After 10 days of preaching evangelistic series at multiple churches in Costa Rica, the Campion mission team has returned both exhausted and blessed. The group included seven current students, four alumni, and Campion church pastors and members.
During the evangelistic campaigns, each member of the team was assigned to preach at a different church. The students would wake early in the morning to review, practice and personalize their sermons. In the afternoon, they would spend time visiting local people’s homes and inviting them to attend the meetings. Each evening they would preach a sermon on a different topic and spend time interacting with the congregation. The meetings culminated with a total of 74 baptisms on the final Sabbath.
Lily Testardi, sophomore, explained, “Costa Rica was exhausting, but rewarding. It was awesome seeing people getting baptized and knowing it was most certainly not because of any of our exceptional sermons and public speaking abilities, but because of the Holy Spirit. We really got to see God in action down there.”
The student participants were especially challenged with the preaching aspect of the trip. Megan Harden, sophomore, shared, “For me personally, public speaking is not an ability that comes naturally, which made it both terrifying and exhausting.”
Caleb Gann, sophomore, shared her sentiments, saying, “Before this trip, I really disliked public speaking. However, after this trip, I do not mind public speaking anymore. The first meeting for the first five minutes I was very nervous, but then the Holy Spirit came over me and made me calm, and I was able to comfortably deliver all ten of my messages.”
Marcela Zuniga, freshman, reflected, “While I was preaching I learned many things about how much I appreciate God. I grew spiritually because I had to learn to depend on God and trust Him that everything would be ok, and so it was!”
Besides the meetings, the group also had opportunities for fun such as visiting the beach, ziplining through the rainforest, and exploring a nature center.
Each participant was warmly welcomed at their various churches. As Jared Marcenaro, senior, shared, “One of the many blessings I received was my church, everyone was extremely nice and accepting.”
Harden experienced the same acceptance at her church, explaining, “Being in Costa Rica taught me a lot about being friendly, the people there are all so open, and experiencing their culture showed me that in our culture we are often cold. They showed me that sometimes it’s better to approach people and say hi rather than just minding my own business.”
Gann agreed with the other students that the culture and the faith of the people they met in Costa Rica made a major impact on him. “What I learned from my time in Costa Rica is that we need to be more like the church members in Costa Rica,” he reflected. “They are on fire for Jesus, and they are so invested in every single worship service.”
Jill Harlow, Communication Director