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Latin America Resource
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Portland Tech Team Builds 50
Computers for Panama Schools

By Rod and Sherry Boyd

Portland Tech TeamWe were privileged to host ten men and women from Portland Christian Center (Portland, OR) the last week of May. This "tech team" came to build 50 computers for our Latin America ChildCare schools in Panama. The majority of the funds were provided by the "Little Davey Project"--a ministry led by team leader David Kaiser, dedicated to bringing technology to Latin America. Portland's team is the second group we have hosted to focus on technology. A team from Calvary Christian Assembly in Seattle came in July 2002. (See Technology Campaign 2002)

Portland Tech TeamThe team purchased 50 sets of the more expensive internal components (motherboard, processor, memory and hard drive) in the US. Each team member brought 5 sets in their luggage. We informed Panamanian Customs of the team and the components they would be carrying, requesting exoneration from import taxes. But the team passed through customs without a single bag being opened! We purchased the other components in Panama (case, monitor, CD, floppy, speakers, keyboard and mouse).

With the larger team we weren't sure how long it would take to assemble the computers. But the team finished by the end of the second day! The team was able to spend the following days delivering the new computers to the schools. The team also repaired some of the damaged computers they encountered in the schools.

Portland Tech TeamWe decided to evenly distribute the computers among the various schools. Each school received an average of three computers. The team was able to visit 11 schools in four days. Each delivery and installation was different. The computer lab in some of the schools was spacious; most of the time it was quite small. There were groups of children or youth using the lab during most of the installations. The team tried to include some of the children to put together the computers. It was a very special time for the team. These rapid visits helped the team capture a more complete picture of the Latin America ChildCare ministry in Panama.

We've tried to provide a basic orientation to each school, suggesting that the computer lab should be air conditioned to control heat, humidity and contaminants. Most of the labs were air conditioned. But some of the schools can't afford the air conditioner or the electricity to run it.

Portland Tech TeamThe small school in Gonzalillo was one such school. The team affectionately referred to it as the "sauna" school. We will never forget the heat and humidity in the room. We literally could not keep the camera lens from fogging over! (See photo to the right) After we set up the three new computers, we actually had to wipe the condensation off of the monitors. We were concerned that someone was going to get electrocuted.

Portland Tech TeamThe team was so overwhelmed by this need that they purchased an air conditioner for that computer lab. We returned a couple days later as it was being installed. The pastor and director of the school were so grateful!

The most special delivery of all was at the Aguadulce school. Aguadulce is located along the Pan-American Highway, about three hours out of Panama City. Some may recall the story we've told about Aldo, the boy we sponsor that goes to this school. Aldo inspired us and the Portland Christian Center tech team. It is a longer story.  Please take a few moments to read Aldo's Story.

David KaiserThe team wasn't able to make all of the deliveries. Many of our schools are in remote locations; some even in dangerous areas. Three of our schools, including the Guaymi Indian School located in the mountain community of Duima, will be receiving their first computers! The Duima school will have to use the power generator to operate these computers.

Thank you, David and Debra Kaiser and team, for your vision to "bring hope to needy children." Hope goes beyond relieving people from their hunger--"Give a man a fish..." Hope for eternity includes tomorrow! David Kaiser asked us several months ago, "why would you want to teach computer to bunch of poor kids?" He was thinking of how the business community might respond to the Little Davey Project.  Our answer: we love them enough today to want to invest in their tomorrow.

Portland Tech TeamPlease pray for the computer program in our schools. Pray that God will provide all that is needed. Pray for the Little Davey Project. They want to sponsor a tech team each year and reach out to other Latin American countries. Mostly, please pray that the young lives, impacted by the ministry of Latin America ChildCare and the Little Davey Project, will experience the life transformation that only the Lord can bring.