Simon is on the move!

***This post is late. I was working in Panama in the end of November/beginning of December. When I got back to the States, I had training, presentations and prep for other projects, so that delayed me finishing this post. I want to share how our program is going…even though I am sharing it two months later***

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I started working in Panama in March of 2014.

Over the years, I have tried different methods to make a drilling program there sustainable.

During the first year, the focus was on the men in the one village we were working in at the time.

In May of 2015, I trained Candido, Nazario & Simon, specifically to be a drilling team. We drilled a few wells together, but Nazario lived too far away to make it realistic for him to stick with and Candido moved on to a different area.

Candido & Nazario in 2015

By 2016, I was focusing just on Simon – to train him on drilling, pump building, hygiene education and documenting of projects. He was the right pick!

Simon back in 2016

Since then, I have spent many months in Panama working alongside of Simon, teaching, encouraging and helping him with his “planning” skills : )

Typically, I would work with Simon for about 2-3 months, in Panama, and then I would leave for 5-6 months to work in different countries.  While I was gone, Simon continued the drilling program, but rarely got as many done as we’d plan. We tried different methods, schedules and plans over the years and it wasn’t as successful – until now! During my last 6-month absence, Simon drilled 20 wells! 20 wells! Simon has never drilled that many on his own in one stretch of time! Simon is also getting more confident and was extremely proud to show me all that was accomplished. I am so excited to report that our program in Panama is going strong now! I am praising God for providing wells to these Ngobe communities and praying that the message of Christ’s love continues to spread to the people that Simon serves.

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The black dots show the locations of 54 wells drilled over the past 5 years

To see an interactive version of this map, click here.

NOT slipping off the logs and into the thigh-high mud is a lot harder then it looks

It will never be “easy” to work in Panama. Simon works hard to drill wells in many different villages – even the locations where he doesn’t get much support. It is challenging to work in some of the Ngobe villages and although Simon is a Ngobe himself, he is not always treated with kindness. Simon wants to help people – he wants to help them to access water and he wants to share that Jesus loves them. One of our rules is that recipients of the well have to help with the drilling process. Simon is sometimes met with grumbling because people want to have the well without helping to drill it themselves. Simon is so patient, but also firm. He will not give in and drill the well by himself, but he will give the community second and third chances. I am so thankful for Simon and his heart to help others no matter the conditions. Without Simon, we would not have a successful program in Panama!

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Simon, showing off one of the wells he drilled in my absence
Another one of Simon’s wells
Looks like we had a bit of mix ‘n match with the components of this pump : )
dead, yet still creeped me out when I passed it to check out a water spring deeper in the jungle





6 thoughts on “Simon is on the move!

  1. Fantastic! Praising God for all the love of Christ that you and Simon have shown to the people of Panama even as you have brought them the amazing gift of fresh water. Lifting you, Simon, and the people you have ministered to before the Lord, praying for a great work of spiritual revival in the region. Blessings! Kathy

  2. Caitlin, your posts and pictures are awesome!! The successes and the stories of struggle blend together so well. I’m praying for your endurance, peace, hope, and God’s blessing in your life and those you are serving. May God bless you greatly in your work for His Kingdom!!

    1. Diane, I never removed you. I haven’t posted a blog in a couple of months due to my workload. That’s why you haven’t received one in a while 🙂

  3. Cait, What a great shout out for Simon. I was taken by him immediately and was able to witness his love and care for the island people there. Thanking God for Simon. AND thanking God for the work being done in Panama all for God’s glory. Well done, Cait!! Be strong and very courageous, for the Lord your God is with you!

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