One thing you can always expect about missions trips is that things will always happen that you could never expect. Bank on it.
Our Master’s Commission team arrived, 17 strong, at the Orlando International Airport last night only to find out that our group sales agent made a mistake and had us flying out of MIAMI, not Orlando. I stood there in disbelief as she told us that the only option was to reschedule for the next day because there were NO flights out of Orlando for the rest of the day that could get us to Costa Rica. I told the team and everyone handled it really well. We went back home, then got up this morning and met at the church at 3:30am (ugh). Again…the team was great and we just rolled with the unexpected.
Our first flight was great. I sat next to John Gum and we had a great chat. I even got to take in a little bit of the book I’m reading (Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz). We got to Miami (my least favorite airport in America) and promptly found out that our plane was delayed because the plane was “broken” (their words) and they “couldn’t fix it”. Not so comforting words. We were delayed by an hour and a half. I don’t know about you, but hate getting on planes that were just broken, now fixed and we’re the first to find out if the vessel is sea worthy.
I sat next to Jeff on this flight, but quickly found a row of four seats that became my impromptu bed. I closed my eyes over Miami and didn’t wake up until the captain said we were landing. Gotta love that.
We got to San Jose and customs was pretty uneventful. We met Parker Dickerson (our missionary and a friend of mine from my days at Southeastern University) and his assistant, Esteban. They took us to an authentic Costa Rican restaurant and I enjoyed a delicious roasted chicken, some kind of black beans and chips, whatever those fried bananas are called and a side dish called yuca root (a fried potato of sorts).
We then arrived at our campground, La Garita, and had our orientation time with Parker. So cool to see him living his dream. We were both worship leaders at Southeastern and now life has taken some wild turns along the way (missions for him, Master’s Commission and church planting for me). Really neat to see that God doesn’t just use our most obvious talents, but brings people along our path to develop other gifts.
We drove over an hour tonight to get to a church service and Tony preached the house down. It was awesome. It’s great to hear him preach in Spanish. He takes on a whole different persona when he get’s in the Espanol zone. So proud of him. He has grown so much. Speaking of being very proud…Nicole and Jacob gave GREAT testimonies tonight that were really clear, concise and powerful. These moments are my rewards as a Master’s Commission director. Seeing the students step out and really put themselves out there for God to use them is so amazing.
It’s now 11:20pm and we’re back at the campground. 3:20am wakeup call tomorrow to take a 4 hour drive to do two school assemblies in the morning. Thank you Lord for strength and adrenaline!
So far so good! I miss my wife and babies so very much…but we’re having a good time and God is doing some cool things in the group. More to come…