Leaving a project community is always bittersweet. It is hard to jump between countries because I am always leaving family behind every time I get on a plane. Sometimes it is my biological family and sometimes it is the communities I have come to love as I live and work with them.
I am especially attached to Panama because of the Wood family and the work we do together to serve the Ngobe community. We have a similar mindset when it comes to how to work with locals. Bobby & Shirlene operate in the same way I was taught drilling by Steve & Jen (founders of Hydromissions). We want to train and equip the local Ngobe people, so that they (the Ngobe) can help each other. This method allows the community to take ownership and responsibility for the wells to provide good water for their families instead of relying primarily on outside aid. It is far easier said then done.
This was my third time working on Isla Bastimentos, near Bocas Del Toro. It was also my most productive in terms of training.
Three Ngobe men were interested in well drilling! I worked primarily with Candido, but also taught lessons to Nazario & Simon. These are the first three from communities nearby who have shown an interest (and even a little excitement) to learn this new skill. I drilled three wells with Candido. Simon and Nazario were present for one of those wells. A week later, while I was working on a pump project on Isla Bastimentos, Simon & Candido led a team from YWAM to drill three wells on Isla Tigre. Three more wells!!! I am beyond excited to see how this new drill team will serve surrounding communities in the future. Drilling wells not only provides drinking water, but also helps Candido, Simon & Nazario connect with new villages that might not be as receptive to them otherwise. My desire is that the gospel is spread through the relationships these men develop while working together with new communities to bring good, safe, drinking water to islands around Bocas Del Toro.
Update on Nepal: I am still on-call, but not assigned. I am available to serve in Disaster Response until June 30th (when I have to be back in the States to prepare for my next project). I will update you all if I am assigned to a team.