Students improve facilities and minister to kids in Costa Rica


The week before spring break, thirty students and a handful of sponsors boarded Delta flight 900 on their way to Costa Rica.

After arriving in San Jose, they bumped up the mountains and arrived at a hotel in Monteverde that would become their home for the next ten days.

On Monday, they began work at the Adventist church and school of Monteverde. It soon became evident that despite early mornings, misty days, and flying dust, these students were determined to work hard and complete as much as possible.

 Mr. Djernes, co-director of the trip, says that “this is one of the best groups of students” he’s taken on a mission trip. “The students as a whole really jumped in and rose to the occasion,” he notes. 

“I liked how everybody came together,” says Sophomore Trish Ford, “We saw what needed to be done and came together and worked hard to get it done quickly.”

Although the trip did not have an official theme verse, Colossians 3:23 would have been fitting. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (NIV).

The students were able to complete all of their planned projects in record time and got to do extra work to help out the church and school.

On the construction side of things, they built a wall and fence between the church and hotel next door, painted a wall of the school, extended some roofing, laid a sidewalk, and cleaned up the side of the church.

Senior Amund Fleming spent much of his time working closely with the contruction supervisors, Mr. James and Mr. Phillips, cutting metal.

“Working in Costa Rica was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Fleming says.

“What I appreciated most was how one hundred percent of the students stepped up and worked hard at what they were asked to do,” says co-director Mr. Peel, “The school will be able to reach a lot more people because of how we fixed up their facilities.”

Ms. Conerly, one of the sponsors on the trip, said that she was impressed with “the amazing changes we were able to make in a short time.”

In addition to all of the construction work, the students also put together a VBS for the kids at the school and in the area.

“My favorite part was seeing the little kids dancing and singing and being so excited about VBS,” says Junior Maison Baldwin. She loved “witnessing to them even though we didn’t really know how to communicate.”

On the last day of VBS, the group donated the guitar they had been using for song service to the school. Just recently, the principal had been talking to the music teacher about their need for a guitar, and was overjoyed at the donation. Sophomore Hannah Moody, who had been playing the guitar, said that her favorite part of the trip was “being able to donate the guitar and knowing that they needed it.”

“The amount of interaction our students were able to have with the elementary kids was good,” says Ms. Conerly, “I think some of those kids really needed the attention.”

Overall, the school’s mission trip to Costa Rica was a success, improving the school and church at Monteverde, and students’ relationships between each other and God.

Senior Noah Banks sums up the trip this way: “On the Costa Rica mission trip, the most common things were rice and beans, dirt, and God’s presence.