Multicultural RelationshipNews

Ramblings from Costa Rica

Having the opportunity to travel outside of the United States is not a right. It’s a luxury, a gift. I said this to a friend while in Costa Rica overlooking the mountain ridge. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever thought that I would go out of the country. I mean, the farthest I had ever traveled had been to California and that was last year. And even that was amazing to me!

As I stood there and took in the beautiful scenery, I thought about my 83-year old grandmother, Elaine. My Nana would probably never get to see what I was seeing. She has lived in the inner city of Baltimore her entire life. I wondered what she would think about having the opportunity to see another country – one as beautiful as Costa Rica. I knew at that moment that I was there for no other reason than that God wanted me there…but why? That was the question in my heart. What did God want me to do?

We approach most things like that, don’t we? Doing. What should we be doing? As I looked at the schedule each day, I did my best to prepare for what I needed to do. I prepared for the ministry that I would be engaging in. Singing, preaching, sharing the Word, encouraging the women—all of that was on my to-do-list.

And yet, while all of that was wonderful, it is the “other” times that I remember. Devotions with my team each morning. Royce laughing out-loud because of some random funny thing. Katie chasing after mangos as they fell from the trees. Laughing at Mariah wearing one of the worst outfits ever because she was cold. Deep conversation with Heidi each night. Learning from Kathy and Doug. Dancing in big skirts with Rachael. Sitting next to Josh at the piano and singing Spanish together. These are the moments that I remember most about Costa Rica. The “togetherness” with people that I love.

My journey to Costa Rica was not about what I do, but who I am. Really… if I could sum it up in a sentence, that would be it. And while there was work to be done, the work being done in me was much deeper. Did I have to travel to Costa Rica for the Lord to do that work? Maybe not…but I love that my Father would go to all that trouble so that I could remember that I am loved and that what the world responds to is who I am and not necessarily what I do.

Nikki Lerner is a singer, songwriter, and worship leader who currently serves at Bridgeway Community Church in Columbia, MD.

5 thoughts on “Ramblings from Costa Rica

  1. Nikki, I second that! My experience with mission trips is that the big work is always done in those who travel! What a wonderful privilege it was!

  2. Nikki, thanks for reminding me of how much I take for granted. I have so many luxuries and gifts in my life that seem almost commonplace. I am on a quest to celebrate the wonder of those more. And, can I say that watching you eat the strange fruit “mamon chino” was one of my favorite moments of the trip. You could probably write a whole blog about that. We have a great picture. 🙂 I am so glad that you went! And even more glad that you are my friend.

  3. Nikki, Your passion and love for the Lord as well as your joy in travelling and spending time with us was so evident and we continue to be blessed by you and your team’s ministry with us. We also continue to feel the impact of what you learned, shared, and gave during our week with us in Costa Rica. I thank my Daddy for you.

    Ash

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