Day 3 – Thursday, July 26 cont.
We arrived in San Pedro around mid morning and headed straight to the bathroom, of course! As each one came out of the bathroom, Ashley greeted us with this face of pure joy as she pointed down the hall to the Dunkin’ Donuts sign! The entire group minus yours truly are coffee fanatics. After the DD run, we went on a minor goose chase finding the most inexpensive fare to Copan. We finally found one, but the bus had already left the designated area, so we had to run to another stop to catch it.
The ride to Copan was a long one. It was about 4 hours and uneventful. Besides the video of me really into my worship music that will not make its way to FB if David values his life! LOL! We made it to Copan around 3pm. While we waited for David’s friends to get home from work, we walked around the center of town just browsing through all the shops. To all of our excitement, we found a smoothie shop, so we all stopped and had smoothies for lunch! YUM!!!!
As we continued to walk around, Jake noticed a young kid who seem to be following us. He didn’t look threatening at all and it isn’t uncommon for vendors to follow you around so I thought nothing of it.
When it was time to head to David’s friend’s house and where we would be spending the night, Jake was happy to know that we would be riding a Tuk-Tuk to the house. If you are not familiar with a Tuk-Tuk, it is basically a motorcycle that was converted into a mini-taxi. None of us with the exception of David knew what to expect when we reached the house.
The modest home had 2 small bedrooms, a small refrigerator, limited lighting and no running water. We knew it would be cozy so we all just decided to drop off ours bags and head back into town for dinner and decide on sleeping arrangements when we returned.
After dinner, we all sat in the park for a little while. As we sat there, Jake brought it to my attention that David was talking to the boy who had been following us earlier. Curious to know the conversation, we got up and heard David mention that he remembered the boy from about 3 years ago when he had been in the city with another missionary friend. He searched through the pictures on his phone and confirmed it was him.
His name is Jose. He is 16 years old and left home 3 years ago to work in Copan. He makes and sells jewelry to earn a living and to pay for his room that he rents. Later, David explained to us that the last time he saw him, Jose mentioned that his mom had just passed away and he had come into the city to make money. He has never attended school and does not know how to read or write, but has learned math for his business.
David and Ashley took a special liking to Jose and spoke to him about Jesus. He seemed to have heard it all, but said he was too young to worry about that. David explained that Jake is 13 and has been going to church most of his life. He explained that we are never too young. He didn’t seem very interested but was interested in our companionship. We hung out for a little bit. David invited him to a breakfast smoothie with us before we headed back to Guatemala and we parted ways.
Back at the house, David’s friend, Brian, was sleeping in his room and his uncle, Ramon, was sleeping on the floor in the living room area. We quietly got ready for bed and decided the newlyweds would sleep in the other bedroom, I would sleep on the couch, Jake on the love-seat, Ashley on the chair and David on the floor. David and Ashley were smart enough to bring a sheet, but the rest of us slept without. Funny part: I was a bit scared to sleep on the couch next to Ramon because shortly after we all settled into our spots, he began talking in his sleep saying he was going to kill someone. We all sat up laughing. It was funny, but a bit scary, too. He didn’t talk again all night. Thank God!
Day 4, July 27
At 5am, Ramon woke up to go to work. He could not find the keys so he kept yelling to Brian to help him find them. We all were quickly awake. Once he noticed we were all awake, he began to repeatedly say that the house was ours and there was food there for us to make breakfast. Although humorous how much he repeated himself, we were all floored at his overwhelming generosity. We did not want to use up any of their limited resources, so we did not eat there. Also, even though we needed showers, the only water available was rain water they had collected to shower with, flush the toilet and possibly wash their dishes with, so we all decided to forego the shower until we got to our homes later in the day.
Once we all were ready, we headed back to the center where we shopped a little and met Jose for our breakfast smoothie. After saying goodbye to Jose, the 6 of us split up into 2 groups and took Tuk-Tuks to the border. David, Jake and I were in one.
In our Tuk-Tuk there were stickers that said “Cristo Vive” (Christ Lives). David asked the driver if he was a Christian. He said he wasn’t Catholic so he considered himself a Christian. David proceeded to present the Gospel to him. We could see that he was really listening. He even mentioned how his wife is always wanting him to go to church with her, but he kept saying he wasn’t ready. I chimed in and told him that we are never ready which is why we need Jesus and the Holy Spirit to guide us.
After a few minutes of conversation, David knew he wasn’t ready to make a decision so asked if we could pray for him and asked his name. He answered it was Miguel. I asked his wife’s name. He said it was Iris and then asked if we could also pray for his 1-year-old daughter, Ariana. Of course, we would!! As David prayed, Miguel began to cry. We knew his wife has planted a seed and we had just watered it. Miguel did not make a decision to follow Christ, but we know that one day he will and we will see each other in Heaven.
We made it across the border with no problem and took our 2 final bus rides home. It was such an amazing, life changing, God-filled 4 days. We accomplished so much and, prayerfully, were also able to glorify the Lord along the way! I can’t fully express how great it was for us to take this trip with (practically) strangers, but God is so good and so faithful. He heard and answered so many prayers, we were flabbergasted!!
Jake and I are now back “home” in Zacapa and are preparing to head back to the States in 10 days. Although at times this summer has felt so long, it actually flew by! The last 3 weeks have been especially unforgettable; spending a week in Guatemala City, spending the last week with the team from Alabama and this week on our backpack adventure. God has shown Jake and I that He is always with us no matter where we are or what we do. He has also given us confidence to go wherever He is leading us to go next…;)