Caskey Costa Rica Mission Trip Day 5 Pastors Smiling

Wow, day 5 has been a loooooooooong day. It began by us leaving the house at 5:30 AM to get to the conference center by 6:00 AM for breakfast. Ouch! But, the long day was fruitful and we saw God working.

After breakfast the Pastors and their spouses loaded into a tour bus and headed to the San Luis Canopy Tour that me and my kids went to a few days ago. It’s a standard part of the conferences and is meant to give these Pastors and spouses a chance to cut loose, have some fun, and share the experience together to build relationships and camaraderie. Just like many of them have never been on a vacation, or to a retreat, they probably have never had an opportunity to go on a Canopy Tour either. It’s a very “touristy” thing to do and is usually too expensive. Jumping ahead to their return, evidently the Canopy Tour was a success. Everyone of them returned with smiles on their faces, laughing and sharing their stories about the zip-lines. “BUENO” was the common response, with 2 thumbs up.

Session 3 started shortly after, and once again I spent the time praying for the needs expressed by some of these Pastors and spouses. What struck me this time was how basic some of their needs seem. At least to me, someone from the US, they seem pretty basic. As I read through some of these prayer requests, translating as we went, I was stunned by the lack of things that I thought everybody, including them, already had. But, they just don’t. To these guys, these needs of theirs are almost monumental and sometimes appear to be unmeetable. For instance, today a number of them expressed the need for a car for their family and ministry. My heart sunk to think they don’t have a car. As I prayed and then read some scripture, God led me across Psalm 11:4 & 7.

4 The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
his eyes examine them.

7 For the Lord is righteous,
he loves justice;
the upright will see his face.

As I read that, I asked God to let these Pastors know that He is in His temple and on His thrown. In other words, the Lord is in total control. Also, that He knows their heart and sees their needs. And I prayed that they will see his face through his provision and blessing. It’s interesting to me that later in the evening, when Steve gave a special message regarding what The Brook Ministries is all about, one of the key points that he stressed to them is that God provides and knows each one of their needs in their ministry and in their life. I thanked God for His affirmation of what I prayed earlier.

What a great day it was! The stress and strain of ministry is being relieved from the shoulders of these Pastors and spouses, they’re having fun and their faith in the Lord is being renewed.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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Caskey Costa Rica Mission Trip Day 2 Adrenaline Rush

We had a very early start to our day, today. It was our excursion day, which was a day set aside for us to get a chance to have some fun and do something that’s somewhat uniquely Costa Rican. So, we headed out to the San Luis Canopy Tour. What’s a Canopy Tour, you may ask? You can check it out at the link I just provided, but in a nutshell, it’s zip lining, but zip lining on steroids. The most intense rush ever!!! And, I wanna go again, and again, and again!

The whole time you’re immersed in the lush green forest in the high mountains. ‎12 different zip lines of different lengths and heights, and you go from 1, to the next, and the next, until you’ve done all of them and you’re back to where you started from. This included 1 free swing they call “Tarzan”. You swing out 3 times over the tops of the trees, with the guides catching you each time and pushing you as hard as they can back out again. About 150 feet below you is a river and you’re swinging out from the mountain side, from between trees, and then over the tops of trees. It made the old rope swing you might have had in your back yard or maybe one that you used to swing out over a lake look pretty small. Then the tour concludes with the ultimate zip line that they call “Superman”. You’re strapped into a special harness and you’re going HEAD FIRST! The line is about 350 meters long (almost 4 football fields), and you’re about 300 feet above the canyon floor. Yes, you read that correctly. From the platform, you shoot out off the mountain side, between some trees, and then it’s like the whole valley opens up below. There is nothing but you, that line, and maybe some birds flying around. Just unbelievable! I still can’t get the view, from that high up, out of my head. It was like flying. No amusement park I’ve ever been to even compares.

I’m thankful that we had a day that we could just have some all-out, adrenaline rush kind of fun today. I’m thankful that God gives us those experiences. It was a thrill seeing the smiles on my kids’ faces, listening to their laughter and yes listening to their screams as they were flying through the trees. It was fun doing that myself. We now share that experience, that thrill, and no one can ever take that away. I’m sure we’ll always look back at this and tell stories about it. Today, we created some memories.