April Missions Update
Thank you so much for going on this journey with me. I am writing from the airport in Houston en route back to the States after just having spent the past two weeks in Panamá. It is an interesting thought to think Panamá will be my home by the end of the year. Everything is so different, and I am finding that I have so much to learn. The language is different, the social concepts, such as tipping and personal space are different, and the driving is WAY different!
Another missionary once told me that me that engaging with a new culture requires humility in two ways; by losing some independence, and by not being afraid to look utterly ridiculous! Losing independence will be necessary because I won't be able to fend for myself for quite some time. I will need help ordering a salad, buying groceries, finding my way to the bank, and with several other things that are second nature in my home culture. Looking utterly ridiculous will be necessary as well, because I'll have to fumble through a coffee order a few times, or buy fabric softener instead of laundry detergent in order to learn to do it right! As frustrating as the cultural hiccups are, I'm reminded that God does the calling, the equipping, and the work. It is our job to be faithful in obedience.
I’ve been reflecting on the story of Abraham, and how God told him to go to a place he did not know. God had asked him to make a home for himself in a foreign country and wait for the fulfillment of what God had promised him. By faith, Abraham obeyed and went, even though he didn’t see the full picture. (Hebrews 11:8-19).
Moving to Panamá feels a bit like this. I don't see the full picture of what God will do, but I am willing to take this step in faith he is already doing a work in Panamá. Thank you for taking this step of faith with me!
CHINESE FOOD & NEW FRIENDS
This is Emily Puckett and I with three of the girls in our small group at a place called Amador. We've gotten to meet with these three (Jesica, Sofia, and Ana) weekly over Zoom since the start of the Pandemic, and it was so nice to finally meet them in person! They are so gracious with my broken Spanish. Lucky for me, they speak English in addition to Chinese!
Ana, Jesica and Sofia honored Emily and I with a welcome meal of authentic Chinese food. They welcomed us with fried dumplings, rice noodles and pig's ear (a delicacy in Chinese culture)! It was refreshing spending time with them and hearing their passion for their Chinese community in Panama` City.
IGLESIA BAUTISTA DE COSTA VERDE
The last two Sundays were spent at Iglesia Bautista de Costa Verde, a church plant in a developing suburb of Panamá. The church is growing and quickly adding new members. Our prayer is that this is the first church of many in the Costa Verde area over the next several years!
This is my missionary teammate, Emily Puckett, and I before heading in to church on Sunday. Emily has been a missionary in Panama` for about seven years and I couldn't be more excited to partner with her in the ministries here. Emily is a great guide and cultural ambassador - she has helped me get acquainted with and love Panama` very quickly!
The past month has been filled with vision casting, ministry sharing, and engaging in missions events. Although this is a busy time of life, I know it is one I will cherish years from now.
Please Pray For:
- Spanish language acquisition
- Logistics involved with moving to Panama` and time with family & friends while in the States.
- That Iglesia Bautista de Costa Verde grows and that many people from Costa Verde would come to know Jesus and be truly discipled.
- That a healthy church would be planted in the Chinese community and for spiritual growth amongst the Chinese young people.