It was clear from arrival to San Jose, that we have been covered by God´s grace. Surprisingly, we got our team bag checked for free, the immigration officials were friendly, and we didn't have to pay extra airport fees for entering the country. Thanking Jesus for good travel!
Here, the Transforma Ministry welcomed us into their home with warm food, and a history of the program/house. They also laid name cards out on our beds with a word for each girl written on it. During the first few days we were able to settle into the house, and also intercede for Transforma and Costa Rica´s presidential election (which took place on Easter Sunday.)
Easter was a sweet moment for the group. We ate milk rice at breakfast: which I learned is, interestingly, both German and Costa Rican. Later, on the back patio above tropical plants, we shared communion and worshiped together. Then afterwards Natassia and Isabella surprised us girls with . . . an Easter candy hunt! They are sooo thoughtful. Plus, I was pretty happy to have some chocolate to go with my peanut butter!
With Transforma we've been helping with their various projects from Communications to sanding the furniture! Usually our group spends weekday mornings filling in where needed, or visiting the community with them.
Two of the days last week, we visited some of the women who participate in ministry´s classes at their homes. They live in the slum across the street, a neighborhood called Sinai. They have all been blessed by Transforma, and even better, by Jesus! We interceded for the community and got encouraging words, which we then passed out as love letters during a prayer walk before one of the visits. It was amazing to experience our team unite in prayer at the homes. One house was particularly oppressive. But the Holy Spirit also shared a lot through us to that woman. And God also blessed us to break off any remaining darkness that evening in prayer as a team.
Now over the course of the week we discovered a little special something. You see, what we thought at first was a bird visiting us during dinner-time, turned out to be—a BAT! Every time screams followed. The brave girls wore card board boxes or plastic Tupperware to protect their heads when attempting to shoo it out. But last Saturday night was the climax. When this creature escaped the basement kitchen to our beds rooms, it was full panic. And it was with much commotion, and screaming, maybe some crying, that we were able to: first, protect ourselves, and second get a door open for it to fly out. Which it did, we´re pretty sure.
Also this past week was the lovely Natassia´s birthday!! Theresa and Aryn, who cooked this week, treated us to with chocolate cake and donuts from the yummy bakery up the street.
Back to ministry, our team had the opportunity to sit in on an introduction lecture for jail ministry, which we won´t be doing; but, some of the Transforma women will. Voz de Liberdad shared about actually how effective Godly values are in prisions too. How the inmates need responsibility and others who rebuild trust in them. When one chooses to follow Jesus, they become a voice in the prison, to their family, and the people on the streets. *Shout out to Michelle for translating*
The week ended partnering with Face of Justice. They do work here with victims of prostitution. Also the staff told us that with street ministry, they actually pray for men about 70% of the time because so many are transvestites. And they certainly can use the prayer. But the street level is only a part of Face of Justice. They also have prevention programs, a safe house for recovery, and are building legal help for better prosecution. Though, we will probably only partner in the street ministry. So late Friday night Natassia, Heaven, Michelle, Ally, Gloria, and Victoria (our sweet Transforma house mate) went to the streets and brothels with this ministry to pass out coffee & cookies and offer prayer. Meanwhile Isabella, Theresa, Aryn, and I stayed at the house and prayed them out. And the girls had fun and success, despite a down pour of rain! We will alternate next week who goes and who stays.
Face of Justice also has a coffee shop where they employ some of the women through the restoration program. We were able to go there it on Saturday! They've only been open for a few weeks. And a DTS outreach team also from YWAM L.A.—Justice 180, actually helped paint and set up the shop a couple months ago. It was a fun treat. And thankfully we didn't get too lost before finding the location,ha!
Quote of the week: ¨If your body is God´s temple, then the bigger the better!¨ -Theresa, after a filling meal.