3 weeks ago today, I woke up in a hotel room in San Jose.
Sunday morning’s sunrise peeped in on a bunch of girls very excited about their day. This was the day we’d get to visit the local church which had invited us to spend Monday visiting their various outreaches. We drove through countryside and then densely populated areas to get there, finding glimpses of beauty …
and even the glory of God, crowding into the tightly-packed streets.
The church has been here a long time, and they have extensive outreaches. We pull through the fence and into what really is best described as a compound, then walk into a large, empty room which quickly fills with life. There is a band much like ours from home, and we are thrilled to learn that even in Costa Rica, they sing “God is Good.”
And He is! What joy to sing with our brothers and sisters; a small slice of heaven. There are ladies dancing with ribbons and tambourines, and I find myself catching onto some of the words and making the comical effort to sing along in Spanish because it’s so much fun. The children are a bit fidgety as the preaching begins and the service goes longer than they’re used to, but what a sermon it is; I write furiously as Pastor Roberto teaches us all about James–and the line that sticks out to me most is this one, the one we’ve heard echoing throughout this book, which we just happen to have just spent eight weeks studying in a women’s Bible study back home:
“Your faith: what good is it?”
He talks about James’ explanation that if we are saved, we do good works as the natural extension of that; about how faith and works can’t ever be separated, and each is dead without the other. His life is the proof of his text, and I take four pages of notes.
After church we stand in line for the ladies’ room and push so hard to communicate with the beautiful people surrounding us, eager to break the language barrier; sisters in Christ. One woman manages to tell us that she’s been part of the rehabilitation program in the church, and is getting baptized later that afternoon. We have a mini celebration in the tiny bathroom.
They treat us to lunch at their restaurant and we enjoy our first authentic Costa Rican meal in the open air …