New Beginnings 

Today is day 37 our 82 day journey. We have officially moved from the big city of San Jose, to the small, rural area of Shiroles, just next to the Panama border on the north eastern side of Costa Rica. 
As the group paired up and set out to live the local way with their host families, my partner and I were blessed enough to travel with our host parents to Coroma, the most off-the-grid place I have been. We had to take a boat ride, go on a bus, and hike for 45 minutes to get there. The journey was amazingly beautiful.
During this time, we were able to help out a short-term group with their work projects. We bathed in the river every night, played (or watched) soccer with the locals, and just talked.
It’s crazy to see the difference between a short term group and a longer-term mission group. Although I really enjoyed my time in Coroma, I wouldn’t say that I got to know Coroma. I was only there for five days, doing some work and talking with people in the process. And although those short-term trips can be helpful, I am so thankful to be living in Shiroles for two months to really get to know my family. 
This week, the Lord has been teaching me the gift of silence. There have been a lot of times that I’ve wanted to show someone the “more efficient” way to do things, or to do something for them. I’m learning that I can’t always fix people’s problems and that letting someone struggle through situations, whether that be the language barrier or something else, can be more valuable than giving them the “right answer.”

If you could be praying for our IMMERSION group, please pray that we all can grow closer to our host families and build relationships with the locals. Thank the Lord that whatever community we are in, we can build community. 

Comfortable in the Uncomfortable

I have been living in Costa Rica for more than two weeks, and I haven’t been sharing much about my experience. So, naturally, this is the blog post where I tell you all about my amazing experience in Costa Rica, the amazing host family that I have, and the wonderful adventures that I’m going on, right?

Nope.

Continue reading “Comfortable in the Uncomfortable”

Stepping into the Unknown

I got the nerves . . . Scratch that, I have legitimate jitters about my upcoming experience in Costa Rica. The idea of living away from home in a completely different culture for an extended period of time isn’t a new concept. When your parents are numb to the idea of their daughter traveling overseas “by herself” so much that they don’t even check with the organization anymore as to the safety and credibility of it, you know that you have the travel bug.

If I’m not nervous about experiencing a new culture, then what am I nervous for?

I think, at the end of the day, I’m nervous to fail.

Continue reading “Stepping into the Unknown”

Exciting News… you gotta read this!

Did that title grab your attention? Well, that is exactly how I feel right now . . . I literally can’t hold it in . . .

God is so good. You know when you know how good and great He is, with His perfect timing, yet once you actually experience it, it shocks you? That’s pretty much me right now.

Okay, I can’t hold it in any longer . . . Continue reading “Exciting News… you gotta read this!”

2016 in Review

I know that everyone is posting about their year, the good and the bad that it both brought, and I decided to jump on that bandwagon, in blog form. Basically, it gives me more space to write and just ramble on about my year. I realized how much I’ve gone through this year, how much I’ve learned, and the new experiences I encountered that have grown me into the person I am today, and I wanted to reflect on that.

So, what did I experience in 2016?

Continue reading “2016 in Review”

Can we just BE?

Remember when I used to make it a goal to blog once a week, so I could relax, reflect, and hopefully encourage someone in the process? Yeah, I remember that, too. Oh, the good old days . . . (aka, a couple of months ago!)

I tell myself that blogging can wait, because I have a lot to do, tons of responsibility, and many friendships to maintain. But if I can’t even get myself away from my friends for a couple of hours in order to process and fill myself up with Truth, how can I even think about pouring Truth into their lives?

Something I heard recently from an international classmate really stuck with me Continue reading “Can we just BE?”

Spiritual Highs vs. Spiritual Steps

Do you remember that one time at camp you rededicated your life to Christ? Or maybe, if you’re like me, you probably remember rededicating your life multiple years at camp right after the band moved you to tears and right after that amazing sermon. Do you remember the last time you challenged yourself to read your Bible and pray every day? How long did that last? Sometimes, my personal devotion comes as waves, and I’m sick of chasing more and more “spiritual” things in my life . . .

There’s a difference between a spiritual high and a spiritual step.

Continue reading “Spiritual Highs vs. Spiritual Steps”

The Beauty of Change

I breathed in the smell of wood and fresh air, looked at array of red, orange, and green trees around me, and just smiled. Can this truly be real? With fall in full-swing, every place I seem to find in Upstate and Western New York is filled with gorgeous beauty and stunning colors. With the change of the leaves and the slow, yet evident shift from summer to winter, this season has a lot to tell us about life in general.

Continue reading “The Beauty of Change”