Every time I go somewhere new I learn something new. Every time I travel to a new culture I come away from it changed and more aware of the faithfulness of God. And yet, I still am surprised when God shows Himself faithful, as if part of me is still expecting Him to let me down.
I just spend 10 days in San Ramon, Costa Rica. While I was excited about the trip, in my mind Costa Rica has been just something else for me to check off my list of "to do's" before I could go to Malawi. But I had no idea just how important that check mark would be.
From the first meeting I knew that the team that God put together for this trip was special. God used these 12 individuals to minister to my heart and to the people of PuraVida Missions and Costa Rica in incredible ways. We all come from drastically different backgrounds and yet the unity we experienced was only possible by the constant dwelling of the Holy Spirit on all we did. Ministry started from the moment we woke up to the moment we went to bed. Not only did I watch this team change the lives of the children we worked with but I watched as not a moment was wasted. It did not matter if we were with the kids or just hanging out the Name of Jesus was being lifted up and ministry was going forth. The love I have for these 12 individuals and the PuraVida Staff is impossible to put into words.
It was refreshing to see this team be the church and show what the Body of Christ is supposed to look like. It was refreshing to meet Costa Rican believers who are ministering to their own people. It was refreshing to work with an organization that loves people and wants to see a nation changed for the glory of God. It was refreshing to spend 10 days with people who are committed to radically pursuing the heart of God and willingly going wherever He leads. It was refreshing to know that my God was not done revealing Himself to me.
You see, before Costa Rica I thought that Malawi would be the only nation that I loved, that my heart would beat for. I want to go to many places and experience many cultures but I never thought I could love a place the way I love Malawi. While I still have deep roots in Malawi and I still feel called there, I now know what it is like to love many places and many people. Malawi and Costa Rica could not be more different but they both possess something very similar. They both have the attention of a God who is revealing Himself across the nations as the King of Kings and they both have a part of my heart. When I left Malawi after my first trip I came home with a constant reminder that I was not finished in that place, that same feeling feels my spirit when I think of Costa Rica and the work that God is doing there. I can't wait to partner with my new friends and watch God work in a beautiful country full of people who need to experience the freedom He brings.
I so wish that it was easy to express these feelings, these thoughts, that feel your mind when you return home after a life changing trip. However, all to often words aren't enough. Until you see what I saw, or meet the people I met, or experience the things I experienced it will never really make sense. But Im okay with the crazy looks, Im okay with the confused questions, or even the condescending remarks because I have seen, I have experienced, and I have heard of all God is doing in the nations. So my response is to bring those things back here, to tell you about them, so that even if you don't fully understand maybe just maybe you will be able to realize that there is SO much more out there and that our God is not limited or confined but He is on the move and is changing lives all around this world.
My thoughts are still all over the place as I try to figure out all that God did this past week and all that He is going to continue to do. Im still trying to wrap my mind around that fact that God has placed a new nation before me that I want to return to and that I want to pursue His heart in. Im still wrestling with the hard questions that were brought up and about the new things He showed me. But even in my confused rambling I have an underlying peace that this week was more than just a trip and that He will work it out for me to partner with Him in this nation. And I KNOW that I am more prepared than ever to return to Malawi in 11 days with a refreshed spirit and love for this Man that pursues me wherever I am and allows me to witness the way He pursues others in many different ways. He is good y'all and I am so incredibly thankful that I follow the God who is present in every nation!