As I write this we are moving from San Felix to Soloy. Many of you sponsor children at the school that is in Soloy. For the next three nights the team and I will be staying in the classrooms of the school and working on a few projects to make it easier for the teachers to care for the students of the school. Our biggest project will be to build a wood-burning cook stove for meal preparation. You see, for almost all of the 150 students that attend the school the only meal that they will receive will be the one that they get while at school. For that reason, the teachers not only teach but also fix food for all of the students.
Many of you sponsor children at the school. Your support supplies the school, pays the teachers, as well as purchases food for the children each day. I cannot encourage you too strongly to sponsor a child. On Sunday we will have the great privilege of seeing many of the students that we sponsor. Even though school is out for their summer break right now, the students and some of their families are coming to spend part of the day with us on Sunday. This reunion is a highlight of our trip each year. Once again, if you are not sponsoring a child please consider doing so. 95% of the money that you give goes directly towards the care of the child, (Latin American Child Care deducts 5% for administrative costs) and should you desire, you can come with us next year and actually meet the child whose life you have blessed. (Click here to learn more.)
The team is doing great with no sickness. We are tired but our hearts are both full and saddened. We are saddened because this afternoon we had to leave all of our friends at the conference and come up to the school. We only see these dear people once a year and it is always very difficult to leave them. We are already anticipating seeing them again next year.
On a very sad note, a young lady drowned in the river last evening. While she was not one of those attending our meeting, it is always a shock to hear something like this. She and a group of Seventh Day Adventist were camping just down from us. Life and death are very different here. There are no ambulances or EMT’s that come when something like this happens. There’s no coroner to call. They simply took the young girl out of the water, wrapped her body in a sheet, and carried her up out of the river valley to an awaiting truck that took her body to her mother and father. Somehow it seems much more personal here. While life feels pretty cheap here, it also feels like the people are more in touch with their lives. Births take place at home as does death. Funerals are in the yard next to the house and often there is no coffin or preparation. Just the deceased, a favorite blanket, and family and friends.
Once again, Panama and the Ngobo people keep teaching us. This place is like a window to your soul.