ONE OF NORTH CENTRAL’S ENSEMBLE GROUPS LEARNS LESSONS FROM THE COSTA RICAN CULTURE WHILE MINISTERING THROUGH MUSIC.
By Brian Jones & Alyssa Wallace
On Jan. 4, North Central’s Chorale members flew south to Costa Rica where they performed songs in churches, malls and a public park during their 10- day trip.
“The biggest thing I took from the trip is that music is universal. We didn’t need to sing in a language they understood in order to get a point across,” said senior music major Mariah Simonson.
While Chorale sang in a public area, a crowd of people would gather, and the main bulk of their ministry happened during conversations while mingling with the crowd after the performance.
“The culture is much more relational than in the United States. Things like time, money and personal space don’t really matter to people in Costa Rica as much as building relationships. They will do just about anything for a friend,” said Simonson.
Not only did Chorale build relationships with citizens of Costa Rica, but they also grew closer as a team throughout the business of performing and serving alongside one another.
“We had very long days, jam-packed with traveling, concerts, and events, which taught us to have patience with one another, but I was so blessed to have the opportunity to get to know the people in Chorale on a much deeper level,” said sophomore undeclared major Veronica Parks.
Throughout their trip in the Spanish-speaking country, Chorale learned a phrase that became a well-known expression among the group. The phrase was “pura vida,” which is literally translated to mean pure life. This phrase is similar to people in the United States saying, “You only live once.”
“Any time there was an awkward silence, someone would just yell, ‘pura vida!’ and a bunch of people would join in,” said Simonson.
North Central’s Chorale sang to the people of Costa Rica, served them, built relationships with them and grew closer to one another in the light of Jesus’ name, bringing the beauty of God through the talents He has given them.