Wednesday, October 23, 2013

“Land of the Snail”

Recently we took a trip to El Caracol, or the Snail. We’re not sure why it’s named that, but the kids had fun trying to guess—because  you can find snails in the river or because the road is windy like a snail shell?  (It took 3 hours to get there, but it’s only about 16 miles away as the crow flies.)

The kids had a blast! They of course made new friends…some human…others of the bird variety!



They chased ducks and chickens. They climbed trees. They ate oranges and mandarins. They picked a coconut, cracked open cocoa. Ellie inspected the beautiful flowers.

You've heard that chocolate is a fruit because
it grows on a tree, right?
Well, this is what it looks like!

The cacao beans, before they've
been cleaned. The white covering
is edible so sometimes the best
method to clean the bean is to suck
on them...thought you might want to know!

Clay worked hard to cut a coconut out of the tree!

The pastor's son chopped off all of the outside shell of the coconut.

My little flower lover!
Her middle name is "Flor,"
which means "flower."


They played ball…sometimes with a real soccer ball….sometimes with a homemade variety that was covered in a plastic bag.


They made tortillas…


While the kids played, Mom and Dad visited the church.

The Bible talks of the church being like a body. When one member hurts, we all hurt. This church in El Caracol is hurting…and I hurt for them. 

The pastor’s daughter has been rebellious.  She has drifted away from God and from the church body. That in itself is a difficult situation in a small village. The people of the village are watching the Christians to see how they handle life’s situations. And the Christians feel the pressure, the judgment. 

Add to this already difficult situation that the daughter is now 5 months pregnant and has been kicked out of her home and was originally advised that she should have an abortion so that no one would know. (The story of David and Bathsheba comes to mind…committing a sin to cover up a previous sin.)

We spent two days teaching about what the Bible says of grace and forgiveness.  We listened. We prayed.  We encouraged reconciliation between the father and daughter. And also between the father and his wife.

When we left El Caracol, we left with heavy hearts. Now, all we can do is pray.
Please pray with us for the church in El Caracol, that they will know God’s love and the grace that He readily extends to those who love Him. Also pray that as Christians, we would be quick to offer grace and forgiveness, and that we will resist the temptation to judge others.




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