Greetings from Copan! Much has transpired since the last post. We finished up our work at the worksite and participated in a farewell church service in the church we were working on! It was very meaningful.
Hermano Hector Orlando was also honored for graduating from seminary. It was a very emotional event. He has had very little work to provide for his family, studying for seminary, helping build the church, and who knows what else. On top of that, they have adopted a little girl who was found on the streets. She had been unspeakably abused. I thought she was about 3 years old but was actually 6. She doesn't speak and doesn't feel any pain. Again, the abuse. But, she has a dazzling smile and is loved by this dear family who took her in despite their own difficulties surviving. Hector Orlando had tears in his eyes during his time of recognition. So much sacrificed, so many trials, yet such great hope. Immediately following the conclusion of the church service it began to rain like I've never seen before. Somehow, that felt significant.
After tearful goodbyes and tight embraces we headed back to the hotel for our last night to head off for a quick stay on the north coast. The coastal hotel was a resort and very nice. Almost too nice. We all felt a little uncomfortable being in such a grand place after sharing hearts with our new friends who have so little. The Caribbean ocean was gorgeous, the pool and waterslide fun, and the meal extravagent. Norma and Ambrocio showed up and, as always, were so very gracious. They did confide that they didn't feel like they fit in and liked their own home better. I think I felt similar.
This morning we said our goodbyes to Norma and Ambrocio. I feel like they are family already. Such a strange thing how friendships -deep friendships- can be established so quickly. There is a possibility of Ambrocio traveling to Portland to visit a church there! We were quite eager to recommend our home as a stopping ground. Wouldn't that be fun.
After breakfast, we had a mix up with the vans. Pops, Peter, and myself were the only ones in the group staying longer and needed to be dropped off at the bus station before the rest of the gang went to the airport. Our bags, unfortunately ended up in each van, not the same. We spent the next hour waiting and zipping around the city, looking for the silver van! It was quite an adventure. Time was quickly running out and there was even an obstacle of a wedged school bus that blocked and trapped all traffic. I could only laugh, it was so comical. I couldn't imagine we'd pull this off and make it in time to the bus station. It was like our own little "Amazing Race."
After manical driving, we finally managed to locate the needed bag and raced to the bus station like we were being chased by tornados. Honestly, it was incredibly unsafe, but somehow I was entertained by it. We then dashed into the bus station and somehow managed to do tickets, baggage check, and security without issue. And...the bus was running 20 minutes late! We boarded with minutes to spare.
We are now in Copan, a beautiful mountain town right on the border of Guatemala. Took a tuk-tuk from the bus station to the hotel and felt like quite the travelers. Sheesh those little things go fast! After checking in, we did a little bit of tourist shopping, had a delicious meal (here's to hoping we don't get sick!!) and now Peter is just heading to the pool for a dip. Tomorrow, it's off to the Mayan ruins.
We are doing well and are so grateful for all the continued prayers. We are missing the girls and are still processing the depth of our experience in the village. This will take time. For now, we will enjoy these next few days until we head home to those we love.
Adios, dear ones.