A Couple Lessons From Our First Two Weeks in Costa Rica
It has been almost two weeks since we arrived here in Costa Rica and it been great. It has been a whirlwind, but really great. We are all settled in now and beginning to find our way around the “San Francisco de Dos Rios” area. Things we want are not as easy to find here. Certain stores have one thing while other stores have another. And the cost of living is much higher here, but we knew this would be the case. We are living simply and learning from it. We are adjusting to not always having what we want when we want it. There is no Amazon Prime with two hour shipping. There are no 24 hour Walgreens or CVS Pharmacies here, and even though there is a Wal-Mart, it is much different than those back home in the USA. We do not have a car either so there are some limitations when we go shopping. I was hit with this truth about four days after our arrival.
There will always be something that we do not have and want. If we allow ourselves to be unhappy because of what we lack, we are in danger of falling into a bottomless pit of want and discontent. Lord let this never happen!
One of the lessons I learned right away came from the building (a quadriplex) where we are living with three other families. This building is unique in that the missionaries who constructed the compound long ago dug out a cistern for times of drought. If there is a water shortage in the city, we will have water which is a good thing because this does happen sometimes. It is a sure bet that we will never have need of water during our year in Costa Rica! Jesus said this about our need for water in John 7: 37-39,
On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been received because Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
These “streams of living water” Jesus talks about are available to us and that means that we have a well inside that will never run dry, not a bottomless pit, but an everlasting well because we can be filled with the Holy Spirt. It is gratitude and contentment that cap off the bottomless pit of want adn discontent and help us find and draw from the well of the spirit Jesus has placed within every believer. Our wants will trap us so we must learn to overcome them with gratitude and contentment.
The pit of want is safely covered by gratitude and contentment and the tree ythat is happiest is planted by God’s always full and never shallow well. This blessed tree produces many different fruits like Joy and Patience! Lord let me be that tree!
We have also learned about making adjustments. It seems that living in a city of 2 million is a little different than living in Rimer-town in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. We left the quiet countryside for the noisy city. And we left wide open spaces for concrete walls, razor wire fencing, and ever present traffic. Our bed is hard, things smell much different, and we are 4000 feet above sea level so the air is a little thinner. Adjustments are a part of life. Sometimes they are scary. Sometimes they are huge and sometimes they are small, but everyone faces adjustments. If we cannot learn to adjust with the adjustments it is going to be hard for us. Our four days of orientation to the school were meant to help us adjust to life here in Costa Rica.
I have learned that humility and a teachable spirit are very important qualities that I must ask God to keep developing in me if I am going to learn a new language and culture. God is moving and changing hearts and minds by His Word and His Spirit. How can I expect others be open and teachable if I am unwilling to be open and teachable myself?
The Fletchers are going to learn a lot this year in Costa Rica, much more than language and culture! I cannot wait to share some of these things here on this blog. Please pray for our learning this year, for a humble,open, and teachable spirit to come and stay with us throughout the year. And pray for all of our adjustments, known and unknown, both the ones that are here and those that will come. We will pray for you as well as things change while we are gone and as God moves in you and through you as you draw deeply from the well inside that God has given you. You are all very precious to us. Thank you for your prayers and support!!