Vineville on a Mission
Sunday Service 2023
What a great day! We had over 200 Vineville folks serving our community. The lives of hundreds of people, thousands, if you count all those who will see the Christmas lights, were positively impacted because of you. I had numerous people say they wanted this to be an annual event. Several said semi-annual. There were smiles everywhere when we gathered for worship and lunch.
Reflections from the Costa Rica 2023 Team
After multiple delays and a cancellation, we are back in the air on our way to Atlanta. As I look back on our week in Costa Rica, I don’t believe I would change a single thing. Of course, arriving home on schedule would have been ideal, but the truth is that all of our needs were provided for. This has been the case since the planning for the trip began. From the countless prayers and generous financial support of our Vineville family, to the “missionaries” on the journey and the wonderful Costa Ricans we worked alongside, it is hard to deny the grace of God at work in and through all things. Life-changing memories were made as I watched how everyone on our team offered their whole selves, bringing to the table their unique gifts, talents, and personalities. There were moments of laughter and singing, hard work and cutthroat card games, of prayerful blessings and the Holy Spirit’s moving and speaking into our hearts. Friendships were made in San Isidro, Santa Marta, and Clearwater, and stronger bonds were created among us.
Personally, I couldn’t dream of a more fulfilling way to wrap up my time at Vineville. Missions is so near and dear to my heart. If I could sum up all the things I have learned throughout my many different mission experiences, it would be that successful short-term missions are not really about what was accomplished. Instead, a good mission is when the Spirit of God brings together the most unlikely of people and they find themselves united together as the Body of Christ with the common purpose of building the Kingdom. By that standard, our time in Costa Rica was a success, because what I saw there was the Church.
In the weeks ahead, I hope you get a chance to talk to the team. Have them share what they saw, heard, and experienced. Just be ready, though. After hearing what God is up to in Costa Rica, you might find your heart stirred to see for yourself when Vineville returns.
Vaya con Dios,
Today we woke up to a rainy Tuesday morning in Costa Rica, sore with fresh bruises and muddy shoes. Since we’ve been here a few days now, we could no longer just depend on the adrenaline (or coffee) to get us through. But when we arrived at the construction site in Santa Marta, we met two families who attended the church we were building: Evelyn and her three daughters, Hilary, Samantha, and Rose, and Teresita and her grandson Gael. The kids were off from school and super-excited to help us shovel gravel into the altar foundation. Samantha was eager to haul a wheelbarrow twice her size, and do everything she could to help us out. We were so encouraged by her ability to take joy in each small contribution she made; it reminded us to celebrate every step in the process. God takes joy in our smallest accomplishments, why shouldn’t we?
Cannon McClain and Melissa Rodriguez-McClain