Spring / Summer 2020

Greetings from Panama. We arrived back here on the morning of December 31st,2019 Just in time for the New Year! We entered the New Year with full expectation of executing the plans that were made.

In February we were excited to have Chick & Polly Myers from West Virginia and Steven Sides from York, Pa. to assist us in our outreach in the Oma District of San Felix. The children’s feeding shelter annex at the Tabernacle of Adoration needed a windbreak constructed and the skills of our volunteers were put to the task!

A week prior to our trek of about 2 hours there, we had a lot of materials and equipment that needed to be put in place. Sam had a truckload of building materials, as well as a truckload of construction equipment, delivered to the site. Jane was feverishly preparing for a VBS for the children of the community from the moment we arrived back from the States. Only days before our departure for the outreach, Polly & Chick arrived, and Jane recruited Polly’s assistance in final preparation of the materials to be used for VBS. You may wonder about VBS on the Comarca. The children are on vacation from school starting mid-December to about the 2nd week of March. The coffee season starts during this time and many of the Ngabe families migrate to other parts of the country as manual laborers to pick coffee and vegetables. So VBS in February is the perfect time.

When we arrived at our lodging location, we ate breakfast and unloaded our belongings. We headed to the work site. Once at the work site, the ladies set up the materials for VBS and the guys immediately geared up for laying cement blocks and the windscreen project.

Sam, Chick and Steve were ready for the challenge. All the deliveries had been made to the work site 3 days prior. We made reservations for lodging and meals at FUNDATION NUESTRA SENORA DEL CAMINO (OUR LADY OF THE WAY FOUNDATION) , outreach of the Jesuits, where we usually stay when doing projects on the comarca. It saves considerable time and expenses of traveling to and from home in Boquete.

On Monday morning, February 10th, we left home in Boquete to travel to San Felix. We stopped in the City of David to pick up two young Ngabe ladies, one of whom was in her 3rd year of University studying English. A few days before having to leave for VBS, Armando Dixson (FICADEN) called us and asked if we could let Yesi help us. She attends their church and wanted the experience for her university program. We were elated! We were short a teacher! God provides a teacher and a translator at the last moment! We are amazed at how many times God has provided us with projects and with just what we need! The other young lady, Kimberly, soon to be a high school graduate, had previously helped us with VBS in Llano Tugri a few years ago. She is the daughter of one of the FICADEN members Armando Dixon. We were without a translator because Amelkin usually helps us and teaches also. He had to attend a University program at the last minute, but found a substitute in his place. He chose well. At the last minute, we had to substitute the main leader! We had not met Lucas before. He had to read the Bible stories, lead singing, teach, etc. Fortunately, Jane always write a curriculum in Spanish, and provides them with it prior to the VBS. They follow it well. Of course, Lucas did not receive his until two days prior to VBS! As always, God provides, and He gives us the best! The substitute was great! He handled it like a pro! He could not speak English, but we managed as we always do, and the Bible School was a success. Many heartfelt thanks to the Ngabe teachers who all did a fantastic job teaching all those children! And, to Polly who was also a great teacher and made many friends with the children.

The students came trickling in slowly and class started. The arrival time varied with the children because some walked quite a distance – 30 minutes one way! And most of them had perfect attendance for the three days. The guys made a great deal of headway the first day and set a pace for the rest of the work to be completed by the morning of the 13th, Thursday.

At the conclusion of the VBS, Jane presented certificates and prizes. The Bible verse was a long one. In Spanish, Romans 8:39. “ni la altura ni la profundidad, ni nada mas en toda la creación, podrán separamos del amor de Dios que está en Cristo Jesús, nuestro Señor.


She had hoped one of the older pre- teenagers would be able to memorize it. Lucas reminded them every day. The students did not say much about memorizing to the teachers.

After giving out perfect attendance certificates and prizes, Jane asked if anyone had memorized the Bible verse. 14 children came running to the front of the room! The teachers and Jane looked at each other in shock. Some of the children were small! We had each child recite the verse; they could not miss any part of it. One small child 5 years old, recited half of the verse perfectly! Jane had egg on her face because she had brought only four Bible storybooks for prizes for the verse- there were 10 children who had memorized the verse perfectly! Children of all ages; young seven years old, and pre-teenagers. She had to send more Bible storybooks for the other children- who made sure Lucas had their names written down. They also did not know what the prize was for memorizing the verse.

After lunchtime, we asked the children to stay and not go home yet. We had a special surprise since we did not have time for a snack in the am. Polly said she wondered where the children went after lunch, she thought they may have gone home. They were waiting in front of the church.

We bought ice cream for them, an incredibly special treat. Since there is no electricity in most places on the comarca, and hence no refrigeration, we had to make a car run to San Felix and get the ice cream at lunchtime. Thankfully, we were able to give them ice cream because San Felix was only 7 miles away. They were so happy for the ice cream, something they do not get on the Comarca. We included Mamas too.

Day # 1 &2 of the windscreen construction was rather demanding, including a “field fix” of the cement mixer. Day #3; goals were met and all that remained to be completed was for the guys to return Thursday morning to help install some rain guttering and pack up tools on the rental truck to return home. Our newly certified “wheelbarrow operator”, Steve, drove the truck to the home destination.


Jane, Polly, Chick & Sam, made an overnight stay at Las Lajas Beach on the Pacific and headed back home the next morning. The next week we traveled to some of the interior of northwestern Panama and then on Thursday before our volunteers left we spent the better part of the day at Global Food Providers in Porterillos, Panama , where we helped to harvest mustard greens, spinach, and kale, from the large greenhouses. After harvesting, the greens were loaded onto rolling carts with trays into a dehydrator. After the dehydration process, the greens were ground into a powder and bagged. These powdered greens are extraordinarily rich “super” food for distribution to the Ngabe people; it will be adding nutrition to their diet.

A Message Regarding the Pandemic


All of our activity was completed as planned and the last of our volunteers from the States, returned home Friday, February 21st..The Corona Virus threat made its way into Panama approximately a week later. Presently men are permitted to shop, go to pharmacy and bank on Tuesday’s, Thursday’s, and Saturday’s, from 11:00 am-1:00 pm. Ladies shop Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s, same time limits. Easter weekend and next three weekends were Total Lock Down with no departure from your home to anywhere. The virus has taken a toll on our ability to minister to the needs of the people for whom we serve. We have been keeping in contact with FICADEN (Ngabe Organization)) regarding food on the comarca. Armando said initially the government was delivering food in the mountains via helicopters. The other day he said the government gives $80/month to each family for food. He said the problem is some families (extended) live under one roof and that is not enough money for food for a month. We were able to give $400 to FICADEN through our COTRM Missions program to distribute food on the comarca- they know who needs it most. They were so grateful and thanked God. The comarca is still shut down and we cannot get in. The Ngabes can deliver to their people. The Ngabes shut the comarca down 1 week before Panama ordered lockdown and we see maybe 4 cases on the comarca map, and it looks like near a comarca line- not way up on the comarca per se. We also gave extra COTRM Mission money to Pastor Manuel for feeding the people who are not able to get more food in the Oma area. He has the children’s feeding shelter that we are sponsoring monthly. We are also helping to sponsor six afterschool feeding programs that were scheduled to start when the lockdown was enforced. COTRM completely supplies the school materials for these six programs. Some of the Ngabes lost their jobs and they cannot afford to have that happen. Their wages are extremely low to begin with. Pray for them to be able to recoup somehow. A huge thank you to all our donors! God knew we needed extra funds for times such as these! -To feed the poor and hungry. Deuteronomy 15:7

It has been a joy, even in this time of limited movement, to be able to fellowship with friends and lend our ears to our Pastor’s Sermons back in the States and here in Panama, via Internet and Social Media.

Our prayer is that this “Pandemic”, will quickly end and that all people actively involved with making a daily living being able to go back to work!

God Bless,

Sam & Jane

Fall / Winter 2019

Greetings Friends & Loyal Supporters,

The year 2019 is almost history! We would like to share with you a recap of this year’s activities.

We begin with the Tabernacle of Adoration at San Felix. The project consisted of removing a large stump and major grading around the church, replacing a generator for supplying water from the well to the water tank, and some maintenance to the valve mechanism at the tank. When the rains came, the water ran towards the church building and was causing erosion of the building’s foundation, thus the reason for the grading around the church.

Major work progressed at The House of the Eternal God, in El Salto (a church building near the base of an inactive Volcano-Baru) at Boquete. The main concern there was laying a cement floor to help curb diseases that thrive on a dirt floor. Upon careful inspection of the existing structure, it was noted that there was considerable damage to the wooden boards and leaking metal roof. That need was considered along with the cement floor and was it was decided to move ahead with a complete renovation of the building. To complete this project meant that we needed major funding. Thankfully, some of our prior donor’s rose to the occasion and from December of 2018 to August 2019, there was a complete “Transformation”. We were honored to be present at the dedication of the church on August 24th. The banner inside the church building announced- “The Year of Divine Provision”. Pastor Marco Delgado ministers to the Ngabe there and those who come during the busy season of “coffee bean picking”, where the size of attendees swells from 60-120!


Pastor Marco & Helper

New Structure Rising

New Church Structure

Year Of Divine Providence

Through our outreach via FICADEN( a Ngabe organization we work with), we saw the completion of the Latrine project at Chorcha , a community on the comarca. The bamboo structures were erected around the latrines which were hand dug by the way. Our grateful thanks to Hope Community Church who sponsored the latrines. The Ngabes are very thankful! Hope church is home to Phoebe, Sam’s sister, and her family.
 


Bamboo Structures over the latrines with temporary plastic doors to soon be replaced with Bamboo
 
Working alongside FICADEN, we are looking at the possibilities, in 2020, of impacting about (14) more areas in the Comarca for afterschool/programs including a feeding program for a meal 5 times a week. Some of the children only have one meal a day. We recently visited several areas of those outlying communities and met some of their leaders who will be heading the program. Jane presented numerous “Baby Blanket Blessings” to mothers of babies up to 15 months of age and expectant mothers. The Ngabe Mom’s really appreciate the quilts made by The Birch Grove Mennonite Church, Port Allegany, Penna. Through the Christmas holidays the hygiene packets provided by efforts of Keith & Pam VanEss will be distributed in these areas as well.
 

Footbridge @ Llano Nope
San Christobal
Cerro Papaya
Housing – Remote Area

Projects for the new year indicate through FICADEN that we will be enhancing the Feeding and afterschool Programs with nutritional items for healthy development in children. Recently Jane & I and another friend of the Boquete area toured the local facility of Global Food Providers operated by Dr. Daniel Daves. He has a gigantic greenhouse and a dehydration plant. There is a particular Spinach plant that he calls, Miracle Spinach. It grows rapidly, a vine like plant which is very rich in iron. That plant with other vegetables that are grown can be dehydrated and packed in (5) pound packets that can last up to (6) months. The contents can then be reconstituted in soups, etc. This would be a great addition to the diet of the Ngabe! We have discussed it with FICADEN and they will have to educate their people regarding the benefits of eating more vegetables. This will be new to them even though they eat yucca and carrots. It is introducing a new food item in their diet. FICADEN is on board with it and some from their group will be going to see the dehydration plant so they can see firsthand what it all entails.

A continued project for Year 2020 is to raise the height of the cement block walls in the Children’s Feeding Area at the San Felix Tabernacle of Adoration and install wind screen to control the elements of rain and wind that deteriorate the finish of the picnic tables used for the feeding. Another project at the church is to wire it for electricity. The drilling of the water well two years ago made it a priority to the government that there be electricity to the community area. The electric has now arrived!!! But, it needs to be connected to the church. The estimated costs for these (2) projects is $4,000.00. Presently we have $ 1,500.00 to be applied toward the electricity project. Completing these projects at the church should bring to conclusion the improvements to the church and community in the Oma District of San Felix.

Thank You all for your continued support and should you desire to contribute to these needs you can make your year-end contributions no later than December 31st. to Cleft of The Rock Ministries via check to Cleft of The Rock Ministries_ 35 Galilee Street, Falling Waters, WV. 25419 or PayPal though our Website: www. cleftoftherockminisries. com

May you and your family enjoy a Joyous Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

A huge thank you to everyone who has helped us at COTRM with your donations and special projects through your church to aid us in these basic needs of the Ngabe people. We obviously could not accomplish any of these projects without your assistance- God is so good to us and the Ngabe people.

God bless you all abundantly for your generosity!

Sam & Jane

Spring 2019

Greetings Family & Friends,

2019 has begun with quite a sense of urgency. Much of our work depends on what the weather dictates. From January through March,and in fact up to a week ago, we were scrambling to stay ahead of the rainy season. Yesterday, the rainy season began in force. Lot’s of rain! The electrical power went out from 1:00pm-9:30 PM. Fortunately, I have a diesel generator back-up at our home and was able to continue pretty much uninterrupted with only a couple of extension cords powering necessary circuits in the house.

COTRM’S three main projects seemed to all be activated at the same time— ultimately tied to the weather! The Latrine Project at CHORCHA demanded that we get materials there before the rains made it impossible! The adult Education Program at Chorcha had to be sidelined while the men of that community are providing manual labor for the building of a new high school .There will be dorm facilities that will serve those students who have to walk from some very rugged mountain areas into the village. It can take up to 3 hours to walk to school, providing that weather conditions are favorable for walking.

The Church rebuild- renovation at El Salto church in Boquete (Pastor Marcos) also required material be delivered and on site so that the roof structure could be built immediately due to the onset of the rainy season. If the rains came early, the work could continue under the roof!

The ongoing work at the Tabernacle of Adoration in the Oma District of San Felix (Pastor Manuel’s church) also needed to have the excavation be completed in a timely manner. We had to hire a backhoe and operator to adjust for drainage of water during the critical rainy season. While working at San Felix it was discovered that an electro-magnetic switch had failed in the pump house that serves the well which was installed there. This caused quite a challenge as we had to have the drilling company come back and assess the problem and correct it! Upon correctly identifying and fixing the problem, it was discovered that the generator they were using didn’t have sufficient wattage to power the pump. A new Dual Fuel (gasoline or propane) generator was put into service. The weather had been extremely dry in San Felix and the aquifers feeding the well had difficulty in the last 1 & ½ months supplying the well with adequate water. After all the obstacles were overcome we were able to pump water and fill the reserve tank with plenty of water again, PTL!

During the time that was spent at the San Felix location, a group called God’s Eyes conducted a 2 day clinic at the church using the facilities to fit people with reading glasses and sun glasses for UV protection; they serviced 160 persons from the community! From our outreach in Chorcha, (10) Ngabes traveled from that part of the Comarca via overland taxi to the San Felix location to be fitted with glasses. The Gospel was incorporated into the outreach for each person and a follow-up for the people who made a decision to accept Christ. Included here in this Newsletter are photo’s below that mark the activities of this “super busy” time and the projects where we invested a lot of our time!

CHORCHA COMMUNITY

Family Looking at Latrine Pit Cement Toilets (“Tasa” in Spanish)
Form Setting For Latrine Top Preparing the “Tasa” Before Cementing

SAN FELIX_ TABERNACLE OF ADORATION

Repairing of Picnic Tables Placing New Generator in Service
Setting up Dual Water Filters Crushed Stones Placed in Front of Church
God’s Eyes – 2 Day Clinic Group from CHORCHA Fitted with Glasses

EL SALTO_HOUSE OF THE ETERNAL GOD

Pastor Marco & Worker in Front of Old Structure New Structure Being Constructed

Thank you to all for your continued Prayers and Support!

Your Servants in Panama,
Sam & Jane

Winter 2018

Greetings Friends and Supporters of Cleft Of the Rock Ministries,

It seems almost impossible that another year has passed. We were sidelined for a few months this past year for medical attention in the States. However, we never really felt removed from the ministry as the Children’s Feeding Programs and other project considerations continued to move forward even in our physical absence. We are eternally grateful for your continued support through all of these events!

Reflecting on the ongoing activities- we can tell you that the community of Suzama in the Oma District of San Felix reports that since we put the water well in operation the people are not getting sick anymore! PTL!!

The 120’ Water Well at San Felix….. Safe Drinking Water !

In llano Tugri we are re-evaluating how we can be more effective in our Children’s Feeding & Education Program. Armando Dixson-FICADEN (Ngobe organization)states that there 35 more children that would like to be registered for the afterschool program, but they would like to have the new Education Center built first.

Traveling the Mountain Road to llano Tugri Afterschool Feeding & Education Program

 

In Chorcha Community we have the water tank in place and water in the tank and the local Ministry of Health is maintaining the quality of the water. We recently met with the President of FICADEN to implement a plan of action for the Adult Education Program whereby those adults who sign up will be able to learn to read and write. They want to be able to write their names instead of using their thumbprint. Many of the adults had not attended school because some parents didn’t see education as necessary or, because of just everyday survival and long distances to attend the nearest school. This presents a real challenge as it will involve having a Ngabe Teacher work with them in very basic education and making certain that progress is achieved in each one enrolled. Our other project in Chorcha will be that of “latrines”. There is a great need there for this as the people living there only have had the bushes and nearby designated places where they can relieve themselves; whereas we have the luxury of a bathroom/restroom ! We have a couple of churches that have committed to helping us get a minimum number of latrines to some of the homes. It will probably be in the physical form of a bamboo structure over a 4’x6’ area on a small cement slab with a “stem” (crude cement type toilet) set over a pit with a bit of bamboo privacy. Each family that receives a “stem” will be responsible for digging the pit and the cement floor. We anticipate that this will be a community effort in getting these latrines and structures in place. A very rough sketch follows…

Adult Education

Latrines with Bamboo Lattice

Our latest project is assisting a local Pastor Marco Delgado in rebuilding his church (Church Of The Eternal God) in El Salto. This area is close in relationship to where we live -only about a 30 minute drive, depending on road conditions. We have visited there on several occasions. This month, December, marks a lot of activities. December 8th is Mother’s Day here in Panama and Jane is readying some “Blanket Blessings” to take up there on the 9th. We also will be giving out underwear/socks to the children and t-shirts for the teenagers- they have close to 90 all together plus 60 adults. Later on December 23rd we will participate in a Christmas Celebration there also which includes community- and the numbers increase for that day!

Pastor Marco with Wife & Son Inside with Earthen Floor Baby Blanket Blessing

Should you decide to make a year end contribution please do so with a postmarked date no later than December 31st. It is our sincerest desire that you and your families will experience the Joy of this Christmas Season now and through the New Year 2019!

Sam & Jane Ruth

 

Spring 2018

 

WATER PROJECT CHORCHA

Greetings from Panama,

Season’s are something we have few of in Boquete.Usually it’s either “wet” or “dry” roughly (6) months of each. Between these season’s ,we have a transition period which can vary daily.

Our recent activities are reflective of the season’s. We have finally been able to make our fact-finding trip into the village of Chorcha  on the Ngobe comarca.The village is 6 miles into the comarca from the Pan American highway. The road is dirt and rough. Some places on the road require driving through shallow streams. Only 4 wheel vehicles can get into the village. The village of Chorcha came to our attention through the FICADEN Group consisting of Professional Ngabe’s “in the know”. We are grateful to them for sharing their needs in the numerous communities of the Comarca that they represent.It had been a long time before we could scout out the village. Originally, the people from the village asked if we could help them, about a year ago ,with repairing  broken water pipes . We were busy drilling the well at San Felix then.They had been without water for a long time, requiring them to walk 1 hour one way to another shallow, hand dug well which dries up in the dry season sometimes. They walk there for drinking water and to get water to bathe. The water is probably contaminated, because there have been reports of family members with diarrhea after visiting the village.

The water source for the pipes is 3-6 hours above the village. We were originally going to explore the area and the damage to the pipes.We were going to ride horseback ,but later the Ngobes said the horses could only travel so far because then the road is too dangerous for the horses. Walking is required the rest of the way to the water source.We were fortunate. Our interpreter Armando’s wife is from the village. Her father had been trying to keep the pipes repaired. They offered to hike the road up to the water source and let us know how much pipe we would need. Armando’s’ wife helped her father and walked the path up and back- a whole day’s job! 3-6 hours walk and then assessing how much pipe was needed.Once we knew that information, Sam also helped them figure out how to build a cement slab for the 650 gal. water tank and we explained about putting bleach in the water( very small amount) to keep the water good to drink. The water supply from the source above the village isn’t the best water either, so hopefully this sanitizing the water will help the people. They were so grateful, they patiently waited for us to get to their village.The village also does not have electricity or latrines. More info to follow with photos at the end of the newsletter

At the end of February, we were able to gather teaching supplies for the  after school at Llano Tugri where we also sponsor a children’s feeding program for the after school children. In March, we made our way to the Ngobe capital, high in the mountain,s to place these supplies into the hands of those who were teaching the children. Lowell & Laura Kurtz from Friedens, Pa. who were visiting us for their anniversary, and are longtime friends, accompanied us to the Ngabe Capital at Llano Tugri where we delivered school supplies and saw some familiar faces of children also enrolled in the after school Feeding Program

Ngabe Alphabet Laura & Young Ngabe Lowell & Laura & Armando

Some of the FICADEN group,the president(the lady in the white Nagua) in the group photo, and the other teacher in red jacket, brought some visual aids to the teacher(in back row) to help with teaching also. The first photo shows the Ngobe teacher who brought the Ngobe language alphabet for the teacher at Llano Tugri. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Lowell and Laura.The time passed too quickly with such dear friends!

We also continue with the children’s feeding program at Church of the Adoration in Oma, Susama district of the comarca.

Later on in March we accompanied Pastor Marco Delgado and his wife to a mountain church in El Salto  just about ½ hour drive from Boquete. The church that he pastors is – translated into English – “Church Of The Eternal Spirit” Assembly of God. We took numerous Sunday School Supplies there and some knitted caps supplied by Marlowe Assembly of God Church in Falling Waters, WV. Thank you Marlowe! The church is small, no windows, solar energy, and no Sunday School supplies. They were elated for the supplies.Sometimes his wife Arelysda has 70 children in Sunday School! She also is the cook for the noon meal.Pastor Marco’s son’s name is Jesus, he is a sweet child.

Pastor Marco, Wife & Son Children with Knitted Caps Repurposed “pallet” Table

Leaving the Panamerican Highway and entering the road to the CHORCHA Community

Now to finish the story of Chorcha! The purpose of this travel in April when we finally were able to get there,was to attend  the inauguration, as the Ngobes say, for the water tank and future miles of repaired water pipe. They have two teams ready to start- one for the water tank and the other team to start repairing the broken pipes.The community had prepared a short program and said a prayer and then had Sam give a response from Cleft Of The Rock Ministries. The trip up this road is about a 1 – 1 & ½ hour drive at speeds suitable for comfort in a 4 WD vehicle! We secured a large number of 2” and also ½” PVC pipe; also stone, sand, bags of cement and rebar prior to arriving at the village. The local ferreteria (hardware store) delivered the items after inquiring if the road was fixed yet- common question for the comarca.

The Ngobes walk as stated above to obtain water or they get water from streams or gather rain water from roofs and store it in buckets for use as needed. By the way, many, many, thanks  to the Crossroads Community Church and the children for giving money for the water project – this is your money at work! The Chorcha Ngobes are very grateful to you. It was a big project.They really needed a good water supply.

Traveling Down Bumpy Road Scenes Along The Way
Traveling Better Section Of Road Community Activity Building
Meager Living Facilities Community Cafe Outlying Buildings
Community Action in “Session” Sam…Taking Notes For Community Survey
Surveying Area Where Pipes Are Located Ministry Of Health Building
Water Tank & Installation Materials Grateful Community

After the inauguration a young Ngabe man (school teacher) asked me through our interpreter if he could address some current needs that the community faces. One of these was the need for (10) latrines in the immediate area. The homes have no latrines only the bushes, in the surrounding areas. They stated that the latrines would be good for about (10-15) years).They know how to construct the latrines, they just need the materials. They can use local bamboo for the buildings around the latrines.The Ngobes also asked us about adult education because  most of the adults of the village cannot read or write.They have to “sign” papers with an inked finger/thumbprint The children are getting some education -there are two schools in the village, K-6th grade and 7-9th grades. The schools had a small water tank, but not enough to share with the community people. There are approximately 500 children altogether including babies. Jane sees a delivery of Baby Blessings Quilt Sets in the future. Our wonderful ladies at Birch grove Mennonite Church in Port Allegany supply our warm and lovely quilts for the babies. We were thrilled that the Ngobe adults came to us to ask about some education for themselves. Jane has been checking with a Panamanian friend of ours who is a teacher at MEDUCA inquiring for ideas or a curriculem to use for these dear people who want to learn.Armando( our Ngobe interpreter) is also checking with school officials where he is attending classes towards his Master’s degree.FICADEN is seizing upon the opportunity to obtain materials to help educate the adults. The adults expressed a strong desire for learning and Cleft Of The Rock Ministries has taken these requests into consideration. Keep “tuned-in” on this location  of Chorcha for future labors here!

Primary School Building Secondary School Building

During the First week of May we will be helping Pastor Marco again as he accompanies us to David City to take delivery of a 3,500 watt generator for use at the church. In previous years they have made do with a single solar panel to power some “string lamps” and a sound system in a meager dirt floor area for the sanctuary and attached man made classroom and a make-do kitchen area used to prepare rice and beans for a noon meal after church. Presently, Pastor Marco says that they have submitted plans to the Municipality of Boquete for a new church building and these plans take considerable time to make their way through all the governmental departments. We asked who helps him to build the church? He said God will supply.Those plans may take a year or two to be approved and then acted upon.

 

Bench Seating On Dirt Floor Generator Being Delivered

God Bless all Fellow Laborer’s together in “The Harvest”! We can’t thank all the donors enough who have given unselfishly to this ministry over the years. We just keep discovering  more and more needs for the Ngobe. We wanted our ministry to fulfill the real needs of the Ngobe people and not just give out candy and toys. God laid it on my heart (Jane)when we started this ministry six years ago- to find the needs and He would supply  the financial. He has certainly been faithful in that promise and it seems we are able to get into the Ngobe interior country/comarca and see the real needs, plus they are now coming to us also with real needs and taking their share of responsibility.Armando told us a few years ago-make sure you make my people responsible.May God continue to bless all the donors  for their faithfulness in helping Cleft of the Rock Ministries provide for the needs of the Ngobe-Bugle.

May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.  Ruth 2:12 NLT

Keep us in prayer,

Sam & Jane Ruth

 

 

Winter 2017

Greetings from Panama!

Cleft of The Rock Ministries is in preparation for events and activities as we are about to enter the dry season here. The weather does dictate to a certain degree what we are able to accomplish. Through the rainy season some roads in the mountain area are impassable due to washouts and mudslides.

During the past few months we have been involved in the activities at the Suzama Community in Oma district of San Felix. This is the area where we had the water well drilled in May, this past spring. We were informed that they wanted us to participate in a dedication of the well, while at the same time the church would be celebrating their 25th Anniversary. Planning for the event required valuable time and resources. We inquired into how many people would be attending and were given a number of 500. The church is located in the mountains and therefore the people would have to get there by walking or riding horses or taking the bus. Either way the effort that these people put forward was quite admirable!

Check out these activities on our FaceBook Page

The planning for this event included contacting Bro. Ricardo George and his wife Elli from Panama City. Ricardo and Ellie are old friends and stayed with us for two days. Ricardo helped to translate for us during Sam’s presentation.Our friends, Keith & Pam Vaness ,were also on hand for this event.They had worked with us to obtain funding for the well. They along with the Georges from Panama City stayed after the dedication of the well to distribute some “goodie bags”. Jane organized the packaging of the bags with the help of Ellie and Pam for the children. Packages of “personal care items” for the youth were coordinated with Pam. All these activities took place in the “Live to Serve” Feeding Shelter; annex of the church, which Cleft of The Rock Ministries supports. This made for a very busy exhausting event packed day and we are grateful for all who helped! Pastor Manuel Andrades and the congregation of the Tabernacle Of Worship in the Suzama Community certainly had a busy schedule also in promoting the event of their 25th Anniversary. He had invited Ngabe pastors of other mountainous areas to participate. One pastor brought some of his church group with him who participated in the song “Because He Lives”. Another Ngabe pastor, the main speaker for the event, conducted an evangelistic message which culminated with many youth going forward to accept Jesus as Lord.

The final numbers of people in attendance was somewhere between 200-300! We were asked to speak about the well and the importance of water-especially in a developing third world country. Sam read a few facts about the importance of drinking water and also noted several Bible passages that addressed the subject of water and the life changing events that water played in Biblical times. Following our presentation we had a “Ribbon Cutting” at the Well Site. Many people of the community wanted to be in the photo’s that were being taken.There was also an Official from the Ngabe community,Frederic Giron, who had given us a notorized document with his signature affixed stating that the community would be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the well.

Coming up this January 2018 ,we are planning an exploratory trip into the mountainous area of Soloy. Soloy is also on the Comarca, about an hour drive south east from Boquete. A situation exists where the Ngabe’s in a small community have a real need for good water access. Researching the need indicates that there is a water tank and water line that have been placed into operation in years gone by, but proper maintenance has not been followed. Contaminated water is a choice that many choose to take because of extreme ruggedness of the area and the scarcity of good potable drinking water. Working through FICADEN, we want to do a survey and cost estimates to assist us in a solution so that we can help correct the problem . We need to also make certain that there is accountability for the maintenance and upkeep of the water source once it is repaired. It is a rugged terrain that will require riding horses for approximately 1.5 hours to get to the main water supply.

Rugged Mountain Area (Example) Exposed Broken Pipes

The children’s feeding shelter & education building at Llano Tugri will be located in the northern most point of the highway in the Ngabe Capital and is in the beginning stages of building. The Luis Tugri Feeding Programis currently held in a government building property with outside concrete floor without tables or chairs. No rooms for students, only one very small gov’t room for officials. They also have an afterschool program there.The new Luis Tugri Educational Center will serve the needs of the children in an afterschool program and feeding program within a real building. The Ngabes are interested in education and also retaining their culture.

Location: Llano Tugri @ Ngabe Capital Construction Begins in January

The FICADEN Group of Ngabe Professionals strives to meet the needs of the children by feeding and conducting afterschool Learning Programs while retaining cultural values.The building will facilitate the educational activities of the children. We are grateful to be at their side with this endeavor.We were able to provide the money for them to build the center-helping them to develop the next generation. We want to thank all the generous donors for helping to bring this dream of the Ngobe people to fruition.

They are so excited and thankful that their people are getting help-FICADEN told us it is not the money alone- they are so thankful for our interest and caring for them as a people- even more than the money.

I always remember when we were measuring for the building with the FICADEN group, and one of the members looked at me and said”You won’t forget us?”That touched my heart! How many people have promised to help them and then forgot about them as soon as they were off the mountain.

As we celebrate Christmas and the coming New Year; we say “Thank You” to all who support our ministry in giving and prayers! You are very valuable in God’s sight! Look at what you have done so far! A water well that impacts many Ngobe’s health and way of life and an educational center for the future of the Ngobe children and nation! Two big dreams fulfilled in 2017 for some Ngobes who have prayed and hoped for many years. The President of FICADEN(she is a teacher) has had this dream for her people for 20 years! God came through with the generous people who donate. God Bless you all abundantly and to overflowing for your contributions.

If you are making a year’s end contribution and need a tax receipt, please do so before December 31st.

Christmas Greetings & New Year’s Blessings! 

Cleft Of The Rock Ministries
Sam & Jane

Summer 2017

Greetings Friends,

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

Pam Creation Teaching
Jane_Activities

Jane Activities
 Ngabe Kids at the Coffee Finca Housing

Ngabe Kids at the Coffee Finca Housing
Jane_serving up some ice cream with “toppings”!
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
Preliminary meeting regarding drilling the well
 Road way leading up to the drilling site and the church
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
Well Drilling at the Site
Threatening Skies as the Rainy Season approaches
Threatening Skies as the Rainy Season approaches
Installing the Suction Pipe through the well casing
Installing the Suction Pipe through the well casing
Pipe joints of 10’with fitted ends glued into place
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
Constructing a “lean-to” enabling us to continue
Our “make shift lean-to” in place ….in case of rain
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
A prayer of Blessing for the water with Hand Pump installed
Installing the Submersible Pump
Installing the Submersible Pump
Installing Electrical Controls
Installing Electrical Controls
Finishing Touches
Finishing Touches
The sight of plentiful water !
The sight of plentiful water !
A “Thankful people” from the church
A “Thankful people” from the church
 People who made it “Happen”!
People who made it “Happen”!
Our car loaded with  PVC pipe for the
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
A water line of about 250’ laid out to the Water Tank
500 gallon Water Storage 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 Banner
FICADEN Banner
FICADEN “leaders” at the anticipated building site
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

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

Spring 2016

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
 

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