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Tears of Happiness

Mitzy (in the green dress) with family members holding Lifeline meals that were packed by individuals and churches from the U.S.

Mitzy lives in the mountainous and isolated area of the Ngäbe-Buglé indigenous reservation in Chiriquí, Panama. In the rainy season, especially in October and November, the land is lush and green. The Ngäbe-Buglé depend on agriculture for sustenance and income. 

Mitzy lives in a humble house with her large family. She can often be found playing with dolls with her friends and joyfully singing songs that she learned in church. She has the most infectious smile!

Being hours away from large metropolitan cities, the Ngäbe-Buglé are a close-knit community and are reserved around outsiders. Modern city life is relatively unknown to them. They enjoy and value traditional ways of living: houses built from natural materials, gardens for their daily food, handmade clothes, and helping each other.

Statistics show, though, that the majority of children in the indigenous area have some degree of malnutrition and need more vitamins in their diet.

On December 30, 2022, Pastor Jose Rodriguez and members of Central Church Panama, in Panama City, traveled more than 7 hours to Mitzy’s village. Their reasons for going were to distribute Lifeline meals and peanut butter (sources of protein), lead children’s activities, and hold a monthly leadership meeting for house church leaders there.

When it was Mitzy’s family’s turn to receive Lifeline meals and jars of peanut butter, Mitzy lit up with excitement! 

"Pastor Jose, now I can eat bread and peanut butter all week!" she said. Pastor Jose’s eyes filled with tears of happiness for her.

Reflecting later on that moment with Lifeline staff, Pastor Jose said, "Thanks to the boxes of Lifeline meals and the jars of peanut butter, the children of the indigenous area have a future full of blessings. Mitzy is a reminder that we should not tire of going to faraway or mountainous places with the voice of hope in Jesus Christ and with benevolent help.

"It is very important to continue doing this ministry to impact many more people with the gospel. I thank Lifeline Christian Mission and the Christian churches in North America for packing Lifeline meals and sending peanut butter, thus making many children smile like Mitzy!"