Getting Settled in Panama
Return, Re-establish and Rhythm
The picture you see below is the view from the back balcony of my apartment. It is also a picture of the Lord's faithfulness. I've called Panama home for nearly 6 years and it feels good to return once again and reestablish roots. This past month has been a scurry of getting the things of life figured out, and I'm grateful to say that it's now mostly in order! Although there are some similarities to moving in the States, there are several unique things when you go international. In part, doing life in Panama just takes more time.
An example of this is when I was getting the kitchen furniture delivered to the apartment. There is no delivery time given, just a day and then you wait for them to tell you when they are "en camino", which means "on the way". This could mean that they just left their last delivery that is on the other side of the city, or that they are just down the road. So, it's a day that you must dedicate to this one particular event. For us, the furniture arrived and when they unpackaged it, the table was scratched and one of the chairs was not the same design as the others. So, I was told that they would call and coordinate a time to deliver a replacement. Two days later I get a call saying that they are on the way to drop them off, but with no warning. Since I was not home the delivery was pushed into the following week. Thankfully they came in the earlier part of the scheduled day so I was able to go out in the afternoon! This is a normal occurrence and hiccups like this is a part of daily life :)
It's All About Relationships
Getting settled in feels really good and it means that I can turn more of my time and energy into finding my personal rhythm and ministry rhythm. My heart is to have intentional interactions with the people here.This past month has been a sweet time of connecting with individuals. The picture on the right is of Sofia, Jesica, and Ashley. We had held a small group over Zoom during the lock down and it was great to finally get together in person!
In addition to all the reconnections with people, I can see God marking out more for the ministry here as He is bringing many new people into my path. I've met several young missionaries who are coming from the Philippines, Peru, Guatemala, and the States all with the heart to reach Panama through church planting. I'm hopeful and curious to see what spiritual movement God does here, but I believe that He has plans for Panama to be instrumental in the global mission.
Something that hasn't changed in conversation as I've talked with missionaries who have been here for awhile and those newly arriving, is that we need more workers to effectively reach all the different ethnic groups represented in Panama. We need those who can evangelize but also those who have a passion to disciple and equip the next generation of believers so that they might fulfill their unique roles in the great commission. Would you join me in prayer that God would appoint many more to come to Panama and that our national brothers and sisters would match and outgrow us in number.
First Sunday at Iglesia Bautista de Costa Verde...I've had the privilege of attending four services now at IBCV. This has been a great opportunity to learn about church planting in Panama! In the past two weeks, we've been able to watch and celebrate two baptisms and welcome three new members!
Saturday Fellowship with the Wounann...This people group is one of the seven tribes represented in Panama. I had the opportunity to attend a service and hear their desire and passion to establish a church in their community. This picture above is the beginning stages of this prayer, and the picture below is of their village.
Prayer, Partnership, Participate
Thank you so much for your support and partnership in this ministry! This has been an excellent first month and I truly believe that the groundwork is being laid for long-term sustainable ministry. There is only so much you can write in a newsletter, but if you have any questions or are curious to learn more about what's been going on in Panama, please feel email! I'd love to hear from you!
- that many healthy church plants might reach and equip nationals for the great commission
- that Ashley Moore and I might have spiritual influence with those that God places in our path
- that IBCV will be a light to those living in Costa Verde
- that God would raise up more teammates to come labor in Panama
I'm currently building my financial partnership team. It's been an incredible journey and I'm grateful for and blessed by those who have partnered with me! God has been so faithful and I have reached 85% support! If you are interested in joining the ministry in this way, I would love to get in contact with you! You can do so by responding to this email or clicking here. Thank you for considering Panama and this ministry.