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Latin America Resource
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Mountain Top Experience
By Sherry Boyd

That is truly what we had just a couple weeks ago as we hiked up the mountain to spend some time with the Guaymi Indians. You may recall in a past newsletter Rod told you about the team that came to Panama to build a building to start a new Latin America ChildCare school in the mountains of northwest Panama. We were making the six hour trip, with three Panamanian brothers, members of the national Christian school committee, to meet Aixa de Sorreno, in charge of coordinating the new school. Aixa is director of our school at Doleguita. She was bringing a group of 40 from her church to help with the feeding program at the site.

As we approached our point of rendezvous, it was raining hard. What a sight to see the large group carrying food and clothing up the mountain. It became obvious that our progress would be slowed by the weather. The rain had turned the deep ruts into very slick red mud. We slipped and fell many times, but finally arrived two hours later to what is called Cerro Duima, the village where the new school building is located. We were greeted by the many Guaymi who awaited our arrival. Immediately, three campfires were started in order to prepare the meal for the Guaymi who were arriving from every direction. By the time the food was ready, 60 children and 65 adults had gathered. It confirmed, once again, the need for this new “mountain” work. The names and ages of the children were recorded in order to make plans for the classes. It was so exciting to join hands with our national brothers and pray for this new work.

Since we had the six hour return trip ahead of us, we left ahead of the rest of the group. It continued to rain hard. But we were already so wet and muddy, it didn't really matter. Rod and Augustin went ahead (to kill bear they said); Stephanie, Jennifer and I were following and behind us were Maxi and Pedro. We lost sight of Rod and Augustin and arrived at a “Y” in the trail.

After talking it over, we decided to go left. After about a half hour we realized that things didn't look real familiar. We saw a hut ahead and decided to stop and ask if we were on the path to San Felix, a village close to where we began our hike. We were assured that the path would lead there. After another 45 minutes, we encountered a Guaymi couple, who once again assured us we were on the path to San Felix—just 20 minutes ahead. That was great news; we were all beginning to get tired. Another 30 minutes passed and we crested the top of a mountain. It was at that moment I realized we were lost. As we stopped to talk over our dilemma, we could see the trail continued into the deep valley below and up the steep grade of the next mountain.

As we listened we heard the roar of a river. We were now sure we had made a wrong turn—we hadn't encountered a river on the way up the mountain. Soon, we saw two men coming up the trail. Once again, the men assured us that the trail led to San Felix and that the river was crossable. We all agreed we really didn't have a choice—we had better try it. We continued down the mountain, crossed the river and prayed as we continued up the other mountain that the road wouldn't be too far away. And it wasn't! Everyone was so happy when we finally saw the main road.

We asked a lady if it lead to the area we had parked the van. She said it did, but that it was an hours walk away. The two men refused to go a step further. So we decided to wait for a vehicle to come by. As we waiting we tried to figure out where we made the wrong turn. Within 15 minutes, we flagged down a pickup who happened to be one of the men from the church group that went with us up the mountain. He agreed to take us to the van since he had just talked with Rod and Augustin, who were very worried about us. We ended up being two miles from where we were suppose to be. When we arrived to the van, we discovered that several had been out looking for us.

As I look back on our experience, it was so easy for us to get lost on that mountain when we lost sight of our leader. It reminds me of all the people in this world who are walking the life's path, but going the wrong direction. They are lost. They need a guide, a teacher, to help them find the path to heaven. That is why this new Guaymi Christian school is so important. It will help find the many lost Guaymi find eternal life. Please continue to pray for the development of this school—director/ administrator, teachers, additional buildings, application process, etc.
Guaymi Indian school

The cooks prepare “crema de arroz”
for the Guaymi—something like
rice pudding

 Guaymi Indian school

One of our teachers from the El Buen Pastor School in David collects names and ages of Guaymi children

Christian school commission

Members of the National Christian
School Committee with Stephanie, Jennifer and I in the new
school building

The river

"Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?  Got any mountains
you can't tunnel through?"