The Words of the Wise Family

Report from Panama, 2nd day

Tomeo Wise
January 24, 2009

Yesterday was the second day of our time in Panama and the first day of our service work. There were 3 service projects that we we attended. 2 of them were teaching English and the third was helping at a Catholic orphanage. We were dividing into 3 teams of 4 members and dispersed to our respective projects.

The project I attended was teaching at a community center that was started by a Panamanian Senator. It was originally designed to teach women skills they could use to make a living. The center provides free lessons in English, cooking, sewing, make up, and many more skills.

Ariella Fish, Debbie Fiala, Vanessa Scott, and I were assigned to this service project. As we arrived I was surprised how nice the center was. As we walked in the door we were pleasantly surprised by the Panamanian Senator, who wanted to personally thank us for coming to help out with her center. Then with the help of Lucy Coffman, the first Panamanian member to join, we taught English to a class of 20 participants. In all it was an eye opening experience. Their heart and desire to learn, was very moving and for many of them it was their first time having a conversation with a Native English speaker.

The other projects consisted of taking care of 25 little children ranging from 6 months to 7 years old. This project was attended by Mitshi Ishioka, Young Kwang Gomez, Shinghi Detlefsen, and Mimi Sylte. The third project was also teaching English to younger children ranging from the age of 8 to 12 years old. This project was attended by LJ Mitchem, Yoshie Hayasaka, Chris Fukunaga, and Mira Williams. Each one of these members was given a classroom of 20 children to teach.

Although I didn't attend the other service projects the reports were very moving. God gave each person a unique and precious experience. Shinghi Detlefsen, who attended the orphanage project shared, "I realized how much love each of the little kids wanted. They would cry out and call for attention. As I saw this, I couldn't help but feel the heart of God who is longing to reach out to his lost children who are desperately seeking to find true and lasting love."

The day concluded with us reconvening at the Peace Embassy where we helped put together new furniture that was bought for the embassy. We were then blessed to receive Master Fabio a prominent figure in Panamanian Culture. He is the a world renown Martial Arts expert and founder of a national youth movement. He has trained over 25,000 young people and his core teaching is the importance of living for the sake of others. He shared with us his life and what made him choose to take a this course. As I looked into this man's eyes I could see that he was truly a man of God. It's interesting how God has prepared such amazing people in this world and we never know when we might cross paths. This was one of those moments.

We ending with reflection and determination on how we can improve our service projects. Today we go with a new and determined spirit to represent our True Parents and Heavenly Father. 

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