Typical day in Panamá + things in the works

I wake up and get my delicious café con leche. Most mornings I go to the back patio and sit in the hanging wicker chair while I read my devotion or write in my journal. From the back patio, as I come out the door, I can see the tops of the downtown skyscrapers off in the distance if I stand on my tip-toes and look beyond the houses and if it is a particularly cloudless day. If it is a laundry day I will throw my clothes in the outside wash and wait while I read/write outside, then hang the clothes on the line to dry. Sometimes I have cereal for breakfast but many times Tirza (the mom) has any combination of the following ready: toast with guava jelly, eggs, platanos, beans, ham, salchichas, ect. One morning we had a Mexican breakfast of huevos rancheros and another morning we had a breakfast from Spain of toast with mashed tomatoes. It was a lot better than I expected. I love tomatoes anyway, no matter how they are served. (one thing I miss is my grandmother’s tomato gravy…. with just-picked-this-morning-from-the-garden-fresh tomatoes, right Poppy?) 😉 After breakfast, I wash my dishes and start whatever assignment I have for the day. So far, it has mainly been working with graphic design, formatting reports and working with print media/material for their missions liaison agency. They (Dr. Edwin and Tirza) are promoting missions in the churches here and are trying to rally them together to work towards missions projects abroad and locally. >>> One local project that has been on their heart (and now on mine too) is a children’s home that lies a few minutes out of the city. We were able to visit the kids and staff on Tuesday. As we turned off the paved road onto a little bumpy dirt street, I was reminded of Honduras. That made me feel at home. I could see the modernity and wealth of city life begin to fade to poverty. We approached the property and I noticed an unkept basketball court that appeared as if it hadn’t been used in a while. The building was a good size but had paint chipping off the walls. I learned that although there were beds and space for 50 children, their support and funds only allowed them to house 8. The home staff consisted on one couple and a lady to help with cooking. I spent a little time getting to know the kids and we laughed and talked about English class at school, where I was from, sports and I taught them the alphabet in American Sign Language. I didn’t take any pictures because it was my first visit there and I just wanted to spend time getting to know them and letting them know me before I flash a camera in their face. We are hoping to get a promo video proposal approved to help raise support for them. I can’t wait to start filming. Nor to go back and spend time with them. (that is definitely more my thing than print media) >>> So, in the afternoons, Elias (the young son), gets home from school, walks in the door and says to Tirza, “hola mamá.” “Hola mi amor.” Then he goes into some theatric story about what happened in class – usually really good or really bad. (like making a 4 on a quiz rather than a perfect 5… he is very intelligent) After we wash our hands and we have the table set, we give thanks and eat lunch. (very late lunch) But this is the most important meal of the day – like multiple courses. We always eat lunch together. Breakfast and dinner not as much. Sometimes in the evening while Elias is studying on his own I will watch a re-run of 7th Heaven with Tirza. Then, if he has finished his other homework, Elias comes to me for help with his English work. After that, we have a small dinner and get ready for bed. >>> This past weekend I met some friends from a nearby church at a cell group I attended. It was held at the pastors’ house. Afterwards, they took me downtown for a little sightseeing and we walked along the coast (what they call the Cinta Costera.) It is without sand and is a man-made coast, basically rocks and a cement wall. But the city lights are glorious at night! The reflection off the ocean is fantastic. It was good to get out and see where I am actually living. Sunday afternoon I went with them to a park/outdoor recreational center downtown to do some physical activity. Five days of “office work” makes me realize how important it is to get out and move! It was a good weekend. >>> Tirza and I are currently planning some children’s missions books/curriculum. The goal is to teach kids at a young age about missions. I remember the first time I heard a missionary speak – it was the summer after my second grade at a Missionary Alliance church kids camp. I don’t remember where the couple had been but I saw slides of beautiful dark-skinned people with a lush green background and I wanted to go. I know that God can call us at any age or stage in life. We want to collect real stories of missionaries & their kids – especially missionaries who were called to the field at a young age. >>> Also… we are busy planning a medical trip coming up! (so excited) A group from VIMM will be joining us here and we will spend a week with indigenous people groups a few hours out of the city to bring them medical attention. 🙂 I am just so thrilled to be a part. >>> Those are all the updates I have for now. Stay tuned.

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