One of the most exciting parts of the Finish the Work experience is getting to share in the celebration when a project is complete. Every celebration is different, reflecting the personality and culture of the host organization. There are different elements included in the presentation, including recognizing key people who have helped along the way, sharing vision and direction for the future, and even inviting guest speakers or musicians that provide a unique touch to the program. This year, as we prepared to close out the Costa Rica project, we met with church members to discuss the night and see what we could do to help make the evening a success. Expecting to meet with the Pastor and a few leaders, we were very surprised when 30 people showed up at the camp where we were staying. It was a glaring reminder of who we were serving – a congregation that was fully invested in the project and the future of the church.
What an evening was had, as we celebrated with Pinatas and balloons for the kids, held an open house of the classrooms whose paint was barely dry, and welcomed about 175 people from the community. If that wasn’t enough to be excited about, the highlight of the evening was when the youth led worship for the “ninos” that exploded into a giant conga line around the sanctuary. Kids were running and dancing on ceramic tile that 4 weeks earlier had been nothing but a dirty cement slab. People were pouring onto the church property to see the specialized classrooms that just a short time ago was nothing but a shell of a building. You could see joy, thankfulness and hope in the eyes of the people. I thought to myself, “this church is ready to reach the children and youth of this community for the glory of God!” Starting now, I am sure that is what they will do!