Friday we had a moment to see the sights and sounds of Panama City. We traveled to the Panama Canal and were able to see some ships pass through. It is an astounding force of engineering. We enjoyed a delicious lunch on the water and shopped at a local market.
We were able to stop by Espave Church and see the progress Luis had made during the day (he was no longer at the site but very excited for us to see his work). We arrived to a waiting chorus of kids screaming and jumping up and down with joy. They shouted as we approached the church and community. As Noah got off the bus the kids started yelling his name and all ran towards him as one. It was a sight to see.
We dropped off a few other things to Pastor Chevy, said some more "see you soons," and headed back to our hotel for dinner (where we got to erupt in cheers and high fives with fellow patrons and workers alike during the Argentina v. Columbia Copa America match), packing and preparing for our early morning drive to the airport. We were also able to sponsor some of the children we were with all week through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.
What today did do us give time to do is reflect.
Reflect on what this week showed us, how it challenged and stretched us, how it made us stronger and better - how it united us. This week continued to connected two seemingly random world areas.
Flint, Michigan and Panama.
Ten hours of flight time away from one another. 80 hours of driving. 4,198 miles apart. In one of them 75 degrees is considered cold. One area loves hockey - the other has barely heard of it (and lives and breathes soccer).
Yet Flint and Panama's differences are far outweighed by their forming familiarity. Despite the differences, the distance, and languages barriers these two places are brought together in a new kind of creation.
Somewhere in those 4,198 miles we find where heaven meets earth.
We find love, grace, restoration, and harmony.
And this is just the beginning.
May we continue to celebrate the work God is doing in our midst. And may we always pursue the completion of that work.
Until Kingdom come.
- Pastor Josh