When we arrived in Costa Rica last August, one year seemed to be such a long time. We had images in our mind of how we would become almost natives, learning the language perfectly, and knowing every corner of this country. On the contrary, we have found that one year is only adequate to get your feet wet in the culture of a country. At no time is this more clear than when you begin to say goodbye.
This past Sunday, we said our first goodbye to our “home” church during the time that we have lived in Costa Rica. It is the place that we first learned to worship God in Spanish, and it has also been a place where we have felt God move in significant ways. This is a picture of the back wall of the church called Centro Evangelistico. The Bible verse in Spanish, although maybe a bit difficult to make out, was a confirmation of the hand of God on our lives when we arrived. It reads “Lift up your eyes and look to the fields because they are white for the harvest –John 4:35”
As we were itinerating last year, I had felt in April that God had given me this verse in order to encourage us to reach the field as soon as possible. Thankfully, many individuals and churches responded to help us reach our budget goal and leave on time. When we arrived at the church Centro Evangelistico, we received this confirmation that we were on schedule. Now as we depart, I feel that this verse is sending us out. Telling us that now is the time to put our hands to the work.
And so, as we begin to wrap up our time here, we look toward the near future which includes packing, planning, and preparing ourselves mentally and spiritually, but we also look back, remembering the hand of God upon us here and the relationships built, and how each has affected us greatly.
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