Humbled by a Prostitute on the Streets of San Jose

It started off like any other day. Little did I know it would be one that would change my entire perspective of Costa Rica.

Veritas Christian Study Abroad in Costa RicaDuring my study abroad and missions in Costa Rica, I figured I’d see people who weren’t as fortunate as I but I never knew I would experience people so completely lost and broken spiritually. One day, I went to classes as normal and prepared to meet with my Mission Mentor for ministry. My Mission Mentor picked another Veritas student and me up, and we went on our way to meet the group we would be working with that night.

Upon walking into the meeting place, I could feel the presence of God there. The room was dark except for a few candles. A guy played worship songs on his guitar, and everyone in the room sang along. As I sat down, I felt this warm sensation and I knew the presence of the Holy Spirit completely filled the room. We sat and sang, and people prayed. During this time someone said something that stuck in my head: we are God’s agents for change.

I am not just a study abroad student or expat or hopeless wanderer in Costa Rica. I am God’s agent for change… but how would he use me in San Jose?

I knew part of our Veritas mission work would be to go out into San Jose and pray for people, but imagine my surprise when I found out whom these prayers would be for: prostitutes. In my life I have done much mission work—going to orphanages, churches, food distribution days—but never have I actively gone out to pray for people who probably need it the most.

study abroad in Central America

Our leaders set the objective for us: build relationships and pray. We went out and invited the women to join us for “te frio o cafe o galletas” (iced tea, coffee, or cookies). We talked with them, got to know what’s happening in their lives, and prayed for any needs they had.

Although I went many times to talk to the women, one specific lady I had the opportunity to pray for stands out to me. She requested prayer for her foot where she had a giant burn from cooking. I prayed for healing and protection over her. I asked God to keep her safe and pour his love over her. I talked with her and prayed with her and it was a truly incredible experience.

I can’t wait for the next time I am able to go out on behalf of my Savior and help invest time in others so they may know God to be their Savior. The entire opportunity came at the perfect time for me.Making friends on study abroad

These past few nights I have been reading in my devotion about how God calls each and every one of us to live life humbly. I thought over and over about which areas of my life could use a little more humility. I asked God to make me humble and work on my heart to make it more open for his work. I got frustrated trying to figure out my purpose in Costa Rica and how I was suppose to serve God and become closer to him while I here.

mission work and study abroadAnd that night, he revealed himself to me in a way I could never even describe. I am completely humbled by his glory, grace, presence, and the abundant amount of blessings he has given me.

This life isn’t about me—it’s about God and how I can serve him to further advance his kingdom. I am in no way close to being done with mission work in Costa Rica, but I know God will continue to change my life just as he changed my life that night. I look forward to seeing how God continues working in the lives of many people in Costa Rica.

“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14:11


Kelli Brower is a sophomore at California Baptist University currently studying at Universidad Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Kelli isn’t the only agent of change God is using abroad. Join the Veritas family and the many college students who study abroad and serve through missions for a semester or summer. Find out how now.

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