"Everybody who sees you, Bishop Patricia, takes notice." These were the words that Bishop-elect [...]
We woke to perfect weather of clear skies and a light breeze. The humidity was high and the air damp, at least to our group members, but definitely comfortable for our friends and partners in Maya Itza. The leaders of the church took us on a long hike to see land they acquired and cleared for a new church. High on a hillside, the land overlooks the rooftops of the small village below and the mountains in the distance. At home we would call this a "million dollar view." The site is awe-inspiring and the church leaders are so proud of their preparations for their new church. They showed us detailed drawings of short-term plans for a small building and a long-term plan including a very large sanctuary and outside recreational space for children. The enthusiasm for the potential of this new church was visible on the faces of those guiding us through this "wilderness."
I paused for a few minutes at the top of the site to soak in the view and consider the sacrifices made to acquire the site and make plans for construction. Such an endeavor requires financial contributions, trust, love, and care from members of the community and congregation. They have invested much to grow God's church in their community. It strikes me that this faith community in remote Maya Itza is an example for all of us: Trust in the Lord, make personal sacrifices to build his kingdom on earth, and demonstrate faith by investing energy into dreams so that they become realities. This hike turned out to be a journey I will not forget. I look forward to returning to this hillside to reconnect with friends and worship in their new church.
Director of Operations, Easter Lutheran, Eagan