…life as I know it…Posted: May 17, 2011
So, ya’ll are wondering: what EXACTLY have I done in Jaco? How am I spending my time during this internship?
I get to hang out with a kindergarten in the morning. Its really been a really neat experience to hang out with 5 and 6 year olds from the town I’ve been living in and the towns nearby. I can tell some of the kids are from really poor environments, where-as others seem to be from more middle-class families. I have been observing behaviors in some of the kids that make me really curious about their home lives, but mostly it’s just been fun to get to play with some kids and develop relationships with them, after being a classroom learning about them for three months.
As you can see in my other updates, I live on a property owned by Christian Surfers with a skate ramp. In the afternoons we open up the skate ramp so that kids can come practice their skills. Some kids just come and skate, and leave. But some- we’ve been able to hang out with and get to know. It’s a great way to give kids in this town a safe place to chill out and play ping pong. This week we had about 2 kids to 8 kids come at a time, usually between the ages of 8 yrs old all the way up to around 21 yrs old. The older guys are really good skaters, but it’s a bit awkward for me to try to reach out to them. They either hit on me, or hardly acknowledge my presence (I think so as not to seem like they are hitting on me). PLEASE PRAY FOR: girls to start coming, and/or for us (Three 2oish year old North American girls and a 40+ year old American guy, our ministry leader: Scott) to find a way to relate the young Costa Rican guys that show up.
I’m not going to act like its all been the most experience of my life. I have frustrations. I’m 26 years old. I’m living with a 20 year old and a 19 year old. I love them to death, and they are wonderful girls, but we are at very different places in life. I’m volunteering at a school, observing behavior and its a great opportunity, but I could be doing something like this in the States as a paid position with more responsibility. I “helped out” a youth group, just went and participated like one of the kids really. Talk about humbling when you were the youth group leader 3 years ago at your home church. It’s not that I don’t see the value in what I’m doing, I just want to be transparent with you and let you know that I love what I’m doing, but there are bits that are a little frustrating!
So- why I am here still? Why don’t pack up and go home? God wants to change Jaco. He has amazing plans for this city. We went out last night at midnight and prayer walked down the strip of bars in town. I saw johns, casually hanging out with women in prostitution in the middle of the street, in restaurants, like its no big deal! I saw people, mostly tourists, walk by, high out of their minds. This is blocks away from where I live, and from where I do ministry. God spoke to me as I was praying, that what I’m doing with kids is preventing them from getting into this lifestyle. If spending my mornings and afternoons with some kids, investing my love and my energy in their lives can prevent them from getting into drugs and prostituion, what else could I want to do with my life? Nothing.