On Saturday afternoons and Sundays, the place is deserted. Everyone is in church starting on Saturday night and going on for most of the day Sunday. Folks wear their best clothes, men in smart pressed trousers and the ladies in frocks.
Indigenous ladies always look gorgeous in their brightly colored cotton dresses. Today, our resident indigenous family dressed their little girl in traditional dress - not the jeans she is allowed to wear the rest of the week.
Chiriqui is the most protestant province in Panama and we are a veritable enclave on this tiny farm. That said, my little Sunday reflection has been about what a 'broad' church the protestant church is. It has come to pass that on this farm we are a mix of evangelicals; Or the church goers who don't go to Mass, mostly defectors from the Roman Catholic church.
My reflection today was triggered by curiosity about the strong 7th Day Adventist tradition here in the mountains of Northern Panama. I have recently starting working with one, and his clean living and healthy habits are a stand out and got me thinking.
Thinking.......and feeling quite embarrassed, ignorant and rude that I knew so little about this tradition. Initially, I had wondered why he worked on Sundays, never realizing Saturday was the holy day. Then I assumed he was Jewish. Worse, I have been feeding my poor 7th Day Adventist friend frowned upon stimulants: Tea and coffee, most recently coke and offering him alcohol.
I also realized on this my day of reflection, that I am consuming huge quantities of legal stimulants mostly in the form of tea. This week I'll be swapping Yorkshire Gold tea for lemon grass. Its going to be rough; As black tea virtually runs in my veins, I will surely need God to help me through.