This is Devon writing today’s blog since I went off to lala land early last night :) Today was the earliest morning so far. We were supposed to get picked up at 6:15am for breakfast, but got picked up at 6:30 instead. After breakfast we went to a school about 20 minutes away to take part in their morning devotional before their classes started. When we got there, it took a few minutes for the children to get used to seeing us there and then it was like they had known us for at least a few days already, not just seeing us standing there for five minutes. They came running up to us and started giving us hugs and tickling a bunch of us. It was great to have such a warm welcome. At the end of the devotional, we lined up outside and all 200ish kids came and gave us all hugs. After visiting the school we drove about 5-10 more minutes to the base of a mountain which we climbed up, to the top of the sinkhole. The sinkhole was and still is used for witchcraft rituals, although not as much anymore because local myths say that the sinkhole is losing its magical powers and not as many witches are doing rituals down there anymore. The sinkhole was really muddy and the hill we had to climb down was really steep. As we went down into the sinkhole, it got gradually darker and darker, but it didn’t get pitch black. Once everyone got to the bottom of the sinkhole, we make a circle and sang a couple songs and prayed. Almost everyone had their eyes closed during this time and after we finished praying and opened our eyes, a few people commented later in the day that when they opened their eyes, it felt brighter in the sinkhole. It was as if God had entered the sinkhole and was down there with us. It was amazing to feel that God would enter that dark place and be with us down there. After climbing back out of the sinkhole, most of us were filthy, and we went back to the hotel to change before going to the guest house for lunch. After lunch we went to the hospital in Coban to visit the sick children there as well as the new mothers in the maternity ward and give out the layettes that we had made. Seeing the sick children was an emotional time for many people in the group. Jessica (Les and Rita’s daughter) told us before we went inside the hospital that many people bring their children to the hospital as a last resort when they have nothing else at home that they can do for their child. In most cases, by the time they get to the hospital, it is too late for the doctors to do anything for the child. After visiting the pediatrics ward we moved to the maternity ward which the men were not allowed to go into, so they waited outside with the extra layettes while the women went inside to hand out the layettes to the new mothers. After handing out the layettes, Jessica took the guys into the nursery to see the babies and hold the abandoned babies. When they were done, the ones that weren’t holding babies came outside and the girls went inside to hold them. We got the babies from the guys and I wanted to take the one that I was holding home with me. (Mom and dad, don’t be surprised if we have a new addition to the family when I get home ;) After the hospital, we went back to the hotel for a little while and we cleaned our shoes from the trip to the sinkhole before going back to the guest house for dinner. After dinner, we waited at for Les to come and we had a debrief with him before coming back to the hotel for night. It is hard to believe that we leave Tactic in less than 48 hours to go to Antigua.
It is now 10:20pm and it has been a long and emotional day for us. Good night all!!