The Ruination of the Twelve – At Jefe Mater’s request, 12 missionaries and 8 additional passengers set out on a road tour to the UNESCO Heritage Site of the Mayan Ruins of Copan. As with any comedy tour (Bob & Bing have nothing on us) we were packed tightly in a 14 seat van and travelled down the Honduran Autobahn for 2 ½ hours to reach our destination. Our Honduran handlers promised us a smooth, cloud-like ride on the much improved highway, but alas, while the road was smoother than town roads in and around Quimistand, it turned out to be a spine adjusting jolt where we all got to know each other a lot better. Stopping for a break was like watching the Shriner clowns emerge from an impossibly sized car in the center ring. Our tour guide Fidel was a fount of information and kept us entertained for more than two hours in the midday heat. He took time to reference the book of Ezekiel and the vision of that prophet concerning the ruins. He was a most gracious host and certainly demonstrated what 25 years of service to the site can produce.
The Feeding of the Herd – One highlight of the day was stopping in the town of Copan at Jim’s Pizza for a well-deserved break from the tour. Our intrepid leader tried to feed the gathering in a biblical fashion by ordering eight 10 inch pizzas and expecting the waitress to collect several trays of leftovers after the meal. Cooler heads prevailed (read minor uprising) and an additional 6 pizzas were placed in the ovens. Soft drinks and water was consumed in large quantities! Somehow, three young street children found us and convinced us to buy their small corn husk dolls and bead necklaces that they had made at home. They were too cute to refuse and we bought out their entire inventory. They happily joined us for lunch and thanked us with a stirring rendition of the Honduran National anthem and a spirited goodbye in their local dialect.
A Close Encounter of the Avian Kind- After lunch (and not receiving permission to nap on the tables), we headed to Macaw Mountain for a late afternoon encounter with the very colorful birds of Central America. This sanctuary rehabilitates macaws, parrots, owls, toucans, etc. and either returns them to the wild, if possible, or cares for them and keeps them on display to educate the visitors. At the end of the tour we were invited to strike a scarecrow-like pose and have the birds perch on our arms, shoulder, and head.
The Recap- The history of the Mayan’s 2,000 year reign, balancing a thousand years before and after Christ, was a testament to the ingenuity and perseverance of a group of highly developed engineers, artists, astronomers, and rulers who endeavored to pacify the gods they served by sacrificing their citizens into oblivion. The actual cause of their demise is still unknown. The fellowship of the missionary group, the outreach to the communities we serve and the message of grace transcends the language barrier and solidifies the Great Commission in the book of Matthew. We are the hands and feet of Christ until the final day of judgment.
Hodo, The Magical Musician