Taking Time for Peter
Peter is an odd name for this little guy who has never seen what life is like beyond the village of Pena be Jueal, an Emberra community located on the Chucunaque River deep in the rain forest of southwestern Panama. Our group arrived in the village early in the morning of June 21 to build on a relationship we had begun back in January when we delivered food. I first met Peter on that trip but did not have the time to talk with him. He was running around with the other kids but could not keep up. I discovered Peter was born with a deformity in his legs. One foot turned in and was smaller than the other one, and it also seemed the legs were not the same size. But that did not slow Peter down very much. He was running around laughing and playing - having a good time. Little did I know how this little guy would touch the hearts of us all.
It seems that every time I go to a village, something, or someone, jumps out and grabs me, and others with me, causing us to reflect on our own families. Our lives often become so complicated with so many personal issues, that we fail to realize why we are put here on this earth. Many never get to the point in their Christian walk where they think beyond the borders of their own family. I have no doubt that those who have had the privilege of traveling to some distant primitive culture, see life somewhat differently.
When we got out of the boat, we were greeted at the bank by many of the villagers. They looked at us as "rich" but yet, they offered us whatever they had, such as a banana or a pineapple. One Indian lady asked me, "What does it look like on the other side of the river?" I was dumb founded and could not give her much of an answer. My thoughts were about how much we (Americans) take our blessings for granted, such as clean water and plentiful food.
But let's get back to Peter - "Taking time for Peter." It wasn’t until we had left the village that it hit me about how this one little guy affected the group working in the school. How can one so small change so many lives when all he did was run around trying to keep up with the other kids.
Perhaps each one of us needs a Peter to help us reflect some on our own lives. The name is not as important as the impact each of us can have on the lives of others. I am afraid we get so tied up in our own self-inflicted problems we forget other people who struggle just to get through the day. We even get angry over small things that have no significance. When this happens we allow the devil to destroy all the good that was done.
Let me encourage each one to "take time for Peter." Find a Peter and make a difference. Is your life being consumed by what you have? Are you being controlled by a grudge or something someone has said that struck you wrong? Whatever is causing you not to "Take time for Peter," please get rid of it and look to Jesus Christ who is our example for doing good. Jesus always looked for a Peter to help.
Folks, there are a lot of Peters in this world. Find one and make a difference.
A PLEA FOR HELP: On my most recent trip to Panama (returned June 25) we helped to bring clean drinking water to two more villages. But the need is for so many more. For $36 you can give one family clean drinking water with a small filtering system. In both villages there are 50 families who need clean water. $36 is not much money - less than the cost of a meal for four at a moderately priced restaurant. If you will provide a filter for a family in Panama, we will provide you with a photo of "your" family.
Make checks to PANAMA MISSIONS earmarked for "Water Filter."
P.O. Box 451
Hope Hull, AL 36043