Friday, February 02, 2007

I met with two young men yesterday who are doing wonderful work with the indigenous. They are nondenominational Christians who run a mission and have taken in the indigenous handicapped from one particular village. They also make regular visits to the children of this village to help educate them and assess their needs. The handicapped indigenous are cast out and left to die because they have an evil spirit. My friend's facility is very clean, the patients happy and well fed. Phil and I could not do what these young men (29 and 30) are doing. One patient is bed ridden with Cerebral Palsy, all have some mental condition or are schizophrenic.

The following are their needs that I know of now and I have asked for an additional list:

Art supplies, crayons, pencils, craft scissors, sweat shirts of any color (it is cold in the mountains). If you can think it they need it. They need craft paper, it weighs a lot and therefore is hard to carry in, but if you can do it, great. They always need clothes and blankets. This tribe is the most forgotten of all of the different tribes in Costa Rica and their language is the hardest to learn. Hector and Daniel have spent two years making friends in the village, it is not easy for outsiders to be accepted. If you could help them it would be very appreciated.

I believe that my indigenous are from the same tribe. From my land it is almost an 8 hour walk up mountain, if your fit enough to make it. I am not. From their starting point it is about a 5 hour walk so we are talking about the same tribe, but not the same village. There are many villages up there.

A number of us are working together and resource sharing. Networking with each other is the best way to share ideas and supplies. I have pencils here that I can give them now and still take care of my two schools and supply our indigenous through the teachers that visit their village.

I had been focusing on navy blue sweatshirts for our local schools, but the rules are different for them, any color will do, because they do not go to the local schools. They are only visited by teachers. At night everyone sleeps together on the floor of a roofed open structure. It has been cold here at night, just a few nights ago I had a sweatshirt on, socks, a heavy blanket, a light polar fleece throw and I was still cold. But I was in a nice soft bed not sleeping on the ground with no sleeping bag.

If you can help, or know others who would, we would gratefully appreciate it.

They started out four almost 5 years ago as a church and no one would come. Why? Because they were a church, the local folks said we already have a church, we don't need a church. So they started calling their place a Mission. Oh!, the people said. A Mission, we don't have a Mission, we need a Mission, a Mission helps people, we will come. And so their Church turned into a Mission and does the same thing. They worship and meet the needs of the people. It is also a small nursing home as they house indigenous handicapped, very very clean, no smell at all, you would be very impressed. These two fellows are doing excellent work. They have about 150 who come to service every Sunday evening. It is always in the evening (4pm) here because the cows must be milked and chores done first.

They are non-denominational because like me they do not believe that you need to be Baptist or Methodist, just love the Lord. This is also a Catholic country and although many do not understand how you could not be Catholic, being something really got in the way. So we are all just Christians and they are a Mission. If you know of anyone who would like to visit the "Mission" please let me know. They also have a Spanish language school teaching Spanish to people like you and me. This helps them to fund their existence and pay for the needs of everyone. Really great fellows. Visitors come and volunteer there time at the Mission, learn Spanish, and learn something even more special about what is in their hearts.

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