Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Good-Bye, Costa Rica (Flight Info)

Posted by: Erika

Today was our second day at Volcano Arenal. This morning, we went to the Rio Fortuna Watering Hole, a local attraction. It’s a deeper part of a river where people swing on a rope and drop into the water, which isn’t too cold. We returned to Volcano Lodge for lunch, and then went zip lining. Everyone enjoyed seeing the magnificent views of Costa Rica at high altitudes and (somewhat) high speeds. Next we went shopping for souvenirs in downtown La Fortuna, which is the town the hotel is in. The day concluded with dinner and some entertainment at a nearby restaurant. Towards the end of our meal, several ladies dressed in traditional Costa Rican garb began dancing. As we were about to leave, Heber and Dylan joined them. The other guests must have gotten a good laugh out of us “gringos.” We will all be very sad to leave Costa Rica tomorrow, but we are also ready to come home. Please join us at the Missions Chapel on Friday (9:00 a.m. at BRCS) to hear more about the missions work that we did, as well as see additional photos and videos.

Flight information for parents:

Spirit Airlines – Flight #756

Departing San Jose – 12:30 p.m. (local time)
Arriving in Ft. Lauderdale – 5:19 p.m. (local time)

*** Parents, please plan on picking up your child around 6:30 – 6:45 p.m. at the BRCS campus. We are also encouraging students to text or call their parents tomorrow once we have landed and gone through customs in order to provide the most accurate pick up time.
Posted by: Mrs. Lake, Catie & TJ Our evening is coming to an end and everyone is tired after a long, hot day of work. We have noticed that the HEART people are very nice and generous. They desire to teach us new things with detail so that we can understand how to better use what we consider to be garbage. Our work groups experienced many different tasks today. Mr. Calder’s work group aka Team Starfish, enjoyed taking care of the goats by trimming their nails. This prevents infection and disease for the goats. Mrs. Holly’s group did a great job covering a garden area with newspaper and manure. This helps prevent weeds and naturally fertilizes the ground for the plants. Mrs. Holly’s group also got to witness the birth of baby rabbits. Mr. Dorman’s group enjoyed the ropes course. They learned communication is huge in order for success! Mrs. Lake’s group got busy cleaning out a fish container, scrubbing the green slim off the walls. Marco and Charles climbed in to make it more effective. Nice job guys getting in the tank! Way to go Charles! One of our many finds during shower time! Happy Birthday Olivia!

Off to La Fortuna!

Posted by: Heber and Erika

Today was the last day at our VBS sites :( I’m pretty sure that I speak for everyone when I say that our time at Pura Vida was a life changing experience. Even though we were tired, even though we were burnt, and even though our voices were shot, we did everything we could to show God’s love to the kids this morning. The last day was amazing. It was my (Heber) favorite day because we got to share the Gospel with the children, which His Word says will never come back void; and that in and of itself excited me. It was an emotional day for all of us, and I know I’ll never forget it. My mom will be happy to know that I gave away all my beanies (so I’ll have to buy some new ones :)

In the latter half of the day it was all about fun, fun, fun! After a 3 hour-long bus ride we arrived at Volcano Lodge, a lavish resort nestled at the base of a volcano (go figure). Then we were let loose in the hot springs, which included 4 hot pools, 2 cool pools, 2 saunas, and 3 water slides that, because of lenient regulations and clever engineering, were extremely intense and probably my favorite part of the springs (right after the all-you-can-eat buffet, where we ate dinner). We returned to our hotel and played in the pool and jacuzzi there for a bit, if we weren’t pruny enough. Tomorrow we look forward to more fun in the Costa Rican rainforest, but the children will always be in our hearts. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A New Long View Project

Posted by: Chris Shafer
Hey, we're back. This is our last full day here at Long View. We leave tomorrow for Jacksonville. Today, we travelled into nearby Greenville and helped out at the Rural Resources Farm. It's this place that's built on an old tobacco farm which they now use to grow and harvest crops and give to people who have needs in the community. Some of our classmates helped carry surplus supplies out of the tobacco barn and reorganize it.  Several others helped feed the animals at the farm. Another group was put to work on an area that breeds worms which help in a compost area.  A small group cleaned a mobile kitchen that is used to help feed the needy in the area.  The final group helped "Farmer Paul" repair some fencing around the farm.  It was a terrific final place for our group to work as they had plenty of work for us to do and divided us into specific work groups which were led by some of their staff.

We broke for a chicken wrap lunch and a number of us went with Mr. Hood and Mr. White to the brook to eat. Collin and Tess sat on a tree overlooking the stream. When they headed back early, I decided to sit on Collins limb. I managed not to fall in, but I did lose my water bottle into the stream. We worked for about another hour and then headed back to camp. After arrival at camp, we finished the work day with various mini-projects for an hour or so.  Some nice times of relaxing followed the work. We then had a ham dinner with cheesy potatoes, warm pineapple granish and homemade apple sauce.  Afterwards, we had our devotions and then, we did something a little different for praise and worship. We had a bonfire and during that, we had a share time. We all were to throw a small paper cup in the fire and tell what we were thankful to God for on the trip. Many people said that they were thankful to be on a trip bonding with their brothers and sisters in Christ.  Several mentioned that after graduation, we might never see each other again in a setting like this with all of us together. This caused some emotional embraces all around.  Our class has definitely grown closer to each other and closer to the Lord on this trip.We are sad to be leaving Long View.  We have made some incredible memories here and in the surrounding area.  Keep us in your prayers and we will in ours. Signing off, this is the BRCS class of 2015.

Big Smiles and Hard Work!

Posted by: Mari :)

Monday and Tuesday we visited Florence Fuller and it has been a great experience for both people new to the trip this year, and everyone who was there last year. We arrived there in the morning after our time in devotions willing to help the teachers with whatever they needed us to do which included playing with the little kids. Opening the classroom door, you see all these little people looking at you and then they throw you a huge smile that makes you smile even more. The kids are so full of energy that it makes you feel old! They show you their favorite toys, cook you little meals and then ask you if you can help them tie their shoes (which I always had a hard time with, but I finally learned). When you finally have the opportunity to play at the playground it is very exciting to see them run and jump everywhere; it is very fun. I observed how the older kids (4 and 5 years old) played around Alex, Emily, Brian and Julia; the kids jumped on them and started chasing Alex and Brian around the playground. It was an amazing experience.
In the afternoon, we would say good-bye to the children and hop on the bus to go to Mrs. Riter’s house where lunch was ready (Pizza on Monday and Subs on Tuesday!!). After eating lunch we were separated into two groups. The first group went to Mr. Mockler's house to help clean various areas both inside and outside the house. The second group stayed at Mrs. Riter's house and we mostly helped with yard work and gardening. It was a hot and sunny day on Monday, but everyone worked hard. Today it was a little more cloudy and humid, and we were very tired, but many hands made for light work as we transformed a few areas for these teachers.


Arrived and Working:)

Posted by:Joy Smith and Mrs. Lake We arrived safely Monday around lunch time, to quickly eat soup and cheese toast before we were assigned our first jobs. The students are divided into four sleeping groups and four different work groups. Some of the jobs include food preparation, campus clean up, animals, gardening and much more. Everyone soon realized there was a lot of fun to be had even without technology! As our first day came to an end, we spent some time reflecting on what a great day we all had. We also discussed how being removed from our normal chaotic days is allowing us to see how awesome God is and helping us learn how to listen to Him. Touring the tool area and waiting for job assignments Our worship leaders

Goodbye, Dream Center

Posted by: Juniors
Our last morning at the Dream Center began early (as all mornings do!).  Several of the boys, plus Mr. Shiver and Mr. Nova, got up at 4:30 to drive to Phoenix First Assemby church to work out with the disciples.  They got quite a work out! Others went back to CASS to feed the homeless there, while most of the girls made salvation bracelets with the women's Bible study at the Dream Center. After a tearful farewell to our friends, and an obligatory Starbuck's stop, we were off to Sedona.  After lunch there, about half the students hiked at Cathedral Rock while the other half shopped and relaxed in the town. On the way to Flagstaff, we found just enough snow for a snowball fight, to the delight of most of us who had rarely seen snow.  Dinner was pizza at LaQuinta, followed by devotions led by Rosa, who shared a personal story about our theme verse:  Wait for the Lord. Be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord. Ps 27:14.  We have had lots of great sharing in our devotion times, and tonight was no different.  We have all learned to appreciate each other and what we have. We're looking forward to the Grand Canyon tomorrow.  This may be our last blog until we arrive home, depending on our schedule.  Please come to the Mission Trip Chapel this Friday at 9 am to hear more about our trip and all that the Lord has done through all the mission trips this year.

Hasta Luego

Posted by: Amanda

Our time at PVM is sadly coming to an end, but has been very memorable so far. Today each group went to their sights having very little kids due to the fact that it is exam week for most schools in the area. Even though fewer kids showed up, my group still had a blast! Our first location, Los Jardines, consisted of mostly playing soccer with the kids and teaching a lesson about how we are to follow Gods commands no matter what situation we are in. After our lesson we played with the kids in what looks like the remains of a playground. It was very inspirational seeing how content the children were while having nothing but a set of monkey bars and broken swings. A little boy wanted to play basketball with Cole, R.J. and I, but there was no hoop. He explained to us how he uses the monkey bars as the hoop. The little boy showed me that whatever condition you are in, you can always make the best out of it.

At our second location, Linda Vista, a.k.a. Afghanistan, we had a large group of kids show up ready to have a good time. Sadly, this was our last day at Linda Vista before we leave. It was very hard knowing that will were going to leave all the kids that we had grown relationships with throughout. I personally grew close to a few little girls at this sight, two of which were named Titi and Emily. From the first time Nicole and I met them, they never left our sides. Nicole and I always left the sight everyday being super sore from holding the two girls since they always wanted to be held. It was so hard leaving them knowing that we will never see them again. Another girl I grew close to was a little girl named Nicole. She had a big personality and always participated in all of the games. Today, she took me on an adventure away from the sight. Nicole, her brother and I walked to her house, which was a two-room shack made of nothing but wooden planks. She had two other brothers, a dad, and a pregnant mother. Because of their living conditions, I can’t imagine how they can possibly survive. Next, she took me to a small dirt hill next to her house that she uses as a slide. I was astonished to see the joy that her and her brother had from sliding down a dirt hill. They both convinced me to slide down with them even though we got covered in dirt.  While having very little, this was there way of having fun. They didn’t need anything fancy to make them happy. My experience at Linda Vista ended with playing in a huge pile of leaves with the kids. We all had fun throwing leaves at each other and burying Dylan. We are all very sad at the fact that we are leaving tomorrow, but will enjoy the next few days of rest and rejuvenation in La Fortuna. 

Miss Fabara's Photo's:

 For those of you wondering about our food, the PVM staff has cooked DELICIOUS breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day! We have been served things such as arepas for breakfast, picadillo for dinner, and, of course, rice and beans at every meal! Many of us head back for seconds :)
 Music has played a large role on this trip in both ministering to children and in uniting our class through singing. In this photo, Heber attempts to twirl Rudy to the tune of You'll Be In My Heart from the movie Tarzan. 
Benji's guitar; he had all of the children sign it, which they loved!
 Our AMAZING senior class!!!!!!!! Full of servant hearts and godly young men and women.

 Stephanie was able to help a shy young boy named Aran open up today after four days of VBS. His smile and laughter was infectious, and he entertained us all running around in his spider man cape!
 One of the biggest personalities at Linda Vista - Nicole!
 The children burying Dylan in the leaves! (It's the dry season in Costa Rica.) Don't worry, mom - his allergies didn't act up!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Posted by:Jenna Schuppener, Chris Shafer, and Michelle Davila
Today one group of students went to Mr. Bill Clendenon's house. Two years ago he suffered the loss of his son due to cancer. Bill is a very humorous guy; he had very interesting and captivating stories. He was an engineer at one point in his life, but is now retired. Now that he is older he is unable to do things like yardwork and gardening. So that's when part of our class came in and helped him do some of those things. We ended up clearing flower beds and cutting down a tree. Even though it seemed we started off on the wrong foot with Mr. Clendenon, because he called the cops not realizing that it was our work crew in his backyard. He soon became very welcoming and thankful for the work we had done. He even told us to add him as friends on facebook by the time we left.
Another group went to a different home of a needy family and was expecting to demolish an older damaged mobile home. However, after ten quick minutes of having some fun smashing on the inside, a track hoe (large bulldozer type of equipment) showed up to smash the whole thing. We cleaned it up though, and there were no complaints.  We met another friendly dog named Tank who liked to be around our group while we were working today.

The work day ended early for both groups, but we were thankful for God's timing - as the worst weather began just after we arrived back at Long View.  A cold and rainy afternoon allowed for some naps, some playing in the game room and some relaxing in the dining hall with a warm crackling fire adding to the wonderful atmosphere.  After another delicious meal, we were once again served some banana pudding for dessert.  Following our memory verse time, praise and worship and discussion of Ephesians chapter 5, we decided it was too wet and cold to play outside.  We are having a special treat because thankfully Brett and Louis figured out how to broadcast the Heat vs. Celtics game on the big screen in the dining hall.  We are watching it now and eating some yummy home made kettle corn thanks to our friends here at Long View Ranch! :-)  We can't believe that tomorrow is our last full work day of the trip.  Please keep us in your prayers and we will keep you in ours. Signing off this is the Class of 2015.

Stanco Ma Felice

Posted by: Brittney and Sarah
Woke up this morning ready to be filled by the gospel! Our praise and worship team led the entire congregation in worship. Afterwards, a graduation for the disciples there that are apart of the Dream center. Pastor Pete spoke on fear, and kept the congregation awake and alive through laughter. Not a student left unchanged. We eventually went to Piestewa mountain for our second hike! Trails up the mountain was the majority, but it had it's parts where you had to free climb up the mountain. At more than 700ft the junior class conquered the mountain together standing at it peak. It was an exciting accomplishing task and a hard one at that! It took a long 45-min hike up and back. It was definetly satisfying to be on the ground again. Realizing our tummies had been growling we decided to celebrate by going to a Mexican restraunt to fill up our hunger. Ending the day with devotions and shared our inspirational and heart touching  testimonies.

¡Dios te Bendiga!

Posted by: Erika

Our time serving with Pura Vida Missions is now halfway over, unfortunately. This morning we did not go to the first two ministry sites, Pastoral and Los Jardines, because we attended church at Linda Vista. The church itself was a small shack, made of wooden planks that aren’t completely connected, with an uneven floor and a large termite nest in the visible roof beams. There aren’t more than fifteen members of the church, so they had to transport the pews outside to accommodate all of us from Boca Christian. Because of this, we were in the sun a bit more (the service was about two hours long), but it was worth it. Linda Vista is very aptly named (Linda Vista means “beautiful view”). For the entire service, we were looking at the beautiful Costa Rican mountainside. The church doesn’t have a live praise team, so they played tracks with help from a couple of audio speakers. The coordinators of the service were very kind, as they included a few English worship songs for our benefit. The rest of the service was completely in Spanish. A few of our better Spanish speakers translated the sermon for the rest of us.

After church, we returned to the mission for lunch. We sang “Feliz Cumpleanos” to Karla, a Pura Vida staff member, whose birthday was today. We ate some lemon and macadamia nut cake and then had some free time before heading to the afternoon ministry sites, Calle Zamora and Linda Vista. However, Pastoral and Los Jardines aren’t missing out on a VBS session because we went to church this morning. Tomorrow will be our last visit to the afternoon sites, but we will pay our final visit to Pastoral and Los Jardines Tuesday morning before leaving for the “senior trip” part of the week, which in this case is time at a resort at the base of a volcano where we will go zip lining in the rainforest, hike to a waterfall, and enjoy natural hot springs.

Day 3 at PVM concluded with a visit to an indoor soccer field, where competition was high and everyone was sweating despite the cool air. The field is technically indoors, but the ventilation system consists of open windows. The teams were divided into the two mission teams (Team 1 = Mr. Smith’s Team and Team 2 = Miss Fabara’s Team). Despite a valiant effort from Team 2, Team 1 prevailed, thanks in part to their MVP defense: Jami, Bergen, and Rudy.  

We take a small bus on the way to and from the ministry sites. Travel time isn’t long, but we occupy ourselves by singing (if you can call it that) at the top of our lungs with all the windows down. San Ramon definitely knows that we are here!

P.S. Ms. Fabara won another game of Settlers.  The boys have yet to beat her ... 

 The boys playing Four Square in between church and lunch at the Pura Vida Mission house.

Hope and Victoria washing the dishes after breakfast.

The adequately named church at Linda Vista (Beautiful View).  
The church pews were moved outside to accommodate BRCS. The church building is behind us.

 Arline and Fiorella - two sweet girls at Linda Vista who love the "gringos"!
 Cole acting as the Tour Guide for Team 2 with Marjorie to his left translating.

The VBS site at Linda Vista that our team has affectionately labeled Afghanistan due to the extremely dry, windy, and HOT conditions. The boys have been wearing turbans to protect themselves from the sun.

The children love to receive piggy back rides! Caleb and Cole are acting as the caballitos (horses). 

Our lovely farmer's tans (or burns?):

RJ's ankle.

Miss Fabara's arm.