Although I know I should be sleeping, I’m wide awake! It had been an exhausting 24 hours as I said goodbye to classmates who went on other outreaches and boarded this plane for Costa Rica. Still, my mind won’t shut down. It races through all the firsts for our team — first outreach from our base to Costa Rica, first flight for one of my teammates and first time for so many of us in the Spanish speaking world.
It felt strange to be done with lecture phase. Our class had taken plenty of risks with each other during our three months in Madison. Emotionally we’d bared our souls and become very close. Financially, we’d trusted God for everything (including laundry soap) and He’d come through BIG time with every one of us getting the funding for outreach! But now, the risks felt different. It felt like we had been walking around a familiar garden, tasting delicious fruit, but now, God was taking us to a an extension of the garden we’d never seen with crazy plants and unknown fruits and again saying “take, eat.”
Our team was the biggest sent out, nine in all, seven Americans one German and one Kiwi. None of us speak fluent Spanish. None of us know that much about Costa Rica. All we know is that God asked us to come.
The touchdown of the wheels on the Tarmac came sooner than expected. And suddenly this Costa Rica adventure became so real as we walked out of the plane and felt the warm air dancing around us.
We looked out the gate window and saw red/brown houses and dark green mountains. It became real as we left the gate and got sucked into a q, lining up to go through immigration. It became real when we walked out and were immediately assaulted with ‘taxi! Taxi!’ It was real, it was hot, but everyone was friendly, smiling, welcoming. I don’t know when it happened, or how it happened for everyone but by team time at 7:00pm all of us felt at home.
People warn you about culture shock. But I felt none of it. Costa Rica is beautiful, the land, the people, the animals — all gorgeous reflections of the love of God.
Our team settles in to our home for the next couple weeks — a farm with horses, chickens, a pig and a garden complete with aquapponics system. And as I hit my one day mark on outreach, I think of how much I’m learning already. Lecture phase was awesome. Now, it’s time to put those lessons into action!
by Emily Parker, January Spark DTS student from New Zealand
About YWAM DTS!