Saturday, July 04, 2009

Update from Central America

all pictures by Anne
As many know, my sister Anne is on a two-year stint with YWAM (Youth With A Mission).
She is (basically) with a photography team traveling around the world capturing issues of injustice, and then will be showcasing the images in campaign form in the States.

She's been training in Kona for three months and her team just left this past week for Panama... and what a week it's been!

Here are a few of my favorite updates she's sent:

- After we landed, we took a 40-minute bus ride down the canal to the little town where we're staying in a town called Gamboa at the Gamboa Union Church. I am actually staying in a preschool building out back. I saw the biggest roach I've ever seen in my life crawling across the floor as we rolled out our sleeping bags. We are all sleeping on tile floors and there are 40 of us with one shower, although I believe that four more outdoor showers are being set up tomorrow.

- I took my first shower last night. outside with a spout connected to the hose. cold water. no curtain, just the dark jungle surrounding us. luckily, there are 4 spouts connected, so i showered with 3 friends! don't worry, only girls and swimsuits were worn.

- last night a bat entered our room. it (sadly) hit the fan and shot down onto one of the girls. she flung it off of her onto another girls bag, where it died. obviously she didn't get up to move it (haha) but just went back to sleep. this morning we had to sweep up the poor dead thing. also, the bats live in our back room.

- Purchased a pool flotation raft as my air mattress. I spent the first three nights on a tile floor! Except fast-forward to 3:30 am when one side had deflated and I had rolled off. Darn. It might be a long two month.

- Today we spent about three hours in the Embera village, which is an Indian village about a 45-minute hike and 10-minute boat ride away from the church where we're staying. On our second day here, Panama had the worst storm it's seen in five years. Three large trees crushed some of the huts in the village, and they were left with a HUGE mess. We were so excited to get to go help in a very practical way. We cleaned and cleared tons of branches and roofing (and we only encountered three scorpions, 100 huge cockroaches and one tarantula!) As I shared, one of my prayers for our team has been that we'd get to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and I felt like we got to do that in a tangible way today. We're praying for many more opportunities.

- Please keep praying for opportunities to serve. We've already met with some people and talked about some exciting opportunities. A couple came in a few days ago and shared with us about their journey with adoption and told us about the great need within the orphanages of Panama. There are 50,000 orphans and yet the government does not permit adoption. Also, a man from the YWAM base is coming in tomorrow to talk with us about the human trafficking industry in Panama. Pray for open doors and practical opportunities to make a difference!

Last night:
-this woke us up last night!!! (an Earthquake)
i was lying in bed awake and felt the whole ground start shaking! we all jumped up and started running around...although i'm not sure where we thought we were running to.
hahaha.... so, bats, scorpions, roaches, earthquakes. we've only been here ONE WEEK

We are so proud of Annie and all she's doing so that others can hear the name of Christ and hopefully experience relief from injustice as well.