Panama 2016 - Day 2
Today we left the comfort of our hotel and headed to the village of Espave to worship with our brother and sisters in Christ! At first, it felt like the "world cup charades!" Although we needed an interpreter for most of the day, just looking in their smiling faces we found our bond through Jesus Christ and those looks communicated much more than a smile! There was praise and worship, VBS and a message from Pastor Ben with our very own Luz interpreting for him. We had the BEST surprise when we found out that this was the day that the children of Espave would receive their Samaritans Purse Shoeboxes and we would be the ones to distribute them. I cannot express how much that meant to everyone of us that has participated in putting together one of those boxes at Christmas time to send to the mission field! The sheer joy that it brought to these children was a blessing to see and experience with them. The women of the village were preparing a meal for when church would end for the day for all the children. It is in this building that we will return on day 3 to finish renovating for them Lord willing!
Playa Chiquita Village
We left Espave to stop for a short visit in the Chiquita Village. This village used to be right in the middle of a landfill. One man started a movement to get these families moved and the village now sets just outside the previous location, you can still see remnants of shacks off in the distant landfill. We learned that this man had just recently passed away and his widow, Lucia and 2 sons are in need of moving due to flooding that comes to their home with every rain. We hope to return later this week to work on that project for her.
As we walked through this village and stopped to pray for Lucia, her sisters and even her mother and father, the conditions were disturbing and yet, when I look into their eyes, I see joy, strength - not fear or despair. I know that this, although heartbreaking, is a people that draw near to God. No distractions, nothing that pulls them away from the things that are eternal.......busyness, pursuit of money, fame......They are just surviving. And while they are, they know where their help comes from, their help comes from the Lord! Psa. 121:1
1 Samuel 2:7-8
"He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor."
Let it be Lord, Let it be!
Posted on Sun, February 14, 2016
by Linda Caswell