Yesterday morning started off a little bit later than the rest of the mornings. We got to sleep in! (About 15 minutes) After breakfast, we went to the morning church service at the school in Chamche. It was a lively service filled with uplifting worship and prayer. The sermon was on Matthew 11:28-30, which speaks of us picking up God's yoke and working and learning with Him, and receiving rest during our weary/trying times. This sermon came at a very good time for us, as we are near the end of our trip, and getting ready to continue our respective and collective journeys back home. The Hermano (Brother) that shared the sermon with us connected the passage to a young bull representing us living our lives before we give our lives to Christ, and being distracted by various things in the world and not wanting to work because he is being distracted by the cows in the next field over. The young bull is castrated to remove his impulses due to hormones and becomes an ox, ready to learn the ways of a working oxen. The young ox is put into a yoke with the older, more experienced ox to learn how to work. At first, the young ox tries to get out of the yoke by moving one way, and the farmer pokes the ox to get it back in line. The ox stays in line for a little while and then moves off course again, and requires continued guidance to get back into the right direction until it figures out that he needs to stay on course. The quicker the young ox finishes his work, the quicker he is able to go into the pasture and rest. We are like that young ox. Jesus calls us to walk along side him in His yoke. When we accept His invitation, and give up our selfish desires, we start on the path with Jesus. We are wild at first and keep going off course. We get prodded back onto the right course, and eventually we figure it out and we stay on course and walk with Jesus, who gives us hope and peace.
After a hamburger lunch at a restaurant close to the guesthouse, we went to do some more home visits of our new sponsor children from the Purulha and the Vida Nueva schools. These were children that people on the team decided to sponsor while we were here in Guatemala. There were eight children in total, so we split up into two groups to go to the two communities. Amongst all the homes we visited, there was a large range of living conditions; from houses with brick walls, cement floors, and tin roofs to houses with wooden walls, dirt floors, tin roofs, and no doors. Through this experience we realized how joyful and thankful they were for the small gifts that we give them and how unsatisfied we are with what we have, and how spiritually lacking we are compared to the faith that they have.
We ended our day with a team debrief with Les. We shared a "feeling word" and experience from our week the stuck out to each of us. We ended our meeting with a time of prayer in small groups.
This morning we started off our road trip to Antigua by stopping at the school in Purulha, where we did our VBS, and joined the morning devotion. We were able to have a final goodbye with our kids at the school. At the end of the devotional, all the kids gathered around us to pray, and gave us handmade flowers and lots of hugs. Then we piled into the vans and started our four hour drive to Antigua. we continued our day with a walk to a coffee shop-Fernando's and finished our day with dinner and a short walking tour of Antigua.
"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Dios te bendiga,
Devon, Keli, Angela