Costa Rica - What We Did

Costa Rica - What We Did
The beach in Jaco, Costa Rica is known for surfing (not the dark, hard to walk on sand).

What We Did  | Our Team | The Natural Beauty

During our time in Costa Rica, we spent 6 days in Jaco (pronounced Haco), Costa Rica doing work at Ocean's Edge ministries. Since Ocean's Edge started 20 years ago, Jaco has changed a lot.

Ocean's Edge has a lot of ministries going on and/or soon to be started:

  • Business as Missions for training community members to lead businesses in a God honoring way
  • Providing a Home Base for mission trips from all over the world
  • Coffee Shop to employ locals and provide deeper community relationships
  • Kids Surf Club (where the gospel is shared with kids in the community)
  • Website for Jaco businesses and tourists to outreach to local businesses
  • Painting light poles and murals throughout the city (demonstrating a partnership with the local government while expressing Christ as the light of the World, like light through stained glass)
  • Supporting the local church with youth group leadership

What we did

Dale, Elias, Caleb, Anna, Holly and Aiden at Volcan Arenal

Our short-term mission trip was a family mission trip with three families having kids as young as 6 years old and we had limited time, so we focused on two primary activities:

  • A baseball camp for kids at the local church
  • Painting a mural at a community playground

Baseball Camp

Baseball is not really a "thing" in Costa Rica. If there is flat land for a sports field, it is almost always a soccer field. But 9 months ago, a few members of the Horizon Church decided to start a youth baseball team in Jaco. They have official jerseys and everything. The team's first game was the Sunday after we left Jaco.

The baseball fields at Horizon Church. The only one in Jaco and one of the few in Costa Rica.

The baseball camp was run by two former professional baseball players (now Coaches) who came down from the US.  One Coach had a remarkable story of how God worked through his experience of being hit by a 100mph fastball and having to live in the dark for a year.

About 50-60 kids, ages 6-16, from the church and community came to the baseball camp to learn the basics of baseball - how to hit and catch. Several of the teenagers were quite good and you could see they have a future in the game. They seemed to love improving their skills with the coaches.

The gospel message was presented during one of the breaks to the kids. We pray that their connection with the church and the gospel is one that sticks long after the camp is over.

Having a little Spanish speaking ability helped. Holly used her abilities to talk to the kids and parents. Aiden and Caleb take Spanish at Covenant Christian High School. The baseball camp provided a good, safe training ground for them to speak in Spanish to some of the kids without feeling like they were being judged. It was great to see Aiden and Caleb engage on that level. Elias participated in the camp and helped run drills.

Holly provide medical care to Jose who hurt his head trying to lift some weights during baseball camp.

Anna didn't want to play baseball much (no surprise), but she connected immediately with some of the other helpers from the church and was a tremendous help in prepping snacks and lunches for the kids in the church kitchen. I (Dale) tried to fit in where needed. Sometimes it was helping a crying kid who missed his mom, helping out with baseball drills, or cooking hotdogs for lunch on a grill so everyone wouldn't eat boiled hot dogs.

Painting a Mural

Ocean's Edge has transformed Jaco's visible image using art. From lightpoles to murals, over the past 20 years the ministry has played an important role improving the image of the town. While each painting is uniquely created by the different teams, Ocean's Edge has intentionally established a common theme: light shining through stained glass.  Every painting utilizes bright, bold colors outlined in black.  This exemplifies the Hope of Christ shining into a dark world. Painting can be done by any age group, so it was an ideal task for the wide range of ages on our team.

Holly and Elias working on a mural painted by the team in a public playground adjacent to Ocean's Edge property.

Over the course of two days, we painted in the rain (with a canopy over us) and filled in details on our part of the wall. What you don't see in this picture is about another 50 meters of wall that will all be filled in with a continuous mural by other teams in the future.

In Summary

We experienced a beautiful country, but even better we experienced the transforming work of the kingdom of God as he transforms people and cities. It takes someone (like Ocean's Edge founder, Hannah Fletcher) with a calling from God and the faith to persevere in a dark place to enable many (like our team) to have the opportunity to see God at work and our faith increased.

Coming next...

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