2015 Camper Testimonials
…This trip has been the MOST AMAZING BLESSED LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE of my life thus far. I thank you soo much for allowing me to be a part of this mission trip. I hope i was a big help to everyone.
I have put a few of the things I learned from the AMAZING leaders to practice. Like praying three times a day, practicing speeches in front of my family, working on myself to become a better person, and putting my goals down in notes and reading them each day as I think of ways I am pursuing them.
Praying 3 times each day is helping me more than you would think. Something might happen in my day that would normally put me in a bad mood now doesn’t nearly as much when I just turn around and pray about that specific thing as I am now doing. I now pray for Yah’s guidance at least three times a day.
I can definitely feel his presence more when I make some alone time with just myself and Yahweh. I have been working on loving myself more so that I can love my neighbors and Yah more as well.
As for speaking in front of a congregation or group , unfortunately I have not been able to do that outside of my family.
I really like the speaking aspect you added to the trip I think that it is an excellent thing to do, it has challenged me and I really appreciated every minute of it.
I spoke with Ed Harris on a personal level quite a bit down there and he has helped me out with a few things a lot. He has made a huge impact on my life. And I am really thankful for him.
This trip has helped me in many ways personally. It is so easy to become selfish and forget that there are others who don’t have it as well as we do.
As an example I might start feeling bitter saying to myself that my family isn’t doing very well or we should be rich and more like other people. But then I remember the orphans and indigenous people that we visited and helped. And I stop myself from thinking like that because it’s just ridiculous. And there ARE people who REALLY do have it bad. Unlike us, who have anything pretty much whenever we want it.
I will never complain about a cold shower again, I’m now glad that they don’t have water heaters in those cabin showers. =) They, like everything else on the trip taught me something more.
Being able to spend time with other Messianic believers has also been a huge blessing. My friends Nick , Gabrielle and I have started a group calling where we pray with each other and share what we have been learning. We encourage each other to stay strong and it is very nice. All of us have become very close friends.
As for changing anything about it I can’t think of anything. The trip was amazing, and I really appreciate you letting me be a part of it.
Returned safely from Costa Rica! I have to say that was the best experiences and opportunities I’ve ever received in my life. Next time you take a warm shower please be grateful. Next time you crawl into a warm bed be grateful. Also when you are surrounded with people that love you, don’t take it for granted. Do Torah don’t just read it.
Made it back from Costa Rica with a new mind set and a new found love for Costa Rica. I met a bunch of awesome people and learned a lot about taking action to help others. I have more motivation than ever before. Glad that I did go to the HRTWAM camp.
Thank you so much Joel for being such an awesome example of what leadership is!! Also for just giving us all a great sense of purpose and confidence that I was lacking before. Thank you again so much for all the time and effort you spent helping us to be better leaders, examples, and children of God! You and all the leaders of the teen camp deserve so much thanks I can’t say it enough. It was life changing for me. I will never be the same:)
2014 Camper Testimonials
One morning we went to a local chocolate factory. It is owned and run by a Christian man, Mr. Paul, who is seeking to run his business on, as he put it, “Kingdom Principles”. Mr. Paul told us all about the history of cocao beans and how they came to be grown in Costa Rica. He also told us about all of the hardships the local people have been through who grow cocao, how they are being cheated and taken advantage of. Mr. Paul not only runs his business in a godly way, but his vision is to help the families that he buys cocao beans from to be able to process the beans more fully themselves and therefore get a better price for them. You might call him a business missionary. He is committed to excellence in his business. Though his apparatus and processes are not high-tech, (they are actually very simple), he makes the finest, most healthy chocolate he possibly can. All that is in his chocolate is ground cocao beans, pure sugar-cane juice, and sometimes some freshly ground spices for flavoring. Mr. Paul showed us exactly how his whole operation worked and answered our many questions. It was amazing! Mr. Paul also had us do chocolate tasting, teaching us to taste the differences in the different chocolate bars. It was very fun, but what I appreciated most about this part of the experience was how Mr. Paul likened it to the way that each of us must s-l-o-w d-o-w-n, be quiet, and take the time to hear God’s still small voice. It is kind of like the subtle flavor changes in the chocolate that we had to slow down and savor to be able to taste. Through touring this Chocolate factory my eyes were opened to the hardships of many native Costa Ricans and also to ways that I can make a difference. – By Joanna K. Texas
The last Friday of our trip was our fun day. Oh, it was fun too!!! We had the opportunity to go white water rafting, with class three and four rapids! I must admit, I came within inches of choosing not to go…I don’t know how to swim. And besides that, I am rather afraid of water. Well, I should say, I was. Since rafting, I am much more comfortable with it now. =) I am so glad that I didn’t let my fear get the better of me because I loved it!!! We made many memories on the river that day (we rafted 18 miles) and we also learned truths about God as we witnessed the awesomeness of His creation. One of the mothers there, Mrs. Bean, was in the same raft that I was in and she made a great analogy for us as we went floating down the river. Here’s how it goes. The raft is like a person in the river of life. In the back of the raft, steering, sits the guide; God is steering each of us through life. Each one of us, paddling, must be very attentive to the guide to hear when he says “Forward” and when he says “Stop”. What would happen if we did not listen closely for his commands (raging water can get rather noisy at times) and obey quickly? We would run into the rocks and get stuck, because we would not be where we needed to be. It is the same with God. Though we may not understand why he tells us “Forward” at a given time, or “Stop”, we must be quick to obey. Take it one step further. At a calm spot in the river we were just floating along, not paddling…it was easy. Then we heard the raft ahead of us receive the command, “Forward”, many of us nearly started paddling! Mrs. Bean was quick to point this out and help us realize that this is also part of life. We must be so attentive and know our guide’s voice. Then, when the enemy tries to appear as an angle of light to us, he tries to deceive us, we will recognize that that is not the voice of our guide and we will not obey it. Though this was our “fun day” I still learned some valuable lessons! – By Joanna K. Texas
The Elderly Folks home in Costa Rica
During our trip to Costa Rica, we were blessed with the opportunity to visit an elderly folks home in the country. It was one of the first activities we did upon arriving in Costa Rica but for me it was the most impactful one.
Some of the people in this home hardly had any family, many didn’t have any family, and they were very secluded. It was so sweet getting to interact with them and see how their faces would light up to have us younger people reach out to them. Knowing that these people don’t have any friends or family reaching out to them is so sad, whereas we have family and friends that are there for us constantly. I think sometimes we forget how important caring for one another really is.
Our group did congregational dance, live praise and worship, brought gifts, and cake for these people and they were so overjoyed! Just being with them for only a few hours, their countenances just lit up. Even though we couldn’t interact well with them with in their native language, we knew that their words were filled with appreciation, love, and gratefulness when they spoke to us.
Towards the end of the visit, we had the privilege to hear a woman speak that worked at the facility for over twenty years. She spoke to us about her testimony and how she came to be at the home. Her story was truly amazing! Her dedication to these people, her selflessness, and her ministry were so inspiring to me. She chose to come to Costa Rica when the Peace Corps had presented her with an opportunity at this elderly home. She didn’t know the language or even where the country was! But she listened to God’s voice when he spoke to her telling her that she should go. She taught us that even though situations can be new and scary, God can use us in such big ways that we never thought we could. She told us to live each day not in fear of tomorrow, because God is always watching over us, taking care of us and only he knows what our future holds.
Being able to meet someone who is living their life day by day in constant ministry, forgetting about her wants and cares was truly amazing. Her words and the experiences at the elderly folks home will stay with me forever. To see the pure hearts of her and these sweet people, inspire me to reach out in more ways than one to those in my life and my community. I hope that one day I can obtain that same selflessness that this amazing woman had to care for others. – By Gabrielle B.
2013 Camper Testimonials
I pray Yahweh keep you as He has done all this time, because you have a great heart disposed to keep Torah and love the rest of the people in a way that I have seen very few times. And for me after being with you I feel like you gave me part of it and now I want every day more and more to be always doing what the Father likes and try to give a good testimony to people in school, my family…. so that as you taught me they can get Torah from our actions. Again I thank you a lot for everything, I have no words to express how much I love you, and I’d really like to continue seeing you and keep in touch. You have a very special place in my heart, and I’ll never forget all you’ve told me.
I would like to thank you letting me go on the mission trips these two years, it has really impacted my life. The experiences were once in a lifetime, again, thank you so much.
I had so much fun at the camp. Dancing and singing with other believer’s as you know I don’t get that every day. I want to thank you for all the time and effort you guys put into the camp, you affected all the kids that came even the people that live there! Waiting for next year!
I want to thank you so much for hosting this year’s CR mission trip. It was truly a life changing experience for me. Thank you for sowing into the lives of the next generation. This trip has impacted me so much in so many ways. This camp has helped me learn about missions, worship, Torah, scripture study, language, culture, prayer and how I should live my life every day. I can’t tell you how much of an impact you have made in me. I am very grateful to you for all of the time and finances into this camp that made it possible to have this amazing experience. Thanks again! May Yahweh continue to pour out his blessings upon you.
I wanted to say thanks a million for putting your own time, effort, and money, into the Costa Rican camp. I thoroughly enjoyed the 8 days in camp. I learned a great deal from the many teachings that were organized and from the lives we touched by spreading Torah. As an added bonus, i now have 13 awesome Torah believing friends who made the camp experience all the more fun. I hope that you will continue to organize these camps. I am certain that it changed the lives of all who attended. I will not forget what you taught us about being leaders and that no matter where we are, whether it’s the deepest darkest part of Africa, or right where we live, we can do missions work.
Thank you so much for an awesome time at camp. It was truly a life changing experience for me. The leadership lessons were especially important for me. I came home from camp with a vision for the future of developing my talents and using them to be a light to others. It was really good for me to meet other kids and get to know them well. I had just been praying for friends before camp. Cultural expansion was also very good for me as I’ve never had much interaction with other cultures. I could go on and on about how I was impacted but to keep it brief everything in camp was exactly what I needed in my life right now. I learned about not judging others, teamwork, and so much more… Thanks you so much for the huge investment of your life in this camp. i know that there was much more that went into putting the camp together than what we saw, and I’m so grateful that you have a heart for teens and are investing your life into us as the next generation. I’m looking forward to being a leader in the days and years ahead.