Day 2 - Wednesday
In spite of a long day yesterday and a rather late night, I woke up early as the sun came up about 5:30 in Costa Rica. It could have something to do with a rather firm mattress lying on plywood as well 🙂
I came down from the loft, actually a six feet high platform over half the room where a mattress is thrown. It’s rather rustic. I’ll have to take pictures to describe it. But the benefit is that we have a private restroom and shower attached. I guess the redeeming quality of the Hostel Bekuo is the free wireless internet that keeps us connected with the world! However, the internet is apparently turned off in the early morning when the staff vacate their post and is not turned back on until about 8:00 or so. Guess I better get my updates done before going to bed tonight.
The group from the Western District made it in from the airport about 6:30 this morning. Missionary David Schwarz dropped them off and planned to meet us back here at 10:00 to begin our day that we have planned for site-seeing and shopping in downtown San Jose, Costa Rica. After I got around, I went out and saw the Brumfields (Ethan’s family in the country for vacation) as they were heading out for their next adventure. I got a cup of coffee and also met the rest of the group with Roy Fisher, director of the Western District group. The group included Kaniel, Josh, Katrina, and Andrea who were lounging in the common areas of the hostel with Ethan. We visited awhile getting acquainted with the new additions to our team and waited for breakfast. Today’s menu included pancakes, pineapple, toast and jelly.
After everyone had breakfast we met again in the lounge and Ethan went over the schedule and other details with the group. When David Schwarz arrived he cautioned everyone about safety and keeping a close watch on all possessions, purses, and cameras. We rode about in a fifteen passenger van he rented for our transportation and his Sheaves for Christ vehicle, a Toyota Prada (not available in the USA). We finally got away from the hostel about 10:30.
We drove downtown and found a public parking area to leave the vehicles and continued on foot. We toured the downtown area by a large catholic church, the National Theatre, and ended up at a large bank where most everyone needed to exchange US currency into Costa Rican Colones. The exchange rate is 500 colones for 1 dollar. So we left there feeling richer with several 10,000 colone bills ($20)!
We took some group pictures in the park area by the National Theatre and walked a couple of blocks to an indoor market. We spent about 30 minutes browsing around and picking up a few gifts from family. We continued the walk to where the vehicles were parked and then continued to a restaurant where we ate lunch. There was a choice between hamburger and chicken sandwiches to more local cultural fare. I opted for the local specialties of rice and black beans with a fried fish filet and my wife ordered the same with a chicken fillet. It also came with fried plantains, a banana tasting fruit that is plentiful here. It was delicious!
After lunch (about 3:00 PM) we returned to the hostel and took a nap! Siesta! Some of the team practiced on our drama skit, sign songs, and Spanish worship songs. After a little nap I worked on transferring pictures to my computer and uploading some selected pics to Facebook.
Missionary David Schwarz returned a little after 6:00 to take us to Pavas, about 45 minutes away for our first service. This is the church that was started by the Schwarz in 1998 and is now lead by another missionary family Pastor Paul and Stephanie Rivero. It was a clean brightly lit and nicely painted facility.
Their praise team led a few songs of worship before the service was turned to us. I greeted the congregation then Ethan came up to lead the service and introduce the various parts of the service they had prepared. Rhette, Siarrah, Julia, and Shanda did a condensed version of “The Ragman” that they had done for an Easter drama. Following that Adrian led Julia, Shanda, and Siarrah in a sign language song, “No Sweeter Name.” Our praise team led two more songs before the preaching.
Roy Fisher, pastor of Gracepoint in Oroville, CA, preached tonight about the question that Jesus asked the sick man by the pool. It was a great thought and people responded well. It appeared there were some visitors who were touched with the service and prayed both in the altar and among the seats.
After some more worship music we were invited to stay for a meal prepared by the church. It was plates of the local fare: rice and beans, salad, baked pork in a tasty sauce and fried plantains.
The trip back to the hostel did not take a long because the traffic thins out greatly in the evening. We retired to our room after making plans with Ethan for tomorrow and discussing some details of the tour. It was about 10:00, still early! I uploaded more pictures to Facebook and begin updating my journal.