Costa Rica ~ October 2006

Our second trip was back to Alajuelita, Costa Rica to again work with Cento Christano De Alarvanta (CCA).  Before we set off on our journey we were not 100% sure what we would be doing when we got there, but there is lots to do so we weren’t too worried.

Again we arrived on Saturday and after we dropped off our supplies we were off to visit some different ministries the church supports.  We visited the men’s drug rehab center.  Men, who are in physical, emotional and spiritual need come to the center to find hope and an escape from drugs and the streets.  The first few days they are at the center they basically sleep and go through the process of withdrawal.  After that they receive counseling to help them break their destructive additions.  When they are ready they are allowed to go out into the community to work.  All this is done with  spiritual and emotional support from CCA (Cento Christano De Alarvanta) workers and volunteers.

Next we stopped by the Women’s Rehab center.  Much the same happens there as at the men’s center.  When we come to CCA we not only bring our desire to work but we bring old cloths and craft supplies.  At the Women’s Center we were able to see those items put to good use.  The women sort and determine if the clothes will be used by one of the participants of the many ministries of CCA or be sold to raise money.  They also put the the craft supplies to good use by making items that they in turn sell to help support the ministry.

Then we were off to the homeless facility for the elderly.  We met some men who were obviously very grateful for CCA, one man had been at the facility for over 12 years.  I was struck by their willingness to welcome us into their home and share their stories with us.  The men we spoke to realized that they became homeless because of their own bad choices through life, but they had found hope, and a home, through the outreach of CCA in their community.

Sunday we worshiped with the folks at CCA and listened to a message on Mark 2:1-12.  Pastor Alberto left us with the question “What roof do YOU need to cut a hole through”.

Monday was the start of our work week.  By the end of our work week we had constructed and installed a new septic system for the Medical Clinic/Gymnasium building that is in the process of being built and constructed a 40′ x 60′ basket ball court.  To do all that we mixed and poured 30 yards of concrete without the luxury of modern day equipment.  It’s the way things are done here, money is spent on supplies, not equipment.

As with our last trip, there were many memorable moments, like material showing up just as we were running out, and the rain staying away when we needed it too.  One thing we didn’t know was that October was the start of the rainy season in Costa Rica.  It had poured everyday for a week before we arrived and we were told that October 2005 was the rainiest month in the country’s history.  During our work days we had no rain with the exception of our first workday, a 45 minute shower that happened during lunch break.   God is good.

Again we worked into the night to finish a septic system, we got the job done and on our last work day we were able to get the excavation done to get it covered. We also finished the basketball court, sweep off skirted it with stone. We still had some energy left so we moved about 500 concrete blocks, then the few the few with extra stamina got them up on the roof of one of the school buildings too help the local men who were adding on a second floor for more classrooms. The work there just keeps on going…

Then it was off for a few days of R&R.  The ocean was beautiful and the surf was a force to be reckoned with.  While a few of us tried not to drown some others took the opportunity to surf (or try to surf anyway).  There were shopping excursions and a canopy tour (can you say Tarzan).  A great time was had by all and we were gifted with three glorious days of sun and beautiful scenery on our trip to and from the resort.