We have posted many photo’s in this letter however, the old adage that “A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words” is true! With the rainy season threatening, activities for Cleft Of The Rock Ministries have been many and have occurred rapidly in succession. In May, Jane traveled with Pam VanEss into the mountains to work with the “Finca (Coffee Farm) Ngabe kids- presenting a 2 week teaching program about the “Creation”( which Pam created!) while the parents finished out the Coffee Picking Season. Upon completion of the summer schooling of Casa Esperanza at this finca, led by Armando Dixson , there was a celebration of the learning that had taken place. We were honored to be part of the teaching and learning and assist in the celebration! Armando had requested a need for a soccer ball so the children could have play activities. We were also able to fulfill that need.
Pam Creation Teaching
Ngabe Kids at the Coffee Finca Housing
||Jane serving up some ice cream with “toppings”!
Following up on our April activities we are very happy to report that the drilling for the well at the Suzanna District in Oma @ San Felix was a “great success”! The challenges to get this project to its completion were many! Getting the drilling company to commit to a date, having an attorney draw up a contract, also proper interpretation and wording of the contract which finally fell into place and the drilling started. Prayers were being answered; the church community was praying for over a year not just for any water, but for good water. This was also verified with a very favorable Laboratory written/typed report of the water from the well.
|Preliminary meeting regarding drilling the well
||Road way leading up to the drilling site and the church
In May just a week before the rainy season began in earnest- manual labor began for us. Sam organized a day with the pastor and some men from the community to help set up for the area at the well so that pipe could be put down and a pump installed. This took place with our friend Craig Hebert from Louisiana helping in setting up the necessary equipment and shelter so that we could keep working even as rains began to threaten our efforts!
|Well Drilling at the Site
||Threatening Skies as the Rainy Season approaches
|Installing the Suction Pipe through the well casing
||Pipe joints of 10’with fitted ends glued into place
|Constructing a “lean-to” enabling us to continue
||Our “make shift lean-to” in place ….in case of rain
We poured the cement the day upon arriving at the site as we had pre-formed the structure to retain the cement. The people from the church community were so helpful in having the stones and materials there ready for us to get into place before pouring the cement pad. The next day we set the pump into place and prayed a prayer of “blessing” upon the well! It was only a matter of a day after the hand pump was set that we found out that the church had a generator that could handle the electrical requirements of a submersible pump; so we talked with the engineer of the drilling company and decided to go with a submersible pump of 220 volts. Upon the return to install piping to the storage tank we were surprised when a 4 WD pick-up truck came to the site and said there were sent by the electric company to survey and see about our needs for electric. What we hadn’t known was that in the Indigenous Comarca (Reservation) is; that if you can show the need for electric, the government will make an effort to accommodate that need. In this case there is electricity about only ¼ mile away……we were elated! Presently we are waiting to see when that may take place.
|A prayer of Blessing for the water with Hand Pump installed
||Installing the Submersible Pump
|Installing Electrical Controls
|The sight of plentiful water !
||A “Thankful people” from the church
|People who made it “Happen”!
||Our car loaded with PVC pipe for the Water Tank
We have a minimum of about a week of work to clean up and do some work at the Feeding shelter area so that the children and the community can enjoy the health benefits of clean water. The water is ready to drink right out of the well! We also purchased a 500-gallon storage tank with filtration and put it in place and installed a 1 & ¼” PVC line to the tank.
|A water line of about 250’ laid out to the Water Tank
||500 gallon Water Storage Tank
On November12th the Ngobe church will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary and a Public Dedication of the well at the same time. They provided a time slot in their Agenda for Cleft of The Rock Ministries to make a short presentation (they asked us!) and they have also invited local officials to be present. We feel quite honored to be part of their community there on the Comarca, even though we are about a (2) hour drive away! They normally have about 300 Ngobes attend these fiesta’s.
Other upcoming projects include a repair to a water distribution line in Soloy, (also on the Comarca ,but in a different location)where there has been a break in the lines and perhaps the need to replace a storage tank there. The area is quite remote and the best way to access it is by walking or getting a horse and ride back about 1/2 hours away from the main road. This project is coming up soon so we will be needing funding for this. Estimations would be about $600.00-1,000.00.
There are more needs at Llano Tugri (Ngabe Capital) where we were instrumental in providing materials for a continuing after school learning center this past January. While there, the elders of the community took us to a parcel of land that one of the families had donated for the afterschool program housing unit to be built.
||FICADEN “leaders” at the anticipated building site
Presently they must meet in a government building and it is difficult to coordinate the activities. There are no chairs or tables to work on-the children sit on the floor. This presents the opportunity for us to help put a building in place to serve the needs at that location. The amazing thing is that since they are so community oriented they all give of their labor for free; however, the overseer of the project gets paid. We cannot pay the person overseeing the project and its incumbent upon them to pay the person for the job to be completed in a safe and timely manner.
Size of building is roughly 25’x30’. We had an estimate of roughly $ 3,300.00 for the cement, blocks, cement floor and roof support system and the metal roofing. It will require about another $2,500 to complete it, that being cement blocks for the walls, a couple of windows and a secure door. We feel certain that there is also an ongoing need for more teaching materials; the cost for those would be about $200.00. Later on, they will need tables and chairs.
The (2) Feeding programs at Llano Tugri and San Felix are ongoing as the children continue to have basic nutritional needs met. There are many more needs; like basic health, dental and hygiene. If you or a mission minded group would like to make a trip down to do some finishing touches around the Feeding Shelter and Church, we would accommodate and make it a rewarding experience! God Bless you for your past support – we were in awe for donations for the water well. God provided all of it! We do need your financial and prayer support to continue this work!
In God we trust, for our financial needs for the Ngobe’s. Their health needs are being met with the well -we found out the pastor was very grateful for the water because he (they) had been drinking dirty water! No wonder they were praying so fervently for good water!
God Bless all who donated for the well. It is a much appreciated answer to prayer for the Ngobes in that area. Water supply and good water is hard to come by.
In Christ’s love for all,
Samuel & Jane Ruth
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.
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.
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
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
The dry season in Chiriqui Province, Panama is just about past and the “rainy” season is almost upon us! It is quite refreshing to see the grass on the hillsides and mountains turn green again as trees and flowering plants all begin to thrive!
The seasons allow our ministry to shift gears and focus on future projects. We want to bring you up to date on the Ministry Outreaches while making use of the dry weather.
January was a busy planning month for the outreach at Pastor Manuel’s church at San Felix. Numerous years ago Villa Bethel, a church in the Boquete community, began a ministry for feeding the children there, and as noted previously Cleft Of The Rock Ministries has taken on the responsibility for them temporarily, for the Children’s Feeding Shelter. Previously the food staples were taken to the pastor’s home about a half mile up the remote road and then transported down to the Feeding Shelter at the church. This had become quite a chore! for the Ngobe church people who were doing the cooking for the children.
Upon surveying skill sets of some men and ladies from the Christian Community of Boquete and Volcan, we were able to get a team together and build a Food Pantry under the church annex. With the use of an interpreter, we were able to order materials and have them delivered to the job site. A trailer, kindly loaned to us by our neighbor “Bubba”, was packed with necessary equipment; cement mixer, generator and numerous power and hand tools. Our team traveled to San Felix which was about a two hour drive south east of Boquete on February 22nd to begin our building project. Not only did we build the Food Pantry, but two of our ladies conducted a (2) day mini Bible School while the guys were busy with the project. We were able to eliminate daily travel by lodging at the Fundacion Nuestra Senora Del Camino in San Felix. February 25th we traveled back to Boquete.
The first week of April our friend Matthew Carbone and a group of his friends from Volcan returned to the site at the Food Pantry at San Felix to plaster the outside of the Food Pantry…shout out to you guys – a big Thank you!! It really means a lot to our ministry to have other “Mission Minded” individuals and groups join in, with the purpose of meeting the needs of people where they are; whether physical, material or spiritual.
Jane Ruth and Pam VanEss planned the mini-Bible School and managed to conduct the Bible School in the church building. They also provided “crafts” for the Ngabe children in the Annex where the Food Pantry project was on going -without incident! The theme of the Bible School was “Fishers Of Men.” Our total attendance was approximately 60-70 children-two days with different age groups each day. Of course, some Mom’s and babies came also! Amelkin Silas Giron, the young man that Jane & I are sponsoring to attend a private university, Opteima, in the city of David, served as on the site interpreter. His studies in English were definitely a big plus! Thank you, Amelkin! Amelkin is a Ngabe fron the San Felix church.
All of the activities at San Felix were a great eye opener that presented more needs! The building project magnified and brought us to focus on the need for water. Before embarking on the building project we sent (2) 50 gallon drums in advance in which to store water. The problem is that in the dry season, water is not readily available and we noted a man, one of Pastor Manuel’s congregants, carrying a “nap sack” with a plastic 5 gallon can in it. He had filled it with water and placed the water into the (2) drums – he walked from a distance of about 1 mile we think. He made a return trip several times! Also, children would carry water in gallon jugs to place into the storage drum. It was quite a challenge to be able to get water for use for the building project needs, not to mention that they do this as part of their every day living activities. Then there is the river which is several miles away and this presents the problem of polluted water manifesting with much sickness and health issues. In assessing this need, we were able to talk with Matthew Carbone regarding the drilling of a well. He recently took several guys to San Felix with him to complete the outside wall plastering. The terrain is rough as you can imagine, however, Matthew assures us he can get into the area close to the Feeding Shelter and drill a water well! We know that this will change the community as there will be access to sufficient water.
Our challenge to you our friends – to drill a water well there and compliment the Feeding Shelter and the Community. Water has to be carried for the ladies to be able to cook the rice and beans for the Children’s Shelter. They feed the children 5 days a week. They collect and use rain water sometimes to cook. It is known that when wells are drilled and put into operation, a transformation takes place within the community as one of the basics of life is met.
Presently we are actively trying to raise funds for this need! Several friends have made contributions toward this project already and we thank them so much. Now we present this challenge to you! We are projecting the costs to be about $ 8500.00. We would appreciate any donations towards this project – God bless you in advance for your help financially.
We have more people on board with COTRM! Keith & Pam Van Ess, and Matthew Carbone and group, have voiced joining with our effort for ministering with the Ngabe and Panamanian people. We welcome such talented, servant minded people. Pam is a teacher and has worked with the mission up the road from us – as a dental assistant – she & Keith are multi-talented.
Matthew is going to drill the well for us – and it looks like they have many talents also! We are so blessed – this aspect of COTRM – we didn’t think about, but are so pleased God sent us more hands to do His work! He must have lots more for us to do and is getting us ready in advance! Isn’t it marvelous how God works!!! We had 11 people on our mission trip to San Felix for the food Pantry project. Matthew may have more people interested in mission trips in the future. We welcome them.
Ordinary people living and working with the Ngabe’s / Panamanians of Chiriqui Province, Panama. God Bless! We are definitely growing!
A local Christian doctor had requested if someone could help sponsor and buy some school supplies for a 10 year old child in David. His father had had surgery and had an amputation-his Mom was out of work.
He would not be able to attend school if he did not have uniforms etc. We were so happy to help them. They lived in a one room area with tarps for a door. They were Panamanian. They were so thankful! The little boy had a sign for us when we got to the store to meet them. “God Bless You” was the sign, and he profusely said over and over – thank you, thank you, thank you! And he tried to speak English! We had a lot of fun with both of our limited English and Spanish languages, but the needs are common and known by us all and go beyond language difficulties- there is a oneness in the human spirit.
We take so much for granted! An education is not a given in some poor countries.
REMEMBER TO DONATE FOR THE WELL AT SAN FELIX!
God Bless everyone,
Sam & Jane Ruth – COTRM
Our concentration of activities these past few months have been to the San Felix area. The Children's Feeding Shelter in the Oma district of the Ngobe Commarca has been a main focus of our efforts. We are including numerous photos of the continuing program that was started by Villa Bethel about 20 years ago. Cleft Of The Rock Ministries is presently taking on the responsibility to sustain this feeding program and meeting needs of these Ngobe Children for at least a year.
We were blessed to have Keith and Pam Vaness, Caleb Eash, and Steve Plummer join us. Armando from Casa Esperenza did some coordination and interpretation for us. The photos below exemplify the ongoing program.
This outreach to San Felix was highlighted as a Special Event / Christmas Celebration, as this was the last week of school before Summer Vacation; meaning that many of these children may migrate with their families to pick coffee in the outreach areas where it is grown .They also pick vegetables in the Volcan area. What made the event special was the distribution of “apples”, a real treat for the children as well as toothbrushes and toothpaste for hygiene. Pam & Keith Vaness were instrumental in distribution of individual prepackaged small toys and gospel message for boys and girls. There were many happy children! Armondo’s wife and daughter and 2 grandchildren,and Steve’s son, also accompanied us to the San Felix Feeding Shelter.
I was sorry that Jane was unable to go with us as she had broken her right ankle the end of September and was still recuperating after the intense therapy. The road to the Feeding Shelter is very rugged with about 1/8 mile hike uphill with small rocks and washed out crevices, so it was about impossible for her to go that distance and put herself at risk.
The construction of the Food Pantry for the Feeding Shelter is about to be started near the end of January in the dry season. This has been in the plans for some time.It will take several days to build- plus obtain needed materials such as sand cement, stone, cement blocks,and a secure door.We are lining men up to help build it.San Felix is 2 hours from Boquete and we have some men from Boquete who are wanting to help.
We welcome your continued support for these projects and other opportunities of outreach to the Ngobe’s. Visit our Web Site @ http://www.cleftoftherockministries.com
We continue to help with school supplies for the Ngobe children in Soloy as needed also.
Thank you for your continued support and may you enjoy a Prosperous New Year!
God Bless All!
Samuel & Jane Ruth
|Greetings Loyal Readers and Support Partners!
These past few months continue to present us with continued activities and opportunities for further outreach. Our organization is growing with more needs than ever! When Cleft Of The Rock Ministries was first started God said identify the need and I will supply the means. We are taking Him at His Word!
During the month of May we welcomed James and Anita Stoltzfus , Sam’s cousin and husband from Georgia. We made a trip to the Mount of Olives Missionary Church in Volcan, 1hr, from Boquete.
We bought paint supplies and were able to put a base coat of paint on the newly built classroom, social hall, and part of the kitchen. We worked along side Lillian & Alexis Zapota, a dedicated couple who faithfully serve in numerous capacities there.
Following this outreach, James, Anita, Jane and Sam made a trip to San Felix about two hours east of Boquete, where we explored the opportunity of helping a young Ngobe man obtain further education. He expressed a desire to become an English Teacher. He had completed almost one year of school earlier in his life at a government university while living with his brother, but due to finances could not continue. He still had the desire for education 10 years later! Dreams still happen!
Jane surveyed the need for blankets for babies while Anita engaged the children in several games as they were waiting to be fed at the feeding shelter. James and Sam did some measurements to estimate materials that would be needed in the area designated to serve as a food pantry .The food could be stored at the new room for use in the feeding program instead of at the Pastor’s home about a 20 min walk from the church.
Jane and I travelled to Caisan in June, about an hour and a half west of Boquete to the Faithful Servant Mission .We assisted with food distribution of staples to local Ngobe families. While accompanying James & Kaye Rush from Costa Rico, we were blessed to be able to supply baby blankets from Birch Grove sewing circle to the babies. We were able to also supply 3 mattresses to a hard working Ngobe family. The mother and girls slept in one room on 2 mattresses while the husband and boys slept on the floor in the other room- creature comforts do matter! A young mother had cement supplies stolen from her and we were able to aid her in starting over to make a cement pad in front of her small home in hopes of building a new room in the future. This is people’s donations at work! Small things mean a lot.
We also were blessed to give some sweatshirts and sweaters to the pre-school Ngobe children at Cannes Verde near Boquete who need these to soften the cold effects of wind and rain that many endure. It sometimes takes an hour for them to walk one way to school in the higher mountains. Sam watched a little 4 yr.old boy who came to pre-school, don his backpack after lunch with Ana, the pastor’s wife who also teaches, and trod off up the mountain to home! We also were able to give backpacks for them.
On our next adventure, Ritchie returned with us to San Felix and translated as Sam gave a short Sermonette to the congregation per Pastor Emanual’s request. Jane also was able to give baby quilt blankets and soft, handmade toys to mother’s with babies; the mothers were also given hand lotion. As we were leaving, one Ngobe grandmother came running out of the church and asked for baby blankets for her 2 daughters at home with 2 newborn babies-how’s that for Grandma watching out for her own! Then the Pastor was in pursuit and said we had missed some Mom’s! They love the blankets- a huge shout-out to Birch Grove Mennonite Church Sewing Circle!
Ngobe Grandma Indicating the need for more Baby Blankets¦..glad we could!
Meet Amelkin who is one of the men at the San Felix church and Pastor Manuel’s right hand man. He leads the youth group and the group’s band and teaches Bible, etc. to the children after school. We are personally sponsoring him to return to Universidad ( but not through Cleft of the Rock Ministries)-to become an English teacher. We would not be able to give tax exempt status for donations, so we are sponsoring him ourselves due to some restrictions through our Articles of Incorporation. People can apparently donate, but there would be no tax exemption. We want him to go to school so we personally will help him.
Another gentleman we have recently met is Armando Dixon. He was adopted when young, a Ngobe, and went back to live with his people for awhile. He is currently Director of Casa Esperanza in Boquete, an organization that helps Ngobes-they feed 202 children daily during the week and have after school activities. He is a Christian also. We were fascinated with his life story and of attending college- he wants to get his Masters in English. He is quite an example for the Ngobe. He wanted to accompany us to San Felix when we took food up for the children’s feeding shelter. We were so pleased-he interpreted for us, and was able to speak at church to the Ngobe congregation. They have many children and young people attending church there, also young parents. We want him to meet Amalkin some day to encourage him and be a mentor.
Armando, Pastor Manuel & Jane @ Outside Kitchen
Sam gave a short sermonette from II Kings 4 regarding useful Vessels and then prayed a prayer Blessing of the Buckets for the families to store water in-especially when the dry season comes. Sam modified the buckets with spigots! There were two large outside tanks with rainwater from the roof stored in them when we were there today Sept.6th. Sam also brought another large water storage tank for them to put in the outside kitchen in which water can be stored for the large kettles that they cook rice and beans in. We want to give another shout out to the children of Crossroads Community Church of Johnstown, Penna. for their donation towards water projects. God bless these little givers abundantly!
BUCKETS OF BLESSING
One concern we are praying about is we discovered that the San Felix Feeding Shelter for the children had not had food for the children for over 2 months. Apparently, the organization that was helping them can not do so at this time due to lack of funds. We feel God wants us to step in and help if we can. We will help for a year, and then maybe the other group will be able to pick up again. We will reassess then. To some people this may be the only meal of the day. Rice and beans (arroz & frijoles) does not sound great, but to the Ngobe children, it is life. We were able today, Sept. 6th, to deliver food at the same time we delivered the buckets and tank. We felt relieved that the children would be getting meals again. Some of the young boys/teenagers-and women!came down to the main road to carry the food up to the church-1/8th of a mile uphill. One boy carried 50 lbs of rice and 40 lbs of beans on top of that! A woman heaved 50 lbs of rice on her shoulders and I am saying, No!No! They laughed at me-this is common for them. One of the boys then did take it and she carried something else less heavy.
We want to also say thanks to Birch Grove Mennonite church-we use their very much appreciated donations toward the children’s feeding program. God Bless You all for your giving!
We covet your prayers and we ask God’s wisdom as we fulfill needs around us. May we always have our hearts and eyes open to God’s Will and Spirit, and the opportunities He presents to us for the people of Panama,
Your servants in Panama,
Sam & Jane Ruth
Dear Cleft Of The Rock Ministries Friends,
The year 2014 has been filled with many opportunities to serve the Indigenous population of Chiriqui Province, Panama. The dry season enabled us to more readily access the areas that are nearly impossible to reach in the rainy season.
Reflecting on these activities included the outreach with our friends Brian & Trish who work through the Good Neighbors of Boquete converging in the upper area of Potrerillos. Food staples were delivered to those who needed just an “extra measure” to feed their families. It is always inspiring to be part of a group that meets the physical everyday needs of so many people since we take much of our abundance for granted!
Living With Nature
Through our outreach to San Felix via Villa Bethel we were able to place (8) sturdy Panamanian built picnic tables in the feeding shelter. This shelter feeds up to (100) children per day. There were many happy faces of children and mothers sharing in this exciting day which gave them ample sitting room and better sanitary conditions for their meals.They only had a couple of old richety tables for 100 children before. Most sat on the floor or wherever they could find a spot to eat.
Securing Tables For Delivery
Out With The “Old”
In With The “New”
We also made a trip to the Mount of Olives Missionary Church in Volcan as we worked along side of teacher Lillia Zapata questioning the contestants of the Bible Challenge Quiz on the book of James. We previously challenged the youth on Bible Study and once they were aware that we were planning another visit; Lillia contacted us asking if we would like to ask questions of which we gladly obliged.We were happy to supply some MP 3’s with the New Testament and Songs in Spanish. Other prizes such as book marks were presented to some of the younger contestants who put forth their best efforts.The contestants did a super job! We were impressed by how much they had studied and how much they knew! One girl related how she even studied when she went to the bathroom!The questions were not easy that Lillia had provided. Great job for Lillia and her teaching-they are blessed to have her!
Securing Tables For Delivery
Contestants With MP3’S & More
Organizing for the Quiz
Another outreach we made was to Canes Verde where Hurting World Ministries has established a Church & Education Center. We were blessed to help with school supplies and a battery for solar energy storage and some 12 volt bulbs plus an MP3 as well. We also witnessed a Baptism of (13) applicants in the neighboring river.
Church & Education Center
Our project this coming year is Bio Sand Water Filters and Purification. This involves using Food Grade plastic buckets with readily available media and then using UV rays of the sun… low-tech to purify the water. It is also necessary to test for chemicals, in order to be effective. We have about (50) of these units in total that we hope to build and place. We are grateful for our friend Larry Davis, from Johnstown, Pa.who paid a visit to us; as we built a prototype with local PVC components.We need to have the units made so that they are cost effective for the Ngobes.They have to be able to maintain the units with their limited incomes.
Project Supporters – Crossroads Community Church – Johnstown, PA
The projects that we previously have worked at; Smoke-less Stoves,Blankets for Newborns and Gospel Proclaimers & MP3”S and Bio Sand Water Filters will continue to be part of the over all plan to benefit those we serve through meeting physical, material and spiritual needs.
We do want to thank all of faithful supporters of this ministry and as the year draws to a close; perhaps you may wish to support us with a year-end gift.
You may do this via Pay Pal (or) our
Cleft of The Rock Ministries
35 Galilee Street
Falling Waters, WV 25419
May you experience the Blessings of this Season & The New Year!
Samuel & Jane Ruth
Greetings Loyal Supporters & Friends,
As another year is about to be concluded , we look back and reflect on the opportunities for the mission outreach projects that have come our way at Cleft of the Rock Ministries-Panama.
We are grateful for the recent opportunity to return to the Mount of Olives Missionary Church in Volcan to present some hand sewn blankets for some Ngobe mothers of newborns. They were delighted to be the recipients!
Making the presentation from the supply of blankets.
Our presentation concluded with a Bible Quiz. The quiz was administered to two teams of (3) persons each. The winning team was presented with an MP3 loaded with the New Testament in the Spanish Language. Since both teams were so competitive we also gave an MP3 to the losing team who only lost by one point.
SAN FELIX _A/G Temple of Adoration
We close the year with an appeal for the Children’s Feeding Program Shelter. We have committed to providing (8) picnic tables at $200.00 each. We also are trying to raise funds of $3,000.00 to finish a storage room for the food adjacent to the feeding area. Providing the funds become available, we will plan for the possible construction of the “Food Storage Room” in February or March. So if you are looking for a break from the winter weather and would like to be part of a construction team; please email or call us from the website information.
The first picture left to right is of Pastor Manuel and his son. The second picture is the area where (8) picnic tables will be placed. Directly behind on the upper portion of the feeding area is where the food storage room is to be constructed .
The third and fourth and bottom left pictures show recipients of the food. The bottom middle picture is taken at the lower side of the feeding area. The last picture is the “out door” kitchen under the thatched roof dwelling where the women cook
We continue to help with “Hurting World Ministries” at Cannes Verde. We supply some preschool materials for Anna
Ortega’s class of approximately 17-19 preschool children 4-6 yrs old.The children come at different times.She feeds the children a meal while they are there.The church that is being built has the sides up for the walls, the roof on, some windows cut out of the M2 material, and presently the septic tank is being completed. The photo’s below depict the outdoor school setting.
We are looking forward to a New Year with many more outreach opportunities! Some of these opportunities consist of a Bio-Sand water filtration for single family and perhaps multi-family use.
We have a large box of yarn coming down here which presents knitting opportunities. The “blanket’s” as well as the MP3′s and the Proclaimer’s will continue to be part of our outreach projects.
We personally are thankful for your support this year and as the Spirit of Christmas permeates us all, please let it fill your inner being and be refreshed as we enter the New Year of 2014!
Extending to you, a Blessed Christmas and Prosperous New Year!
Sam & Jane