Lessons Learned from a Country in Distress


Abbi Vega, Staff Reporter

Costa Rica is a country in this world that will always have a special place in my heart. The reason for this is because it was my first mission trip and I met so many people that made an impact on my life. I was already nervous to go to a foreign country, and on top of that, it was my first time on an airplane ever, so that was pretty scary.

Even though I was scared, I knew that God was going to protect me because I was going to do work to bring attention to His name and spread His word to the people.

The people of Costa Rica had next to nothing, yet had so much joy. This was extremely eye opening for me because I saw how much joy you can have with very little necessities in life, such as a house or even a meal. Seeing the people that lived on the street and how desperate they were for basic needs put things in perspective for me. I realized how much I have and how little of it I actually need.

This was just one of the many lessons I learned in Costa Rica.

One lesson that came as a surprise was that the homeless and poor ministered to me even though my goal was to minister to them. Through different outreaches with them, I learned so much in how they lived their lives.

For example, one day the mission team went to the slums where people lived in tiny tin shacks. Three different groups split up to cover as many houses as possible and prayed over the houses. Whenever my group went from house to house to pray, all of the people asked us to pray for their children to have a relationship with God.

They did not ask for a house or for food, or even for clothes, but prayer. The fact that they asked for prayer for their children’s spiritual life instead of their physical needs really touched me and showed me a new perspective of life and our necessities.

I was expecting the people of Costa Rica to have terrible attitudes and not know anything about Jesus, but I was wrong. Most of them knew of Jesus and wanted a relationship with him, while others knew of him, but wanted nothing to do with Him because they blamed God for the way that they are living.

My expectations for the trip compared to what actually happened were completely different. I’m really glad I got the opportunity to minister to the people of Costa Rica and make relationships with people I didn’t even know I was going to meet 8 months ago. I’m extremely excited to have another opportunity to go next year. I pray I can take the opportunity again because the people of Costa Rica will forever have my heart.