Today, Tuesday March 9th, we were tourists. We had a great breakfast again at the hotel. And then left around 9:30 for a two-hour drive up into the mountains. We were going to this huge Zip line ride. For those who don’t know, a zip line is a cable strung between two trees. You are attached with a harness and a pulley, and you ride down the cable. Sounds simple. I remember doing that as a kid. Well this is not like that at all. This is in the tops of 150 year old trees, and some of the lines run for up to 400 meters, over 1200 feet. There were seven different lines to ride. Each was a varying lengths and speeds. The greater the drop in elevation causes faster speed. We were strapped into our harness with safety lines helmets and thick gloves. The gloves are very important because they are used to stop. When you want to slow down or stop, you take your hand behind the pulley and put pressure on the cable. That gives friction to slow you down. Well the first line was fairly easy, I figured it was a warm up. Then the guides asked us if we wanted to ride upside down, or fly like superman. If you die, they would hook you up differently and then you would sort of straddle them. They would go with you and brake for you. Well, most of you who know me know that I am pretty adventurous. So I did it both ways on a couple of rides. I have to say the upside down ride was pretty intense. When I get home I will put some of the pictures on facebook. Imagine rushing down a cable hanging upside down in a harness with your hands out. You had to have total trust in your guide. You had to trust that he knew what he was doing, and could stop you. You had to trust in the equipment, that your harness would hold. You also had to let faith overtake any fear that you might have. Another time I went down upside down without the guide, trusting that the guide at the end would be able to catch me and keep me from running into the tree.
If you consider that in the spiritual realm, Holy Spirit is our guide, we need to be willing to ride upside down, trusting Him to give us the right equipment (gifts) and to know what He is doing, even when we don’t. We have to trust Him to guide us through areas we would normally fear. We have to let our faith push through any fears that we might have. That’s what this mission trip is about. Trusting Holy Spirit to show up. This trip is about stepping of the platform and flying upside down, knowing that He has a plan, and will perform it. Our job is to co labor with him. We have to allow him to harness us, to climb the tree and prepare for the ride. Then we just have to fly, knowing He will catch us. So tomorrow I have to allow Him to harness me. I will co labor with Him and prepare a sermon. But once I start, I will fly and let Him take me where he wills. I believe this is what Life in the Spirit is all about. It is an adventure, and not for the faint at heart.
The zip line ride took almost two hours. After that we went to Granada. It is one of the oldest cities in Nicaragua, and was an old colonial city in the Spanish Conquistadors time. It is really a beautiful city, and we ate lunch in one of the best restaurants that I have been to in a long time. I had a chicken filet with a creamy Jalapeño sauce and tomato gazpacho soup. It was unbelievable. I wish that I had the receipt. I also tasted someone’s lobster, and someone’s steak. All three were excellent. The setting was beautiful. We sat in the courtyard of this old hotel. There was a fountain in the middle and beautiful flowers growing all around. Unbelievable lunch.
Then we went to the largest lake in Central America, and took an hour and a half boat ride around many islands. There we saw where the very wealthy had houses on their own islands. What a contrast to what we will see for the rest of the week. Tomorrow we start after lunch wit outreach in another town. Then we have an open air meeting in the square. I will be speaking and there will probably be 300 or so people there. Basically I will be speaking about the goodness of God, and releasing the Fathers heart of love to the people. I’ll just see where the Holy Spirit guides me, and the go along for the ride. Thursday we will go to the hospital and pray for the sick, we also feed the children at the dump and pray for them. Thursday night we will have another meeting at another church.
It is so good getting to know the pastors here. They work together so well. They are Kingdom minded, and help each other with no competitive spirit. I am quickly falling in love with the people. I’m looking forward to the next few days.