Spring 2017

Geetings Friends both Far & Near!
 
After the festivities and celebrations through the month of January here in Panama ,we have found ourselves very busy with activities since it also marks the beginning of the rainy season. It  is at this time here in the upper portion of the province where we live, that projects take on expediency- before the rains come in late April or early June. On February 1st , we traveled to see building activity for a Panamanian church in Gualaca District about one hour away. One of our contributors gave the church substantial money to build it. They held church every weekend for l4 years in the small shack in front of the large building being constructed now. This is really a blessing for them- but the pastor said “Yes, but I want my people to have the Spirit of God, not just a building-that is more important..” COTRM also gave them Sunday School supplies in December-they had none.


February 4th
We were able to partner with the Panamanian Ebenezer Church in Volcan who has a sister Ngabe Ebenezer church in Chame;- about an hour drive following the road out of San Felix. The event was an annual evangelistic crusade and celebration before the start of school. COTRM was able to help them with donating 15 bags of basic groceries for 15 families and 50 small bags of goodies for the children with an apple, juice, and a cookie.

   


February 13th-15th
Cleft Of The Rock ministries conducted a (2) day Bible School for the children at Llano Tugri; the Ngabe Nation Capital. LLano Tugri is north of San Felix about a good hour & 30 minutes drive.  If you were a bird you could get to the Caribbean in about 10 miles. The drive to Llano Tugri is majestic as you travel the mountains with steep drops off the side of the road. Most areas of the drive to not have the provisions of "guard rails" – full attention must be given as you engage all the twists and turns! And steep hills!


The Bible School was a huge first for us in that area. Our efforts were rewarded through a young man by the name of Amelkin. Jane & I are personally sponsoring him at Oteima University in David City here in Chiriqui Province. He is studying English to become an English Professor one day! Amelkin was really the exact person needed for the job as he interpreted for us. The real surprise was that north of the village community area of Chame – the language is largely Gyuami by the older population. We had prepared a lot of material with Spanish translation. Fortunately, Amelkin was raised in a Gyuami language speaking family. He has mastered Spanish and now is deeply engaged in studying and learning English. He really saved the day for us, as another friend of our ministry, Arrmando, also a Ngabe, could not go at the last minute. Amelkin is proud of himself  ”I know three languages now!” We also had two teenage Ngabe girls helping us, one only spoke Spanish, and the other one just a little English. They were great with the children! We really enjoyed being with them all.

 
The theme was: Let the Little Children Come to me. ( Mark 10;13-16) and also John 3:16 to show how much Jesus loves all; whether big or small. The memory verse was Mark 10:14_ "Let the little children come to me". The children really enjoyed the activity time and were amazingly good with manually cutting and pasting their papers with hearts drawn on them allowing them to color and print their names on them. It cemented in their minds God's great love for us. All this without tables or chairs! We arrived at the government building where they have the after school program after overcoming many obstacles-we had to improvise at the last minute! We were ready to start , but there weren’t many children and we had sent out fliers announcing it- the Ngabes  already there, and Amelkin said “ We wait- they will come” We waited, and waited- finally we said we have to start with the children that are here. They finally started to arrive- straggling in- and we ended up with 62 the first day! They have to walk  to VBS-a mile or so.



Following that activity, we had a large plastic bowl set on the ground outside with "paper" fish placed in there with large metal paper clips attached to their mouth. A small emergency fishing rod was equipped with a powerful magnet attached to attract the fish with the metal paper clips. As each child fished and brought up a fish; Amelkin read the Bible Saying that was printed on the fish and each child received a small plastic bag with a small reward and snack inside.

We had (62) children on day one and (46) 9-12 y/o on day two. Mothers and some dads were there and observed as the children participated. There were 128 all together. We are contemplating an adult class for next year. We traveled back & forth to Llano Tugri both days and lodged each evening at the Jesuit Mission, (Fundacion Nuestra Senora Del Camino) in San Felix. We really were blessed by their hospitality: bed, showers and meals each day.

The ending of VBS presented an opportunity for COTRM to present a gift to the mothers with children 15 months of age and less through COTRM’s Baby Blessings program. The packages included a baby quilt (made by our Ladies Sewing Circle at Birch Grove Mennonite church in Penna.),small stuffed toy, a large tube of hand lotion for the “Mamas”,  and a Gospel Tract for the women in Spanish “You are Special”. We were blessed to be able to put (12) of these packages into the hands of very appreciative mothers.


March 2017  The Water Well Project is waiting for some final touches of the Contract and we hope to sign it at the Well  Drilling Company April 10th! We were anticipating being able to drill near the end of March but have to wait our turn as the drilling company has a list to follow. There will no doubt be some miscellaneous expenses at the Service Point once finished. So we may need some extra funding for it.
 

       

       IMMEDIATE URGENT NEED
        WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE A NGABE CHILD’S DAY?

We have two feeding programs for the Ngabe children. One is in Llano Tugri- way up in the mountains near San Felix- (actually 1.5 hours from San Felix) which we started in December, 2016. It is an afterschool program also for the children to aid in helping them with their education. The children only go to school for half a day and this program reinforces their learning. Being so far up in the mountains, there is not as much help for the Ngobes in that area of the comarca as more accessible areas.

The other program is in the San Felix, Oma area. -The Tabernacle of Adoration church’s children’s feeding program. We took over the San Felix children’s feeding program last year due to the previous sponsor not being able to provide for them temporarily, after years of feeding them. We have discovered that the previous group is unable to resume the feeding program at all. We would like to continue it for the children. They also have an afterschool program to help the children in the community. Oma is one of the poorest areas on the Comarca according to a Ngobe friend of ours. For some of the children, it was their only good meal of the day.

We have a need for ongoing monthly donors who could help finance these programs. Five (5) individuals or groups that would be able to donate $ 50.00 each month to the two Children’s Feeding Programs that are part of our Ministry. The money that is donated to this cause will be placed in Restricted Funds used specifically for these two programs. If you or your group would be able to support Cleft of The Rock Ministries in these two Feeding Programs- we would be so appreciative and blessed to continue the programs.

Contact us if you decide to help these children; visit our Web Site: www.cleftoftherockministries.com and donate via Pay Pal or send your contribution to:

Cleft Of the Rock Ministries
35 Galilee Street Falling Waters, WV 25419.

The contribution will be deposited to our Cleft Of The Rock Ministries account. You can also pick the phone and dial 304-551-8930  and reach us with your decision in Panama or the USA. 

 

Another need that we have is for a group of about (4) persons to add a “wind break” to a side of the Feeding Shelter and also refinish (steel wool and varnish) Eight Picnic Tables at the Feeding Shelter. If this is a mission type trip your group would like to undertake; we can work out details!

We have had a rather long read here but we hope that it will give you an idea of the
Extent of our Ministry Outreach in which we find ourselves involved!
Your Financial and Prayer support are greatly appreciated!
 
May you be blessed as you enter into the season called “Spring” with evidence of new life spouting up all around. Rejoicing too in a Risen Lord & Saviour.
 
Your Servants in Panama,
Samuel & Jane Ruth
 

Winter 2016

Greetings Family & Friends,

The last newsletter that we wrote in April we presented the vision of drilling a Water Well on the Comarca (reservation). We are happy to report that during our time in the States we generated interest in this project along with our friends Pamela & Keith VanEss , who were in Wisconsin doing the same. We raised almost $12k toward this project. We set this aside in our book keeping as ‘Restricted Funds” to use as intended. We returned and hit the deck “a-running”! We have many projects ahead of us and we have been back only a month!

We are now waiting for dry weather to pursue this project. Hurricane “Otto” extended our rainy season especially through November. Sources here locally say that we had 20 + Inches. The folks say that they haven’t seen a “wet” November like this for many years!

We are looking at different approaches to the well since the terrain is rocky and it is up in the mountains. We are checking with several well drillers for prices and difficulty in drilling. One difficulty is the depth of the well-one of the drillers gave us a couple scenarios of how to get water to the Ngobes from what has happened with others up there. They can also hand dig a well about 15-30 feet deep like the old wells plus running an underground water line from one of the existing cisterns 1/2 -3/4th mile away thereby supplying the children’s feeding shelter with 2 sources of water. Not having electricity available would require an old- fashioned hand pump.

Presently we are gearing up for further “Outreach” that is beneficial to the Ngabe Nation (Indian Tribe whom we serve) . Last January we were honored to attend the Inauguration of FICADEN; a legal entity of the Ngabe Nation at their Capital at llano Tugri. The location is far North of San Felix (1&1/2) hour drive) close to the Caribbean. The drive is very scenic and at the same time twisty and mountainous. A good road, but no guard rails! There is not much opportunity there for the Ngabe to carve out a living, so it is basically, survival from one day to the next!

FICADEN stands for:

FOUNDATION FOR RESEARCH, TRAINING, AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE GNÖBE BUGLE REGION

FICADEN serves as an umbrella organization in directing outside groups with resources so that the Ngabe’s receive help where there is the greatest need.

Trip to School

We had planned to travel there on November 20th but with the rains that “Otto” dropped on us- we decided wisely, not to make that trip because of mudslides and other dangerous probabilities. Our mission was to deliver teaching supplies to a young 21 year old lady who is trying to give the (25) children there (ages 4-12) an education. It is an extremely difficult situation because she is not certified by the government, she is volunteering and does not get paid. Never- the- less learning goes on because of the dedication of this young Ngabe lady!

We really were looking forward to this trip and along with the school supplies were taking some bottled water and cases of apples (apples are a very special treat) for the children trying to instill into them the value of good health. Other supplies included small personal mini-sized toys for the children as we approach the Christmas Season. We may be making this trip on December 18th providing we can obtain the services of a driver with a van. Armando said there were 150 children waiting for us and we had to cancel because of the roads! We were so disappointed- and they were too! We were also taking 4 members of FICADEN with us for the trip. There are possibilities of initiating a building there also for a school etc.- starting small, maybe a roof and frame and cement floor, and then adding sides on later. School is held in a small office! Crowded with 25 children! Another financial need for Llano Tugri. The young lady would also like to get a teaching certificate. It would take her 5 years to complete- she is 21 and in her last year at school. Armando said they start to school very late up there, can’t always start when 5 years old. How privileged we are and blessed to have normal school years and not have to worry about being educated or not! Jane has completed a nutritional needs assessment of the children of llano Tugri , with Armando Dixon, local Ngabe with direct connections via FICADEN to the Ngabe Nation in Llano Tugri. As of December 1st we will begin a basic Feeding Program at that location. All the logistics and accountability of this undertaking are being carefully addressed. The feeding will be for (25) children, one meal per day Monday-Friday.

Tabernacle of Adoration Maintenance Work

Other needs that need addressed in the coming dry season are for some follow-up in “OMA” district where maintenance work needs to be completed at the Tabernacle of Adoration under Pastor Manuel’s leadership. There is a Feeding Program there where we placed picnic tables back in 2014. Under a large roofed area, there is a side of the building that needs to have a wind screen or other possible weather restricting measures put in place to keep the picnic tables from suffering the elements. This same location is where we are planning to drill the Water Well.

The “open area” of the roofed addition needs a “wind/rain breaker.”

The challenge: If you have a team of 4-5 craftsman skilled persons to install the materials and refinish the picnic tables, we could plan for a 3-4 day project and complete this. We will need to have input ASAP in to arrange lodging & meals for the team.

Ongoing Building of a Church

There is another work in progress which is the on-going building of a church in the Gualaca area of Chiriqui Province. There was a substantial amount of money given toward this project by a Family Foundation inspired to see this completed. It is their project actually, but we are interested in seeing it manifest for them. The first phase of this project is moving forward with the second phase soon to follow. We don’t have a picture of this now, but with dry season coming we want to get pictures next time. The name of the church is Emanuel Minesterio Del Espirito. Please remember them in your prayers as they have waited a long time to build their church. The community in Gualaca is largely Panamanians. Presently they have only a lean-to type area to hold services. We (COTRM) will be obtaining some Sunday School supplies for them-they have 18 children ranging from 4 years -12 years old with very limited resources to teach.

Reflections and Thanks

As we reflect upon the Blessings of this past year we continue to give thanks as we enter the final month of December with the Advent of Christmas.

Thank you for your prayers and continued financial support! We are ever so grateful for the monthly donors, yearly donors, and special children donors! Many thanks to the other gracious people who have given so generously to help with obtaining a water supply for the Ngobes.

Should you desire to make a year-end contribution, you may do so by making your contribution to: Cleft Of The Rock Ministries, 35 Galilee Street, Falling Waters, WV.25419. or Pay Pal.

Continue to pray for good water for them. We would not be able to help any of these people without your financial help and prayers. They are so thankful for you all.

God Bless you!

Samuel & Jane Ruth

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