Tag Archives: Costa Rica


I walked a river bed of jewel-toned stones; rounded and smooth like beads to be strung. When the mountain stream passed over them they shone and colored the clear water. The spongy black soil beneath them gave gently as our feet fell. Along the river’s banks towered a majestic jungle. The valley came to a close far off, at the foot of cloud draped volcanoes. It was hard not to succumb to that kind of beauty, to not sit down and simply stay… until food, and water, and breath itself were exhausted.


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the land

The soil of Costa Rica is deep brown/black and loamy. Plowed fields look like furrows of ground coffee. Volcanic soil makes for sweetness; pineapples, whose spiky plants fill acre after acre, grow too luscious and succulent to describe. Banana trees and giant aloes filled with fluid to rigor, soar. Great scarlet combs of color fall from roadside limbs. Limes and oranges bob from branches. Toucans sit atop leafless pinnacles and azure birds and butterflies dart before you. Humming birds dance between hibiscus. Black and orange orioles, larger and more brilliant, sit upon painted fence posts. Monkeys howl greetings to the morning sun.

In the cool of the forest, giant primordial trees perhaps 10 feet in diameter, spread wide their roots to secure another century of creation. Lizards and m&m colored, poison dart frogs and the much feared bullet ant, race in and out of its sheltering crevasses. Leaf cutter ants parade here and there with their flags raised high. Parrots fly in formation and sloths wind themselves around strong branches.

These riches are everywhere. The land shows no favoritism. It was breathtaking in the gardens of the landed, at the entrances of the plantations, in the uninhabited jungles, in the front yards of the country homes and in the shantytowns. Nowhere that man had left some soil to the sun’s gracing, did it not return its thanks. I saw soil piled upon a table top, secured with some round river stones, that bloomed into a garden. Children picked sweet wild fruit from every tree, and every plant seemed to hold some secret wonder.

Only in one place did the beauty that was Costa Rica dim. In the city, Limon’, the soil gave way to man’s cement and metal. The homes, cramped and rusted, were made of stronger stuff and everything seemed concrete.  The soil was pushed aside, covered over. Man’s progress seemed an ugly effort. No shop nor statue could in any way compete with the beauty and bounty of the poorest man’s land.


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a tent

We were talking about tents last night at the pre-mission trip meeting. Seems we are to be sleeping in one in the jungle – yes, that is jungle not some Alabama pine thicket. I am trying not to think about what else might be sharing our little corner of the planet. So, I guess tents have been on the mind a bit.

Now, I do like to camp, in decent weather mind you, it’s just that I have never camped in decent weather. It is always cold, cold and often blowing a little rain when I have paid my fare for a turn in the old tent. It will likely be 100+ degrees at night in good Ol’ Costa Rica, and 110 % humidity as well. So yeah, I’ve been day dreaming about the tent.

Well, tonight during worship, which was very incredible, during probably my favorite song lyrically, “With Everything,” I saw this tent. I had been asking God for a framework, a “What is this trip about?” paradigm. I saw a tent on the ground, not yet put together. It was a covering. It covered the earth.

“Okay, God? A tent on the ground. What good is that?”

“They are the tent poles.”


“The young people you are taking, they are the tent poles. You are to help them see that on this trip. Tent poles make a covering a dwelling, where I come in and abide. They are not living to get people covered, checked off as under my covering, “okay,” if you will. Where they will stake their lives, I will dwell.”

I sense these works of Life. Works, life works where Life flows, dwells in and amongst. And I see these young people, representatives of the many I am blessed to walk alongside, living lives of good work with Christ.


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