Our group had finally split up. Half of us drove north to Honduras, and I went with my team south to Panama. This was our last stop in a hot climate until we returned to Costa Rica. We took an 18 hour bus ride to the capital, where we stayed with the YWAM base. This week was a laborious one where we worked to help support a school that YWAM started. It was a bilingual elementary school that sought to love the kids of a poor neighborhood. We spent two or three days cleaning up the school yard while the kids were in class. We moved out a massive pile of scrap metal and broken wood from the yard and took it to the dump (a pile of garbage on the side of the road). Some of us pulled weeds, and some worked on making an overhang to protect a walkway against the heavy rainfall of panama. We also moved this mound of dirt to the other side of the yard to fill some spots that had flooded.
When we were finished with that, we did some yard work for the base for a day, due to their shortness of staff.
One day we went to a neighborhood basketball-slash-soccer court and fixed it up. We repaired the fence around it, repainted the backboards and cleared out the weeds. No one from the neighborhood was there, though, so we didn’t get a chance to use the court.
The last night before we left, we went downtown to try and evangelize. There was no plan, we were just supposed to ask God what to do. I tried buying food for a homeless man, but when I returned with the food he had disappeared. Some friends and I even went looking for him, but couldn’t. We ended our time worshipping together at this sea-front park before leaving for Lima the next day.
My favorite part of the whole week was during lunchtime at the school one day when we were working. We put down our shovels and played tag with the kids for a half an hour. It was so awesome to take a break from physical labor just to relate and socialize with the people we were serving. Most of our time this week was just spent working, so it was really refreshing to finally interact with someone. And who better to hang out with that these energetic, smiling children?