We began our day with a pancake breakfast prepared by the mside girls and served on the porch of our villa overlooking the beach. Then we decided to go for a “short hike.” Mariana’s definition of short and mine don’t seem to match. People say I exaggerate, but this was no joke. I thought we were the next contestants on the Biggest Loser. Our guide, “Jillian Michaels” took us 2.5 miles straight up the side of a mountain through the jungle at a 45+ degree angle. Note to self: take a ton of water when hiking with Mariana. We had sweat coming from every surface of our bodies…no joke…we looked like we had been swimming. Most tourists go by horseback, but not us…we saved money and used what God gave us. But at the top of the mountain was the most beautiful waterfall I’ve ever seen. It truly was worth the pain. We swam in the pools of water at the base and some even jumped off the cliff into the water (not me).
The best part of the experience happened as we were about to leave. We had been talking about the water and baptism when one of the students (Robin) spoke up and said she had never been baptized. Robin said she wanted to go public with her faith in Christ and I said why not be baptized right now. So, at the end of a grueling hike was a beautiful blessing. The team gathered around Robin, she confessed her faith to us and we prayed for her. Suzanne and I took her into the beautiful pool beneath the falls and baptized her our sister in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. What a way to end such a great mission adventure in Costa Rica.
After another long hike back down the mountain the team went and relaxed for a few hours at the beach before going out for a great last night dinner together. They even made the waiter bring out a cake for my birthday (that was yesterday) and the band sang Happy Birthday in Spanish.
Thank you all for your many prayers and support. The team is heading home tomorrow with full hearts, tired bodies, and a renewed passion to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ!