Monday, September 23, 2013

160 years. Convicencia. La Chorrera

Many things have happened in the last two weeks: celebrating 160 years of anglican presence in Panama, convivencia  and traveling with the bishop to two other churches to confirm over thirty children into the episcopal church.

Let's start off with September 15th, which was the Sunday that marked 160 years of Anglican presence in Panama. Bishop Julio Murray was the bishop to bring all 6 provinces together to represent the Diocese of Panama. It started off with all 5 Episcopal schools and all the churches representing the Diocese of Panama getting together to march down the street and into the Auditorio Clarence W. Hayes, where we held Eucharist together. It was an amazing experience to watch all Episcopalians gather in one room. I know that the power of prayer was beaming all over Panama. Below are some pictures that represent an historic day in Panama and for the Episcopal Church.
The banned held by Victor and James 

The Banner for the school that I work with. 

Many people marched in the parade.

The banner of San Mateo. 

I was so shocked on how many people were marching.

Students marched with their instruments 

I keep all my programs for church. 

This was not even half the people. 

Now I'll jump ahead to September 21st. I went back to the school and made my way to camp, where convivencia took place. Convivencia happens once a month with different grades, and usually has a theme. This month was the last one for the year and it happened with grade six. The theme was frendship. So for the whole day most of 6th grade worked together by doing various team building activities and getting to know each other. Below are some pictures to highlight the wonderful day. Also, this experience helped me get closer with some of the teachers, which helped out a lot. The love from this school is so much and you can actually feel God's presence when talking to the teachers and students. 

Itzel Rodriguez giving directions for the group.

Free time for about an hour

some of the students explaining their answer. 

The group acting out their answer. 

Team building at its finest 

It was at the Lions International 

Our view from the camp grounds. 

The next day on September 22nd, the Bishop took me to two different churches in La Chorrera, which is about 20 minutes outside of Panama City. The first church was the Episcopal Church of San Jose. The Bishop was going to confirm about 31 kids for the episcopal church. It was an amazing experience to watch the Bishop speak about the parable of the shrewd manager. The Bishop was very charismatic and I enjoyed watching how he engaged the congregation. The church was so packed that people - including myself - were standing outside of the church to see the glorious work of God, which included the confirmation of 31 of his children to the church. After Eucharist, I was introduced as one of two missionaries that will be helping in Panama. A generous amount of rejoice was received when I was introduce. I felt the love from the community and warm welcoming. We then had a big feast to celebrate this marvelous occasion.

Bishop Julio Murray giving his sermon. 

Blessing individuals.

The alter of San Jose
The outside of San Jose. 
Later that day, I headed off to a smaller church that had about 30 people, as well as one confirmation. The difference was so breathtaking. In the bigger church there was more people but less interaction by singing, even when there was a choir . In the smaller church, I saw that church bring down the house without music, a choir, and with no music. 

The program was used at both churches.

The Church outside.
The churches alter. 

These two past weeks have been really eye opening. I ended off with a home cooked meal from the bishop's wife, which made me miss home-cooked meals. I was so pleased to learn that my spiritual guidance has not ended and that I have found a person to talk to about my faith. I also want to say thank you for everyone who has been following me in this life changing event.

Thanks for reading!

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