I told you about my delay in arriving in Costa Rica and the difficulty of not speaking the language. Now let me give you a brief run-down of the mission itself.
The work was divided into two projects – one prior to the weekend and the other the two days following. The second part was doing some painting in an existing church. What can I say? This team has done a lot of painting over the years and they pitched right in like they always do.
The first three days were spent in building a three-room house.
The on-site team of locals, with other mission teams, has built 16 three-room houses this year. Ours was to connect to an existing house of the same type construction. A family of seven lived in that house – both parents and five children ranging in age from one to 18.
The local team was already working when we arrived each morning, as it was an hour or more drive from the guest house where we stayed to the building site. They continued to work after we left at about four in the afternoon.
The concrete slab for the house was in place before we arrived in the country. There was something for everyone to do – painting and actual construction work, dry wall to be hung and painted, and electrical wiring.
Raising the first wall and tying it into the existing house brought excitement. Afternoon of the second day saw the roof going on. This was urgent due to the weather forecast. At the time the roof work began I was not watching but heard about it. I said, “Well, if there’s roof work to be done, I know my grandson is right there.” He was – right on top!
By the last morning for work at this site, we held an informal service dedicating the house and handing it over to its new owners.
But we were not yet finished.
Half our team took the family grocery shopping. They were given a $200 limit, and one young lady who is bilingual kept a running dollar total as they shopped. It was a thrill to see the mother truly shop. She didn’t just buy!
While we were grocery shopping, the other part of our team waited at the house to receive, assemble, and place furniture which had been ordered and scheduled for delivery that morning. There were beds, mattresses, pillows, linens, and curtains. When the family went to see their new home, it was ready to live in.
Maybe you are wondering, as I was, how this project was funded.
That evening during sharing time, I asked how much the house cost. The answer was $5,000.
Who paid for it? “You did! About half your team fees pay for your airfare and other trip expenses. The rest goes to pay for the project.”
Truly, on this mission, we gave of ourselves in many ways and felt so rewarded for our efforts. This family, as all other families who receive houses, will become active in a church. Many have come to know Jesus through this ministry.
Some 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ gave Himself in our behalf on the cross of Calvary so we can be assured of eternal life with Him. He knew the pain and grief He faced, yet He gave freely because He wanted you and me to have access to heaven. If you have not yet accepted Him, what better gift to give yourself this Christmas season than assurance of eternity in heaven?