Two weekends of my time in Costa Rica we spent at a YWAM camp, I never imagined it being as special as it became.
The first weekend was among my first weekends in Costa Rica, the second was my very last. The contrast is amazing, and it really displayed how the trip changed me.
The first weekend was full of transition. My heart was heavy and I was unsure. I saw all these people who fascinated me, people I wished I could somehow know. Though we had an excellent time still, I left without really connecting with anyone I hadn’t known before. However, I found myself drawing closer to God than ever before. The place was dripping in nostalgia for memories I hadn’t been there for, but it was as tangible as anything else.
The second weekend, however, was entirely different. Not in the way that it was better, for without the first weekend, the second wouldn’t have been the way that it was. It started with a dance. Eli and I danced for three and a half hours in the most wonderful way. I’d never done anything like that before and energy from seemingly nowhere coursed through me. Passion overwhelmed in worship and in pouring out my heart. We laughed and sung our hearts out, but that was only the beginning of the weekend. It felt more like a whole week and as each day passed it became more and more special.
We were split up into four families, but by the end I felt like a part of one big family. Through searching the mall, human battleship and every meal, I found myself not wanting to leave these people who had suddenly become incredibly special to me.
When they started calling out to be my name, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Perhaps I’ve always had a difficult time feeling like I belonged somewhere, but by the end of the weekend I certainly felt it there.
That last morning after we’d packed up, I looked over the base. Everyone there was a person to me, they weren’t nameless faces, but dear friends; family. We sang Switchfoot and Paramore, I even understood most of the Spanish and found myself laughing with them.
While we were saying our goodbyes, I was overwhelmed with longing to return eventually. I told Leo and Edwin (two of the leaders) that I wished I could come back next month, and apparently they hadn’t known I was leaving the next morning. Their sorrow at learning this really touched my heart in a way I can’t describe and as they prayed over me for not only my departure but the next part in my life, joy filled my heart.
I wasn’t afraid to belong, to love them and leave. Not only that, but it doesn’t even unnerve me to be this open about it. The people I met there, and of course my drifters that I went there with are more dear to me than words can ever say. As they prayed and I pray every day, God let me be Your light, let them see You in me.
Both joy and sorrow filled my heart at parting, but the memories remain dear in my heart, times I shan’t forget.