After months of preparation and fundraising, the Panama mission team is finally ready to make the journey to Panama.  Although there are more seasoned missionaries going on this trip there are others of us that are new to the field.  Regardless of experience, each team member is anxiously awaiting to see how the Lord is going to work in and through each one of us to touch the people of Panama. While in Panama the team plans to conduct hospital visits, teach VBS, visit indigenous communities and a Catholic Orphanage, work a breakfast for the local fire and police department, and assist in serving at a pastor’s conference.  However, while our own Pastor Reggie and Pastor Bart of Calvary Chapel Panama have worked to provide a schedule for the week, we all know that “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps” (Proverbs 16:9). Ultimately, we pray that we would be submissive to the Holy Spirit and let Him direct our actions and speech.  In the words of team member, Jerry Harris, “I want to be awake, alert, and sensitive to see the things God wants me to see and the courage to do the things He wants me to do.”  I believe that to be the overall consensus of the group.  As Vicki White stated, “I have been listening to the song ‘Let Them See You’ by the JJ Weeks band.  She even went as far to say that that had become her theme song for the trip. 

Therefore, not knowing entirely what to expect; the team’s primary goal is to be unified in the body of Christ as we share the good news with the people of Panama.  We are extremely honored and humbled that the Lord has called each of us, at this time, to witness the work He has already begun in Panama and that He has invited us to join alongside Him to serve.  Billy Graham states, “This invitation to discipleship is the most thrilling cause we could ever imagine.  Think of it:  The God of the Universe invites us to become His partners in reclaiming the world for Him!” While the team knows full well that we are going to serve the people of Panama we also hope to individually grow closer to Christ in our walk with Him.  We have no idea exactly what the Lord has planned but we are filled with excitement and anticipation to see what He has in store. 

As the team departs for Panama we would like to convey to each of you, back here at home, that you also play a critical role in touching the hearts of those in Panama.  This trip would not be possible without the support you have provided over the last 7 months, be it through participating in our fundraising efforts or being one of our prayer warriors.  We thank each and every one of you and ask that you continue to keep us prayer as we set out on our journey.  The team looks forward to reporting back and sharing our experience with you in the weeks to come!

One last thing the team would like to remind our amazing congregation is just because you may not physically be going to Panama does not mean you have not been called to discipleship. As stated by Randy Kilgore in a daily devotional,”….God reminds me to look right where I am, and I discover many who have never heard of Jesus.  In that moment, I’m reminded that I have a story to tell wherever I go, ‘for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’ (Romans 10:12-13).  Remember, we don’t have just any story to tell – it’s the best story that has ever been told.”  So regardless of location, share the gospel, for “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15)

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