Friday, July 17, 2015

Exploring the Mayan Ruins

Thursday, July 16th

       Bible Verse: "For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:14-19.  Gabby led us in a very engaging bible study all about the power of the Holy Spirit, although we ended up talking a lot about prayer, which is very important on trips like these.  We also shared with the group some of our reactions to painting the shelter.
       Margarita said that she was amazed at what can be accomplished when you do something in the name of God.  As she was walking around the shelter looking at everything that had been painted, she thought back to the first meeting we had, and how our group came together and how the perfect amount of money was raised,.  We all agreed that God's hands have been at work in this trip and it is by His power that we are here.  We all feel so blessed to be a part of something like this!
      Jennie said she gained a lot of perspective on how much we take for granted.  She was asking herself, 'Why does God let people live like this?' as her eyes were opened to how people lived.  Mrs. Kluitenberg said that there was power in the name of Jesus, and people recognize that all across the world.  She encouraged us to call on his name because of that power.

Bethany showing us how huge the tree behind her is.

Posing on some ruins.  

 Middle class houses in the ruins.

More middle class houses in ruins.

 The Copan river makes the soil extremely dark and fertile.

 All of us girlies, posing, again!

 Beautiful (and very loud) birds live in the ruins.

Where the Mayans competed in games.  Two teams would bounce a ball off of their body and the slanted walls and try to keep it in the air for as long as possible. 

 Looking out over the plaza from the top of a ruin.

 Miss Grachen photobombed this!

 Sister picture!

 I took this from the bus.  This is where some people live.

 How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? Too many.

 Beautiful mountains visible from the bus.

 We bought these dolls from kids in Copan. 

 Mayan selfie!

 We even got Fredy to pose.

These steps were ginormous. 

 Jenny and Gabby aren't sleeping, but we were extremely tired!

See the rainbow we make with our shirts?

       After three days of hard work, our team took a break to visit the Mayan ruins in Copan.  It took us three longs hours of driving in the bus to get there, which gave us a great view of the Honduran country side.  A lot of us slept on the bus because we were so tired!
       When we got to the hotel, a girl and a boy walked up to us selling straw dolls, saying that they were hungry.  We politely said no gracias, but Jennie felt very bad for them.  The next time we saw kids selling dolls, Jennie, Bethany, Katie and Miriam bought some for one U.S. dollar each.  While we were eating lunch at a pizza restaurant, another girl said she would give us a doll and sing the national Honduran anthem for us if we gave her some money.  Miss Grachen gave her ten dollars in Honduran money, and the girl bravely sang the national anthem, which was actually in the Chortis language of the Honduran indigenous people.  Miss Grachen, who knew parts of the national anthem, said she did a very good job.  It was adorable.
       They showed us a card that explained why they were selling dolls.  The dolls are made by women of Maya Chorti village community, and the children sell them to help their families in their daily struggle for survival.  It's not the dolls that are important when we bought one.  It was the fact that we are helping a community, which is all we wanted to do.
       After lunch, we visited two Mayan ruin sites.  The first one, which was smaller, ran beside the Copan river and had a lot of middle class houses and plazas.  I was surprised to learn that much of the ruins have not been excavated yet.  We saw many random hills in the ground that were actually buildings buried overtime by dirt, grass, and trees. Miss Grachen was excited to go to this site because she had never gone to this specific one before.
       The larger Mayan ruin site had plazas, altars, stelas, and audience seats for competitive games.  Our guide described how the best players in the competitive games were sacrificed, since it was considered an honor to be with the Gods.  Many of the buildings in the ruins were built in different time periods during the Mayan reign, and some of them were even built on top of each other. A lot of our time was spent posing for pictures with the ruins in the background, some of which we posted above. We also saw lots of wildlife, including birds, and many insects. 
       We left the ruins and went straight to dinner and while we ate it started raining, which hopefully will cool down the temperature tomorrow.  Then we went back to the hotel and all of the students met in one room for one of the best nights of my life.
       We all took turns sitting on a stool or on a bed and every person went around the room and said encouraging words, for example what they like about the person, and we listed what made the person special.  We talked about what people were good at, and how amazing their faith is, and how much they make us laugh.  To do all eight girls, it took us two and a half hours, and almost every single person was crying at one point in time. Everyone had a lot to say, and we were laughing a lot as people recounted stories, and told inside jokes.  I have never seen such a closer group of friends, and we all expressed how much we wanted to get to know someone else in the group.  God has blessed us all with an amazing group of girls that want to encourage each other and build each other up, and we all experienced a little bit of heaven last night, which is something I will never forget!


  1. The work you all are doing and experiences on this trip are amazing! I am always blown away; thank you for sharing with us. Get some rest alright? ��������

  2. Amazing! Thinking back in the babysitting, cookies, burritos, gift wrapping and fellowship. God is so good, he is planting seeds! ❤️To all!

  3. I am so thankful to God that He brought this team together and how much He is alive and working in your team and your relationships together. We are thrilled to also hear how God is working THROUGH YOU to minister to the people of Honduras. Thank you for all your handwork and your obedience to what God has called you to do with your life! We love you all and are proud of you!