Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Light in the Darkness

Saturday last week was our church's activity to some caves in Santa Elena. The Actun Kan caves are behind the house we lived in, our first year in Petén. I like going over there, it feels all nostalgic and familiar. 
We've been a little concerned that we kind of spoil our church people and make things kind of too easy. There needs to be some sacrifice and commitment on their part. I probably didn't explain that very well, but anyway moving on. We advertised this activity for a month and told them that it would cost $2 per person for anyone 8 and older. In order to go you had to sign up and pay ahead of time… possibly a mind blowing concept for Baptists in any culture. No one signed up until the last service before this activity! 
And on the way to the caves someone called Jimmy and asked if we were still going to the caves that day, haha! Needless to say Jimmy did not turn around and go back and get them! 
We have been to these caves with a couple of teams. You can explore the large part without getting really messy. They used to have lights, but not anymore. You have to bring your own flashlight. It is pitch dark with lots of bats. You can also walk/crawl all the way through to another entrance. That takes about an hour and a half and you get FILTHY. It is a real team building exercise because you have to lead, follow, and trust each other to stay together and get through it.  Our people were pretty nervous, just in this part of the cave. They kept commenting about how they were concerned someone was going to get lost and left inside the cave! They still really wanted to go though. The darkness is pretty unnerving at first. 
At the entrance is a list of shapes to look for. I thought it was a lot of fun. I could totally see how the formations got their names. You can see how extensive this cave is from that map too. 
Once we were inside Jimmy had us all turn off our flashlights and cell phone lights. He shared a devotional from the Psalms (57 & 142) from when David was hiding out in the cave. Then we sang several songs together. Those are some beautiful acoustics in there!
The dampness of the cave made it refreshing compared to outside, but it also made it pretty slippery. There was a lot of helping each other going on. It ended up being a really great activity for some of the people from our core group! 
{Silas and Juan}
 I think everyone was happy they came. No one had ever been before. 
{Silas, H, & Jonah}
 They ended up giving us a group discount for the entrance fee, so Jimmy used the extra money to buy pizza for everyone afterwards. 
 It was a nice time of fellowship. 

This big guy was waiting at our door Sunday night. Eden went out with the boys to feed the dogs and started crying when she tried to get back into the house and it was standing in the doorway. She let out a big squeal and ran pasted it to safety as fast as she could. Last night I went to fill up the dogs' water bowls and found him swimming in one. I let out a very similar squeal. Jimmy and the boys of course think it's funny to scare the girls!

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