Story and photos by Rev. Arthur and Deaconess Eva Rickman
As this pandemic has continued to spread, over the past several weeks, Panama has rapidly become the worst-hit country in Central America according to infections per capita, and second only to Chile in all of Latin America.
Hospitals in Panama City are stretched to capacity. Convention centers are quickly being converted to provide space for additional hospital beds, and health care workers are threatening to protest as supplies of personal protection equipment are dwindling.
The congregation in Sorá, Panama has been spared so far
We give thanks that the congregation in Sora, located about an hour and a half from the city, miraculously has been spared, currently with no known cases in that community. As other areas of Panama have not been as fortunate, please pray for God’s mercy.
“Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? …Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.”Matthew 25:37-40
The other churches have been directly affected as the virus infects congregational members, family members, and many in the surrounding communities. As in many parts of the world, in addition to the health challenges, many are also experiencing hard times due to the lack of work.
We give thanks for the Body of Christ who have given generously to make possible the grant from LCMS World Relief and Human Care sent to help the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Panama. Those funds are being used to help care for church workers and provide much-needed bags of food for congregation members and the people of their surrounding communities throughout Panama.
Pastor Patricio Mora helped distribute food to needy families
The community of Loma Cova, around the congregation of Dios Es Grande, has faced many significant challenges. Pastor Patricio Mora and Deaconess Griselda Aguila, as well as some of the deaconess students and Sunday school teachers, coordinated and assisted with the latest distribution of 32 bags of food and have been caring for the spiritual needs of those in this community. Please pray that our Lord will continue to work even during these challenging times, to bring people closer to Him.