Wednesday, June 15, 2016
This morning, before venturing off to our schools, we were able to visit The Hope Center, which is the soup kitchen that Openhouse has built. Ashley Gonzalez spoke more to us about their mission at the Hope Center, and Openhouse and we were all truly blown away by her heart and work. Julio and Ashley's vision for the people and kids of San Jose is becoming a reality, and we are now more than ever in love with NorthPoint Ministries and all that Andy Stanley does in our communities and globally. The Hope Center serves 200-250 kids each day with meals. Ashley has an incredible vision for the soup kitchen, including wanting to make a hope circle (full of beautiful flowers and fresh paint on the neighboring homes) near the extremely poverished homes (100,000 people in extreme poverty in less than a squaremile right outside the Hope Center). At the Hope Center, they have ballet, art, tutoring for some of the kids for school, etc., they are hoping for next year to have classes for the single moms, and they are beginning to introduce small groups to the adults in the community. NorthPoint Ministries’ vision and strategy is absolutely being fulfilled here in Costa Rica.
At Lomas today, we sponged different colors on our newly painted walls, and scraped and scraped our messy paint (from our happy painters) off of the windows and floors. Most of our younger painters seem to always be wearing more of the paint rather than painting it. We are now completely done with painting 2 classrooms, including all the desks and chairs AND made a lot of progress on our beautiful mural outside. Today we also got to play a lot with the kids. Outside we played with bubbles, tag, and drew ducks with them (the younger kids), but the older kids are of course more interested in playing soccer. One of the kids even came outside with a Barcelona jersey, soccer cleats, and full uniform—he was ready to play! The principal came into the lunchroom and told us that the head honcho (boss of the boss of the boss) was visiting the school today, which is a HUGE deal and happens only twice a year! The principal expressed his appreciation towards us and all of our great work, and is very happy that we are at his school. Tomorrow, there is still much more cleaning to be done from our project, so tune back in tomorrow night to see the final pictures!
At Finca, we are almost finished with our painting!!! The walls look GREAT! (before and after pictures will be posted soon) :) Although it took much perseverance and dedication to finishing sponging the walls today (shoutout to Ashley and PJ), we will be finished tomorrow! Today, we did a special angel craft while also painting more of the walls and gates in the school. Today was also a much more calm day with the kids, which was a relief to all of us. Games such as basketball, jump rope, hop scotch, drawing with chalk, and more bubbles was more than enough to make our kids happy and playful. Because some of our kids won’t be at school tomorrow, a few goodbyes were said today, making it a little emotional as we left. At lunch, the adults spent most of their time coloring cards and writing notes in Spanish for the kids; our creative side was able to come out and it was wonderful! We were also able to watch the kids have their dance class at school. They danced to all kinds of music, and were very, VERY good at it. It was interesting to see a part of their culture come out in their dancing at the school. Tomorrow we will be doing finishing touches on the paint, and LOTS of cleaning up. We are excited, but also sad that our week is quickly coming to an end.
Lomas was able to visit the Finca school at the end of the day today, and Finca group is going to visit Lomas tomorrow morning. The Lomas group said that Finca is a much better school (building wise and cleanliness); however, Finca is in a much more dangerous place, so both schools have different dynamics. The Lomas group came to Finca so our translators and leaders could let us all peek outside the gated, barbwired, and enclosed school. We got to see the extreme poverty that our sweet kids are actually living in. There was trash everywhere, loose gravel on the road with potholes instead of pavement, and we were very close to the tin roof shacks that they live in. The longer our team stood outside, the more Costa Ricans that became curious. It is very dangerous to be out there as Americans, or really anyone, so we did not stay long. The view was very overwhelming for us, but made us become much more appreciative of all that we have at home in the U.S.
Tonight, our debrief was more emotional than usual. Lots of personal growth was had today with all that we saw in the community and with our trip ending in just a few days. The parents absolutely love watching their students play and work with the kids every day, and the students are loving, and admiring, their parents more and more. It’s so heartwarming to hear and see.
Blog collaborated by:
David Kelly- Thank you to all of our friends and family for your support. Shane and I (and Michelle and Caitlin) are blessed to be on a trip like this. Our eyes have truly been opened.
Shane Kelly- Today was a great at Lomas! I met a little boy named Angel who was 7 and he was eager to help us paint the classrooms. I am learning a lot on this mission trip. Thank you to everyone for all of your support!
Lisa Brown- Friends and family thank you, thank you, thank you for donating to our trip so that we could be here. It has been a heart changing week! It has been wonderful to see the completion of our hard work on the Lomas School. I have made connections with several children this week, and they will always have a part of my heart.
Molly Brown- This week has been completely life changing! I can’t express my gratitude for all the people who donated! Today I met 2 kids who made a huge impact on me. Both of them had so much love to share even though they receive little to none at home. Thank you for all of your prayers and support! XOXO
DeeDee Dubberly- Thank you for the encouraging words. Love you and can’t wait to get home and share our experiences. It has truly been a gift.
Mackenzie Dubberly- Hello dad thanks for supporting me to go on the trip. Do not forget to feed Ginger.