Blog

Explore My News,
Thoughts & Inspiration

Post From: karlaoliver-ayala.myadventures.org

God of Miracles!

As I sit here, reflecting on the incredible week I spent in San Jose, Costa Rica, I can’t help but be filled with a profound sense of gratitude and awe. This wasn’t just any mission trip, it was a journey of faith that led me alongside a group of 8 incredible women to witness God’s miraculous work firsthand. We witnessed the transformative power of hope, resilience, and faith.

The humid air of San Jose clung to my skin, a stark contrast to the crisp Maryland air I’d left behind. Yet, amidst the foreign sights and sounds, as I prepared for the team’s arrival and met with our host, a familiar feeling of excitement buzzed within me. I was excited! I couldn’t wait to see what God had in store for this trip! Our partner for this mission was Casa Transforma, an organization whose very name speaks volumes about their purpose: transforming lives. They work tirelessly to empower impoverished women, children, and immigrants, protecting their rights, building their capacities, and instilling values that help them reach their full potential. 

Throughout the week, we were blessed with the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the vibrant community surrounding Casa Transforma. We embarked on home visits to the nearby barrios. Where we stepped into homes brimming with warmth and love, despite facing unimaginable hardship. We shared laughter and tears, listened to their stories and offered our prayers. 

At the Casa Transforma center, we stocked their pantry, ensuring they had access to essential food supplies.

And we witnessed the culmination of months of hard work and dedication during their end-of-year graduation ceremony. This was undoubtedly the highlight of our trip. Witnessing 45 women and 19 girls graduate from Casa Transforma’s program was a sight that brought tears to our eyes. Some of these women, graduating alongside their daughters, had never even finished primary school, yet here they were, beaming with pride and holding their diplomas aloft. It was a testament to their unwavering spirit and the transformative power of the program.

We also had the privilege of hosting retreats for the women in the program and the residents of the barrios. These retreats were oases of hope and inspiration, providing a much-needed escape from the challenges of everyday life. We shared stories, testimonies, and prayers, forging bonds of sisterhood and strengthening each other’s faith.

 

One particularly impactful experience was our time with a group of girls from Face of Justice. This organization serves as a refuge of hope and escape for women and young girls who have experienced the dangers of the Red Zone or the trauma of sex trafficking. Their eyes held a depth and pain beyond their years, but at the end of our retreat their smiles radiated resilience and hope. To have the opportunity to share God’s love with them and offer a glimmer of light in their lives was a privilege and a blessing beyond words! Witnessing their resilience and determination was a powerful reminder of the redemptive power of God’s love and the human spirit’s ability to overcome unimaginable adversity.

Throughout our time in Costa Rica, the phrase “God of Miracles” repeatedly surfaced. We saw Job 5:9 unfold right before our eyes: “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” We witnessed lives transformed, hearts healed, and hope restored in our team and in the woman we served. We were living proof of Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

This trip to San Jose wasn’t just a mission trip; it was truly a transformation. We went to serve and to pour into the community and we got poured in through the process. We were touched by the unwavering faith, the infectious joy, and the resilience of the women and children we met. We returned home with hearts overflowing with gratitude, humility, and a deeper understanding of what it means to truly live a “Pura Vida!”

This was a life-changing experience that deepened my faith and once again instilled in me a renewed sense of purpose. I returned home with a heart overflowing with love and gratitude, forever changed by the extraordinary people I met and the incredible work being done at Casa Transforma and Face of Justice. I believe this experience has forever changed me and the other members of the team. We came home not only with memories, but prayerfully with a renewed commitment to serve others and be instruments of God’s love and miracles in our own communities. 

The spirit of San Jose lives on within us, reminding us that even in the face of adversity, faith, hope, and love can truly move mountains!!!

This is just a glimpse into the miracles we witnessed and the lives we touched. The journey continues…and I want to invite you to join us in making a difference, one miracle at a time. If you’re searching for an opportunity to make a difference in the world, I encourage you to consider joining a mission trip with Beauty for Ashes. You may just find yourself witnessing miracles unfold and experiencing the transformative power of faith, love and grace firsthand.

Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray for the seed that was planted during 2023 through our mission trips in the communities we serve and our participants to grow strong roots and to produce abundant fruit.
  • For the people who have lost loved ones this year and the ones that are struggling, for the love of God to fill their hearts with His JOY, LOVE and PEACE.
  • Please pray about what is calling YOU to do next! Is HE calling YOU to intercede in prayer? Is HE calling YOU to GO? or is HE calling YOU to give?

Would you consider partnering with me in what God is doing in the mission field? A monthly contribution ($10, $15, $25 or more) will make a huge impact for God’s kingdom on earth.

To partner with me financially and to donate click here

To learn more about Beauty for Ashes click HERE

To read my previous blogs CLICK HERE

To check out all our mission opportunities Click HERE

As always THANK YOU SO MUCH for your love, support and prayers!