Costa Rica Update 7.21.23

1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

Growth happens when challenges are encountered. We know this from sports practices, music lessons, and math class. At Royal Servants, we believe our students are capable of incredible things and seek to present them with challenging opportunities where they can trust God to help them rise to the occasion. This week, we have spent four day in public schools here in Costa Rica. The local church has coordinated opportunities for us to use English as a point of contact to share the Gospel in the schools.

The first three days, we worked with high school students. On Friday, our fourth day, we worked with upper elementary age students. On its face, it may not seem like a huge challenge for high school students from the United States to lead activities for Costa Rican students, but the classroom environment is really challenging. We broke them into four groups and tasked them with planning activities where they could interact and connect with Costa Rican students (who have limited English) and then share the Gospel with them.

We had four groups, and their experiences in planning in the classroom has really varied. For some groups, brainstorming their themes and activities came quickly and easily. Other groups encountered the challenges of peer leadership as different personalities and perspectives collided. Each group planned and executed their lessons each day with courage and determination. Each group learned from the day before. We entered our final day with some trepidation about how younger kids would respond, but for many, we were much relieved to realize that, with small children, smiles and silliness transcend the language barrier far easier than the “too cool” high school students.

Many of our students will return to school with a new appreciation for the challenge their teachers face and with fresh recognition for how frustrating it is when students pull out their phones and disengage. The classroom has presented a unique set of challenges, but our students, with God’s help, have risen to them, having loved students faithfully in their classes.

For the Cost Rica Team,

Matt