PSAA Missionaries Build and Teach in Costa Rica
Tropical rainstorms, flooding and high humidity were just a few of the aspects that made the Puget Sound Adventist Academy (PSAA) mission trip to Baatan, Costa Rica, so memorable. Thirty-five students and 22 adults spent Thanksgiving vacation building a 40 ft. x 80 ft. concrete block addition, onto an existing church for three schoolrooms. The project included exterior and interior walls, wiring, a metal roof, and painting.
Work began with a human chain moving 50,000 pounds of cement blocks onto the very muddy worksite. Rigging large blue tarps across the work area was the only way to keep it dry enough to lay block. Pounding rain even made communication difficult.
“You just had to accept the fact that there was no way to stay dry,” said Pam Tait, PSAA English teacher. Some students even took mid-day showers in the rain because it had better pressure than the local showers.
The first Sabbath the group awoke to waist high water in some areas. After gathering soaked belongings, the senior girls and faculty ladies had to be evacuated from their living quarters. “My shoes just floated away right before my eyes,” said Becky Rode, PSAA senior. But even the flood could not dampen their spirits.
On four consecutive evenings, the PSAA students held a basketball clinic outreach for more than 40 youth from a nearby banana plantation. After worship talks on subjects of discipline, attitude, teamwork, and faith, the teens would proceed through four basketball skill stations. When the coordinator of the Vacation Bible School program became ill and couldn’t join the group, Danielle Luce, PSAA senior, took responsibility for directing the four-night program for more than 30 children.
On the last workday, all the VBS children and teenagers came to exchange autographs with their newfound friends. As Puget Sound students boarded their bus, the names of the children and teens covered their shirts, jeans and hats.
“All in all, even with the trials we faced, I’m really glad I went to Costa Rica and met all the people, especially the kids. I hope they will take the love of Jesus we left with them and use it to better the lives of other people,” concluded Danielle Luce. •
Alyssa Rieswig Alisa Valles Danielle Luce