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FVAA Mission Trip to Costa Rica

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13 students, 5 adults from Fraser Valley Adventist Academy left the comforts of British Columbia to spend Spring Break from March 23 to April 6 in Aguas Claras, Costa Rica. The mission was to build a church building for Templo Aguas Claras - small church of about 25 members that has wanted for years to have their own church building.  

Their rented building is literally being eaten by termites.  The members worked with us every day.  We formed life long friendships with them.  Although we only had one Spanish speaker with us, a Grade 12 student, Jose Pinto, God enabled us to get the church built!

Our initial $4050.00 build the walls only.  

A local man gave 1,000,000 CRC (Costa Rica Colon) to build the washrooms before we arrived.  The rest of the church we built was based on the washroom wall and formed the sanctuary.

When the walls were done, we all realized that the church had no extra funds to finish it.  That's when the idea surfaced to complete the roof.  

We found out it would cost USD$5990.00 to do it.  We asked the FVAA team to start the contributions and they came up with almost $1000.00.  I tweaked the budget and came up with $2500.00 more.  

The remaining $2500.00 was raised via some phone calls and texts.  The contractor told us if we put a roof on, he would not charge us.  Another man told us he would not charge for the cement mixer.  A third man gave a discount for materials we would need to purchase.  This whole process took place on Monday and had to be finalized before 4:30 p.m.  

Our team, the church members prayed like crazy.  It was an impossible thing for us to do this, but we thought it would be good to stick our "feet in the water".  

After the decision was made together to move on this, God provided the remaining funds needed in less than an hour.  The joy when we told our team and the local church members was one of amazement and praise.  Our faith was tested, but God knew exactly what He was doing.  You see, this was a special holy week in Costa Rica and Thursday and Friday were countrywide holidays.

The money was pledged just before the deadline and we were able to drive 45 minutes to a manufacturing plant to pay for the materials and order delivery for Tuesday.  Three welders manufactured the trusses while our team spent Tuesday at the beach.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we worked together and completed the roof.

It was an amazing miracle of God.

On the final Sabbath, we dedicated the new church with prayer and then everyone in the church hugged.  Not for a few seconds, but for a long time because everyone hugged everyone.  

Children and adults, church members, team members, and visitors.  Everyone had tears in there eyes because we knew what was going on was all from God.  It was and is, a miracle of God's provision.

Lives were changed in so many ways during our Costa Rica 2015 trip.

God led us. These three simple words encapsulate FVAA’s recent mission trip, Costa Rica 2015.

We were supposed to go to Guatemala, but that trip was canceled due to safety concerns. A parent suggested Costa Rica, but in my heart I was very unsure, since I knew no one there. One phone call and an eager Mission President, Pastor Milton Castillo, changed all that. When I asked his greatest need, he said they needed a church in Aguas Claras. The people had been praying for years for this. We not only became the answer to prayer, but the channels of God’s grace and miracles. And we got to share Jesus with a wonderful group of children.

Katie Mowat says, “When Pastor Jim Gaull, our chaplain, asked if I would be going on the mission trip, my answer was an immediate ‘yes.’ As we began to plan the trip, I wondered if I had spoken too quickly. Did God want me to go on this trip? Could I make a difference? I prayed about my doubts and put my heart into building the church and working with the children. On the last day, as I watched the VBS children following the actions to our theme song, I realized that our team had made an impact on their lives. After singing, a few of the children waved and asked me to sit with them. It was then that I knew that I personally had made a difference in these children’s lives.”

2015 FVAA Costa Rica Mission Trip

Daniel Castillo adds, “Our trip in Costa Rica was not in our plan. Many of the things that happened during the trip were things we weren’t planning or expecting. I saw firsthand the way God provides. The roof is a great example. Our budget built walls only. We wanted to add a roof on the church and gave our own money to help. We had 3 hours left to raise another $2,500.00. Our team prayed constantly. God provided in perfect timing. We put the roof on! That was a blessing to me, being able to see God work miracles like that. This trip has been a blessing and inspiration in my life.”

Michelle Hong shares, “I had the privilege of being a part of a life-changing experience on our school's mission trip to Costa Rica. We left for the trip with so many unanswered questions and uncertainties, but in the end, our trust and faith in God grew immensely. He delivered us from roadblocks, and we were even able to build a roof over the church that was not originally in our plans. The hardest part of the trip was saying goodbye to the beautiful faces and hearts that we grew so close to regardless of age, but we have the reassurance that God will be with them always and we'll one day meet again in heaven.”

By Jim Gaull, Chaplain, Fraser Valley Adventist Academy

Check out our hashtag #FVAA2015CR on Instagram to see more of our experiences!