Costa Rica has a variety of "dichos" or sayings in Spanish that I have come to love. One of the most popular is "pura vida" and if you've ever been to CR then I'm sure you heard it. It can mean anything from thank you to your welcome to a response to a question like "how are you?" or a greeting. My most recent favorite dicho is quite simple "que dicha." I learned it to mean "how blessed" or "what a gift". The thing I love about it most is how simply it's used:
-How are you?
--I'm good thank you, how are you?
It's made me think of all the little "dichas" in my life and there are many. Costa Rica in itself has been a huge dicha for me. I'll be honest, when I was told I was going to language school at first I was a little disappointed/wanted to skip it and get to Nicaragua ASAP. I knew there was wisdom behind coming here but I had no idea what was in store for me when I got here. It has honestly become one of my favorite seasons of life so far.
My host family is another big one. They have loved me, cared for me, fed me and laughed with me to no end. They are already planning their trip to visit me in Nicaragua so I better find a house big enough! For my 25th birthday they contacted my sister in NC to ask what theme the party should be and then decorated the house "Hawaiian" with balloons and actual tree branches before my friends got here or I had any clue.
The community that surrounds me here blows my mind. Some of these people I have only known for 2 months since the trimester started in May and I have high hopes to be friends with them for years to come. It's amazing the way the Lord can truly knit people together through His love.
My partner in crime Ella. What a gift. If I had my way and gotten here any earlier I would have missed out on so much but the Lord knew better. She is a joy to be around. We laugh often and love each other well. Everything turns into an adventure when living in Latin America and I can't imagine embarking on them with anyone else. She is wise beyond her years and I have so much to learn from her. I am thankful and excited to be on the same team in Nica for many years to come and will be nothing short of amazed at what the Lord has planned for her. It's going to be sad/hard to move in August without her (until she comes in December!) but we've already seen the Lord's timing work out so well before and are trusting in Him.
Learning Spanish is another one. I've had a heart for Spanish/Latin America for years now but I've never studied it with the intention of using it for God's work. It was always for good grades, to be a good teacher or simply because I kinda liked it. I knew that God had put this love in my life for a reason but now I get to study Spanish with the intention that I'll be able to have heart level/deep conversations in Nicaragua to share the Gospel, The Good News. I get to study the Bible in class with my classmates going out all over Latin America to do the same work with different tools and organizations.
The beauty of Costa Rica/Panama/Nicaragua is yet another dicha. Walking out of a mall tonight, my friends and I were just amazed at the view of mountains submerged in clouds - so simple yet sweet when you remember to notice those little things.
Serving on work crew this past weekend with Vida Joven kids from all over San Jose - que dicha. We served a camp of about 150 campers and leaders primarily the dining hall - decorating for each meal, serving food/drinks and cleaning up, not to mention the occasional bathroom wash down. I think about those four days with a smile on my face. There's something about walking along side teenagers experiencing the joys and hardships of serving the Lord, maybe some for the first time. These kids are in training to be leaders in their communities and I am thankful to have been a part of their work crew team.
And finally (for now), church/worship in Spanish. I can honestly say I can connect with the Lord in Spanish now better than ever before. The worship band at my church is called Crossover and has recorded worship songs originally in English translated into Spanish and it is amazing. To be able to connect with God in another language reminds me that He is the God of this world, He created all things and loves all of these people.