COSTA RICA -- Being hardly able to communicate was somewhat of a problem when two former Couch High School graduates traveled on a mission trip to Costa Rica recently, but knowing they were brought together for one common goal, to worship God, made any language barrier seem worthwhile.
From May 25 to June 1 eight students from Crowley's Ridge College (CRC) in Paragould, Ark., including two 2003 Couch High School graduates, participated in a construction project in the country. Tasha Combs of Myrtle and Sara Hubbell of Gatewood were among those students.
Both girls will be sophomores this fall at the college. Combs said she picked the school because she always wanted to go to a Christian school. She added that it was small and close to home.
The project of building churches in three communities in Costa Rica was first started by the Seventh and Mueller Church of Christ in Paragould. ASU professor Dr. Gerald Dickinson wanted to involve the CRC students in the project if it would help them with their curriculum.
The students who participated in the mission trip received credit in their international cultural studies course.
"I really liked the trip. Their culture is totally different than ours. Our main project there was the mission trip. We held a day camp for children, kind of a mini Bible camp," Combs said. She said they spent their time in three neighboring communities while in Costa Rica, Grecia and Naranjo, where churches have been established, and Sarchi where the students held their day camp at the site where in the future a church will be built.
One of the things Combs found different about the culture in the country was "time seemed to be nothing."
"The professor that presented the presentation about the mission trip at CRC told us that we would be going to a place where we would forget everything that goes on here (at home), and we did. This was a very peaceful place," Combs said.
Combs said one of the students that participated in the trip was currently in the military. "He was concerned that the Costa Rican people would want to talk about the war in Iraq and asked the professor about it. We were told that they probably didn't even realize we were at war. They have no military in Costa Rica," she said.
She said friends among their own age group were found easy. "They walk everywhere. One day we were going to play basketball and our friends from Cost Rica said, "lets walk." We thought, OK, this is going to be a short distance. We walked seven blocks!" Combs said.
Sara and I both are very grateful for the support of our community. "Without their support our mission trip would not have been possible," Combs said.
Both students attend the Delhalf Church of Christ. After next year Combs will be transferring to Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff. She is the daughter of Jed and Teresa Combs of Myrtle.
Hubbell is the daughter of Chuck and Margaret Hubbell of Gatewood.
She will be transferring to Harding University in Searcy, Ark.