NOW we feel like we are at home! We ventured out from our daily grind of school work and hooked up with a missionary from Houston who has a ministry in La Carpio. La Carpio is a barrio area in San Jose, comprised mostly of Nicaraguan refugee families. The area looks very much like the colonias of Reynosa, Mexico that we have spent the last eight years ministering to. The only difference is that La Carpio is on the edge of a rapidly flowing rainforest river (highly polluted) and there is vegetation here... banana trees and tropical plants, mostly. The streets are mostly unpaved, dirt roads with one or two paved roads on the edges. The houses are mostly built like the colonia houses - pallets, corregated tin, plastic, whatever can be found and nailed up as a wall.
We are working here every week, running a children's ministry program that we are modeling after Pascual's approach in Mexico. We play games with the kids, then come together for bible songs and a bible lesson. We hope to incorporate a craft time soon, depending upon funding. There are about 6 or 7 other missionaries from the language school who travel here with us each week, but none have experience with children's ministries in the field. Therefore, Billy and I were immediately given the responsibility of putting together the plan. That's fine with us... we really felt at home as soon as we set foot on this soil. The children seem so familiar to us, which is a welcome feeling right now when NOTHING seems familiar or normal to us! La Carpio is a welcome diversion to homework and school. And it is actually an extension of our language learning, in that we are forced to use our newly acquired language skills in working with these kids! Please click on any La Carpio link in this blog to see a video sample of our work in this community.