Chepo is a small Panamanian town, inhabited by indigenous people. Several teams of Logos Hope's crewmembers visited over the course of four days to share knowledge and hope; mainly with the children in the area.
On their first day connecting with the young people, who are part of the Wounaan tribe, Logos Hope’s crewmembers began teaching English to children and parents who were interested in learning. The indigenous communities have been adapting to the modern world around them and most now speak Spanish, but they also live in poverty and are in danger of not receiving an education. The ship’s teams hope that their introduction to English basics will lay some groundwork for the children’s education – as well as help parents explain their handcrafted artwork, should they sell what they make to people from outside the area.
Nai Pinniger (United Kingdom), who is a teacher on board Logos Hope, explained that the team taught English through games, songs and through sharing the gospel; using repetition and memory to help them practice. A young mother who had previously been with another Logos Hope team learning to sew, was also present with her son. “She was really eager to learn English and both the sewing workshop and the English lesson had a big impact on her,” said Nai.
A Uruguayan missionary who has been in Panama for two years, David Bueno, arranged many of the ship’s ministry opportunities around Balboa. David connects with young people and their families; mainly in indigenous areas; drawing alongside people who are having difficulty finding jobs, struggling with education or economically. He serves people as he is able, by cooking for them, taking them to school and bringing them home again, supporting families and showing God’s love in different ways.
After the team spent a first day with the children, teaching them and sharing the hope found in Jesus, David expressed his joy for the time spent with the community. “You all did a great job with the English classes, and above all with sharing Logos Hope’s goals to share knowledge, help and hope. It was excellent,” he told the crew. “We are thankful for your help and this encourages us to continue ministering to the families and children in the area,” he said.