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Our Final Day

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Jun 05 in Musings
Sunday, February 24: Our last full day in Xpujil.

Church meets in the morning and evening.  Just before 10am, we walked to Congregacion El Sinai.  Warmly welcomed, we sat between our Spanish speakers to get a sense of what was happening and find Bible passages.  Song lyrics were projected on a screen, we could sing along phonetically.  The sanctuary was full of sunlight, lizards rested on the stained glass cross.  With the gift of translation, I understood parts of the Sunday School teaching from Esther on raising up new church leaders. Church felt comfortable and familiar, even thousands of miles from home and through the language barrier.   
After a grilled chicken feast, we toured our third Mayan archeological site.  This site was the largest (and steepest).  The climbers climbed, the explorers explored, the wanderers wandered.  Expansive vistas, lush landscape, stunningly vibrant plants and trees.  I sensed being in an ancient place, thinking about a long-ago society, something complex and intricate just below the surface that left both a link across ages and mystery too.
 
For evening worship, we visited the congregation of Victor who manages the cistern work. Again, this church family welcomed us abundantly. Worship at El Buen Pastor felt different from morning church.  There was less translation and no hymn lyrics, so I had to make room for the Holy Spirit to connect with the people, rhythms and flow of the service.  Babes in arms and kids in general were a lively part of worship – the families made space for the kids, let them be comfortable and participate. Everyone knew the words and sang with energy and gusto!  As the service closed with communion (the bread was cakelike and sweet, another wonderful surprise), I left wrapped in God’s abundance and blessing.
 
Next we had dinner with Victor’s family, a great honor to be invited into their home.  We who came to serve alongside were served an amazing meal of chicken, rice, homemade tortillas, corn on the cob with chili and lime, and my new favorite – apple soda.  A highlight of the evening was practicing math facts with the kids – being able to count to 10 in Spanish was enough to find common ground and laughter. 
On the way home, we pulled over to stargaze.  Light-saturated Southern California hides the stars… but in the deep, peaceful darkness of Xpujil, the night sky popped in all its glory.  Stars upon stars, tracing the shape of constellations, the Milky Way and even the curvature of the sky – twinkling, sparkling, colorful, endless, uncountable. A clear glimpse of God’s abundant love for us evident in the heavens… an echo of all we experienced throughout the trip – the love and beauty of the people and land of Xpujil, and the nearness of God and the guiding hand of the Lord on our time. 

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