I've been offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend this summer in San Ramon, Costa Rica interning with an organization near and dear to my heart, called Pura Vida Missions. PVM's mission is to enrich the lives of children and their families in the mountain town of San Ramon. Some of their methods include orchestrating a sponsorship program pairing children and teens with a donor who can fund much needed school supplies and uniforms, providing a support group for families, and hosting American groups who wish to interact with children and families in a culture different than their own. But the most important enrichment PVM brings to the lives of these children and families is the story of the amazing love of Jesus, and the tangible embodiment of that love. My job as an intern will be to act as a hostess and counselor to the visiting groups, most of which are made up of high school students from church youth groups. During the weekdays, I'll help lead morning devotions, and then bring groups to parks and neighborhoods to play with local children and put on a Bible study with crafts and stories through an interpreter. On the weekends I'll help prepare the PVM compound for the next groups, and explore the sights and culture of Costa Rica while practicing my Spanish-speaking skills.
PVM is a very special organization to me, and my experiences there have significantly affected my faith and my personal story. I participated in two, weeklong summer missions there as a high school student, where I was not only introduced to the excitement of experiencing new cultures, but also to Christianity outside the confines of our American expectations of it. Outside of our American version of church, there definitely isn't air-conditioning. There might not be a fancy sound system, dancing lights, comfy pews, or record-worthy praise bands. But what is most certainly there is the presence of God among people who are hungry for him. He doesn't need soft lighting and quiet background music to speak. He isn't concerned with performance or comfort. He is undeniably present and active. He speaks through squealing little children, through soggy clothes in the unfailing afternoon rain, through one guitar and an impromptu worship session, through morning Bible-reading cross-legged on the sidewalk, through late nights spent laughing with new friends. This is the God I fell in love with"”the God who isn't dependent on anything or anyone, who speaks through even the most everyday occurrences of life.
I'm so excited to be able to return to Costa Rica and work with Pura Vida Missions again, this time for two months instead of just a week. But PVM is a non-profit organization, and because of this I need to raise money to cover my own travel and living expenses, (about $3000). I've written this first of all to ask for your prayers as I serve this summer, but also to ask if you would consider supporting me financially. I need help to make the most of this opportunity, and even the tiniest bit helps! Thank you in advance for all your prayers and love!
Muchas Gracias, y Dios te Bendiga!
(Thank you very much, and God bless you!)
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