A Panaghia's Pantry Reflection
On July 30 we traveled to a different and new Parish to us in part of the Cordillera mountain range.
With the help of extra volunteers and the donated usage of two trucks belonging to our Municipality we were able to deliver 175 food kits to several different communities and along the roads.
These were small villages in very rough terrain and a long distance to arrive at each one, it would have been impossible without the trucks.
Vasili asked a lady in one of the villages what keeps them there and so isolated, without power, any type of phone service, no vegetation, and dry without any rain. Her answer was that it was her husband's village and when they married at a young age it is where she went and remained, living peacefully. The others who had gathered to receive had lived there all their lives, raised children who now have children and grandchildren of their own. So several generations and no doubt it will continue like this generation after generation, children never leaving and remaining in the simple bamboo homes, generations of family together. We ask ourselves, where would they go, what opportunity could they possibly ever have? Even with the difficult lives they live they are happy with a strong faith and love for one another!
We continued on from there with many stops between to our final stop which took us to the village of Campo Blanco. There we met and visited with Señor Magallanes, President of Campo Blanco.
He is a very kind gentleman who is a double amputee and in a wheelchair who truly loves his people, its communities and is very knowledgeable about life there.
When we arrived he invited us into the building which is also where he sleeps. He told us of how the people all live off whatever the land can offer them and help from one another to survive. When the rains do come it is impossible for anyone to come or go.
As a community they gather wood called Palo Santo from the bursera graveolens tree which grows wild and is also known here as the holy tree. The wood is traditionally used for spiritual cleansing, balancing energy, and as a natural remedy for colds and flu as well as stress. In this modern day it is more frequently used for burning, like incense to repel mosquitos and insects. They also make Palo Santo oil and they have bees which produce an amazing honey from the “dry forest” which they bottle and sell only in the Parish head or at Markets outside of their community. He gave us all Palo Santo wood as a gift and we were able to purchase the oil and honey. After spending about an hour visiting with him we headed back to Manglaralto, exhausted but feeling very rewarded!
There simply are no words to express the appreciation the people that receive and we feel for all of you, the continued prayers for this beautiful Ministry and all the generous donors who continue to help bring nourishment and joy to so many poor in and around this area we call home!
God bless you all,
Love in Christ,
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