Getting to Know Fellow Believers
He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Mark 4:40-41).
In the midst of so much uncertainly in the world today, may each of us have such an awestruck wonder - such a fear of God - that there is no reason for us to ever be afraid. He is God, and not only is He completely sovereign over all things, but also nothing can separate us from His love.
We thought it would be encouraging for you to get to know some fellow believers in Panamá! First up, we'd like to introduce you to Nelson and Carolina Rivera. Nelson and Clip are the pastors of Iglesia Bautista de Costa Verde, and Nelson and Carolina have become dear friends to our family. Here are some questions we asked them and their responses:
What is your favorite food?
Carolina: Chicken with rice, potato salad, and the food that Mary cooks.
Nelson: I really like food, so I'll just say anything that is cooked on a grill. But you can invite me to come eat whatever you want to make. :)
What is the greatest joy of being a pastor or a pastor’s wife?
Carolina: My greatest joy is that we can serve the Lord together, and I am able to see God working through my husband.
Nelson: To be able to teach the Word of God and see how God blesses those who hear it.
What is the greatest challenge of being a pastor or a pastor’s wife?
Carolina: To share the time I have with my husband with many people.
Nelson: Having to speak what is right knowing there are some who are personally not doing it.
What is a prayer request that you have?
Carolina: That my family members who still do not know Christ would repent and be saved.
Nelson: For wisdom and courage.
What is a word of encouragement would you share with believers in the United States?
Carolina: Trust in the Lord every moment; He continues to be seated on His throne.
Nelson: Trust in Christ and in His kingdom, keep fighting the good fight of faith, and keep carrying the light of the gospel wherever you are, even in the midst of so much darkness.
COVID19 Panamá Updates
- We remain in a complete quarantine in the provinces of Panamá and Panamá Oeste. We are allowed to go out a couple of times a week to the grocery stores and pharmacies; otherwise, people are required to stay in their homes. There is also a total curfew each Saturday from 5:00 PM until Monday at 5:00 AM.
- Churches are still not able to gather, and we really do not know when that may change. As a result, we continue to have online services and weekly Bible studies using Zoom. God is working in the lives of many people in spite of the quarantine!
- The government has extended the ban on all flights until at least July 23.
- There are currently between 800 - 1,000 new cases of coronavirus each day, and the government has not said when restrictions may begin to lighten.
Prayer Requests / Praises
- Please pray that 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.
- We are very grateful that the people of our church continue encouraging each other and are keeping their trust in the Lord. Without a doubt, they are ready for restrictions to be lifted, but the Lord has provided for physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual needs.
- For a great spiritual revival in the community of Costa Verde. Of course, please pray for the same throughout the world.
- Many people throughout Panamá are not able to work due to the quarantine, so they continue to be without a source of income. We continue to praise the Lord that as a family and as a church, we have been able to help families with food and basic necessities. As we’ve asked before, please pray we will continue to have wisdom to know whom to help and how to best help them.
- We continue to pray that God will provide a permanent place for our church to meet. It seems financially impossible, but we know that nothing is impossible with God.
A random of photo of Isaac doing some work for school. He is about two months into his third grade year.
One of the ladies of our church was able to get special permission from a local government official to distribute food in a community close to where she lives. As a result, she and two other members of our church have been able to help several families by providing bags of food and gospel tracts. Even in the midst of a strict quarantine, God is providing ways for us to be able to help others and share the gospel.