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I get asked about numbers often by people who come down here to work with us. I'm reluctant to answer. They want to know how many years I've lived here, how many different communities we've worked in, how many different buildings we've built, how many children come to VBS each week, etc. I'm not against helping people understand the bigger picture that they are a part of for the week that they are here. That's important too. But I don't ever want it to sound like we're motivated by numbers. I'm far more concerned with the depth of the experience that the missioners are having while they are here and how that affects their lives when they go home. Quality over quantity. Please keep that in mind as you read the rest of this post....

I'm so pleased with the work that our teams have done this year that I just want to brag a little! Here's what we've done since January:

Parsonage in La Bonita de Changuena
Parsonage in Piedras Blancas
Sunday school classrooms in Piedras Blancas (3)
Church kitchen in Piedras Blancas
Sunday school classrooms in La Palma de Jimenez (2)
English classroom at the elementary school in San Isidro

Our CRMP team has worked tirelessly alongside the volunteers from over 30 different churches to help make all of this happen. We are truly blessed to have so many wonderful partners. God bless each one of you who was in some way involved in Costa Rica Mission Projects.

The parsonage project in Changuena was particularly special. After supporting Pastor Humberto's work in Changuena for so many years, seeing the church facilities in La Bonita complete was awesome. Humberto is a wonderful example of commitment and perseverance and he is an inspiration to everyone who has met him. To be invited to support and play a part in the growth of his ministry there has blessed our team beyond words. It will be awfully strange not planning another project in Changuena next year, but knowing Humberto, don't be surprised if he's reached out into another community and started another Methodist church in another corner of Changuena before too long!

Between finishing in Changuena and starting our Summer projects, we built a designated English classroom at the elementary school in Quebradas de San Isidro. Because of some very generous donations by members of the Costa Rica Mission Projects family we were able to address this need and be a witness in that community in a different way. We will continue to look for these kinds of opportunities to be present beyond the church walls.

I have to admit that there were a few times when I looked at the Summer calendar and thought to myself, “what have I done?!” Thankfully everything went off without a hitch, but after 3 months of 2 or 3 teams every week working on different worksites and driving between 300 and 400 miles per week to and from the different sites, we are all exhausted. Often, towards the end of the week I find myself thanking God for sore bones and muscles that result from hard work. Creaky knees and sore backs and necks are a very real reminder that this work comes with a cost, but it is totally worth it. So, three months later, our ambitious Summer projects are almost finished. The CRMP crew will work for a few more weeks taking care of details in Piedras Blancas and La Palma. I could not be more grateful to the teams who came to work with us, the churches that sent them to us, the ladies who prepared fantastic meals all year long (Yolanda, Fanny, Tania, Katherine, Kembly and others) and of course “the crew” (Hugo, Huguito, Pedro and Harold). You all make my life/work so much easier (most of the time!). I also want to thank the three long term volunteers who worked side by side with the teams this year. Carrie, Perrin and Sean. Each one of you brought different gifts to Costa Rica Mission Projects and I appreciate how much of your time and your selves you invested in us.

We're not done yet! On the 25th (of August) we're taking a mission team from our church in San Isidro to work with South Street Ministries in Orlando. We can't wait to serve alongside our friends from FUMC Winter Park. Yolanda and I will be in the US until mid October visiting some of the churches who work with us and spending a little time with my family. The last week of October we are hosting a mission team from Ahuachapan, El Salvador that is coming to work with us in San Isidro. On November 3rd another mission team from our church in San Isidro will fly back to El Salvador with the team from Ahuachapan for a week of mission work there with them and members of FUMC Rocky Mount, NC.

This is church. We worship together. We pray together. We serve one another and are served by one another. We build relationships with one another. We witness to those around us. We are church.

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