Sunday is THE day at the mission. It starts early and ends late. As Jeff and Mark had spent the last couple days working on getting the buses ready, now all the drivers set out on their routes to pick up people from all over town and bring them to the church for service. We rode with Alan back up the Alto Quiel school route and picked a full school bus load of people.
Once we all made it back to church, the service started around 10AM. I guess the pastor, Bernardo, is from somewhere “close” to where we were on Saturday. How they find these people… no idea. They say he is good, but I only caught a couple words here and there. It wasn’t really like services in Africa with everyone dancing and singing for hours, but they did about 6 songs or so at the beginning. Jeff weaved in and out of the adult and children’s lessons.
After church, the people filter themselves around based on what they need: medical clinic, dental clinic, clothing, school supplies, or food. Not as much food is given out actually. Mo and I headed over to the medical clinic while Jeff wandered around all of the areas. I worked with Dr. Joe, a Panamanian doc who comes to help on Sundays. He has a private clinic in the city of David but comes to help out. He spoke a little English so I sort of understood what patients were saying…
After clinic was over, we took the van and went into Boquete (the closest town) to get lunch at a Panamanian restaurant. We had rice and beef of massive proportions for quite cheap. We walked around a little and then found an awesome dessert place and got chocolate covered strawberries. We were really roughing it there.
When we got back to the mission, it was time for English church. Alan preaches this one. If you’re keeping a tally, that’s about #50 of the things that he does around the mission. Not to mention that he is a pilot, “speaks” sign language, is a nephrologist, was Public Safety director of Marion County in Indianapolis for a couple years, etc. At this service, there are a lot of “gringoes” that have retired in the area because it is really beautiful and pretty reasonably priced. Much smaller crowd, but I understood all the words! Jeff even offered a little devotional for communion!
Enough for this day!