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Philadelphia Mission Trip Day Three

We had a great day today. Today we switched up the groups. Group 1 became group 2, and group 2 became group 1, but just for today. My group went to the summer camp today with Ashley. We got to spend a great amount of time with kids from Philadelphia. They are very lovable kids and they are great to work with. As soon as we got there all of the kids started interacting with us. The age range was very drastic from 6 to 12-year-olds. They are a very ... Read More »

Philadelphia Mission Trip Day Two

Today we started the day off by doing a devotional about relationships and interactions with other people. As usual our group slept in the van on the way to our first site, so we had no idea how long we were driving and where we were going. We put our lives into the hands of our fearless leader Steve; he always takes charge and gets the job done. When we got out of the van we were each handed a dollar and tasked with feeding ourselves and also feed some ... Read More »

Philadelphia Mission Trip Day One

What a busy day. Today, my group and I had almost the full Philly experience, at least according to our guide. We started out helping at a summer camp for underprivileged kids. We were told to make friends with the kids because we are going to be working with them almost every day this week. The kids were excited to see us and we were quickly able to break the ice between us and the kids. After we played with them for about half an hour, we went on a ... Read More »

Costa Rica 2013 Mission Trip Day 5

Today was the last day of working at the site and with the kids at VBS, and only now do I realize how fast the week has gone by. In only one week we have paved an entire parking lot and renovated the local church in order to help the community of Alajuela, Costa Rica connect with each other and with God. Today, I installed windows and grouted tile at the church which thankfully was the cleanest job I have done all week. After lunch, the whole group went to ... Read More »

Shoes

Hola amigos! When I left the airport on Sunday I knew that the person I would miss the most was my little sister. On this trip there are two sets of sisters and every time I see them interact I think of my sister Emma. As she hugged me good-bye she told me that she couldn’t wait two years till she was able to come with me on a mission trip. She will be happy to know that all the money my parents gave me for the week has been ... Read More »

Costa Rica 2013 Mission Trip Day 4

Yesterday, Tim shared in his message that we should all take small steps in our daily lives to act more like Jesus. So today, I decided to step up and volunteer to do the “dirty job”. We mixed the cement, and made a small parking lot. By lunchtime, I was covered in cement, but it was the most fun I’ve had doing work all week. This made me realize that taking steps to be more like Jesus wasn’t hard at all. Even though my shoes will never be the same ... Read More »

Costa Rica 2013 Mission Trip Day 3

Today we went to the market in Alajuela, Costa Rica.  It was so interesting seeing Costa Rican culture here. All of the colors and sounds made it such an amazing experience. We also went to the zoo. At the zoo we saw all sorts of animals such as lions, porcupines, birds, snakes, squirrels, and, my personal favorite, a two-toed sloth. At the zoo Cheyenne and David both got their faces painted. Their faces were painted as a pair of tigers. Then we went home had lunch and got ready for ... Read More »

Costa Rica 2013 Mission Trip Day 2

On the second day here at Costa Rica, we woke up at 7, showered, ate breakfast, had devotional and then we were off to work. Some of us went to the church, others were painting, and still others, like me, got the job of mixing cement. We had lots of fun mixing buckets of dirt, stones, water, and cement into the VERY noisy mixer. Then we utilized wheelbarrows to wheel it over to the lot where we were filling in. We got 1 ½ rows done, which anyone who was ... Read More »

Costa Rica 2013 Mission Trip Day 1

Six hours, two planes, and three countries later, we arrived in Costa Rica.  Having never been out of the country before, this trip seems like the adventure of a lifetime.  Because I was so excited to be in somewhere other than NOVA, I wasn’t even that irritated when I was woken at the crack of dawn by car horns honking.  I’m not sure if you all are aware of this, but Costa Rican driving is extremely different from American driving.  In an attempt to avoid ethnocentrism, I won’t say that ... Read More »

What is Cuba Like? by Bill Gray

I’m frequently asked about my trips to Cuba. What we do there is the most popular, followed by a curiosity of the island, and finally the mystique of a communist country. The politics are just that and change in that country is inevitable. But why I go there isn’t an easy answer because there is something intangible and mysterious about the experience. The Cuban Methodist Church is like many outside the US or Western culture, LIVELY. Yes, the worship experience is unlike ours, maybe closely resembling gospel here in the ... Read More »

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