What an early morning! The alarms started going off around 4:30 am, we got dressed and boarded the bus by 5 am, and we’re on our way for a day of ministry. Surprisingly, the bus was very chatty for that early in the morning. The front of the bus had meaningful conversations, while the back of the bus played some early morning Catch Phrase.

Today’s agenda included traveling north to Sarapiquí, a banana, plantain, and pineapple farm community. We got to drive through the mountains for the first time after seeing them from afar. We were treated to some pretty amazing views. After about an hour drive, we stopped at a breakfast spot that resembled an outdoor cafeteria. They had a wide variety of foods, and we all were pushed out of our comfort zones when deciding what to eat.

After breakfast, we had another hour drive to the community where more deep conversations were had. While driving, the group learned that pineapples do not grow on trees but from the ground. We were also reminded that bananas grow upside down on the trees.

We arrived at the church and passed time before the community arrived by playing some hacky sack. After only two days of playing together the teams skills are coming together nicely.

As the kids started arriving, we began introducing them to hacky sack and tossing a ball around. Once the rest of the community arrived, we did a team favorite of sitting together and learning everyone’s names. We then moved on to play a couple of games invented by Coach V.

We then broke up into 3 different age groups and played the lookup game, “pato, pato, ganso”, and keepaway. The writers of today’s blog were both in the group with kids 10 and older, and we were impressed with the kids attention span to these games, especially “pato, pato, ganso.”

After a little while in the smaller groups, we split into two larger groups where the guys did some dribbling skills with the soccer ball and the girls had their nails painted! The nail painters then had some time to talk to the girls and got to know them better. A couple of our team members had the privilege to get their nails done in return by some of the kids.

We then got to use the filter training we did. Eli K., Kate, and Grace showed them how to put together the bucket filter, and Eli (with the help of Ben) got a round of applause for their drilling skills. Allison showed them how to use the tap filter and once they received them, they were so thankful. We also used the filter as an analogy for Jesus’ work in our life.

Eli, Kate, and Grace demonstrate how to use the Sawyer bucket filter.
Allison teaches the group how to use the Sawyer faucet filter.

Before the community left, lots of pictures were taken and thanks were given. The pastor shared with the team that their prayers for clean water in the community were answered. We were then invited into the pastor’s home for an amazing lunch of rice, chicken, beans, and plantain chips. Here the team shared more fellowship with each other and a few members of the community. We were very grateful for them inviting us to share a meal with them and all their hospitality.

We then boarded the bus and began our trek back to the AMCA house. Once again, the bus was filled with meaningful conversations and laughter. These conversations allowed us to get to know each other better and deepen our friendships. Everything from what you want in a spouse to things that we find overrated. We were lucky to get to experience a popular ice cream shop in San Jose, Pops. We all tried something different and enjoyed what we got.

When we returned to the AMCA House we had a few hours to rest and collect our thoughts on what happened during the morning. We then enjoyed debriefing our morning and learning about the next half of the trip.

It was almost time for dinner and Ben, Eli K., and Eli S. were placing bets on what dinner would be… Italian hamburger, burritos, or tacos. Eli S. was correct but with some innovation it was shown that everyone was able to enjoy what they predicted. After dinner, we heard the faith stories of Allison and Alaina and spent the time dissecting 1st John 2:12-17. We also had some time to pray with each other. Looking back on the day, we are very grateful for the conversations that led to deeper relationships.

Thank you for prayers and support! We are excited to see how God continues to work in us in the coming days and watching the relationships between our team members develop even more.

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  1. Blessings on your rest tonight. Your days are incredibly full and we back at home are so thankful to hear from you each day. Everything you do sounds interesting and valuable for life!
    Your friend,
    Vonnie Ritsema

  2. What a wonderful day and experiences you had! Just curious what WAS for dinner! 😁

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