Letter from Team Leader Rachel Estes on Recent Trip to Panama

Who knew you’d always want running water over electricity?  Anyone who has served at Cienaguita in Panama!  The mornings there start with a bucket line of missioners hauling water up from the spring to fill the tubs in the bathrooms, kitchens and any area that depends on water.  The line meanders through a banana grove, it’s on a dirt path where children in crisp white shirts and pleated blue skirts are walking to go to class, it’s an amazing way to start your day in Panama…a line filled with life, providing life and experiencing life.

Our team of 19 folks travelled here over spring break.  It was an interesting team of 14 youth (ages 8-19) and 5 “adults” all committed to working with children and providing finishing touches to the dental clinic on the mission site.  We quickly connected with the children who spent their afternoons with us making tie dyed butterflies, God’s Eyes, and stenciling tshirts…which we saw proudly worn every day the rest of the week.  The work was constant but rewarding.  The best part of the week, however, was the relationships between the kids…ours and theirs.  Several of our youth were second timers and the kids all fell together in gleeful rememberence.

Rhett Thompson does a great job of sharing Panamanian culture along with the days of work.  In this way, mission teams connect even more fully to the country, itself…and that grows the commitment to the work.  We visited the David Fair for the second year, went to the museums, the beaches and the ruins.  Every day is an adventure in Panama.  One that we’re committed to returning to year after year.  To serve God, to serve Panama, to serve with the people of Cienaguita and to receive blessings beyond what we can give.

Here is a video of  Canterbury UMC:


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