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Costa Rica Chronicles, Day 2

Jeff Raymond on September 29, 2013


Sunday, September 29

Not sure what equipment to take to church – photo vs video – because I’m not sure what will happen at the church we are visiting that is related to the video project I am here for.  The logistics of hauling equipment are challenging as I cannot just take everything with me.  First it has to fit into a 1964 VW Beetle, then be transferred onto a bus full of police officers.

Today everyone arrived in full dress uniform from their various police, SWAT, FBI, etc. assignments at home.  With all the shiny medals these guys have achieved, I think I’ll be Photoshopping reflections for a really long time tonight.

The day started with breakfast and team devotions at TACTICA Director Ryan Rought’s house.  Having hosted 21 teams of law enforcement officers from the States, Ryan does an excellent job of team-building and spiritual growth activities.

One hour drive through the city to El Camino church.   San Jose is 1 ½ million people and spread out into many connected cities, like Dallas.  Roads aren’t great, so travelling across the city is an adventure on random side streets.  It was great to see Lamar Salley again, former ABWE missionary, who is involved in leadership at this church.


After worship music and a few police officer testimonies, the teens were released to a soccer facility where they held youth church.  This was one of those outdoor/indoor fields that is covered, but open air on two sides.  It was a photographic nightmare with light coming only through a skylight. The light was continually changing and very contrasty.  Running audio for the video footage was totally pointless because of a loud soccer game on the field right next to us.  Had I known of the venue ahead of time, I could have put a microphone on missionary Jon McGinnis as he was the teacher.

I heard some awesome testimonies from officers this morning.  Several spoke of being saved as a child, then living their teens years for themselves, knowing they could ask forgiveness, but later realizing they need to repent and turn from sin rather than continue to pursue it.


After church, I dragged my gear back onto the bus full of uniformed officers destined for Subway to get some lunch.  Due to traffic, lots of buildings and one-way streets it was hard for the bus driver to park and let 25 of us off the bus.  But we’re sitting there with 15 uniformed police officers on board.  Being the vigilant leader he is, missionary Ryan Rought jumped out in traffic with his police whistle and stopped traffic for everyone to get out in front of Subway.  We were all laughing quite hard at the scene.

After spending the day getting camera gear ready for an early Monday start, we ended with an apparent TACTICA tradition called “Cupcake Wars”  After dinner, each of Rought’s two daughters present an original cupcake tradition to the room full of officers.  After each man eating two cupcakes, tables are to judge and assess scores for taste, texture, and creativity.  It was a lot of laughs, but I can’t remember when (if ever) I’ve eaten two cupcakes.

Click here to read the next blog from the Costa Rica Chronicles series