As I was leaving to Costa Rica, I had almost zero expectations about how the trip would unfold. The only thing I thought I knew was that it was going to be different. Obviously, the place would be different, the lifestyle would be different, but subconsciously I went as far as to think God would be different. I can’t really explain how I thought God would be different because I didn’t know I felt that way until I was surprised by how much God is the same.
Yes, there were so many differences between me and the Costa Ricans on the outside – the places we live, the language we speak. There were times I felt out of place. There were times when my heart broke looking at the poverty. There were times I did feel different. But I was reminded over and over again how we are the same. It was simple things we had in common – like soccer, playing tag, a love for cupcakes. But the biggest thing we all had in common was God’s love. When we prayed, we prayed to the same God. When our bus driver Roy and his wife Laura were baptized, it was in the name of the same Trinity. When we fall short, we are in desperate need of the same Jesus. This is something that goes beyond race, class, gender, or anything else that sets us apart. The love of God transcends any situation or upbringing. His love is the same anywhere you go.
As I came back, I learned I need to see people for people and not for what they have. The ministry over there can happen everywhere. It’s just about showing all people the same love that Christ has shown us.