Update from the Suddeths
Dear Friends and Partners in Ministry,
In our September update we shared about some upcoming opportunities throughout the month. We have learned, and continue to learn, there is a often a difference between busy and productive (we like to say fruitful). We think the Lord gave us a fruitful month for His kingdom. Here are a few highlights:
A group of 18 people from our church spent a Saturday in the Woonaan village of San Antonio. We do believe this day accomplished the purposes for which we had hoped. There was a good time of fellowship among the church members, and they are excited about potential opportunities for ministry in this community on a monthly basis. Also, the people of the community do seem to have a genuine spiritual hunger to be taught God’s Word. They have expressed an interest in wanting help with ministries among children, women, and men, in wanting to better understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and how to make disciples, and in wanting more training for pastors. Please continue to pray for us and for the people of San Antonio. We plan to go back again on October 30.
We celebrated two baptisms in the town of Chilibre, which, as you may remember, is about an hour away from us. During our visit, we were able to have some good conversation about helping them start a local church in their community. Please continue to pray with us concerning the possibility of a local church in Chilibre. We are praying about going there once a month until they feel prepared and comfortable to function without help from our local church, yet maintaining Christian fellowship with us.
I spent a Saturday encouraging a group of pastors and their wives. What do you say to a group of pastors who have more than two hundreds years of combined experience in pastoral ministry? That was the question I asked myself and prayed over for three weeks! I decided it doesn’t matter what I have to say (who cares what I think?) but rather it matters what God has to say. Therefore, I talked to them about the biblical qualifications to be a pastor from 1 Timothy 3. My desire was to show them their age doesn’t matter, changes due to a worldwide pandemic do not matter, technological advances do not matter, etc. What matters is being a godly man committed to serving the church. I wanted them to be reminded that, by God’s grace, their lives and ministries have a great purpose. I think they were encouraged; I pray they were encouraged. Please pray for many pastors in Panamá who need hope and encouragement.
Roy Seals, Director of Global Faith Mission Agency and a good friend, spent a Monday evening on Zoom talking to the people of our church about the role of the local church in missions. It was so encouraging to see everyone soaking up what he had to say, and then asking some really good questions. We are in the process of making plans for Roy to visit in early 2022 to participate in some type of missions conference. Please pray that IBCV will be a local church whose light of the gospel not only shines brightly in Costa Verde and West Panamá but also shines throughout the world by being involved in global missions.
Five more brothers and sisters in Christ officially became members of IBCV. It also appears that we have another group of people who would like to join the church. Therefore, we plan to begin another series of membership classes the week of October 24. We know the only biblical requirement to be a member of a local church is to be saved. However, with so much confusion about the gospel and salvation, we ask that people attend this class with the goal of helping them have a biblical understanding of salvation. Please pray that we will be a biblical local church that is focused on glorifying God, encouraging one another, and sharing the gospel in our community.
In closing, thank you so much for your continued prayers and partnership in the gospel. We pray every day that God will make us fruitful for His kingdom, and that we will bear spiritual fruit that will be credited to your account.