Old Bank Bastimentos

We have been quite busy over the last week, haven’t had much time to blog.  Spending time seeking God on His purpose, plan and direction.  We have some big decisions before us and we are prayerfully discerning God’s will, we would greatly appreciate your prayers.

About a week ago we visited Old Bank Bastimentos looking to go to a Thai food restaurant.  We asked around, talked to the chinos (Chinese at the store) and next thing you know, we spotted a sign on a tree of the restaurant we were looking for, which also said, closed Sundays.  I ended up talking with a Afro-Caribbean man, I asked him about good places to eat.  He was happy to help, said he wouldn’t tell me no lies.  With every word he spoke cigarette smoke leached from his lungs, he was very friendly and I would rate his personal bubble at a -2″.  He said there is a good place, just down the road (there is only a foot path on Bastimentos known as the road).  He said he wouldn’t steer me wrong.  He also told me to keep a close eye on my girls since girls like that get stolen here.  He followed that up with, I tell you the truth.

So, off we went down “the road” which was lined with shacks, shacks on the hill to our left and shacks in the water to our right, incredible, breath-taking waters.  Each shack had a different sound from loud music to barking dogs to crying babies.  We felt like quite the spectacle as we walked this path.  People out on their porches watching as we walked by, and of course we waved at every one of them.  We looked and looked for this place called roots or something like that, we eventually stopped at a restaurant shack on the water with no name.  We sat down and a young dude, about 25 came to serve us.  Button up shirt with half the top buttons undone, medallion, good and hairy – very Italian looking.  I asked him where he was from, Italy he said.  He said he and his dad moved there about 4 months ago because its cold in Italy this time of  year, and why not?  We ordered spaghetti, some other Panamanian dish and some other good food.  The kiddos just looked out into the water and watched the local kids jump off of the planks and wooden like structures next to the restaurant.  Kids having a great time enjoying the water, swimming, cannonballs – good old fashioned fun.

This area of the islands, Old Bank Bastimentos is mainly occupied by Afro-Caribbeans, its not nearly as mixed as other places in the area.  They mainly speak Gali Gali, their own dilect of Creole.  I’ve gotten to know a guy that grew up his whole life there and he talked about the depravity it has fallen into.  Theft is a normal way of life, drug use is as normal as eating and the hard core American rap influence has infiltrated the culture deeply.  He said when he was a kid growing up there values ran deep.  No theft, a deep respect for elders, a deep love for God.  Those who stepped out of line were punished on the spot by whoever saw the sin.  Someone who may or may not be your parent would give you a whipping if you stepped out of line.  Interesting how things change.

On my mind lately is the idea of a “reached people group.”  Europe used to be “reached”, America is supposedly “reached”, and this community, Old Bank Bastimentos used to be “reached.”  What I have learned in my short life here on this earth is reaching a culture is just the beginning.  Maintaining Truth requires constant nurturing.  Filling your mind with things of God, His Word.  Sharpening each other in love, Biblical community.  And a true love for God that can’t help but spill over to the people around you.  Its the same in any relationship, it needs to be nurtured.  In order for me to have a good relationship with my wife, we need to communicate – the same is true with God.  Talk with your Creator.

The photos:

The Bastimentos public dock.

I love how anything of value is reused.  Look at the board on the bathroom behind Ellie.  Yes, that is the bathroom.  Just a hole in the wood floor that opens up to the swimming hole.







  1. Isaac
    Apr 30, 2012

    I have been praying for you.

  2. Jennifer
    Apr 30, 2012

    Thank you for feeding our addiction to your blog!
    Praying extra for you guys!

  3. Jon Davis Jr.
    Apr 30, 2012

    I have to say, your location looks one of the more interesting and beautiful locations I’ve seen. And what fun to travel around by boat!


  4. The Angels
    May 1, 2012

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. We will continue to pray for you every day.
    Love you guys!!!
    Camilo, Jsckie & Daniela :)

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