Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pura Vida

Okay. Today is the leaders’ turn to post to the blog.

Today was our third and last day at the Abraham Project. We took turns/shifts between working with the kids at the daycare and doing various manual labor tasks – pulling nails and staples from boards, moving scaffolding and concrete blocks from the parking area, and moving broken fence sections out of the way. The students seemed to have a great time, and kept a good attitude during all of the above.

Before leaving the Project, we were led through a short debrief time by Jonathan (our in-country host) and Steve (the Children’s Home director). The students (and us leaders) were given the chance to share about our experiences, and it was reinforced that what we’ve been working on – though it may have seemed small – makes an incredible difference when combined with the work of all the other teams, past and future.

You have raised some pretty cool kids. Though this week has flown by, we have gotten to see the maturity, thoughtfulness, and faithfulness of this team in many ways; they don’t complain during manual labor, they give their all when playing with kids, and they are pretty darn hilarious when playing our nightly games of Mafia & Quiddler. As leaders, we feel like we’ve been spoiled because we’ve basically just been hanging out with fun people this week, and getting to watch them grow in their faith and character. Our small group times have given us space to really process what they have been seeing and feeling, and they really seem to be “getting it.” We have confidence that the streets and schools of Bellevue are going to feel the impact of students who have really had a heart-changing experience.

Joe, John, Jess and Kat

PS We will be arriving into Seatac at 9:41pm Friday Aug 13, 2010 from Houston on Continental.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Today Was a Fairytale

Hello! This is Morgan and Chelsea here (: Today, our day off, started at about 5:45 this morning. We rode the bus to Volcan Póas where we saw a volcano crater and then we hiked up to a lake covered in clouds and fog. However, the clouds blew away when we arrived and then we were able to take tons of pictures! We stopped for a quick snack and shopping, then we took the bus down to Póas Canopy Tour where we geared up for our zip lining adventure. There were 21 platforms with 12 cables total. The very last cable was a quarter of a mile long. The view while going was beautiful, flying over a tropical rainforest. We finished the adventure off with a delicious lunch, then had a long, bumpy ride back to Franco’s. We all took much needed naps, ate a great dinner, and ended with Mafia and Quiddler. Lets just add that Morgan won Quiddler for the second night in a row. Off to bed, lights out. Buenas noches!

Love Morgan and Chelsea

PS. Hi Mom, Dad, John, Alison! Miss and love you all. -Morgan
Hi Mom, Dad and Zoey! Love and miss you! –Chelsea

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Spiderman & Chickys

Hola! This is Emily, Melody, and Elena.

Today we worked at the Abraham Project again pulling nails and working with the children. We played games with a giant parachute with all the little kids that went to school there, we also helped them make paper masks. Emily made an Ironman and Spiderman mask for a little boy, and Melody made a flower mask for a demonstration. The most fun part of working with the kids was playing with the parachute. For a snack we all got Chickys, they are the best cookies in the world so don’t be surprised if all your kids come back fat! Something surprising about the people here is even though they are poor and don’t have many things, they are way happier than anybody we have ever met. Seeing the kids here, they seem so happy all the time, even though their parents have done horrible things to them in the past. It is hard to imagine anyone hurting the kids, because they are so cute and joyful. Another thing is that the Abraham Project has no sure source of money and they are short on supplies, but they don’t worry because so far, God has helped them through it all with providing them the money and supplies they need. It has been really amazing to see how brave they are in trusting God.

Mom, Dad, Sam, Elizabeth, Tess, and Cooper! I love and miss you guys!! –Emily H.

Heyy Mom and Lizzy, I miss u guys soo much and can’t wait to see you!!! I love u guys- Melody B.

Hey Mom, Dad, and Maria! I miss you and love you!!-Elena W.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Costa Rica - Day Three

Today for breakfast we had bacon and eggs. Also on the table were the normal staples of Café (coffee) and gallo pinto (rice & beans). After breakfast, we headed out to Project Abraham.

At the project we got a rundown on the facility and its history, then began work. One of the cool things that Project Abraham has going for it is a large donation of wood that was previously used to ship glass to a local company. The majority of the buildings there are made with this wood. The only problem is that the wood, as it comes to them, is full of nails and staples, with the occasional screw. Our first project was to remove all of these from the wood so it can be planed and processed for construction. It is amazing to see what they do with the wood. They have built 95% of the buildings, furniture, floors, cabinets, etc , and all this stuff is beautiful…It’s a cool metaphor for the Christian life.

During a break, we walked up to the corner store to pick up some Chicky's. (Chicky's are a cookie, consisting of a buttery wafer, covered in a thick chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla shell. We then returned to pulling nails and screws from the boards. After lunch, we switched to a landscaping project, leveling dirt in the yard. Then we toured one of the children's homes and Steven (the leader of the Abraham Project) told us many stories about the kids living there. Afterwards we returned to Franco’s for a relaxing evening. Joe introduced us to a word game called Quiddler, but he never won because Jess Brown is a walking dictionary.

Love you Mom, Dad, and Natty –Bro.

Hey Mom and Dad and Laura and Papa! I love you guys! <3 xoxo Costa Rica is tight! – Dylan

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Costa Rica Day #2

Brigitte and Alex here! Coming to you live from Costa Rica. No weather problems, except torrential downpours and thunder and lightning…
In other news, this morning, we woke up and had our first typical breakfast consisting of rice and beans with a ham and cheese omelet, OJ, bread and weird jelly and butter. After, we all went to a traditional Costa Rican church service, ALL IN SPANISH, mind you (We didn’t understand anything). We could feel God’s presence even though we didn’t understand the language. Alex says: “worship was pretty awesome cause it was pretty awesome!” (video below)
After church, we changed and went to a “local eatery” and it was After our epic lunch we went on a coffee tour and learned about how they make coffee through an amazing performance of costumes on wheels and marriages. We learned about the structure of coffee beans and the process of making coffee properly. Alex and Jess even got to participate in said process! The tour would have been outside if it wasn’t for the weather… But we got sweet souvenirs!
Following the coffee tour we went a local restaurant and had the best food ever! I, Brigitte, had chicken and rice and beans and horchata and Alex had FISH and rice and beans and a mango smoothie. It was tastier than it sounds.
Now we are sitting in Casa de Franco (our hotel)meet and then waiting to play quiddler and possibly the good, the bad and the ugly.
Costa Rica is sweet. It’s really humid and there is lots of greenery but it’s definitely different from my expectations, I like how there’s not as many stray dogs as Tijuana (saves me a lot of tears), but it’s still pretty underdeveloped… I really like it here and I already have my first bug bite, let’s hope I don’t get some crazy Costa Rican disease that makes me crazy.
Alex really enjoys the Costa Rican cuisine (omnoms) and is really excited to go zip lining and to hang with the kids at the Abraham Project.
Day two of the Costa Rica Mission Trip was a success and we are really looking forward to the rest of our time here. More blogs coming soon!
Brigitte & Alex & the team
HI MOM HI DAD! HI CARSON! I’m taking good care of Clancy McFeathersworth…even though he fell off of the top bunk last night… =[ yo mom can u give the blog address to carson he doesn’t have it. KTHXBYE <3
Hey momma and daddyo! I miss you lots! Hope you’re taking care of Annie, pet her for me :] And tell Bonnie to not steal my clothes while I’m gone…

Video of the church service today!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

We Made It!

After a long day of travel we made it! Tonight we went to the church that helped found Abraham Project and attended youth group. We had a great time worshiping and hanging out with the students from the church. We will post pictures tomorrow.


Friday, August 6, 2010

"Out of Order"

Hi Everyone! Costa Rica Mission Team here.

We all made it safely to the airport and found a place to sit and wait before our plane boards. We happened to place ourselves by some "art" titled "Talking Fountain". Yes, a drinking fountain that makes audible gurgling sounds when used. We qucikly became disenchanted with its novelty, and came up with a creative solution. We built an "Out of Order" sign to prevent our fellow airport visitors from using the fountain, which ended up being somewhat entertaining as people had to walk another 20 feet to another nearby (silent) fountain.

Above is our first team photo (past security). We'll probably post again with a real update during our layover in Houston and/or when we arrive in Costa Rica. Until then...