This morning, we had another opportunity to sleep late, though I'm not sure many of us did. Some of us, myself included, began our day with a hike up to the observatory. It was even uphill both ways! In my opinion, it was well worth it to wake up a little bit early to see the stunning landscape around the volcano especially since the weather was nice. After everyone packed up their suitcases and loaded them on the bus, we had a worship service in a room the hotel allowed us to use. Our group leader, Terry Reeves, brought our lesson which was a story about how things in life always come back to you. While we have been serving the church here in Costa Rica, we have gained just as much. "It is better to give than to receive." We also sang one of my favorite songs:
"A common love for each other. A common gift to the Savior. A common bond holding us to the Lord. A common strength when we're weary. A common hope for tomorrow. A common joy in the truth of God's Word."
As Christians, we have a lot in common. We are all striving to serve the same God and He is what brings us together. We have a special connection with Daniel and his family. He and Meribel work so hard with the church in Buenos Aires and are also putting their daughter Jennifer through college. They are trying to do a lot with very little income so this week we decided to take up a collection for their family. At the end of our church service on Sunday morning, we collected a total of $1,007! WOW! Who could have imagined that just over 50 people would give so willingly, but I know how easy it is to fall in love with Daniel's family and all of our hearts were touched by working with them the past 10 days. The last day is always the hardest because you have to say goodbye, unless you're Meribel who says "see you later." When you fall in love with the people here and the beautiful country, it makes it very hard to leave.
Right now, I'm sitting in the airport after waking up at 3 AM in order to get here in time. For those of you who checked the blog this morning and found nothing I apologize! With such an early morning start I did not have a chance to finish the blog last night. 26 members of the group are currently in the airport awaiting their flights. In a matter of a few hours, many of us will be back in the States and almost home. It's been a pleasure being your blogger for the week. I hope you've enjoyed reading about the work we have been doing and I wish I could have told all the stories we have from the trip, but some are better told in person anyways. I'm thankful to have come here with such a great group of people. All the groups were a blessing to meet: The group from Cookeville who came with Joe Roberts, the Memphis group from Oliver Creek church of Christ, the small group from Gulf Shores, AL that Thad Butts brought, and the other random people from Freed and other places. Well it's about time to board, so I'm signing off for the summer. I hope you have all been encouraged and are maybe even considering joining us next year! Please be praying for safe travels for all of us!!
God is good all the time. All the time God is good.