I think I’ve written before about my final project. My topic has been LACC schools here in Costa Rica. I spent time speaking with Bill Hudlin whose role is to work between the sponsors and the schools. The highlight of my project was visiting an LACC school.

To go back a little bit, try coming off of a fun but exhausting weekend with mom, medicine the week had started a bit frustrating. Corey and I have been visiting the Colombian embassy and the American embassy trying to get everything in order to leave on August 14th. After many frustrations, diagnosis a long morning on the phone and no progress we walked into school late. As I entered my class I realized we had an exam…oops…that I had completely forgotten about and had not studied. My teacher told me that I needed to speak to another teacher and that she said it was urgent. I ran down to her class to find out I had something at home she needed that day. She wanted me to “run” home and grab it. Mind you, “running” home is not a five-minute process. Feeling the frustration and exhaustion building inside of me I went back to class and sat down to take my test. Realizing I had left my pencils back at home I managed to find a mechanical pencil at the bottom of my bag. I tried to pump out a lead, but the tiny one that came out broke off and I couldn’t get another one out. That was it. That has now become the infamous pencil lead that broke me. In the middle of class and the other students taking their tests I broke down crying. I laugh at this now, but in the moment everything reached the breaking point. I became Volcan Arenal and the tears came spilling out of my eyes! My sweet friend, Marcy, took me out of class to talk and pray. I was able to regain composure and go through the rest of the day, but feeling very drained and emotionally weak.

I share all that to share with you the effect that LACC had on me. Honestly, I didn’t feel like going to visit. I just wanted to go home and sleep. But I knew I had to get this project done so I decided against rescheduling. When we got to the school we went on a tour of all the classes. The kids were so precious. I spent time in the 6th grade class. I had created a poll to give them to find out more about their school experiences. Just like in an American classroom there were class clowns that made jokes about some of the questions, girls that volunteered every time I asked for help, etc. As I spoke to the director she told me how many of the kids in the school are abused at home, physically, sexually, emotionally, etc. I looked at their faces and wondered how such beautiful children could be treated so badly.

I asked for testimonies and two of the children came forward and talked about how life was before they had started going to the school, how their attitudes were full of anger or hopelessness, how they disrespected everyone, but how they had found God here at the school and had a new outlook on life.

These kids brightened my day. They were funny, playful, openhearted and just so sweet. I left the school a different person than when I entered it. My excitement for Colombia was again peaking and I was forgetting all the red tape I had dealt with earlier in the morning. We’ll get there. We may have to do a little more wiggling through the visa process, but soon we will be able to be more involved in the lives of children like these in Costa Rica. God had the best kind of healing planned for my weary body and soul!
~Tona