we had about 15 or 20 people for VBS on average, ranging in age from babies to the local moms. They all were so sweet and appreciative that we came to have fun and share our stories with them.

Each day a different person on each team gave their testimony after the Bible lesson. The kids were attentive and enjoyed hearing about our lives and how we have experienced God and faith. An impactful part of VBS was being able to pray for each other, thanking God for our new friends and experiences.

Aside from VBS, at the mission we all grew closer together and enjoyed playing card games and laughing with each other. We had opportunities after worship to have deep talks, pray and together reflect on our lives at home. At one point, the question was posed, “Now that we’ve seen and experienced this place, how are we going to let it change our lives at home? what are we going to do differently to better ourselves?” We each went around the circle and answered honestly. It was a beautiful bonding experience with a deeper call to action.

Throughout the week had so much fun going to play indoor soccer, the beautiful waterfall “Las Musas”, and the centro downtown.

The weekend trip was also a blast, with an equally exciting and relaxing trip to the hot springs at the base of Arenal volcano. This time was fun to reflect and grow closer to each other while in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Saturday we went zip-lining over the breath-taking rainforest! We saw a sloth and a howler monkey that almost pooped on us! The last night we went into La Fortuna, a cute town with local shops and great food! The weather wasn’t too bad and though our flight home was delayed, we made it home safe, sound, and with changed hearts.

While this trip is focused on service, we are the true benefactors of such a priceless shared experience. Thank you to everyone who supported this trip and worked so hard to help it succeed. Prayers that we never forget all we’ve experienced.

Pura Vida!

Amanda Bunn