Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mission Panama

Two weeks ago a group from our church 
embarked on a mission to the city of David, Panama. 
One of the sweetest families in our church, originally from Panama, has been praying for the Lord to open a door for us to go to their beautiful homeland to help in the work God is doing.
After many years of prayer, our church received an invitation to help take part in many ministries that the church desired to do.
 The door was open + we were willing to go!
When I first heard about the trip, I was automatically super-stoked. I knew this was something the Lord wanted Felix + I to do, but then something hit me like a rock.
February 17-25. 
"ohhhh man" was my automatic thought when I read the bolded words on the trip flyer. 
"I am not going to be able to go because of school."
Within moments, my kind of sad, frustrated self was sitting on the church pew thinking of how much I wanted to go. The next moment, I asked God to forgive me of my pessimistic attitude & immediately thought of the ever so wonderful quote,
"God's will, done God's way, never lacks God's support."

I knew without a doubt that if God wanted me + my husband to go, he would give me the support of my teachers and boss. I knew no matter what would happen, go or not go, I would be content in where I was. 
A few weeks had gone by, and I finally felt led to send all of my professors for the spring semester an email telling them about the trip to see if I would be able to take the time off to go. Tests, projects, and papers are a big deal so I knew I couldn't miss any...
Within days all of my professors emailed me back saying that we were more than welcome to go, we could make up whatever we would miss, and my boss let me have the time off as well!
God completely provided the support + we booked our tickets that week!

When we our plane landed on the beautiful land of Panama, we had the great privilege of touring the city before we started our work the next day. The country is absolutely beautiful and filled with gorgeous people. We toured the Panama Canal, the antique part of downtown, and went and saw the city from one of the highest points in the city. As my sister and I were the only Spanish speakers at this point on the trip, we were able to use our Spanish to guide our group around the city, order meals, and talk to people about what we were doing there for the Lord. It was an absolutely beautiful time and completely blessed by the Lord.

(panama city)

The next day, we joined up with the rest of our group, and the 30+ of us hopped on a 6 hour bus to the city David of Chiriqui, Panama.
Although our trip had many aspects: Kids' VBS, church construction, medical clinics, evangelism and services, I was privileged to help lead the VBS with my sister. The Lord completely blessed it + many kids were saved. 

We started off the week by sharing the story of creation + how God made us in His image. An abolutely wonderful fact to know: we are made in His image because He wants to have a relationship with us. 
The second day, we shared the greatest thing anyone could hear: THE SIMPLE GOSPEL. it was a beautiful message shared by my sister and kids were touched.
The third day, we shared about how God loves you and wants to use you abundantly wherever he has placed you. We made gospel bracelets, which have 5 colors that tells the gospel story. I never take mine off and many people ask what it means. With a simple question, I am able to share the whole gospel of Christ. All the kids were able to make these bracelets and understand the significance in order to go tell their families and friends about the grace + love of Jesus.  When we ended our VBS for the day, we took some of the kids with us on the streets surrounding the church, passed out tracts, talked to people about Jesus, and invited them to the night's service. It was amazing to see the fruit of the kids as they ran down the dirt roads of Panama to tell others about Jesus Christ. When you see that, you know for a fact that everything was worth it. It was a beautiful sight.
We appreciate your prayers on the trip. Around 15 kids gave their lives to Jesus and you could see such a change in the lives + hearts of those we were able to minister to.
They learned songs about God's love and performed one of them in the church service, they made crafts to help them remember what we learned, and of course we played games and took time to fellowship with the kids.  We pray more than anything that in everything we did and do, that the love of Christ shows through us. God was glorified through the VBS and we are so grateful for your support. 
Last, but certainly not least, at the end of our VBS we were able to group all of the kids together in their families and present each one of them with a Bible. This was the most beautiful thing to be a part of. To hand a young child + a family the greatest book, the words of God, is the most amazing thing and it could only have been provided through your support. I cannot stress enough how amazing the body of Christ is. With your gift, families who did not have a Bible to read will now be able to read the words of our Savior. 

 (praying for salvation!)

 (teaching the kids songs)
(every family received a Bible to take home!)

(construction site)
(Felix preaching in a nightly service) 

As I mentioned before, this is only one SMALL part of what God did and is doing in Panama. God saved so many people on the streets, in their homes, and in the services. People were filled with the Holy Spirit. Our group of men was able to help construct 4 Sunday school rooms for the church, and people were helped through the medical clinics. I was also able to help translate + preach in Spanish and am super thankful that God gave me that ability. 

On behalf of Felix + I, my church, and the body of Christ, we thank you for your prayers and financial support. God's kingdom IS being built on this earth and we are excited to be a part of His work. God bless! Until July, we will be on American soil!

Dios le bendiga,