Christian Nurse, International Nursing, Panama 2020

Adventure in Panama

March 2020

Dear Readers,

I’m taking a little break from my usual historical narrative of my nursing career to tell you about my recent trip to Panama this month in light of the Covid 19 pandemic and my encounter with the impressive health care system in Panama. For security reasons, I have changed the names of the people I met on my trip. God is so faithful and wonderful!

Pamela

“Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:4 NKJV

March 3, 2020

Dear Friends,

Lord willing, I’ll fly to Panama Friday morning for a month of exploration. The first week I will take a bus tour with about 20 folks from all over the world from Panama City along the Pacific coast that ends in the mountain town of Boquete near the border of Costa Rica. Because Boquete is at 3900 feet, it’s 65-80 degrees year-round and March is still in the dry season. I’m eager to see the gorgeous flowers and birds there. Then I will stay in Boquete until April 2. It’s a town of 25,000 people with about 5000 internationals who have settled there. Many of them are retirees who take advantage of the excellent pensionada visa program with discounts on hotels, restaurants, and medical care.
Acquaintances from the language school I attended 3 years ago now live in Boquete. They started a small Baptist church 2 years ago that is growing, so I hope to visit them.
I’ve been working diligently on my Spanish with an online course (Spanish with Paul) since November 1 and have made good progress. I also met a dear believer from Honduras who is studying at the nearby Bible school. We met every Friday afternoon for the past month and spoke in Spanish for a couple of hours. She listened to my Spanish Bible memory verses and we enjoyed singing Spanish hymns together. One of my former language school professors kindly gave me the oral international Spanish exam last week on the phone. I was thrilled to score at the intermediate level! How I thank God for helping me make progress. I hope to take some private lessons in Boquete.
I just want to be a good testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ and point others to Him as He gives me opportunities. Thank you for praying for my health, safety, and strength. Also please pray for strength and good connections as I take 3 flights back home on April 2.
As far as I know, there have been no cases of the Coronavirus in Panama.
I asked the Lord if He didn’t want me to go to have either the flight or the tour cancel, but so far that has not happened.
As one of my favorite hymns says, “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus!”
In Christ’s Love,
Pam
Little did I know how quickly the world would change over the next days. After an uneventful flight to Panama City on March 6, I walked down the jetway and was greeted by 2 people in hazmat suits. One of them aimed her thermometer at my forehead and motioned me to keep going. I checked into my hotel where the tour began and shared dinner with Mary, a new tour friend at the mall next door. The stores looked just like a mall in the USA with price tags in the US dollar, the currency of Panama. Yippee! No change fees!
Welcome to Panama!

 

Beautiful Panama City at night from my hotel window.

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