Costa Rica - FVAA MISSION TRIP
Our plan B is often God's first choice, and he leads us in mysterious ways.
When our school began to plan a mission trip for spring break 2015, our original choice of location just didn't work out. By the time we knew that we had to find another location, our timeline had grown menacingly close.
At the suggestion of a parent, our chaplain, Pastor Jim Gaull, made a call to the SDA conference in Costa Rica just to see if they had anything that needed to be done.
"Sure, we do!" said the conference president, Pastor Milton Castillo. "The people in the village of Aguas Claras have been wishing to build a church."
Plans began to form again. It would cost more money to go to Costa Rica, and in addition, the group of students would need to raise an extra $4500 in American money to provide some of the materials for building. Then the Canadian dollar began to plummet, causing the total cost of travel and materials to rise.
Our chaplain admits to losing hope for a while when it seemed that every step forward financially became another step backward. It was almost a surprise when God provided just what was needed in the last few days before the trip. Where was our faith, we wondered?
The people in the little church group of Aguas Claras were delighted to see 13 students and 5 adults arrive and begin to dig holes for the church's support pillars right in the middle of town. Instead of watching the work, the members all began to work beside the students, speeding the work and forming fast bonds of friendship.
Everyone helped, even 90-year-olds. One sweet lady encouraged everyone with her hugs and kisses and spent her days rescuing bent nails and straightening them to be reused.
Vacation Bible School and visiting with the people of the village rounded out the time spent in Costa Rica. It was the final Wednesday of the trip, with flights scheduled for Sunday, when the walls were finished.
The students all looked to Pastor Jim and asked, "Now what?" It didn't appear that there were any materials for the roof. There weren't any because the dear people of the church had, in fact, no money. Even if the mission group could somehow find the
money, there were only 4 hours left before businesses closed for an extended Easter holiday.
The students and chaperones pooled all their spending money, and Pastor Jim found a few more dollars in the budget. Within minutes, they had raised about $3000 toward the cost, but they needed $2500 more.
Pastor Jim and a parent made a quick trip back to their hotel where they could access the internet, and it took only 20 minutes to find loving people back home who pledged the rest of the money. By the end of the day, and visits to three other towns, all the roofing materials were in hand.
With joy, the students and church members completed the roof by Sabbath, and they all fellowshipped together in the new building. What a time of tears and celebration it was!
There was no doubt in anyone's mind that Augas Claras, Costa Rica, was the place God wanted the FVAA mission team to go this year. The students came home and told their classmates that leaving the good people of Costa Rica was the hardest thing they had experienced on the whole trip.
They hope to see their friends again, if not on earth, then certainly in God's heavenly kingdom.
The staff and students of Fraser Valley Adventist Academy have a goal to Lift, Encourage, and Inspire each other as we pull together as a family.
God has blessed us, and we desire to pass that blessing on by inspiring others to trust in Jesus.
If you would like to become a part of the FVAA family or inquire further into what we may have to offer you, please call the school at (604) 607-3822.
We would be happy to meet you, provide answers to your questions, and give you a tour of our facility.
By CATHY DOMKE, PRINCIPAL
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