Twenty-four students in the International Biblical Studies class at SBEC together with one administrator and four teachers traveled to Costa Rica in March to work with adults and kids through the ministry structure of Students International, directed by Jeff Gibson. The SBEC group stayed at a bed and breakfast hostel at Lbe Skena, but the students were divided into four teams through which they ministered around the countryside. As a part of the team focused on sports and recreation, Karlee Russom met a middle aged lady with the mental capacity of a seven year old girl. Karlee said, “She was so loving and content with so few things. In being with her, I learned that I needed to be broken to be a help to the broken." Cayla Hari worked in the social services area that met in a small church in Las Fuertes. It was at an impromptu soccer game that she met five year old Lizeth who impacted her greatly. “Lizeth wanted me to do everything with her,” said Cayla. “She refused to leave my side and I didn’t mind because I definitely did not want to go away. Playing with Lizeth taught me that it doesn’t take words to love people. You just have to accept them for whom they are and make them aware that they are precious and valuable. In this way, God’s light clearly can be seen through you.” Other students were assigned to the education team, which tutored kids and some adults in conversing in English and math. A young boy named Juan grabbed Hunter Gibbs hand, directed him to the bookshelf, chose two books, and led Hunter outside the building. Hunter said, “I finally realized that he wanted me, a stranger whom he had only met 30 minutes before, to read to him. All that all he wanted from me was to spend time with him and love him. As a matter of fact, all we were doing on this trip was loving kids. Our group came to Costa Rica to spend time with the kids and show them we cared for them.” At the IBS chapel, the theme of the reports given by the students was that everyone (1) must show love to everyone else, (2) is so blessed living in America and attending SBEC, (3) should consider enrolling in the IBS class.
The Bible verse used by the IBS class is Isaiah 6:8 (ASV) And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I; send me.”
The SBEC students and adults that ministered in Costa Rica are Taylor Bender, Cara Clarkson, Dylan Crouch, Rachel Farrell, Hunter Gibbs, Maddie Gresham, Cayla Hari, Andrew Harp, Bekah Howard, Mitchell James, Jonas Jarnagin, Abby Johnson, Olivia Johnston, Kever Lewis, Alea Martin, Brandon McLarty, Stephanie Olford, Nirali Patel, Ryan Peña, Karlee Russom, Kassie Russom, Katie Sprayberry, Bethany Taylor, Allison Waters 24, , Robert Belue, Craig Daniel, Becka Pitner, Tammy Skinner, and Janet Watson. They are pictured with Jeff Gibson, standing in the front row on the left and Daniel and Edith (seated in the front row), owners of the hostel where the students and staff stayed while in Costa Rica, and their son Luis.