From an outsider's view, it was a fiasco.
A U.S. church had
prepared to send playground equipment to their sister church in Costa
Rica. Everything that could go wrong, did. The receiving company in
Costa Rica was without internet for a week, provoking a decision from
the U.S. to find another company. An officious customs agent insisted
on holding up the shipment to count every screw. A local strike
prevented the equipment from arriving from the port to the capital.
Meanwhile, the group arrived as scheduled, eager to assemble the
playground, but had nothing to do but wait. The expert who knew how to
put it together had to leave before the equipment arrived. Finally,
on Friday afternoon, the truck arrived and the group worked through
the night to have it ready for the installation service the following
From the experience of faith, this event looks quite different.
"All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose."
Mylinda, Xinia, and Cindy
For a number of
years, the church in La Guácima had been longing to respond to the
needs of the children in town. They started a day care program and a
hot lunch program, linked to parenting classes. One day, their
neighbor approached Pastor Xinia, offering to sell his land adjoining
the church. This would make it possible for the church to provide a
playground for children, one of their dreams, but she turned him down
because the church had no money to buy it. He insisted, and kept
lowering the price, until finally the church realized that God was
behind this. One of the members had been planning to buy a new car, but
decided to contribute that money toward the down payment on the land
instead. That encouraged everyone to begin sacrificial giving and
|Tables with greetings from U.S. children|
sister church in Woodbury, Minnesota had been building a relationship
with them, visiting back and forth, praying for one another, learning
to respect and love one another, and sharing their vision for a
ministry with the children in the neighborhood. They heard about a
program that refurbishes playground equipment to send to other
countries, and wondered if they could participate. At the same time
that the La Guácima church was deciding to buy the property, Woodbury
asked them if they would be interested in playground equipment. This
was a powerful confirmation to them of the direction they were moving.
people were catching the vision of this play center for showing God's
love to the children of La Guácima: two women who had lost a child,
one in Costa Rica and one in the US, contributed to the project, and
the park became a memorial. Individuals and churches in the States and
in Costa Rica gave their support through IM special projects.
"wasted week" of waiting became a valuable time of relationship
building between the two church groups, building bonds of friendship
through the frustrations, tears and laughter that accompanied them in
that week. The "all-nighter" will never be forgotten by any of them.
They were overwhelmed by the sense of God guiding and blessing this
ministry, creating a sense of deep commitment. The 4-hour celebration
the next day was a litany of God's presence and guidance throughout
Time to dance and celebrate!
Everything is perspective: how you see and interpret events. From God's perspective, anything can be transformed into blessing for those who have faith.