Romans 11:36

"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever! Amen."

Apr 30, 2010

Goodbye Llano Grande

I received a huge blessing when I attended my last youth group in Llano Grande. I showed up expecting to be a quiet member of the group that evening, because it had been quite some time since I had last showed my face in that youth group. I was, however, pleasantly surprised from the moment I arrived. It turned out that the entire night was devoted to me, celebrating my departure (probably because they couldn't wait to get rid of me) with a collection of random games, dancing and fun.

It all started with balloons that were used in an intense game of hot potato. As each person lost, they were forced to pop the balloon and read a small piece of paper that had been stuck inside the balloon. That piece of paper would either include a Bible verse for them to read to me, or a suggestion of how they could bless me, or a mischievous task for the person to do with me (such as dance with me).

The game of hot potato then turned into a game of musical chairs, with the loser being forced to pop the balloon (the only problem with that game was that I was often the loser . . . my ability to push people around was lost in the fact that I was trying to be a gracious guest).

After that they sat me down to watch a video that Marco (previously mentioned in my Checkmate blog post) had made for me--a montage of music and photos from my years in Costa Rica. It is an awesome video. Then they pulled me into a circle and had the pastor and his wife, Gerardo and Rosa, say some words of affirmation and pray for me. The youth followed the prayer by going in a circle and blessing me with their words, tears and hugs. I was crying by the end. And of course, as do all great Costa Rican celebrations, the night ended with a big meal.

I definitely didn't deserve such an amazing evening in my honor. More than speak to my impact on the Llano Grande church, that evening spoke to the love of the Llano Grande church. They truly are Christ's body in action, and they made me feel more loved than I could have ever imagined. I will really miss them. May God bless them all.

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