Okay. I’ve been home for 9 days, and that’s long enough—it’s high time I got around to writing my followup blog entry to the Costa Rica mission trip. Let me start by saying that I’m sorry to have kept you waiting; I had every intention of getting this written a week ago! But things have been crazy since I got home.
If you have seen me since the team got back, you’ve probably heard me say that this trip was the best week of my life. And it was. It honestly was. If I could redo the whole thing, I wouldn’t change a single second. I wish I could redo it!
God taught me so much. For one thing, I’ve realized the insignificance of stuff. You may have heard my bad news–that I lost a $500 camera on the plane on the first day of the trip. At first I was beating myself up and I was so upset, but then here are these kids who are really no different than me, only they’ve never seen $500 in their lives and yet they’re praising God regardless. Why can’t I be more like them? Well, the answer is, I can. And I will. I will no longer let things and money come in the way of anything. Now hear me out on this; I’m not saying I’ll give away everything I own and I’m definitely not saying that stuff is bad. What I am saying, though, is that stuff isn’t everything. God is.
God also taught me that the miracles and things that happened back in Bible times still happen today. I used to think that that crazy stuff was limited to the New Testament, a fantasy that happened 2,000 years ago. But I’ve come to realize that it’s not that God doesn’t perform miracles these days. The thing is, we’re just not looking for them. The reason I can say this so confidently is because two members of our team witnessed a miracle with their own eyes. I wish I had been there! I mean, this was a real, authentic, Bible-style miracle. The kind where God casts out a demon. Pretty cool, huh?
It was during a Bible study in someone’s home in a really rough part of Los Anonos, when a guy just gets up and runs out of the house. Some of his friends (including Doug and Bud from our team) follow him to try and restrain him, because this guy is quite plainly having some serious problems. He’s got a demon inside of him, causing him to do some wild stuff. After nearly an hour of prayer, all the while having to hold this guy down so he doesn’t hurt someone, his demon can’t stand it anymore and leaves. The possessed guy just gets up, goes back into the Bible study like nothing ever happened, and escorts Doug and Bud home while playing the flute.
Talk about your 180’s! One second he is thrashing and striking out, wanting nothing to do with Jesus and the people who are trying to pray for him, and the very next second he’s making small talk and playing the flute! Now, to you this might seem a little hard to believe. You may be thinking, these people are crazy. They’ve gotta be making this up. No one ever really has demons inside of them anymore. Well let me be honest with you; I thought it a little far-fetched at first too. But Bud and Doug wouldn’t make this stuff up. You should have seen the looks on their faces when they were telling us their story the next day. Wow.
And those are only a couple of the many, many lessons I learned on this trip. God did some insane, awesome, beautiful, scary things and I’ll never forget a single one of them!
I’d rather not go into every last detail right now, but please talk to me in person sometime. Ask questions. I’d love more than anything to tell about my experiences!
I’d also love it if you’d be praying. Great things are going on in Costa Rica, and it’s changed so much since my first trip back in January ’08. But they still need all the help and prayer they can get. I’m going back there soon, not sure when yet, but I would like to know that even while I’m not there things are still moving forward. God is still at work.
Thanks for reading this, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. (I must say, words simply can’t do justice to the events and emotions that took place on the trip—but I wish they could!)