Yesterday was our final full day in Tactic. It was a busy day that was both emotional and fulfilling. We began our day with a visit to the sink hole. It is a place where many people in Guatemala go to offer sacrifices, burn candles and do witchcraft. We descended deep into the sink hole, the pathway down was steep and winding, but the team helped each other arrive safely to the bottom. It was a grand site full of very large stalactites and stalagmites. When we arrived in the hole we could see remnants of recent witchcraft activities that had taken place. We gathered together and sang praises to God and then prayed together. This place, usually used for dark spiritual rituals was filled with God’s presence as He inhabits the praises of His people Psalm22:3. We explored the cave a little bit and then the team scattered throughout and began to praise God once again. It was a powerful time as many students prayed about leaving things in their lives, that distract them from God, down in that pit. As we walked back up the path and seeing the light of the sky above us, I was reminded of Psalm 40:2,3. “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.” There truly was a feeling of freedom as we ascended out of the sink hole, a freedom that can only be given through Jesus.
After we went to the sink hole we continued with child sponsorship home visits. It is difficult to describe the conditions that the people live in. Some families are extremely poor. With houses made of wood with many cracks in the walls, dirt floors and very small spaces that many family members live in. Often they will cook over a fire in the same place they sleep in. Their homes will fill with smoke and as a result many people have respiratory problems. It was heart breaking to see that people live in such desolate conditions, but they were so happy to have us there to visit and pray with them. Each home visit touched our hearts in so many ways. It is amazing to see the thankfulness that they demonstrate in the face of such a harsh reality.
Later in the afternoon we loaded the vans to travel to Coban to visit the hospital. This was a very emotional time as the conditions of the hospital are very poor. The walls have mold on them, there is electrical wires hanging from the ceiling. The floors are not clean and the medical supplies are inadequate. We visited and prayed for the patients in the pediatric ward and our team brought hope and love to each patient and family. It was a very difficult time as we saw babies with birth defects where surgery is necessary, but unattainable. There was a toddler with burns all over his body with no medication to ease the pain he was in, or proper dressings to cover his wounds. This was heart wrenching as we watched him cry with pain and not being able to help. We prayed for the patients and left them stuffed animals. The parents and children were so grateful. The hope of Jesus was brought into a very hopeless place. We then went to the maternity ward to give gifts to the new mothers and their babies. They were so happy to receive their gifts and to show their babies to us. The team had a chance to hold some of the babies in the nursery and was in awe over the tiny sizes of some of them. One of them was only 4 and half pounds We are thankful that our team was able to go and minister to the people there.
To end of our day Les came to the guest house to lead our debrief. We answered some tough questions and shared our hearts openly. The team has grown closer to God and to each other. We cannot believe we are already at the end of our trip. We are happy to come home to see our loved ones, but know that a piece of all of us will stay in Guatemala.We travel to Antigua today; I will blog or give a Facebook update when we arrive there. Thank you again for all of your prayers and support. It is so much appreciated!