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 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!