You would think after 15 months of living and serving in Costa Rica that we would have ti all together by now. You would think that we have somehow “arrived” or have crossed every cultural barrier. You would think. Allow me to share my confessions for a moment:
1. The Bugs Do Not Relent. Costa Rica has bugs, insects, creepy-crawlies or whatever you want to call them. Yes, we have tarantulas, scorpions and other things we do not even know what to call. But it is different when they are in your house. The past month we have been battling these little caterpillar thingys that are everywhere. Seriously, everywhere. Walking barefoot is not recommended.
2. Social Media Helps and Hurts. We love pulling out our phones to stay caught up with all of our friends and family in the USA, but at the same time it hurts. We long for Starbucks or to do a quick Krispy Kreme run while the sign in still “hot.” More than that, we love seeing family photos, but know it would even be better to be in the photos themselves.
3. Spanish is No Bueno. 15 months later and we feel like we have just landed in Costa Rica in regards to our Spanish. When will we ever learn? Luckily, our kids are picking it up much faster, so they are serving as our daily translators.
4. Relationships are Lost in Translation. My job is to build relationships with the Pastors and Churches we are serving, but it is nearly impossible due to the language barrier. Sometimes I feel more like an Air Traffic Controller than a missionary, sending correspondence with our amazing staff to get information to the sources that need it.
5. Guilt Over a Home Church Decision. Though we have felt very welcomed by the local churches here, we have not been getting spiritually fed due to the language barrier (we know they are preaching good stuff). After fighting it for over a year and wanting to “fit in” with a local Spanish-speaking church, we have committed what some may call a #missionaryfail, by going to an English speaking church. Yet for us, it seems just right. Worship and the Word preached to us in our native language seems like gold to us at this time in our lives. It is also important for us to put the spiritual growth of our own family before ministry.
And we have one more (missionary) confession…
6. We Are Still Called. Through all the thorns, setbacks, and failures, we still feel called to continue serving the Pastors and Churches in Costa Rica. God’s perfect love fills our every weakness, failure, and insecurity, and gives us hope for tomorrow.