Added to our schedule during the week, we began Friday with a service for the 600 plus kids in the elementary school. Mark and the team sang and led them in worship. The little ones worshiped as kids do – without restraint or worrying about “being cool.”
As those of you who know me, I like kids a lot. I really like them when they toddle and again when they enter adolescence. I mean, it’s not as if I dislike them in between those time, I just don’t have a lot of experience relating or speaking to elementary age kiddos. So, I was a little at a loss as to what I would do.
The Lord really saved me with a distant memory of the one other time I was in front of small children. I stood before them and without words turned them into my orchestra. I used a drumstick (thanks, Callen!) to lead them in clapping on cue. The kids were really funny. At the end, I just spoke a few words about allowing God to be the conductor of our lives. In the end, it worked out alright – though I can’t claim to have thought it up on my own. As a good preacher who is in over his head is want to do, I totally stole the idea from someone else!
Toward the end of our time with the little guys, it started to rain – and I mean it started to rain in absolute earnest. It was as if the Lord poured out all the water in the sea right over us. In our metal building the sound was a roar! This delayed the entrance of the high school students somewhat – and when they did enter they were pretty wet!
Nevertheless, it was our final time with these students we had come to love and we wanted to celebrate! Once again we had the whole high school together. Friday I spoke about, “Spreading the Revolution.” I explained that discipleship and following Jesus demands a response the grows the Kingdom. We are each called to witness to the power of God in our lives in our schools, home towns, nations, and around the world.
I concluded the message with a call to action. Each of the kids was given a post-it note to place on one of two giant maps of the world with a commitment to carry the Movement to that place. By the end of the response time, the maps were beautifully adorned with multicolored post-it notes indicating which student would be responsible for each corner of our globe. In addition, kids were invited to respond by signing up to be a student leader, responsible for leading the Movement at the school and/or respond to a call to pastoral ministry. Ray and I prayed with the kids called to ministry. It was powerful to see these gifted young men and women make a promise to serve the Church.
We finished up with some pictures and lots of hugs. We had a little time off that afternoon, then we went to Ray & Lydia’s home for dinner. It was amazing. If you are looking for the best meal available in Costa Rica, you will have to secure an invitation to the Zirkel’s home.
After dinner, we had a time of worship with the Zirkel’s and some of the missionary interns who had been with us throughout our time in country. Mark led as we sang and I shared some scripture. It was a holy and powerful time as several people sought a baptism of the Spirit and we all prayed over them. Our time concluded as we all spread out around the Zirkel home (inside and out) and blanketed the place in prayer.
We returned to the seminary for bed and to get ready for Saturday.