One of the most amazing weeks of my life was spent on a mission trip to Costa Rica this past February. A team from the Stow Campus of Christ Community Chapel travelled to San Jose to serve at Roblealto’s Bible Home. Someone from our team described Roblealto as a place that radiated God’s love. I felt it all week long. Every time I reflect back on the week I feel like I was given glimpses of heaven.
The land Roblealto owns and lives off of is breathtaking, but the people we spent the week with reminded me more of heaven than anything. The staff at Roblealto are nothing short of amazing and selflessly serve all the children that come through their gates. Roblealto Child Care Association is run extremely well. (Click on Roblealto to learn more about who they are and what they do) The staff is showing Christ’s love every day to these children so that they know a love like any other.
Some of these children are coming from homes where they are neglected or even abused, while other’s parents are working so hard to make ends meet, they may not have enough money to feed their children. Roblealto provides a safe home full of love and all the necessities the children need. They do all of this because they want to restore these families and change their futures.
These first set of images are from my first morning on the grounds at Roblealto. I was able to wake up early before the sun rose and sit on top of a hill to watch the clouds roll in. The red roofed building below are the chicken coops. Roblealto has a fully functioning farm that not only feeds the staff and children, but also provides jobs and helps to fund Roblealto.
The kids headed to school in the morning right before we would start work at the construction site. This particular morning happened to be laundry day, so those are the black bags you see some of them carrying down on their way to school.
While the kids were at school we worked on the Eden house. Roblealto currently has 9 functioning homes and when the Eden house is complete, they will be able to take in 10 more children bringing them to full capacity with 100 children. We worked alongside a local construction team to help frame, drywall and gravel the house.
The kids were getting out of school just before our work day ended and then we got to hang out with them for a couple hours. Most of this time was spent playing soccer (better known as futbol).
In the evening we got to spend time with the kids in the different houses we were assigned to. We had activities that we would do with them and every night before we left our house we circled up to pray together. We were fortunate enough to have someone in the house who spoke english and could translate what the boys were saying. One night hit me hard when one of the boys prayed for his mom to come visit him. I had to swallow back some tears. But it really reminded me of why I was there.
These boys were hugging us and pulling us all over their house asking us questions from the first moment we walked through their front door. I couldn’t help think of my children who would have hid behind me if someone new walked through the door. These boys knew why we were there. They knew we loved the same God and this same BIG God loves them so much he sends all sorts of people into their lives at Roblealto to help remind them of this. Some of those people include their house family. They are as loving and selfless as anyone I have ever met. They give up their own family time to love on these boys and help raise them up and their love and sacrifice and they had such an impact on me.
The next two pictures fill my heart with joy to remember how the boys and family interacted in the Arco Iris house. They laughed and hugged a lot and made each other feel important and loved.
When you meet these kids you want to be a part of their life. It is not easy to say good-bye to them. Fortunately, we can keep in touch through letters and we have the opportunity to sponsor a child as well. You can too if you want! Some of the coolest moments were getting to see the children as they were introduced to someone on the team who would be sponsoring them. How often do you get to actually meet a child you sponsor?!
My friend went on the last trip the church took to Roblealto and was able to send a letter and gift for the boy she decided to sponsor. He was so excited when he was told she sent him a letter and I loved watching him read it. You can become family even from a distance.
By the end of the week we made a lot of progress on the Eden house. I can’t wait hear when it is finished and know there are 10 more children that will be blessed by this place.
The sunset was beautiful the last night we were there. I ran all the way up and down those hills trying to capture it before it went down.
We had a great team. We worked hard, laughed hard and cried hard. For weeks after the trip I was trying to process through all the emotions, not just from leaving Costa Rica, but we literally moved from Ohio to Illinois one week after I returned from this trip. I love how God uses so many people in our lives to connect us and teach us new things about Him. I learned something from each of the individuals in the photo above, as well as the wonderful people we met in Costa Rica.
Two weekends ago I was sitting with my new church family listening to a sermon on Revelations 7:9-17:
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice,“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these,clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
YES! This is what it felt like to serve alongside my fellow brothers and sisters in Costa Rica. Something resonated with me as I sat and listened to my Pastor speak on this group of people in white robes all shouting together, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” One day, people of all tribes, from all nations will come together and proclaim this very truth. I got a glimpse of this while I was in Costa Rica and I’m forever grateful for that experience.