What a wonderful night of sleep I had. I was so tired that the minute my head hit the pillow I was out! You know you have slept well when you have vivid dreams. I woke up refreshed and ready to go.
Breakfast was delicious. After the eggs and rice and beans, I finished it off with a pancake topped with cajeta (the Mexican word for caramel). It goes without saying that I was very satisfied at the end of the meal. Oh, and the coffee was also fantastic.
When you get 50+ people together from all over the nation it is helpful to find a way for them to get to know each other. In ministry, we call this an icebreaker. I divided the group into 6 smaller groups and had them answer questions about themselves. Most of them were easy, surface-level answers that didn’t take much courage to answer.
Then, I did something that I had never done before. I asked people to stand if they had experienced any of the following:
- Worry over your own health
- Fear for your children’s welfare
- Almost dying
- No hope
The reason I had them identify these experiences is that the people that they would serve this week are having those same experiences. I encouraged them to see their patients as more than a medical diagnosis, but to see them as people who are dealing with challenging experiences while we are serving them.
After this experience, the other chaplain, whose name is Mike, shared a message of giving back because of the blessings we receive. Oh, I forgot to mention that the theme of our trip is Blessed to Bless.
We ended our morning worship time anointing one another while speaking the words, “I anoint you to be a blessing today.” It was an amazing spiritual experience.
After a delicious lunch, we headed to the biggest Mayan ruins in the area. It was amazing to see the history of the Mayan people through this experience. We climbed up the Temple of the Sun. That was a challenge! Good thing I have started incorporating squats into my workout routine. We even got a chance to hike through the jungle and learn about how the jungle, over time, has just taken over what once was a thriving Mayan city, one of the biggest and most powerful of the area.
But what is interesting is to think about what caused this great city to just disappear, where now we are only able to access about 10% of the whole city. Our tour guide gave us some of the theories on why the Mayan city is no more.
- The city needed trees to continue to develop their city and cut down so many that it caused a shortage and climate issues drove them to have to abandon the city.
- They believe that there could have been an extended drought.
- The lower class revolted against the upper class and ultimately abandoned the city. The lack of workers left the civilization to collapse.
We may never know but it doesn’t surprise me that if we don’t take care of the world God has given us and don’t treat people well, we are in danger of losing what God has given us.
Well tomorrow will be another great day of seeing this beautiful place God has created. I just hope there will be less climbing than today. My legs are tired!