Day 6 - Sunday
Both services today are in the San Jose area and are only about a fifteen minute commute from the hostel. Since we had such a late night last night I slept in until 7:00! After showering and dressing I took a bag of mangoes to the hostel kitchen to share with the residents. I cut one up and took to our room for breakfast along with a mug of hot coffee. Gayla was up when I got back in there and of course was impressed with the room service :).
We left for the first service at 9:30. Everyone was rather quiet this morning. I think they weren’t awake yet. The church in Guadalupe meets in the back of a pet clinic. There is a hallway that leads back to the small room that serves as their auditorium. It is approximately 18’ x 30’ and was packed with people once they all arrived. Some were standing out in the hallway and looking through a window in the back. They had decorated the auditorium with streamers and balloons and had a “Welcome, God bless you” sign in English letters on the front wall behind the pulpit. The Vice President of the UPCI in Costa Rica is the pastor of the church.
They sang some of the older Spanish songs in the worship service. They had a drum set and a small keyboard. When they turned the service to us the PA promptly quit. Several worked on the connections until it finally came on again. I think Rhette was afraid of it quitting so after the sign song and skit they just sang the worship songs a cappella. It really sounded quite nice!
Katrina and Rhette testified in the morning service and Roy Fisher preached. He preached from the verse, “One Lord, one faith, and one baptism.” He talked about settling the questions in your own mind and being persuaded of the truth for yourself. There was a tremendous altar service with many coming forward for prayer. One asked to be baptized and some backsliders were renewed in the Holy Ghost.
The local church had a gift for the speaker today. Roy Fisher was the proud recipient of a handmade hammock. The pastor commented that it was made for two. Brother Schwarz accepted that as a word of prophecy!
After the service we went nearby to the La Princesa Marina, a seafood restaurant. It was very good. We ate shrimp, potatoes, and salad. I took a friends recommendation and tried the Tres Leches cake and coffee for dessert. It was very rich and tasty. I think I still prefer chocolate!
We got back to the hostel about 2:00 PM and rested a bit before getting ready for the evening service. Missionary Schwarz picked us up at 4:30 and we went to another church in the area, the suburb of Desamparados (literally means “forsaken”). It is the oldest church in Costa Rica built by their sister church in San Jose, California (Shoemake). It is called Centro de Vida. It is a great church and the largest congregation that we visited on this trip.
This was also the most progressive church we have seen. They had computer projection for the song service, good praise singers and music. The PA sounded great and there was a great spirit among the congregation.
Our team again did the signed song, the drama, and sang worship choruses in Spanish. After six services in a row they pretty well have everything down now! Andrea and Josh gave their testimonies in the service. I was asked to preach for this final service. There was a great response to the Spirit of the Lord in the altar service. Six people came forward for baptism and were baptized in the name of Jesus!
We visited with the people and some did their best to communicate with a few English words. We did our best to communicate with our few Spanish words! Wonderful people and a wonderful church!
We decided to go to McDonalds tonight since we had not had that yet! Wow, it was the fanciest McDonalds I have ever seen. It was two stories and had a McCafe on one side with leather chairs and a lounge style area. McDonalds has come a long way!
We got back to the hostel about 9:30 and began downloading pictures, writing in this blog, and talking to our daughter and granddaughter on Skype. With our laptop and Marenda’s iPad we were able to video communicate for free! We are very thankful for the good internet connection we have had at Bekuo Hostel and are hopeful that we will have some internet available in our next two stops. We have now packed up our suitcases except for some last minute items and are ready for morning. We will be leaving at 8:30 in the morning so until I’m able to write our chronicles and post on the internet again, Dios le bendiga!