Yesterday we took our weekly trip to Cana Blanca to teach a little English to the kids and mostly just let them know they are not forgotten way out there. Cana Blanca is about 10 kilometer from our house but it takes an hour to get there because the road is so bad. Only our faithful truck Fred could make the trip so often! ( More about Fred in a few)
So, we thought what a great treat it would be for Lynn to make Lisa's no-bake cookies and take them to the kids, right? We bought small cartons of milk, put them into the cooler and off we went. The road was especially bad because of the torrential rains, but we made it and the class was great. We had 7 students and they did quite well with their colors. The school itself has lost all but one student, but the local Catholic leader, Senora Elvia, had brought him in with her class of pre-schoolers who meet three days a week to prepare for school. She does this because the children need it, and does not receive a penny for her labor. God will reward, she and I are both sure!
At any rate, the classes go well, and we finish up with the celebratory cookies and milk. Fredi, the one true school student (7 years old) is the first to go up to get his milk and cookies. He looks the ziploc bag with two cookies over, turning the bag from one side to the other, takes the milk, and declines the cookies. The younger children, not near so picky, come and take both and go back to their seats. I have to tell you, Fredi has never refused any food we have offered. These children often do not have breakfast before walking miles to get to the school, and I know that his family is quite poor. I also knew he had been sick the week before, so attributed his reticence to that.
Well, Lynn is beside himself. He calls me over to watch Fredi just in time to see Fredi wrinkle his face and say "Ew! The milk is cold!" I smiled and said "yes, isn't it good?" He smiles, trying not to be rude, but it is obvious that he does not like the milk cold. It dawns on me that he probably has never had cold milk in his life. Of course it would not seem good to him. Lynn, still perplexed over the rejection of his cookies say that Fredi must try a bite at least. I took a bag and asked if he wanted it. he said, "No, thank you." I broke off a small piece and asked him to try it. He did, and as soon as it hit his mouth he began grinning from ear to ear. I asked if he liked it and he nodded his head vigorously. I gave him the rest of the bag and he devoured them. I heard him telling his brother that he thought it was a meat of some kind. Too funny!
We take for granted that everyone in the world values what we value, when in fact they may not even know that it exists!
Please say a prayer for these precious souls living out in a beautiful place ,but with no electricity, no local stores, and very little food. And pray that God will show us how to best help them.
Now, back to Fred(the truck) he is sporting a new look these days. I have been teaching Magdiel to drive, and he has done quite well the three or four times we have gone out together. Well,two weeks ago Wednesday it was raining cats and dogs after our singing, and I asked Magdiel if he would like to drive Iris, one of our members, home. She lives about a half a mile down our road, away from town and so we thought it would be fine.
Long story short, it wasn't. He did not make it out of the driveway without crashing into our gate. Both passenger side doors were crushed. We still haven't figured out how he managed it. At any rate, he went on, and 30 minutes later finally returned. He could not get the truck turned around at Iris' house, so ended up waiting until another vehicle came by and Iris asked the driver to turn the truck around. The other guy did, but not without smashing into a tree and doubling in the back bumper.
When Magdiel got out of the truck he was shaking and called me to the truck and said "I wrecked the car". I already knew because Lynn saw him here in the driveway, but I looked, cried inside, and just smiled and said "Maybe we need a few more lessons!" He hugged me and said he was terrified. I asked "of what" and he said "Of telling you that I wrecked it". Lynn, while not understanding all that was said, sensed Magdiel's concern and came up and smiled and said, "No problem!"
And it isn't a big problem, but when we found out that our neighbor does body work, and knew he was in need of money, we asked him to fix it for us. Now Fred has two doors missing for over a week. There is semi-clear plastic covering both doors and folks who don't even know us are shouting "Those gringos don't have any money!" as we drive by. Really! Ah well, it is too true! We might as well look like it! We may or may not get the doors back. Time will tell! We don't know this neighbor that well!
It is all good and all in God's hands!
Gratefully Serving in Panama!