As Cuaresma — or lent — is coming to an end, we wait with anticipation for the rising of our Savior. I’ve spent over nine months in Panama, and through the time here, I’ve had many moments to declare my faith. Every chance I get to mention how it’s grown, gotten stronger, I do as well. April has been a long month, with it being so long, I will cut this blog into two.
First I would like to say wherever you go, many people have the same desire to spread the gospel. The first week of April, I was pleased to say there was a mission group one of my friends brought by the school. It was nice to see the students interact with the mission group. Although the group was not Episcopalian, both the students and the organization learned they are not so different from each other. Below are some pictures that capture how happy the students were to just talk to the mission group.
|Here are some of the 10th graders I use to teach.|
|The whole group|
|Selfies are a new thing coming into 2014.|
On the first weekend of April, I was also asked if I wanted to join the PTY Episcopal Youth Group to deliver clothing to a community in Machuca. Machuca is near Penonomé, Panamá. The Diocese of Panama has a presence there from there development program called PROMESA. In 1989, the Episcopal Church of Panama established a program for social and ministry education. PROMESA was officially created in August 1989 through the development office of the Diocese of Panama . During the first years, it focused all its efforts in the areas of advocacy, community organization, community health, education and promotion of human rights and emergency assistance. Below are some pictures of what happened that weekend.
|Bags filled with woman clothing.|
|Harvesting yuca for the first time.|
|Learning how to plant yuca.|
Although individuals see Panama as a rising country, one main thing I took away from helping out was many tend to forget there are real needs in the rural parts of the country. The main problem they have, is there is no official clinic for the ministry of health to help individuals, and there is no running water. Having running water is a big problem there. It opened my eyes so much to appreciate what I have in life. However, they still stayed optimistic. One thing they said was God gives them a place to sleep and know that their children have an education and what more can you ask for. God is simply amazing when it comes to showing that everyone can be happy in the eyes of the lord.
|Happy for finishing.|
|Understanding the rules for this game.|
|Always having fun.|
|The whole group.|
|Learning how to make sombreros.|
|I have to at least win once.|
|Donating woman's clothes.|
|The whole group.|
We also worked with the children in the community, which was nice because they had something to do other than to work. If you want to learn more about PROMESA please click the link below. I believe this is an example of what can help rural communities all over the world.