Journal and photo credit: Bruce Edwards

It’s a little hard to focus on my writing now at the end of the day. The team is laughing too hard. They deserve it.

It’s been a great day. Eliezel Soto forewarned us this church was remote, and small, and probably hot inside. The day began a little overcast but there was a beautiful view of the Panama Canal as we made our way over the bridge spanning this important waterway. We’ve made that crossing on our way to work sites everyday and we don’t get tired of it.

The church is small, but not too small. The pastor, his wife and church members have gathered all of the tables and chairs they could scrounge to facilitate our makeshift medical clinic. In the end, we have all we need including a table made of wood scraps. God is good. The people come. They come along the red dirt foot paths and and red dirt road that winds its way off the pavement a quarter mile away. They come with patient hearts and easy smiles. One hundred and fifty-eight come throughout the day. They come and wait. They have a lot of need but they don’t complain. The kids color with crayons on pages we’ve brought. They get a bit of candy.  They wait inside when they can but the church gets too full and they escape to the breeze outside.

Mid-day, a tropical rain storm blows in. We can hear it coming and it finally hits the tin roof creating a deafening roar that makes us laugh.  It’s so loud that the doctors are having trouble hearing the intricacies of the heartbeat. It lasts long enough that an amplifier and microphone is set up just so the patients can hear their number alerting them their wait is over and they can now see the doctor. But the rain brings a cool breeze that makes us smile for a while.

It was a good day in that we saw a lot of patients in a short while. There was peace in that hot little church and everyone that came was served.

The group has become a team. Everyone is focused. We care about each other and try to help when and where we can.  They’re laughing because of the week’s experience thus far and because we love each other. There’s joy in our days. No one dreads tomorrow, our last day of medical clinics. We look forward to being with each other and with the people of Panama and we love serving our Lord.