Panama has rapidly become the worst-hit country in Central America according to infections per capita of COVID-19. In all of Latin America, it is second only to Chile.
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.
LCMS missionaries to Latin America Rev. Arthur and Deaconess Eva Rickman report that, as in other parts of the world, many are experiencing hard times due to the lack of work as well as to health challenges. The community of Loma Cova, around the congregation of Dios Es Grande, is one area that has faced many significant challenges.
A recent LCMS grant to the Panama Evangelical Lutheran Church provided funds to help care for church workers and supply much-needed bags of food for congregation members and the people of their surrounding communities. The effort followed an earlier distribution supported primarily by funds from local partners and congregations.
The Rev. Patricio Mora and Deaconess Griselda Aguila, as well as some deaconess students and Sunday school teachers, coordinated and assisted with the latest distribution, which totaled 39 bags of food in all.
The Rickmans ask, “Please pray that our Lord will continue to work even during these challenging times, to bring people closer to Him.”
Find out more about the Rickmans and their missionary work at lcms.org/rickman.
Posted Sept. 18, 2020