I (Anna) think I speak for the group when I say we’re thankful to be back. For the first few days I was acutely aware of the juxtaposition of our day-to-day experiences of there versus here. For one, I woke up at noon the first day back. Having barely slept during our trip, I’m still grateful every night for the plushness and dryness of my bed. Unsurprisingly, that same day I also ran into half my team at chick-fil-a; one can only go so long without fried chicken. Though I enjoyed getting back to the regularity of my life, slowly but surely I began to miss it. I miss hearing Spanish, and beingwith my best friends 24/7. I miss the pace of life, and the acceptance of our inability to truly plan anything. Oddly enough, I miss the disconnect, and not having to worry about where my phone is all the time and what I’m missing when I’m otherwise occupied. Mostly, I miss the feeling of purpose that came with every moment spent at La Montana. Waking up at 6:30 was worth it when you had a quiet time to do, and a rainforest to enjoy it in. Working hard was worth it when we got to see projects completed, or campers enjoy a space we cleaned. All the rice and beans were worth it when you got to spend time at meals with new friends, or people we were just getting to know. As someone who is fueled by nuance, I deeply miss the opportunity of every moment to discover something new, to meet a new person or try something new.
(Emily) Guys, the irony is too real right now. If you've talked to anyone who was a part of the Costa Rica mission trip, you've probably heard tales of the Atlanta airport extravaganza and how we somehow managed to grab our luggage, go through customs, and sprint through terminals all within the span of 30 minutes. Well, right now I'm writing to you from the Atlanta airport because my family just missed our flight to Memphis. It brought back memories of our time in Costa Rica and of the things that God revealed to us while we were there with a new perspective. As the "camp high" fades, we have to find ways to apply what we learned there to our everyday lives. For me, it's not all that easy. I sometimes find myself doing life in the same ways I've always done it, with little evidence of any life transformation. On my own, I'm going to do just that -fall back into the same rhythm in which I've always walked. With God, I have the ability to be different, to act like a person who has experienced firsthand what He has the power to do in the lives of those around me.
We were able to catch the last flight, but our seats were in completely different areas of the plane. I ended up sitting between two older men, one of which I talked with the entire flight. Let me just say that God works in mysterious ways. I'm not sure if this man was a Christian or not, but right when I sat down, he held up my arm (which is covered in Costa bracelets) and read the one that says OF ALL NATIONS. He gave me a quizzical look and asked me what it meant. I was able to tell him about the prayer room we decorated, the campers we talked with, the wheelchair ramp we built, and most importantly, the Savior that we were serving. If we hadn't missed our flight, I wouldn't have been able to share the Gospel with this man. He was an eighty year old neurosurgeon who travels frequently and was intrigued by Costa Rica and loved hearing about the trip. Dear God, continue forcing us outside of our comfort zones to build your Kingdom.
Emily C & Anna M