As I mentioned in my previous post, for a change of pace, we decided to go to a hotel in the city of Tegucigalpa for the weekend. We chose a hotel that is a little more expensive but it has a pool and is located right across the street from a large mall with some restaurants, ice cream and a movie theater. When we arrived yesterday, we were reminded that details are flexible in Honduras. The website said that renovations were beginning on the pool and courtyard on Monday, April 17...which sounds fairly definitive, but should actually read...will begin around Monday, April 17, give or take a week or two, so don't be surprised if the pool is not available when you get here. When we arrived, we found out that the pool is already under construction, but we can use the pool at another hotel and our hotel will pay for the taxi service to and from the other hotel. The other pool has a party atmosphere, and was overflowing with people, but we still enjoyed our time there in the afternoon the past few days.
Since today is Good Friday, we learned about a tradition here in Honduras (we understand that they do it in Guatemala, as well). They prepare very ornate and colorful "carpets" made from colored sawdust. The carpets line the street to the main Cathedral, and they depict the final week of the life of Jesus Christ before His crucifixion. We arrived early this morning and were able to see some of the carpets being created. It was incredible to see the detail in so many of the sections of the carpet and realize the time it took to create the designs, make the various stencils and then pour the colored sawdust and create masterpieces. Once the carpets were completed, they would spray the dust to keep it moist so that the pictures would not simply blow away. Also during the morning, there are various services reenacting the mockery of a trial that Christ faced before the Jewish Sanhedrin and the Romans, and the crying out of "Crucify Him!"...they walk through the events of Christ carrying the cross through Jerusalem to the hill where He was crucified. Powerful reenactments of the reason why such a tragic day is called "Good"...Jesus Christ, who was fully God from all eternity, had been born of Mary, still being fully God, yet also becoming fully man. He lived in complete obedience to the law of God (the only human being in all of history to ever do this)...therefore, he is the only righteous human being. When He went to the cross, as a righteous human being, He was able to die as a substitute for others, and God accepted His sacrifice as such. In fact, Scripture says that "He who knew no sin (Jesus) became sin for us. (2 Cor. 5:21)" And because He is fully God, the effectiveness of his sacrifice is extended to all of humanity so that "...whoever believes on Him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)" The good news is that Jesus died and was buried, but on the third day, He arose from the grave, so that all who believe on Him have the forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven. To see these truths of Scripture painted in the streets in sawdust and portrayed by various church groups in the streets was powerful. The kids were getting tired, so we were not able to stay to watch the main processional, but about mid-day, there is a processional that walks along the street, right over the ornate carpets that were created for the purpose of telling the story and preparing the way for the processional of Christ to make its way to the Cathedral. Here are some pictures from the carpets (sorry for so many pictures, but it was hard to choose) and reenactments.
These pictures capture some of the process of making these incredible carpets.
Here you see two of the workers putting finishing touches on the carpets. I loved the one of the tree. It has the face of Christ in the midst of the tree - representing the tree of life.
This blue and white one was one of my favorite designs with the face of Christ in the cross
Here is a picture of the last supper