Matthew's Baptism in Costa Rica
In March of 2013, Matthew went on a Mission Trip in Costa Rica, where he felt called to get baptized. His baptism was captured on video...
A letter from Matthew about his Costa Rica Mission Trip
Dear Friends and Family,
I am writing back to all of you about a recap of my Costa Rica trip previously this year. Our trip down to Costa Rica was my highlight of this year so far. I went down with only expectations about working on construction at a local church. Construction was a big part of the trip in itself, but the trip was much deeper than that. We helped reconstruct a church floor and laid concrete, which took a few days to complete. We also put in new air condition fans in the walls of the church. Our group of 60 college students was split up into four different teams. Two teams would be working on the flooring and two teams would go to another local community center where we would help with small tasks around the building; such as painting and cleaning the building. We also spent a majority of our time playing with the neighborhood children.
My highlight of the trip was talking with the people on the team and hearing their stories of where there life has taken them. Many of my team members have struggled with many different problems such as drug addiction, deep depression, family abuse, sexual abuse, loss of loved ones and many other issues. I have realized through listening and talking with them that the Lord has given me a gift in wisdom and compassion in helping my peers through their struggles. One thing I found in common with everyone was that we were all open with each other, we all have a similar love for the Lord, and that we have all had experiences in where the Lord has saved us from the bondage of this world we live in. We all could connect in a much deeper way and it was very refreshing being around 60 wonderful Christ following college students who challenged me spiritually and gave me the ability to be more compassionate.
Another highlight of my trip was that God revealed to me something that I have been searching for over this past year I have had the sense that the Lord wants me to lead more and not just be a church go-err and follower. He has put in my heart to help people my age or younger in their struggles that they go through. The Lord has made my life experiences into a gateway to be able to connect with young men and women who are broken and lost in their faith. The Lord has blessed me with a drive to help people my age to not only grow in their faith, but also to be challenged in their faith.
At the end of the trip I felt called to get baptized to show my devotion to the new life I live in Christ and also to be able to begin leading as a servant of the Lord. I am meeting with my college pastor this week to talk about what next semester has for me in regards to leadership in our college ministry. Our college group has been growing more and more and our Costa Rican team has brought back our missions from abroad to our hometown in Fort Worth. I want to thank each and everyone for their prayers for my team and I also want to thank everyone who has contributed financially to this trip. It has been a Godsend that I have such wonderful people supporting me and my walk in the Lord. I thank you all for being there. God Bless and I will see you all in the summer time.
Sincerely, Matt Nichols
"Heaven gained another angel today. Matt, it was a blessing to be baptized with you in Costa Rica, and I have loved the friendship we formed through the past few years. I've learned so much from you and always enjoyed our philosophical and intellectual conversations. Ill miss you until I get to see you again in heaven. I am happy to say I can sleep soundly knowing that you are in the hands of The Lord now and are enjoying paradise. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family.
Love you, brother!" -Erika Castillo