We headed out that day, invited to come take pictures of a talent show in Alajuela here in Costa Rica. We began our journey into the worst traffic we’d encountered in our entire time here, but what we were about to watch was going to bless us more than we knew. We pulled up to a hand-painted Vida Joven sign, hanging on the wall of the fence just at the curb. We walked in to see paintings the kids had done, and we could hear all the energy and excitement inside. This was a first for us to be part of Capernaum and the joy was everywhere.
Capernaum is a Special Needs mission within Young Life. These kids had rehearsed and worked toward this day for a month, and many of their parents were in the audience.
As I walked around and began shooting the event, there were so many things happening. Parents were anticipating the show, and you could literally feel the community around this mission, and the hope it gives so many. One of the many special moments there was when some kids were acting out Noah’s Ark. They were all in. Full of confidence that the people there to see them were 100% for them. It was if I was watching and seeing something in them that I didn’t fully possess myself. I found myself asking, “How can it be that they are so brave?” It was difficult to reconcile the beauty of what I was watching and equally difficult to explain it here. As I was shooting and holding back tears behind my camera, Ella was noticing something too. She looked up. Inside this place where the show was held, she noticed one white dove sitting on the rafters. Just one. And just during the Noah’s Ark part of the show. Her father told her that sometimes the Holy Spirit is portrayed as a dove. She said, “I think he’s here.” and then they came to share it with me.
As we wrapped up our time and got back in the car to head home, Jimmy and I looked at each other dumbfounded, and had few words to describe how we felt. It was like being with possibly the best part of humanity. The totally free. The completely sold out, and all of those things seemed to equal a deep joy that got all over you when you were around it. It was pure. Pure as anything I’ve ever been a part of. I can’t wait to go again, and watch how God can speak through such willing, beautiful people. I’m sure there’s much more for them to teach me.