Yikes! That was a strong tremor we had today! I had just gotten out of the shower and the floor started moving and my knees and the shower curtain started shaking. It was like I was dancing un-intentionally! In my state of ‘undress’ I couldn’t very well run outside. After about 5 long seconds it subsided. NOT a pleasant feeling. God continues to protect me. I guess he has a big ‘to-do’ list for me yet.
Another mission team came to visit me and serve in the Comarca. Emmanuel’s Lutheran Church sent 6 of their members on a ‘look and see’ trip to see what is going on here, and decide what they can do to help in the future. They represented Jesus and their church wonderfully. They sent a nurse, an auto parts salesman, 2 retired teachers, a photographer, and an interpreter. I was more than glad to share my ‘Panamanian family’ with them. They were accepted with open arms.
Somehow we found time during the 6 day stay to: paint a study room in the Comarca, visit 2 schools and help teach English at both, helped serve lunch to hundreds of students, went to the beach, visited 4 families, shopped, slept in a rustic hotel in Chami, repaired a water problem, fed 3 hungry families, and ate a ton of holhadres. No one got sick or hurt.
One day we were walking to go to eat and came across a man who walked 3 hours to get to the Chami hospital to have his son examined. The boy had severe pain in his eyes. They were very hungry and still had to get back home. We decided to take him with us and feed him. He ate lots of food! Jesus said “Feed my sheep”. they did feed these two sheep and more. But, I guess the biggest impact of the situation came when the man and his son bowed their heads in prayer before we were ready to pray. Cool stuff!
They also visited our local artist and bought 2 items. Seemed normal enough, but no, there was more. This family had not eaten in 2 days, and were awaiting the mom to come home the same day with her paycheck so they could eat. Jesus said “Feed my sheep”. They followed the call and did it again. The kids were extremely happy to find bite-sized Oreos in the bag of goodies they also delivered.
The generous Emmanuel church also sent a nice sum of money with the mission team to help the needy families here. “When you do for the least of these, you do it unto me”, said our risen Lord. They followed this call too, as they were able to help many families with this donation.
One of the important parts of the trip was for them to see the ‘Comida para Todos’ program in action. The first day we went to help with lunch, there was no lunch because of a short school day. The second trip to the school proved more fruitful as we were able to help serve the lunches. The process of feeding the large quantity of kids needs to be changed, and it will, a little at a time. There are still way too many kids that don’t have the chance to eat. AND, there is ample food to feed many more. I recently had a meeting with the person in charge of the lunches and firmly told her what I thought about their system. She is still talking to me. LOL I explained that together ‘WE’ can get things in order, but they were going to have to make some changes in the way they do things.
Now that the Emmanuel’s mission team is safely back in the states, I can concentrate on the work I need to do before I head to the states for vacation on April 15.. I am excited to be able to hear my first Easter services in 3 years, in English. I am also very excited about a few activities that my home church has planned for me. New Life Evangelical Lutheran Church ROCKS!
The title of the sermon I plan on giving is “He is Risen! Now What?” See you in the pews.