Posted: 5/2/18 at 7:40am. Written by Katy Terrill.
Over spring break in April 2018, Katy Terrill, Associate Kairos Collegiate/Young Adult Minister at Virginia Tech, led a team of 12 BCM students on a trip to San José, Costa Rica. The following is an excerpt from a newsletter in which she wrote about the experience:
In preparation for this trip, we connected with a VT BCM Alum who is an Associate Pastor at an international church in San José. His Director of Missions, Steve, was a huge help for the week. He organized our projects, transportation, and most of the details. Most of Steve’s weekly ministries are based in a lower-income community called Río Azul.
It was here that we assisted with building materials for a new church and hosted Bible school activities in the morning and afternoon. We had two Spanish speakers on our team, Alma and Allison. This was Alma’s first opportunity to serve a Spanish-speaking community on a mission trip.
It was such a sweet experience to watch her thrive in each project as a native Spanish speaker. I praise God for Alma’s heart for the nations and desire to see all people know Christ.
As I mentioned above, we were able to help with building a new church in the Río Azul community. The new church plot was literally on the side of a mountain.The land was for squatters, so they had no access to water and had only bootlegged electricity. One of our most notable experiences from this trip happened on this day. Three students went with Steve to help retrieve water at the top of the mountain.
Once they reached the top, at the public water access, an angry local Costa Rican asked Steve to not take the water to the squatters, because they were illegal immigrants. Our students were shocked that they would say that.
As we filled five-gallon buckets with this new water (because Steve definitely ignored the guy), we were reminded of the Living Water that will be available at this new church. We ended the day on that mountainside, praying for the Lord’s hand to be on this community and that God would work mightily in this new church.
Prayer: Will you join me and take a moment to pray for the discrimination this neighborhood experiences and that the new church will be flooded with people looking for the Living Water?
Visiting Abused Kids and Teens
In Costa Rica, when a child or teen is reported as being abused in their home, they are able to immediately go to a safe home. Steve visits these homes each week. He brings ice cream and cookies, hosts pizza parties, and helps distract them from their realities so they can just feel like kids. We were able to come in for a day to visit the kids in the morning and the teenaged girls in the afternoon.
We played a lot of games of UNO and soccer, we jumped rope, and we did hair and nails with the girls. Even with the language barrier, we were able to laugh and play with both groups. I am so thankful for Steve’s continuous ministry to these homes and sharing the love of Christ with them.
Prayer: Will you join me and take a moment to pray for these homes? Pray for the healing power of Christ within the families the children and teen girls come from. Pray that they may encounter the Prince of Peace when they only know conflict.
As a team, we’ve debriefed and reflected on how the Lord is continuously teaching us from this experience. I am so grateful and honored to have this opportunity to lead these students.
When Taylor and I were considering returning to college ministry, last year, I knew I wanted to be in a occupation that would help students identify their call to full-time missions. This has been my wish since returning from the international mission field in South Africa in 2013. Praise the Lord, He is faithful to hear our desires and answer with a mighty calling.
As always, we are continually blessed and grateful to serve the Lord on this campus, with this staff, and these students.
To learn more about Baptist Collegiate Ministries, visit KairosInitiative.org.