A Car for Mission Work in Panama
The people of Rio Congo in Panama are extremely poor. They are mostly peasant farmers who moved to the coast from the country’s interior, and they make ends meet by growing rice and bananas. They live in one of 10 mission zones in the Apostolic Vicariate of Darien.
Some 3,500 people live here. They are scattered across more than 38 small communities, eighteen of which already have a chapel. In the remaining twenty, the Catholic faithful are currently working toward chapels of their own. For them, the faith is vital; they even hold festivals for the saints.
After these festivals, catechists dispatched by the diocese visit local Catholics and discuss the Gospel with them. They help to maintain the community’s spiritual health; the area has only two priests, who cannot serve everyone at all times.
The priests regularly visit the 38 towns, to celebrate the Mass and administer sacraments. The people look forward to their visits, but the towns, for the most part, are accessible only in the dry season (between January and April). Heavy rainfall breaks the banks and turns dirt roads into dangerous mudslides.
The priests have one old vehicle at their disposal, which can no longer handle road conditions; ACN has promised the diocese $23,000 for a robust all-terrain vehicle, which will make a more intensive ministry possible.
Will you help the priests of Panama with a car for their mission work?
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