I have various families, here in Panama, that I am blessed to be able to help in one way or another. Some with basic needs such as food, clothing and medical help. Others with educational needs. Still others with wheelchairs and operations.
One particular family, very close to my heart, is a typical broken home scenario. Dad, after multiple times abusing the mom, verbally as well as physically, left 6 years ago. They live in a see-through stick home. Now, mom, who really wants a better life, and a better house for the kids, left the 2 young girls with 2 different families while she could go to Panama City to work. There just aren’t very many jobs in this area. She is looking to be a live-in housekeeper, where here living expenses are covered. It’s a good thing she has the long term picture in mind, but at the same time it is though on the girls, 8 and 10 years old. So, I took on the task to visit them twice a week to make sure their needs are met; which leads me to the title of this blog post.
As I neared the area where I thought they lived, I couldn’t see through the thick brush, but I knew I was close. Suddenly, voices started yelling from the thick brush “Llego Bob!” Llego Bob!” Llego Bob!” Ok, for you Spanish impaired, it meant “Bob arrived!” Such excitement in their voices, then I rounded the corner and saw some of the running towards me to greet me. One girl, not one of the ones I came to see, started running towards me, to greet me, when she realized she was, oh, how do I put this(?), less than dressed appropriately. With a rapid change of direction she went back in the house to put her dress on. It was funny to see this transpire. What joy that brought to my heart, to hear my name called from behind the brush.
I didn’t come bearing gifts, or anything like that. I just came to checkup on a sweet little girl, without her mommy. The other kids there, I only remember meeting once before, about 8 months ago. We had a good time talking, checking out their homework, playing with balloons, etc. There were chickens all over the house. The walls were blankets. Zero privacy. No doors. They are using the toilet of the grandfather who lives next door. It doesn’t get any humbler than this. AND, everyone seemed happy.
The mom wasn’t even in the house of these 7 or 8 kids when I arrived. She was taking night classes in the school, a few minutes away. The kids range from 4 months to 11 years old.
Most people back in the states, can’t even begin to imagine some of the living conditions here. Yet, because of their faith, they find peace and contentment.
Most people back in the states can’t even imagine what it is like to have to walk to find water to drink, bathe or do laundry. They are still beating their clothing on large rocks to clean them. Primitive, yet they have peace and contentment. What most people from the states wouldn’t give for some of this peace. It IS available to all, but the only place you can find it is with Jesus. Jesus is the answer!
I have this peace because I chose to follow Jesus wholeheartedly. Wherever He wants me to go, I’ll go. Whatever He wants me to do, I’ll do. I tried MY way for 40 years, and it didn’t work. Now, I live my life for Him. I have NOTHING materially, but I have everything in Jesus. In Jesus I find peace. In Jesus I find contentment. May it be so with you. Ok, so I stole that last sentence from Pastor Scott.
Joyfully Serving Him,