We woke at 6 a.m. to the crow of a distant rooster. Local coffee was enjoyed out in the yard, where tomorrow’s projects await us. The view across the valley to the mountains was breathtaking and the tropical sunshine soaked all the way into the soul. After breakfast we got the orientation from our Strong Missions Coordinator, Brianna. There were directions on everything from local plumbing to how to handle photo taking at the work sites. Then bus arrived to take us to a Iglesia Metodista, a United Methodist Church in a neighboring town. The service, led by Pastor Elliot Cortez was in Spanish and in English, with great music and a passionate message directing us to “get our spiritual lives in order”. There was also an infant dedication. The local congregation was genuinely welcoming, greeting many of us with hugs and kisses on the cheek. Children wandered freely in the service, and the presence of God was felt.
We were blessed with an outing to the Last Paz Waterfalls and Nature Center, in a rainforest microclimate. Clouds rolled over the mountains and the rain soaked us to varying levels, depending on the effectiveness of the rain gear we brought. It was completely worth it. We saw jaguars, ocelots, toucans, parrots, sloths, butterflies and many other animals.
A hopeful group went to a nearby restaurant to watch the Vikings Eagles game but went home disappointed. The lovely tropical night and sky filled with stars reminded us that seasons pass but our Creator God is always with us.
Tomorrow the work begins!