A Testimony

 

Read below the testimony of what God is doing in Sarah Heyde’s heart as she serves with Esperanza in these summer months. She is a part of the Applied Leadership team from Colombia Bible College.  

 

What an amazing experience it has been so far to live in Shiroles and work alongside the Esperanza ministry. God has been working in so many ways, but I want to focus in on one major lesson He has been teaching me through the people and ministry here.


The way in which I have seen God at work in my life here in Shiroles, is that He has been teaching me the value of living day-by-day. I have seen this come up a lot here, either in the way I have seen people live or the things the say. Raul has mentioned it a few times, and it always gives me a lot to think about because it is not usually how I look at things. I am very much future-oriented, and not always in a good way - I can often worry too much about what lies ahead, and not pay attention to what is right in front of me. One specific thing that Raul mentioned that had really stuck with me is that we only have today - yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not even here, all we have is right now. So, how are you going to use this day to be a blessing? Thinking about this, I have realized how much my worries and concerns can get in the way of me being a blessing today. If my mind is focused on the future, that means it is not focused on the present. Maybe that seems obvious, but I can so often unintentionally do this. I can be focused on something up ahead - whether it be a task, deadline, an event, or any other concern - and I completely miss out on ways I can be a blessing right now. It is not as if I should never think about and plan for things to come, but when my head is always in a worried state, I become blind to what is right in front of me. After all, I do not even know if tomorrow will ever get here! It's really all about trusting God to provide for my needs, for both today and the days to come. Jesus teaches us to pray "give us today our daily bread," not, "give us all we need for the next few weeks (or months) right now." No, it's about trusting in God on a daily basis that He will provide you with what you need and give you the tools and strength you need to be a blessing to others. I see this lived out so faithfully in the people here at Esperanza. Whether it be the children's ministry, or visiting with the elderly, or helping out people in the village with different work projects - they are faithful to their task and always find a way to be a blessing to those who come across their paths. I am so inspired by how they keep on giving of their time, energy, and resources, and then give beyond that. There is always room for someone at the table, always space for one more person to join in an activity, and always enough strength to bless one more individual. They give and give, and I can only see this coming out of the immense love they have for God and his children, and the trust they put in Him to provide for their daily needs. That is something I want to take with me back home: to know that God has given me what I need for today, and because of that I can be a blessing to others. I do not need to concern myself with how He will provide in the future, for today is the day He has given me to be a blessing to others. I really do only have this day - will I use it to focus on things that have not happened, or to focus on what is right in front of my eyes? If I have learned one thing in my life, it is that you never know how profoundly your actions could impact others. So, I want to use this day to be a blessing to others, to the fullest capacity I can, in the way God has made me to do so. The ministry and people here have already taught me so much about this, and I am excited to learn more over the next few weeks!

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3rd Annual Children of the Promise Trip

We truly had an amazing weekend with the children who were able to make the trip to San José this past weekend. Of the 20 we invited, not one missed out on this experience. Though there are more than 20 involved in our Children of the Promise ministry, we are only able to bring those who have been participating the most in the course of the last year. 

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we were thrilled to have this cutie along, who had not travelled in years past because of her age, but her perfect attendance for years made us feel like she had definitely earned her spot. 

 

Our days were packed with fun - first we headed to the Costa Rican Children’s Museum - a first time for us all!   

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SO MUCH to explore there, we only got to see about a forth of it!  But the kids loved learning about Ancient Egypt, electricity, architecture, and “shopping” in the supermarket!  

 

From there we headed to the house of a friend of Esperanza who invited us all over for the afternoon - the kids had a blast playing soccer, eating hot dogs, chocolate cake, s’mores over the campfire, and especially the piñata!  We were so grateful for the generous invitation!   

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Day 2 we headed to the pools and had a great morning playing in the water and were so grateful to finally feel the heat of the sun!!

 

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That evening we tried something new - we headed over to the new trampoline park!  The kids absolutely LOVED jumping and playing to their hearts content 💗

 

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Day 3 we spent at the Amusement Park and after that, it’s safe to say these kids were tuckered out!  

 

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THANK YOU to our friends at Lil Lambs who made this possible a third year!  We have no words to express our gratitude!  But these smiles should speak volumes!   

Centenary Team Fall 2017

Post Contributed by Richard Grier 

Arriving in the beautiful rain forest of Shiroles, Costa Rica is always refreshing…especially when you bring 3 ten and eleven year old girls that are full of life, wonder and love with you! Our team of 9 arrived in early October to serve alongside the leaders of Esperanza for the week. While we had some things planned, we were prepared for anything God brought our way. Our crew came prepared to teach the women and children how to weave on a loom. We saw many beautiful creations (along with some half-finished-due-to-frustration looms). In addition to weaving, the women and young girls from KY got to share about their personal journeys with God and encourage the women and children from the area in different ways.

 

 

Three of our leaders spent 4 nights training 16 Tico leaders to hopefully begin an IAM3RD soccer league in the area. (IAM3RD is a sports ministry based out of Centenary UM Church that is now in 4 countries and has over 4500 participants in Central KY.) Each afternoon following the training, we invited local children to come and participate in a two hour clinic, which included a devotion, physical training, soccer skills training and games. The number of children grew each day until we finished the last day with 48. By the 3rd day of clinics, the local leaders were running the show (in spite of the lightning storm nearby). It was so powerful to watch the leaders plan the next day with their group of coaches and then execute the plan to perfection. They shared responsibilities throughout the two hour clinic and all the children were very engaged. We can’t wait to see what God does with this league in the near future.

 

Our crew also got to hike up to Kimi and Raul’s new “retreat lodge and farm” (fancy name for a 150 sq. ft. room with all kinds of planted vegetation and fruit overlooking the rain forest and mountains. While the hike was fairly straight up, the destination and its view made it all worth it.

 

For some of us, we have been to Shiroles multiple times so it is great to deepen old relationships, encourage othersand just spend time sharing God’s love. The time spent there is always renewing for us as well. For everyone, we witnessed one of the closest models of the Acts 2 church that a person can find - disciples making disciples that serve one another and their community while digging into God’s Word together. They serve the orphans, the widows, the elderly, the least, the last and the lost. They send people out to minister to those around Costa Rica and the world. Most of what they have is shared in common and there seems to be a deep trust in the Esperanza community. We jumped in with some manual labor, home visits with food and prayer, and great times of worship as a community of believers and friends.

 

Until next time…

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