Saturday, December 08, 2007

I was asked who the mission served, the following is an overview as I see their service:

Mostly they serve the Cabecar Indigenous, but they serve so many more.

The Mission's service to the Cabecar Indigenous gives employment to locals, the caretakers of the patients, teachers for the language school that helps support the Mission's projects.

The women who cook the meals, care for the patients, clean and wash now have employment.

A vehicle driver now has employment driving the handicapped residents to school, shopping and medical appointments..

The Mission brings the Spanish Language students that need paid homestays and meals.

The visiting students bring donations for the Indigenous, and spend money in Tuis providing the trickle down theory of employment.

The students return to their native countries sharing their experiences and all that they learned by participating in our very rural Costa Rican lives.

Perhaps the town of Tuis has been blessed the most through their changed perceptions of the Indigenous. At first reserved, and unsure if a Mission was what they wanted in their town, they have come to be supportive and protective of the Mission and their work Many locals volunteer to help the patients, carry supplies to the reservation, and they come to Sunday afternoon service.

The original concept was to be a church. Because Costa Rica is primarily Catholic, people would not come to the non-denominational church because they said "we have a church and you can only have one church." Daniel and Hector made the mental adjustment to become a Mission; the people said, "a Mission is good, a mission helps people, we don't have a Mission, we can come." And so a Mission it was. In the early days people came to the simple small house owned by the Mission and at 4pm on Sundays, service was held. Why 4pm? Our rural neighbors are agricultural based, they have cows to feed and milk, farm chores that must take place every morning, farming is a 7 day a week job. The house that is now the Language School and administration center of the Mission, was the first place of worship. Soon they could no longer fit in the little house and the need for a larger facility was needed. At this time service is held outdoors, under cover, surrounded by cows and horses who seem to enjoy the inspirational music that flows from Hectors keyboard and vocals, and the driving beat of Daniels drums. Both of the Mission's directors are also extremely talented professional musicians.

Working with little money they put on the most professional service. I reflect to my diverse religious background of having been raised Catholic and in later years attending various churches who served my needs. We had the songs sung projected onto a screen that dropped down from the costly ceiling. The Mission has a sheet hung from a chainlink fence, a young man of perhaps 10 years of age is in charge of the projector on a folding table and pushing the buttons on a laptop that operates the PowerPoint presentation taking us to the next page or the next tune. He is silent, wise beyond his years, serious and professional with his demeanor and operational skills. His small body stands 10 foot tall with the responsibility that is in his hands. The on looking cows are equally impressed as they move closer and closer, I think they are grooving on the tunes. The Indigenous as well as Costa Rican neighbors pour in. Some walk the long and winding road from La Suiza that follows the Rio Tuis to attend what becomes the highlight of their week. It is dark when they make the return trip on the dangerous dark winding road. As we drive home on the obstacle course of people and free ranging cows who have escaped and an occasional horse with and or without a rider, it always comes to me that it is a wonder there are not more roads deaths. No one has a flashlight or reflector, ever. It never seems to occur to them to move out of the way.

The women of Tuis will make their locally unique food for the Indigenous Christmas party. It will be made with love from their hearts because they have come to appreciate the Indigenous, their plight, and the richness that the Mission, Daniel, Hector and all of the volunteers have brought to their lives. They will never be the same again.

Ginnee y Felipe HancockFinca Quijote de Esperanza, SACosta Rica

No comments: