Another day of camp in the books! Our schedule was basically the same as yesterday, but flexibility is always a necessity in Panama! I (Jonathan) got the stomach flu yesterday so I was out the whole day, but thanks to an air conditioned room, 18 hours of sleep, lots of water, and most importantly numerous prayers, I was back on my feet today! It felt great to be back in the action and interacting with these awesome kids and wonderful Panamanian staff. I’m constantly amazed at how God works past language barriers, as well as how understanding and patient the staff and the campers are with most of us stammering through some sort of Spanglish.
Today was an incredible day of sun, fun, and more sun. I am actually pretty sure that 90% of our team is sunburnt but hey, this is Panama. Through the almost unbearable heat I (Daniel) have absolutely loved today and everything that it has brought. We woke up as per usual at Pine Cove around 6:30 in order to get the children ready for breakfast by 8:00. The time from 6:30-7:15 is one where the American counselors are the only ones with the campers (the Panamanian counselors do a daily meeting from 6:30-7:15). So as you can probably imagine this time is filled with a lot of pointing and grunting in order to get the children ready for their devotional at 7:15. Thanks be to God that we make it out of that time every morning with some remnant of sanity.
After breakfast the campers have bible study, a snack, their first activity, and then lunch! A funny story from bible study-one group was meeting by the river, and as the Panamanian counselor was teaching, a dog came swimming down the river. As the campers listened attentively, the dog preceded to trot out of the water, waltz over to the entire group, and start to lick each child’s neck! That gave us quite a few laughs. Activities went well, and lunch even started on time! Daniel and I taught four of Daniel’s campers how to say “Bless up” during lunch, which they equated to “Gloria a Dios.” It’s always fun to try and teach them English phrases and see if they understand them.
The afternoon was hot and humid as usual but when you are under a giant tree and a breeze rolls in nothing else compares. Myself and 3 other counselors played flag football against 9 campers. We ended up putting up 49 points and the campers scored 21. It was a lot of fun for everyone, and the children absolutely loved it! It is really incredible how a smile is a universal thing that everyone can understand.
Tonight after dinner the campers got the opportunity to do an activity where they were “tempted.” It was then described to them how even though they can be tempted, it is so important to hold fast to Jesus. It’s not our works or deeds that get us into heaven, but our faith in Christ. God is doing amazing things here in Panama. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement!
-Jonathan and Daniel