The best part of Finish the Work trips is the people you get to meet. Although there is sure to be a language barrier, and we come from different “worlds,” there is always one person you will never forget. For the first team on the ground in Costa Rica, it is a woman named Sonya.
We first met Sonya on Day 1 of the project. She came to the church with her son, Zack, who we noticed the day before at church swaying back and forth, demonstrating some sort of disability. But today, Sonya was visibly upset, and looking for the Pastor when she arrived on the project site. He happened to be running errands with a Finish the Work volunteer and was not available. She looked like she was going to wait for him to return. The site was bustling that day, everyone spread out in all directions, completing their assigned tasks. Sonya’s need would have to wait for a more convenient time when we could find an interpreter or the Pastor, which ever came first.
A few hours later, we noticed her again, sitting outside on the relocated church pews. She looked equally as distress, so we decided to ask her if we could pray for her. She started to explain the reason for her “bad day”. Her daughter was pregnant and she had just gotten the news that she had a miscarriage. The team immediately began to lay hands on her and pray for her. She was sobbing and praying at the same time, trying to reconcile this terrible news with her obvious understanding of the sovereignty of God. She kept repeating “Dios esta bien”, “God is Good” as we finished praying, loaded our bus and headed off to dinner.
The team continued to pray for Sonya throughout the night and the next day she came to the church with fresh made banana bread and fruit juice. Everyone gathered around to thank her for giving out of her grief. She asked if the team could come to her house for dinner on Friday night….as she would count it an honor to host the team in this way. After our many objections we agreed to bring part of the meal and join her for dinner. She was a shining example to all of us that when difficult things happen in our lives we need to push through them and find a way to serve.
The next day, Sonja brought more homemade goodies for our “coffee break” and came with unexpected news that caused the team to once again pause and pray. The doctor in charge of her daughter’s case, called that morning and said there was hope that the baby was still alive. They had performed a number of ultrasounds the day before and they wanted to wait another week to determine what was going on.
As team 1 continues to pray for Sonya and her daughter over the next few weeks, her strong faith will be a good reminder to take a moment to pray for those you meet along the way….no matter what the barrier might be…God’s love pushes through!