Archive for the ‘Costa Rica 2017’ Category

Costa Rica Day #7

Posted: July 30, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Costa Rica 2017


I skipped a couple days because Thursday and Friday were travel days/day off.  We spent over 7 hours in the van in those two days and spent the rest of the time at a beach along the Pacific Ocean.

We arrived at the Villa around 8:00 on Friday night. We ate dinner and then had a team debrief about what we’ve been learning this week. This was probably our best time together as a team for the week.  People each took turns sharing what God has been doing in their life or drawing their attention to this week.

The next day we woke up and headed to Tirrases for a final day of ministry. We served alongside Jairo and his church during their main day of ministry. In the morning, we split our group in two. Half of the group went to play soccer on a local field with some Tico teenagers. The other half of the group stayed and helped out with the kids ministry that happens every Saturday morning.  During lunch time, we took a walk around Tirrases and heard the story of how the ministry started with Jairo stopping in Tirrases to play soccer with some teenage boys and share the gospel with them. They asked him to come back the next week and he continued to come back week after week playing soccer and sharing from the Bible.  This eventually led to a kids ministry, youth ministry, and a Sunday morning church. The last time we were here we got to spend Saturday evening with Jairo and the church, but we didn’t get to see the ministry in action.  It was really cool to see the ministries in action this time and to get a glimpse of where Brandon Hoover does ministry on a weekly basis.  In the afternoon we spent time with their youth ministry playing some games, hearing a lesson on Jonah, and sharing some testimonies.  Andra and Zach shared their testimonies from our group and Maria Fernanda shared her testimony from their group.  It was cool to hear the different ways that God has worked in the lives of people from very different cultures and backgrounds to draw them to Christ. After time with the youth ministry, we returned back to the Villa to take naps, eat dinner and prepare for a 9:00 game of soccer.  We met up with Jairo, and some of the other guys from the church to play soccer on a local turf field.  It was our final game of Gringos vs. Ticos… and the Ticos won with ease.  It was cool to be able to finish off our week hanging out with others our age but from a different culture. Be sure to ask us questions about our trip. Thank you for following us and for your prayers!


Costa Rica Day #4

Posted: July 28, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Costa Rica 2017


This morning everyone returned from their overnight stays with Tico families.  We spent the first hour of our morning having a debrief time where everyone shared about their experiences and what stuck out to them.  It was a lot of fun to hear them all talk about the challenges, excitements, and stories from staying overnight.  Unfortunately, it was raining pretty hard and we only had outside work left to do at Hannah and Esteban’s house. So we spent the morning at the Hotel playing games.  Soon after lunch the rain cleared off and we were able to finish up painting the outside of the church building at Hannah and Esteban’s.  We also did another afternoon of Kid’s Club at their house. Connor and Dalton led the lesson time and Holly and Sarah led the kids in a craft.  We spent the evening at Hannah and Esteban’s house having a cook out and eventually saying our goodbyes to them.  It felt like our time with them went by much to quickly.  They are a fun and encouraging couple to spend time with and it’s been such a joy to see and hear what is happening with their ministry.


About 6 years ago, Esteban met Hannah while she was a GAP student in Costa Rica.  They eventually began to date and it was while dating that God began to plant the seeds that would eventually lead to their ministry in Santa Rosa. During conversations, Esteban began to wrestle with his own understanding of the gospel and salvation. He realized Hannah and he had two different understandings of salvation. He tended to believe that he could lose his salvation and so it was on him to continue to “maintain” his salvation on top of what Christ had already done for him. While he and Hannah were dating, he began to go on a journey of seeking to truly understand what it meant to be saved according to the Bible. He came to realize that his view of salvation didn’t line up with what was taught in the Bible and he quickly became passionate about sharing with others what he learned.  He initially received quite a bit of push-back from those he began to share with. While some were changed as they studied and read the scriptures for themselves, others, including the church he was attending, told him that they did not agree with him and did not want him to teach what he was teaching.  This is what eventually led Hannah and Esteban to start the Seeds of Life ministry in Santa Rosa.  They realized there was not a church that was clearly teaching the Bible and proclaiming the truths of the gospel week in and week out. They had a hunger to do this and to see God work through his word to transform the lives of people who may have been familiar with religion but never really understood the Bible or what it teaches. Hannah and Esteban are the picture of endurance and faithfulness to God. For the past four years they have faithfully proclaimed God’s word and taught how the gospel transforms all of life. They have sought to break down the legalism and anti-biblical ideas that abound in many who claim to be Christians but have never truly read the Bible for themselves. Some people have drastically changed through the teaching of God’s word, and others have been resistant, but Hannah and Esteban continue to faithfully serve God and teach his word week after week.  It has been a great privilege and joy to spend time with them again and serve alongside them for a portion of the week!  It’s hard to say goodbye to them and I wish that we were able to spend more time alongside them, learning from them and hearing their stories of how God is at work.


Costa Rica Day #3

Posted: July 26, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Costa Rica 2017


Yesterday was our hardest work day here.  We woke up and had breakfast at 7:00, followed by team devotions at 7:30.  This has been one of my favorite times because each leader is taking a different day to lead devotions. Yesterday, it was Bri’s turn to lead devotions and she shared on the importance and challenge of showing hospitality as Christians. It was especially fitting because that night the students were going to be broken up into groups and spend the night in a Tico home. After breakfast, we headed to Hannah and Esteban’s for the work day. Half of the group spent time finishing painting in the church building and the other half spent time working on a garage by Hannah and Esteban’s house. Some helped to put up a tin roof, while others worked on mixing and pouring concrete for the floor.  At 3:00, part of the group spend time leading the Kids’ Club that happens at Hannah and Esteban’s house again. Andra and Katie led the story time and then Paige and Kylie led the kids in a craft time.  We came back to the hotel to take showers and pack for the evening and then got everyone sent out to their homes for the overnight stay. I asked Kylie and Dalton if they would share about their experiences in the overnight stay.


Costa Rica Day #2

Posted: July 25, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Costa Rica 2017

Our day started with an egg and fruit breakfast at 7 am.  After a devotion by our own Mike Kuhns we piled into our three vans and headed to Hannah and Esteban’s. The morning work consisted of painting the inside of the church, laying pipe around the outside of the church for a future baptismal, and carrying many wheelbarrow loads of dirt for a garage floor. For lunch, Hannah and a few women from their church graciously provided a large meal of rice, beans, and a plantain soup. We also had the opportunity to try mamonchinos, an authentic Central American fruit. In the afternoon we shoveled rocks for the garage floor to be concreted on Tuesday and gave the inside of the church another coat of paint. A little after 3, the children began to arrive for a kids ministry. Interacting with the children was a new and stretching experience for everyone, but with limited knowledge of eithers languages and with translating help from Hannah, we connected with the Ticos. First, Danny and Ben provided an engaging craft of a popsicle stick catapult. Elliot and Zach read and acted out the story of Jesus calming the storm. Cole and Winston finished the afternoon by leading another round of soccer games. That evening we ate Costa Rican spaghetti and took a walk to a local supermarket for snacks and ice cream. After debriefing and some card games around the table, we headed to bed for a sound night’s sleep after a tiring day at work.


Costa Rica Day 1

Posted: July 24, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Costa Rica 2017

Costa Rica Day 1 

We arrived in Santa Rosa on Saturday night after a four-hour van ride. Thankfully no one got sick on the winding mountain roads! We got situated in our hotel, took a short walk around the town and then went to bed fairly early after a long day of travel. 


On Sunday morning, we started our day off with a pancake breakfast at our hotel. Then, at around 7:30 a.m., we had group devotions. We all got into the vans and headed to Hannah and Esteban’s for church. Kyle got the opportunity to preach and Esteban translated. After church, we had a lunch of rice, beef, and coleslaw, which was prepared by the church. We also played Frisbee and tested out our Spanish in conversation with them. In the afternoon, we headed back to the hotel and enjoyed the pool. After that, we played soccer against the Ticos for a couple hours. It is cool to see how competing with and against each other in games helps us to connect even when we can’t speak the same language! We quickly lost to the Ticos and needed to mix the teams up to make the games more competitiveJ We finished the day with a pizza dinner and games at our hotel.

Backstory: Two years ago when we were in Santa Rosa, Hannah and Esteban were fairly recently married and their ministry was only a couple years old. Yesterday during church, Hannah and Esteban had Andy preside over the dedication of their second child, Michaela.  Their first son, Sammy, was born several months after the last time that we were here.  It is really neat to see their growing family along with their growing ministry. The buildings have changed since the last time we were here, but so has the ministry. The church has grown from a part bible study/part church plant to being a more mature and thriving church. It was very exciting to be back with them and get to spend Sunday morning and afternoon with their church.

Costa Rica 2017: Who? When? Where? What? Why? How?

Posted: June 21, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Costa Rica 2017

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Who: A group of 19 Senior High Students and 5 Leaders

When: July 22nd-30th

Where: Santa Rosa, Costa Rica

What: We will meet up with Keystone Missionary Andy Gordley and serve alongside a local church plant and ministry run by Hannah and Esteban Mora. While we are there we will take part in their church, help with work projects, take part in the Kids Club, play soccer, stay overnight in the house of a church member, and learn more about the ministry of Hannah and Esteban in Santa Rosa and Andy’s ministry in Costa Rica. 

Why: We take trips like this because we want to learn about and experience what God is doing in the lives of churches and missionaries all over the world. We can have missionaries come and speak to us. We can view pictures of missionaries and what they are doing. We can read newsletters to hear more about them. But it is a very different thing to go and personally experience the ministry they are engaging in. It’s a bit like eating a piece of bacon. You can watch someone else eat bacon. You can look at pictures of bacon. You can know all about the process for making bacon. But it’s a very different thing to actually pick up a piece of bacon and take a bite out of it. The trip to Costa Rica is meant to be bite-sized experience of foreign missions and ministry. We hope to get an experience of what life is like in Costa Rica, a picture of what God is doing in Costa Rica, and be able to serve, learn, and fellowship with a church and missionaries who are a part of God’s work in Costa Rica.

How can you get involved: You can support us by emailing and asking for a prayer card that will be sent out the week before our trip. You can also give towards the trip by going to and selecting “Online Missions Fund” and “Sr. High Costa Rica” or you can give a check to Keystone Church marked “Costa Rica 2017.” Also, be sure to follow along with this blog during the week that we are in Cost Rica for pictures, updates, and student reflections.