138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
Saturday started with devotions with our team in our room and then breakfast with the conference attendees. We used every meal as an opportunity to sit and talk with different groups of ladies. It was always a combination of sign language and Spanglish. But, through love, communication always seemed to work.
After two teaching sessions in the morning and then lunch, it was our turn to spring into action. One of our main duties for the conference was to bring and teach crafts Saturday afternoon. The two crafts we planned were a huge hit! The ladies decorated votive candle holders and painted fabric shopping bags. We learned during set-up that the Panamanian government had just outlawed plastic shopping bags. Stores are no longer allowed to use plastic bags. How great is our God! God lead our team to plan this craft knowing that the ladies were going to need their own personal grocery bag.
Saturday evening consisted of another great teaching session, followed by a special celebration called "Una Noche Tipica." It was the first time that the WOL team had planned a special celebration like this for the conference. Una Noche Tipica (A Traditional Night) is a time when Panamanians celebrate all their traditional foods, music, dress and ethnicities. All the ladies dressed up in their tribal or national outfits. It was a beautiful night of many groups of women sharing songs and dances that were special to them.
The pictures included with this blog show the different types of Indian women who attended the conference:
The woman of the Guaymi Indian Tribe hand-stitched these traditional dresses that they gifted to each of us. What a labor of love!
This was the first time that eight of these nine Kuna women attended the conference.
The three women pictured with me are of the Embera Drua Tribe. Our women's short term missionary teams have been visiting this tribe for about seven years, each time inviting them to come to the conference. This year was the first time that they came! Angelina (in the white blouse) is the wife of the tribe's pastor and chief, whose name is Valerio.
At the end of this night, a special plate of traditional Panamanian foods was prepared for every woman by Blanca, the camp cook. Bedtime came very late that night. But the whole day was wonderful and a huge blessing.
(Written by Cheryl Colussy)