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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Update on Protest

Hi all. I wanted to give you a little update. Everything in David is still fine and good. David is a very large city. The protesters have concentrated their protest to smaller town areas. They have cut down trees and put them in the roads along with rocks and tires and anything else convenient. Anyway, Volcan, about the size of Owenton, has been an area with large protesting going on. The Ngobe are usually not violent people and other than creating roadblocks and refusing to move are causing no other problems. However, some of the Panamanians have now jumped on board and are protesting in support of the Ngobe. They have apparently broke into the Police Station there in Volcan. There does not seem to be any rioting or property damage, except for the Police Station, as of yet. One of our sisters was staying at a Bed and Breakfast that was located right in the middle of 2 roadblocks. Everyone has been very nice to her and some Ngobe even helped her move her car to the back of the B&B. Everyone feels the biggest fear is that when the government steps in to break up the protest that then there will be violence with the locals and the Ngobe standing their ground and there is sure to be some deaths. Our sister did move out of the B&B so when that happens she won't be in the crossfire. So the problems are in isolated areas that can be easily avoided. We hope that everything will be over soon and that few lives will be taken.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Hi everyone. I thought you all would like to know what has been going on lately in Panama. I don't know how much you already know but we have a large scale anti-mining protest going on. Right near where we live in the Chiriqui Providence the land is extremely rich in copper and gold. This same land had been given as a reserve to the indigenous Indian tribe called Ngabe-Bugle. The Ngabe have been protesting for years for protection of their land. The President apparently made many "promises", as they all do, that he has refused to keep for the economic good of the country, or should I say his back pocket. So the Ngabe decided to up their protest as of Monday January 30th by shutting down the PanAmericana Highway about 1 hour east of David. This is the only route from Chiriqui to Panama City. The road was closed for almost a week. We didn't see to much going on in David just that by Sunday I think all of Chiriqui was out of gas. Then the government decided to use some force and break through. The protesters only have machetes and rocks as weponds but they are very determined and in large numbers. Anyway it appears there was 1 death when the government opened the road block. But the opening was very short lived. The protesters have now moved to other areas and have come a little closer to home. They have shut of the PanAmericana Highway at David. They have also closed roads that goes up the mountain more to the area they are protesting about. That area is Conception and Volcan. So again everything is pretty quiet and same as always in David, but apparently very close there is quite a protest going on. The government is trying to use as little force as possible with the protesters but it also appears as though both sides are not willing to compromise. We are not sure how long all of this will last. 

On a lighter note, I had a good study today. Ana, the mother, and Luis, her son, are doing really good. I am enjoying the study so very much. Ana has a strong love for Jehovah. I really need to hand her over to the Spanish Congregation and I plan on doing that soon. I tried today to get a sister from that hall to go with me today, but it didn't work out. In the meantime I get to practice my Spanish. Today they even had me read the scriptures from the Bible in Spanish. It is a neat interchange. I feel like I am helping them understand the Bible and they are helping me learn Spanish. Blake went with me on the study today and Luis told him he would help him learn Spanish. They have set up for Luis to come to our house on Wednesday for Blake's first Spanish class. Ana's oldest daughter is deaf. Her name is Genesis. She reads lips and taught herself sign language. Blake was able to communicate with her some. She is a very sweet and beautiful girl. Even though I have not gotten to communicate with her much I really like her. 

I will keep in touch and try to keep you updated about the protest. I hope all is fine back home. I am planning on being in KY in March to help my mom pack, so hopefully I will see you all then.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Congregation!!

Hello all. Sorry it has been so long since the last update. Where to begin? Well I guess with the great news! We have heard from the Mexico Branch that as of March 1 we will official be the David English Congregation!! I could not help but think about something I read in the April Study Watchtower in the study article titled "Jehovah Knows How to Deliver HIS People". In that article it mentioned that Jehovah has a time table and that time table is not dependent on us. It talked about he set the date for the flood to come long before he told Noah to build the ark. So the flood coming was not dependent on Noah and his work. Likewise, Jehovah has a time table set and it is not dependent on us. One of the missionary brothers here has been working hard for about 2 years to get an English group going here in David. No matter how hard he tried it was not happening. About 8 months ago he was ready to throw in the towel. Now, 8 months later, we are going to be a congregation. It is now time according to Jehovah's time table. So much has happened since I last wrote. The Assembly was wonderful. It was an open air Assembly Hall and was truly amazingly beautiful. The District Overseer, Brother Tovar, has a very dynamic personality and talks from the heart. He shared a personal experience about when he moved to Costa Rica he was trying to find work to support himself and his wife and could find nothing and that he got very depressed because of it. He said that he was so used to working and had unintentionally viewed his own personal value with his ability to work and provide. He said he had to reexamine himself and his life and his value. He said that he then threw himself into his ministry and came to realize this was his career and his occupation. I thought it was so nice for Mike and for others in this economy to realize their worth should not be measured by the standards in this world but by Jehovah's standards and what does Jehovah value us. What does he want us occupied in and our occupation to be? Preachers of the good news of the Kingdom.


After the assembly we got Mike's pump refilled. That doctor was very nice and he liked him allot. We then were able to get Mike's truck. That was a relief. No more car rental fees. Oh I have a good experience from the Assembly. It's not mine personally but it is a good one. There is an English congregation in Panama City that rented a bus to drive everyone to the Assembly Site and back to Panama afterwards. Well, there was a sister walking in the city with a few others and a taxi driver stopped and asked if she had a bible he could have. He then explained to her that his house had burned down and he lost his Bible. He said he needed one because he had a magazine and had no way of looking up the sited scriptures. He said he was currently living in his mother’s home and she would not let him use her bible because she is afraid he will become a Witness.

We have entered into the dry season in David and things are hot, but surprisingly the evenings are actually cooler. One of the local brothers told me that due to the lack of rain and, therefore, lack of cloud cover the heat escapes quickly at night and that is way the nights are actually cooler. Anyway we are enjoying it. We have had some good experience in the ministry. Again it is so amazing how easy it is to talk to people here. We have found the Panamanian people in Chiriqui Providence to be a very loving, hardworking people. The have such a respect for the Bible, other people, and animals. It is so nice to see very few animals not taken care of. Horses, dogs, cats, and cattle. They are all cared for.

Blake's study is doing very good. He used to be a publisher years ago with his mother and father, but for some reason him and his father stopped going to meetings and became inactive. Since Blake started studying with him, about 6 weeks ago, he is going to all Spanish meetings and most English meetings. He has even told the brothers in the Spanish Congregation that he wanted to start going in service again.

I have 3 studies right now, but I have 2 other good calls I have not been able to get because I don't know their schedule, but I think I can have a study with both of them. So hopefully soon I can say I have 5 good studies. One of my studies that I just started is going very nice. We had a nice study on Wednesday and her 15 year old son pulled up a chair and sat in and participated. I asked the boy if he would like to read the paragraph and he looked up at me half scared and said "me?" I told him if he didn't want to he didn't have to and then his mother told me to read. He read so good it was amazing. After he read a couple of paragraphs I asked his mom if she wanted to read and she looked up at me scared. Then her son said "Read mom, you must practice, practice, practice." It was so nice to see a mother and son getting along so beautifully together. The study went very good. They were going to the river later that day and asked me if I wanted to come, but I had to turn them down. I study with them again on Saturday. After I left that study I went on a call that I was hoping to start a study with. She was busy but I got her son that speaks wonderful English. He has just finished school and is trying to get into the University. He wants to study English/Tourism. I asked him if he had an interest in God and he said definitely. He said he didn't have a church, but that he had a real love for God. I then told him I had an amazing opportunity for him. I then gave him the Bible Teach Book and told him that I was offering for him a study of the Bible by using the Bible Teach Book with my son. I told him that the study would help him have a closer relationship with God and that the study would also be in English and that would help him to learn more English and practice his English with an American. Well, he took about 3 steps back, put his hand on his head and said "Oh, my, that is an amazing opportunity!!" The thing I appreciate the most about this very young man is that he told me he didn't want to mess up this opportunity by saying he would study and then not, so he wanted a couple days to really think about it. He told me he would tell me on Saturday. So tomorrow we will see what happens.

The house we are going to be moving into is progressing very well. It is not ready and much work is still yet to be done, but hopefully by the end of February or first of March we will be moving in. The man that owns the house and is doing the remodeling felt the kitchen was too small so he decided to knock out the exterior wall for the kitchen and move it out about 3 feet. He has already enclosed the car port to make the third bedroom and moved out the front wall of the house 3 feet. He has also finished raising the roof and bracing it with more support beams and has moved the septic tank so that he can put on a large covered terrace, back porch. We are hoping that he will have the drywall hung on the ceiling by the end of next week. When it gets closer to being done I will include some pics.

Mike is also doing great. He is now off two of his medicines. He went to an acupuncturist the other day. It was amazing. When we first met the acupuncturist he knows the exact type of injury Mike had and how he got the injury. Apparently this guy studied in China under a neurologist and he specialized his training in spinal cord and brain injury. So he gave him a treatment and Mike was about to tell a difference. He said it was small but he could really see improvement in being able to isolate his muscles in his movement.

The brothers have been very kind here trying to give us a chance to adjust and get settled in before throwing allot at us, but it looks like our time may be coming to an end. Mike gives the talk this Sunday and is scheduled for another talk in February in Volcan.

We also have a new addition to our home. Her name is Roxie. She is quite a ball of fire. She is very small and was fixed very young, 6 weeks, so I am not sure if her growth has been stunted. Anyway, we are all happy to have her, even Dakota. They are getting along beautifully. The other day Roxie was standing in Dakota's food bowl while he was eating. Other than having to eat around her he didn't seem to mind. We also have another visitor from Owenton staying with us. She will be with us for a month. So as you can see we are serious about inviting all to come.