By Jill Harlow – Loveland, Colorado … After ten days of holding evangelistic meetings at multiple churches in Costa Rica, the Campion students returned to campus both exhausted and blessed. The mission group included seven students, four Campion alumni, and Campion church pastors and members.
During the evangelistic outreach, each member was assigned to preach at a different church. The students would spend their mornings reviewing, practicing, and personalizing their sermons. They would spend time visiting homes in the afternoon and inviting them to attend the meetings. Each evening they would preach a sermon on a different topic and spend time interacting with the congregation. The meetings culminated with a total of 74 baptisms.
Reflecting on the experience Lily, sophomore, explained, “Costa Rica was exhausting, but rewarding. It was awesome seeing people getting baptized and knowing it was most certainly not because of any of our exceptional sermons and public speaking abilities but because of the Holy Spirit. We really got to see God in action down there.”
The students were especially challenged with the preaching aspect of the trip. Megan, sophomore, shared, “For me personally, public speaking is not an ability that comes naturally, which made it both terrifying and exhausting.”
Caleb, sophomore, shared her sentiments, saying, “Before this trip, I really disliked public speaking. However, after this trip, I do not mind public speaking anymore. The first meeting, for the first five minutes, I was very nervous, but then the Holy Spirit came over me and made me calm, and I was able to comfortably deliver all ten of my messages.”
The preaching aspect of the trip also grew their relationship with Jesus. “While I was preaching, I learned many things about how much I appreciate God. I grew spiritually because I had to learn to depend on God and trust Him that everything would be okay, and so it was,” Marcela, freshman, reflected.
Besides the meetings, the group took time to enjoy Costa Rica by visiting the beach, ziplining through the rainforest, and exploring a nature center.
The students were warmly welcomed at their various churches. “One of the many blessings I received was my church–everyone was extremely nice and accepting,” said Jared, senior.
Megan experienced the same acceptance at her church, explaining, “Being in Costa Rica taught me a lot about being friendly; the people there are all so open, and experiencing their culture showed me that in our culture, we are often cold. They showed me that sometimes it’s better to approach people and say “Hi” rather than just minding my own business.”
Caleb agreed with the other students that the culture and the faith of the people they met in Costa Rica made a significant impact on him. “What I learned from my time in Costa Rica is that we need to be more like the church members in Costa Rica,” he reflected. “They are on fire for Jesus, and they are so invested in every single worship service.”
–Jill Harlow is communication director for Campion Academy; photos supplied