Spirituality and service in Costa Rica

I am part of the National Leadership Council (NLC), a youth group for Christian Scientists. For our third summer in the program, my fellow NLCers and I traveled to Costa Rica on a community service trip. We all looked forward to having an opportunity to interact with the local children as well as fix up the area surrounding their school. We were excited to be able to help the local community, and we quickly started filling our heads with thoughts of big building projects—like maybe fixing up the school’s rodeo arena—and of being able to leave a positive mark that would last for years.

On our first day of service to the Costa Rican school, we were shuffled into different groups, each with a different task. Some of us got started moving a pile of wood from one spot to a different spot some 30 feet away, some of us painted watering cans, some of us dug holes, and some of us painted the school’s rusty metal fence with shiny new paint. Over the next several days, we continued with the same chores. We started to wonder: when would the large-scale building projects start?

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