Friday morning dawned very early here at Camalote Camp. The Belizean disciples and many of our team members had stayed up faaaar too late, so everyone was moving fairly slowly as we got ready for our morning at Xunantunich. We left camp to visit the ancient Mayan ruins after breakfast, and spent the morning touring the site in groups.
After climbing all the way to the top of the ruins, each counselor from our team led their groups of disciples in a Bible study there at Xunantunich (pronounced "shah-NUN-too-nich"). The groups really began to meld during their discussions on Friday, which was ideal for the discussion we had once we returned to camp that afternoon. (More on that in a minute.)
One the way back to camp, the team and the disciples stopped for lunch at one of our favorite places: Hode's in San Ignacio. There were many laughs and many terrific conversations as we relaxed and enjoyed the meal together. (And nearly every one of the disciples fell asleep in the vans on the way back to camp after lunch.)
Once we got back to camp, we all reconvened for a discussion of community and why it is important for believers to meet together. We looked at a number of scriptural references about the importance of community and accountability before breaking the disciples into smaller groups. It is our hope that those smaller groups will become tightly-knit community groups, as we are leaving curriculum for them to study together and the disciples have signed covenants committing to their groups. Many of the disciples said they were excited to start meeting in community with their groups. That is significant progress, as the idea of authentic spiritual relationships is a new and intimidating idea to many of them.
We ended the day with one of the most powerful worship experiences we've ever had in this country. Travis led us in a ceremony of foot-washing and in communion, and we were all moved to the core as we experienced such a beautiful expression of Christ's love in action. Many of us were speechless afterward, unable to adequately express what we had felt as the Belizean disciples washed their counselors' and each others' feet. There is no preparing for something that beautiful, and words cannot express the thickness of God's Spirit in the tabernacle.
This trip has been an immense blessing. There are so many stories to tell that cannot be told here. We are so grateful for this opportunity and for the prayerful support of our family at home.