Five Years on the Mission Field
It is hard to believe that August 20, 2020, will mark five years since we left the United States to study Spanish in Costa Rica; and on August 13, 2020, we will celebrate four years of living in Panamá and serving the Lord here.
If we had to use one word to describe the past five years, it would be faithfulness. Not our faithfulness, but God’s faithfulness and your faithfulness.
Thank you for being on this journey with us! We thank the Lord every day for the partners in ministry He has given us. Ministry is truly a team effort, and we know that we would not be able to serve the Lord here without your financial support, your prayers, and your encouragement.
Isaac on August 14, 2016, our first Sunday in Panamá.
Through your partnership in the gospel, God has allowed us to learn Spanish (we’re still learning), hold Bible studies in our home, disciple several people, share the gospel with people who had never heard a clear gospel presentation, train pastors and church leaders in many provinces throughout the country, and plant a local church in an area where there was not one. We know this is possible only by the grace of God!
Isaac on February 2, 2020, the first Sunday of our church plant.
As we look to the future, the current pandemic has reminded us that we are not in control. However, we serve the one true God who is in complete control. As we consider ministry, the simple, but profound, truth is that when we, the people of God, have the Spirit of God and the Word of God, we have all we need to accomplish all that the Lord purposes to accomplish.
Our desire is to continue to establish Iglesia Bautista de Costa Verde as a biblical, spiritually healthy local church that will be a strong gospel presence in our community, that will plant other local churches, and that will train men to be pastors in churches throughout Panamá, throughout the region, and around the world.
Additional photos from the first service of Iglesia Bautista de Costa Verde. Although we were only able to meet for six Sundays before the quarantine started, the core group has remained in place. Also, new people have joined our Zoom Bible studies over the past few months. We greatly look forward to when we can meet again for worship!
COVID-19 Panamá Update
Honestly, not much has changed since our July newsletter. Panamá is still under a strict quarantine. The airport remains closed for regular flights at least through August 22. Many people are not able to work. (The government is providing some people with $100/month and deferred payments on utilities, but that is not sufficient to meet needs.)
- The churches in Panamá will find grace and favor in the eyes of the authorities, so that they will be able to begin to have services in a safe and responsible way.
- For a great spiritual revival in the community of Costa Verde. Of course, please pray for the same throughout the world.
Meet the Sturge Family
This month we would like you to meet the Sturge family - James, Maylin, Brittany and Ryan.
They are a wonderful family, committed followers of Christ, good friends, and are a part of the core group of believers to start Iglesia Bautista de Costa Verde. We asked them the following:
What do you do for a living?
James has a technology support business for companies. Maylin has been taking care of things at home and taking care of the kids full time for a year since she left her job as an engineer. Brittany is a fourth grader and this year started homeschool. Ryan's job is to have a lot of fun every day.
What do you enjoy doing together as a family?
We like to go to the movies and visit new places (when we are able). We also like our time reading the Word of God every night. During this time of the pandemic we enjoy playing board games such as Monopoly.
What is one of your favorite Bible verses?
Brittany: Ephesians 6:2
Ryan: Psalm 23:1
Maylin: Galatians 2:20
James: 1 John 4:18
What are some prayer requests that you have?
- That God would allow us to gather again as a church soon, so that we can do all the things that God has commanded us in His Word for the benefit of our spiritual lives.
- That when the decision is made in the country to open activities due to the pandemic, it will be a priority to allow churches to meet.
What word of encouragement would you share with believers in the United States?
Dear brothers and sisters, although we are living in difficult times because of the pandemic, let’s continue to trust that this is within the eternal plans and purposes of our God. Let’s use this time to cultivate a more solid relationship with the Lord and also share the only hope found in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is forgiveness of our sins for eternal salvation. Let us not fail to ponder that the worst thing for the nonbeliever is to die, but for us dying is gain, because we will see our Lord Jesus Christ