It took quite a while for me to fall asleep last night, because I was thinking how cool it would be to speak in chapel someday about worship- comparing worship here and there.
This morning we went to Chicoy school, It was nice and small like San Antonio. The children were very receptive.
After that, we went to Chijacorral once more for the work project. It was just more shoveling and leveling. Fun, but very tiring. Our working equipment was crude- a water bottle for a level, a wood plank for a guide, a shovel and wheelbarrow for a bulldozer.
It was thinking about it, and I heard a lot of people going to the work project with the wrong attitude. Not necessarily a negative one, but one of mostly self-interest. I heard people saying excitedly, "Oh! We wanted to get excercise, anyway!" "Oh! We get a chance to get healthy!" "Oh, this will be so fun!"
Those aren't bad things, but it's not our purpose! The purpose of a mission's trip is not self-gain, but I am realizing how often we are thinking about how to do things to benefit ourselves. But our intent should be to serve God by serving others. Our focus should be on looking for ways to show God's love to others with humility through self-sacrifice. We need to take our eyes off ourselves!
Today, the original plan was to visit the Sinkho. (It's actually called the Sinkhole, but for the longest time I thought it was 'Sinkho.' I think that sounds cooler, so I'll just go with it.) The 'Sinkho' is one of the natural wonders of the world. It sounded like it would be fun- a hike to beautiful scenery, one of the world's natural wonders- win! Right? But we learned that it is full of witches and warlocks, witchcraft and demons. They cast spells and try to communicate with the gods of the underworld through burning incense and sacrifice. They believe in 3 layers of the world: the heavens, where people dwell, and under earth (where the gods are).
Ozker told us this morning in Chicoy about a many who went to the Sinkho, (I should tell you that people spend sometimes 15,000 Q- loans from the bank- and pay the witches to give them something they want: money, prosperity, a spouse, healing, etc.) so he had been feeling like there was something crawling in his left arm for a long time, and he wanted it to stop. He paied the witchc, who sliced the man's arm open from the shoulders down to the wrist, pried open the flesh, and pulled out several FROGS!
The candles they burn are different colours for different meanings.
Black = death
blue = health
white = prosperity
red = sacrifice
I decided I didn't want to go. At first, I thought it would be cool and weird and good to know what these people believe, but as you can see, I learned quite a bit without going. I got to thinking about it and, although it's good to be aware of such things, is it necessary or good to expose ourselves to this evil? In the bible it says to have nothing to do with those who do wrong, but to run from evil. FLEE! I think it's a little strange to be wanting to visit places with sorcery. Jasmine, our translator, told us that it's freaky, creepy, and eerie down there, and that when they brought a group of full-grown men, they were in tears. She said you sometimes feel strange things from the incantations, spells, and spirits.
We headed out to a Guatemalan coffee planation. After visiting, (it was cool seeing how they make the coffee... and interesting seeing what our delicious Instant Coffee is really made of....) we went to the guesthouse. It was gorgeous! It's so amazing to hear the whole story of how it came to be, and the hopes and dreams that they had for their property.
This group of Holland men came to Impact Ministries to build the ultimate greenhouse. Automatic sensors, the latest technology, and it was as big as a gym! (And it's all free!) They aren't even Christians.
Les was telling us how some of their grade 12 graduates, instead of going to University to pursue a career, they come back to Impact and lead. One man, Edgar, (who used to be the sponsor child of someone connected with the team) is now the pastor of over 600 people! Crazy!
The thing is, his dream was to be an Agricultural Engineer, but he was broke. He did go to university and got a degree in Agricultural Engineering, but that ate up all his money. He was getting married, needed to move somewhere to build a house, and find a job that would probably use his skills. He had been giving his life completely to the people of Tactic, but he just couldn't live there, and was very sad. People were praying that God would provide a way for Him to use his training in his home, so he could still be with the people he loved, and stay connected with Impact Ministries. God was just beginning to work His miracles!
God says that He will bless those who are faithful. If we lose our lives for His sake, we will find it. So, out of the blue, this group from Holland, non-Christian, just chose Impact Ministries! Out of all the other places, they chose Impact Ministries, in the Middle of Guatemala! What amazes me is just the absurdity of it all! First off, it's a non-Christian organization. Second, they are from Holland, the randomest place anyone would imagine God's blessing coming from. Thirdly, they chose Impact Ministries, snuggled in a very remote village a way up in the mountains of a third-world country, rather than choosing a place where their organization would actually be advertised. Fourthly, it was all free! Fifthly, that means the company was losing money to give away this huge, expensive greenhouse! Sixthly, the workers they sent are on summer vacation, and chose to leave their families to travel the difficult road up to these rural mountains of Guatemala and work! Seventhly, it's some of the most advanced technology in the world!!!
And in this way, Edgar can stay at Impact and work in the Greenhouse, because it's perfect for the training he's received! GOD PROVIDES! It was totally God's hand of blessing working through a seemingly impossible source, to produce an economic blessing, providing for not just Edgar, but for all of Impact Ministries, and Tactic!! God has a way of surprising us by giving us way more than what was expected, and blow our minds!!! <3