For the first time since the U.S. invasion of Panama, the Panama canal was shut down. This time however, it was for a different reason. On the days leading up to December 7th we were drenched with a non-stop rain that caused many rivers in our country to overflow their banks. Some have said it was one of the worst (if not THE worst) floods Panama has ever seen. Finally the water has begun to recede and the government has begun to open the roads for aid to come to those in need. On Friday December 17th, I, along with 3 others, traveled to Santa Fe and Meteti to bring over 1000 lbs. of food and aid to those in need. We also used this time to assess the needs for future relief work and to fortify communications between all of the missionary organizations.
Here you can see how high the water rose.
This is a small village named El Llano. I spoke with a newspaper photographer who was there 2 days after the river crested and he told me there was 5 feet of water above some of the homes. Below is the local cemetary where the water opened up some tombs and bodies were seen being swept away by the raging waters.
Please pray for Panama! Pray for those who are affected in any way. Pray also for those who are trying to find ways to help those in need. Pray for wisdom and direction in trying to make sense of what we ought to do during these difficult times.