Monday, September 26, 2011

NIKO: We will Overcome

       “I survived!” As our team returned from the mountainous jungle of Cartago this weekend, we felt victorious. This past week we had our final week of lecture phase there – NIKO survival camp! It was the practical application of everything we had learned so far in the form of hiking, camping, discipline and respect, and working as a team. It was quite an intensive experience because we were forced to work together to accomplish certain tasks in a limited amount of time. Of course there was frustration and impatience at first, but very quickly we learned that it is to our advantage to listen to everyone’s opinion and examine what would be the best strategy. Throughout the four days I did some self-examination and realized that I am very stubborn, proud, and impatient. And consequently, these were the three things that tested me most during NIKO.
      Leading my team on an uphill hike one day, I felt that my patience was shattered. But somehow instead of snapping I just waited, and listened. And pressed on. Then I began to see that it was my attitude, not that of my teammates, that needed changing. And if I was to help my team have a positive outlook on our situation, it had to start with me. This week was such a challenge to me mentally and spiritually, learning to depend on God for strength. I had to relinquish my pride for the good of the team, something I should have done more of before this experience. Now being back I need to continue working on my character, allowing the Lord to guide me in love and humility.
      This weekend returning to base was a joyous moment of appreciation for civilization: having a hot shower for the first time in a week, enjoying a soft, warm, fluffy bed with a mattress, clean clothes, toilets that flush, coffee, music, and time to be ALONE. Despite the twenty bug-bites on each of my arms and legs, I am thankful for this time that taught me so much. I am now prepared to be flexible, willing to serve, and patient with others on my outreach, which begins this week. For our first week we are staying in the San Jose / Cartago area, and most nights we’ll be here at the base doing local ministries. Then next weekend we’re loading up the vans to travel all around Costa Rica – and we won’t be back for 7 weeks! Our next stop is Puerto Viejo, a town on the Caribbean coast, and then Jaco on the Pacific. I’m excited to see what opportunities we’ll have to serve the ticos there. 

Please pray for myself and my team of 12 students and 4 leaders as we shine the light of Christ to Costa Rica.

**John 3:21 “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”


  1. Beautifully written. You make me so proud - not prideful, I hope - just proud of you

  2. Blessings to you and all of the team members as you go out to shine the light of Christ.