Rescuing People from the Trash

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An amazing “Book of Acts” type thing happened today (Monday) here in Costa Rica.  I just want to share it with you all.

A little background about what is happening right now in Costa Rica

We have 3 teams here with us right now.  One is from North Central University in Minneapolis.  One is a ChiAlpha group from Colorado State University, and they’ve worked with us for several years now both here and in Mexico.  The third is from our university ministry in Mexico City, Jovenes con Decision, and they’ve worked with the ChiAlpha team for years too.  This is the second year that both Mexico and Colorado have joined us in Costa Rica all together.  Students from Colorado, Minnesota and Mexico all working together in Costa Rica!

Students from Colorado, Minnesota, Mexico and Costa Rica worked together to clean this street in front of the school by the city dump.

So today we added a fourth group of kids to the mix.  Here in Costa Rica our ministry is to University students as well.  We have built a connection with a group of students at the main University.  They are all non-Christian kids.  All the Costa Rican students are required to complete 300 hours of community service for graduation.  So these students are in various environmental studies majors and together they come up with recycling and clean up and education projects to fulfill their graduation requirements.  This group is called TCU Esperanza Verde (Green Hope).  They are not Christians, but many of them were part of our ChiAlpha/Mexico outreach last year.  Our goal is to work together with them on a project in order to build relationships with them and to connect them with Christian students from Mexico and Colorado.  It’s been a successful partnership so far.

So here’s the cool thing that happened today. 

Picking up trash in the street.

Today we all joined the TCU kids in a clean up project.  We went to Tirrases, which is a neighborhood built on the side of the city dump.  This community is poor and despised by the rest of society.  Today the plan was to clean up the street in front of the school where we worked last year.  The school principal has worked hard to make the inside of the school fairly nice, by third world standards, but they have no soap or paper towels or toilet paper let alone books or papers.  They have 1,500 students each day in two shifts, over 40 kids per class room.  It’s madness.  And the street out front of the school is a dangerous disaster.

So the team all brought work gloves and garbage bags to clean up the street.  No big fan fare, no big sound system, no mention of  Jesus… yet.  They were just University students cleaning the street… and I can’t tell you how gross it was!  Suddenly their work was interrupted by people coming out of their houses and coming up to our students to talk to them.  (Thankfully the Mexican students were there so someone spoke Spanish.)  People started coming up to them and just telling them their life story and saying, “My life is a mess!  I need God!  Can you pray for me?”  It was just the Holy Spirit drawing them out to the street!!  

Of course our group surrounded the people, one by one, and laid hands on them right there on the street, right in front of our secular University students!  One poor man dropped to his knees right there in the street and accepted Jesus right there on the spot!  I have no idea what the TCU students thought of it all, but a few of them continued to hang out with us for the rest of the day as we moved on to other things.  They just wanted to BE with our Christian students!  It was just so amazing and so like the Book of Acts were people were just coming up to the Apostles on the street and asking “How can I be saved?”

Wow!

I know I’m a missionary, but that doesn’t happen every day… not even in MY world!  God just never ceases to amaze me.

We are so excited and praising Jesus for an amazing day of ministry!  Praise God with us!!  

If you are like those folks that we met today, your life is a mess and you just need Jesus, all you have to do is ask him for help.  Ask him to forgive your sins and to give you a fresh start on life.  Jesus can take the mess you’ve made of your life and turn it into something beautiful when you turn your life over to him.  He loves you and is waiting to hear from you.

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