As we near the end of our mission trip, there are so many different memories to reflect on. We started out the week baptizing three new believers from San Francisco in the Rio de Negro. We followed up the next day with a trip to La Palma. We had to travel on narrow, steep and rocky roads in four-wheel drive to reach the town. Once there, split into three groups in order to teach the children, teens, and adults. We had a blast playing futbol with the children and teens. Our experience was a great prelude for what was to come next.
On Tuesday, our group traveled to El Platanal, prepared to teach the children, teens and adults once again. In Platanal we found the children much more responsive and eager to play baseball and futbol. It was amazing to watch Mr. Johnson and Taylor interact with the youngest of the children while we played baseball and futbol with around 100 children. Immediately following our time in El Platanal, some of us went to the church here in Somotillo to meet with the youth group. We played a few games and taught them how to read the Bible one-on-one. It was awesome to study and pray with students our age in a youth group setting.
Wednesday was by far my favorite day. I started it by sharing my testimony on the radio with Josh. Our group then traveled back to San Francisco to teach and play with the teens. School was in session so we met with only a few teens and children. We used the salvation bracelets and evangi-cubes to show them how to share their faith with their friends. Halfway through the lesson, the school's marching band began to practice so Langdon, Mr. Johnson, Luddy and I went to watch them practice. The band was made up of all drums and one xylophone and it sounded cooler than any American marching band that I have seen. After lunch, half of our group went to the town square to play soccer while all of the others went house to house inviting people to the worship service. We ended up playing multiple 6v6 sudden death matches with many of the children and a few teens. Around 4:00 we traveled to Pastor Enrique's house for the worship service. We set up the sound system and chairs for the service and then relocated them when it started to rain. During this lull, we continued to play with the children, and I personally sword fought about a half dozen of them. We had a blast. Finally it was time to start the service. Lander played guitar with the band and Josh taught on Mark 2. The service ended with a suprise for the church of San Francisco. The church had been praying for a sound system, so we suprised them by giving them the one that was used that night, brand new, fresh out of the box.
Which brings us to today. Today we were given an option. For those of us that were exhausted or feeling poorly, we could tour the different ministries of Pastor Diomedes, the medical clinic, the agricultural area, the radio station, and Prayer Mountain. For those of us who were up to it, a hike to Cacao was on the agenda. I chose the latter. Pastor Santos was in the hospital recently with pneumonia and our mission was to make the 90 minute hike up the mountain to visit and pray with him. Pastor Wilson, Mr. Johnson, Langdon, Zach, Jacob, Miguel, Domingo, Luddy and I set out for the hike and soon found that the trail was much different than what many of us had expected. We had a blast though and made it to the top by 10:30, stopping at Pastor Santos' parents house on the way. We had as short worship while we were there and Pastor Wilson taught on James 5. We went expecting to be blessed and instead were blessed even more when Pastor Santos and his family made us chicken soup for lunch. We had an enjoyable trip down the mountain and made it safely back to Somotillo without any sprained or broken bones. Now we are headed out to El Platanal to have a worship service. Zach is teaching tonight and we are excited for the things to come in our last two days on the road.
Many thanks to Pastor Diomedes' wife for all of the amazing food. This stuff is manna from heaven. Also thanks to the interpreters, Luddy, Domingo, Alex and Junior, who gave up their week to help us. They have been so very fun to work with and I am glad to call them my friends. Thanks for all of the prayers over the course of the past few days. We are loving every second of our time here.
Glora a Dios!