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Calvary Inola in Panama

Today, God drew huge crowds at Cinco de Mayo the crossroad of Panama City.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and many people were out doing their afternoon shopping.  It seemed like everywhere we went people God drew a crowd. (The team presented the Gospel seven times) The students saw things today will forever change them.  They saw people break down and weep openly during the crucifixion scene and people from every walk of life confess they were sinners and need a Savior.

This group has served with joy and a spirit of encouragement.  Please let the people of Calvary who supported these students that God used them mightly.  Their hearts will remain here in Panama, and hopefully that will bring them back soon.  So don’t be surprised when they talk your ears off the whole way home from the airport about all the great things God has done.  One thing is for sure, these missionary gives a spit.  I can’t wait for them to explain that to you.  Make sure to remind them to keep their hands dirty for Christ.  Again I don’t know if I could even put into words how much I love this team.  They will always have a very special place in my heart. All to the Glory of God!

Doing Jesus Ministry in Panama…Chad, Daniel, Charlotte, and Walker

“You do not know what will happen tomorrow.  For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.  Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15

It seems like this has been the passage that God has taught us this week.  We came to Panama with a set schedule.  Well, God pretty much scrapped our plan and gave us a new one.  Our plan would have been like looking at just one piece of the Mona Lisa.  However, His plan showed us a picture on a much larger scale.  It was one that opened the door for a place in the jungle called Gamboa.

Before we left for the jungle we presented the Gospel at Isaac’s our translator’s old school.  There we had a chance to meet and present the Gospel to several college students.  This group included students of all backgrounds and religion.  A young Muslim couple even prayed to receive Jesus in their hearts.

After that, it was off to Gamboa.  We got to the village a little later than planned, but as soon as we got set up; God was sending people to us.  After we got our mosquito nets up, we stood in the middle of the Wouannan village and worshipped.  Maybe five minutes into it a woman approached us, crying, asking us to please pray for her family.  One of her daughters had run away, and she simply didn’t know what else to do.  It didn’t take long for God to show us why He called us to Gamboa.  The people there were ready and anxious to hear what we had to say.  As we went to bed the team learned what it is like to live in another part of the world.  Some of the girls slept on a concrete floor.  The rest slept in a Wounanna hut which stands on stilts.  Then the guys slept on an uneven dirt floor.

We woke up to the beautiful sound of howler monkeys and various types of birds.  Pastor Luciano, who has given most of his life for the sake of the village, gave us a list of things we could do to show Christ love.  Some of us took machetes and cleared out the trails that run between the villages.  Others followed behind and picked up trash on the trails.  Still more stayed and cleaned the villages.  When I say cleaned I mean picked up each individual leaf that had fallen.  I don’t know that I have ever seen manual labor done with so much joy in my life.

The Wouannan people were so gracious and eager to show us their culture.  They showed us three of their tribal dances and explained to us their origins and reasons for doing things.  When the cultural lessons was over it was time to do Jesus Ministry.  We walked a little ways through the jungle to the Embera-Puru village.  On a side note, instead of having one group of people to minister to like we would have in Icandi, God provided two people groups.  We did the first drama for the Embera-Puru people.  God really moved as we began to hear many people repeating us in prayer to receive Christ, but that wasn’t all…more to come tomorrow!

We are busy changing clothes and heading out to dinner. More updates later this evening. We had a glorious trip to a new village and people group that Awe Star has never worked. The team had the privelge of sharing the gospel for the very first time in one village. Much  to tell but we are all happy and health and overwhelmed over God’s goodness.

Walker Moore

Sometimes God moves externally.  Still other times he moves internally.  Today our team got a taste of both.  When we set out to do Jesus Ministry this morning we thought we would be doing the drama four times at one school.  The principal had set aside about 45 minutes for each group of two classes to see the drama at a time.  However, God wanted some other people to see the drama.  After we performed the first two dramas, the principal said that he liked what we were doing so much, and loved the kids’ reactions so much he wanted more of the kids to see the drama.  Our team was visibly exhausted after the fourth time, but God tells us that His power works best in our weakness.  That was certainly the case today, as the strength, courage, and boldness of a pride of lions burst through our team.  The fifth drama was easily the best of the day.  The result of our team being willing witnesses was many salvations.  God placed before us students of all backgrounds.  There were some students who were Jewish and many who were Catholic, and still others had no sense of any religion or belonging.  Each small group ministered to about ten students at a time, and countless times all ten of those students accepted Christ and surrendered their lives to Him.  Anyone reading at home who has been to Panama before knows that no one ever wants to leave the schools, and that was absolutely the case today.  Parents, friends, and family after today (yes this early!!) I can guarantee that these students will not come home the same.  Part of their heart has been, and will always be left behind in Panama!

At Awe Star, we believe that the only thing better than God moving externally is when God moves internally.  This afternoon we got to go see a woman who is very important to us, Nivia.  Nivia has been our cook in Panama for five years.  Anyone who has ever met Nivia has met one of the strongest and sweetest women in the world.  She drops everything she is doing to come cook for students who follow God’s call to Panama.  She has made countless journeys to Icandi, Calabaso, Tabardi, and many other places in the jungle and mountains.  Unfortunately Nivia suffered a stroke only days before our first team arrived.  She is back in her house and on the way to recovery, but her right arm and leg are still paralyzed.  One thing Nivia loves is worship through song.  Today she reminded us that even though she doesn’t speak English, she still feels God moving through her the same way we do when we worship.  Nivia has always given all of herself to the One who gave everything for her.  She sat today with her strong hand raised high, pouring her heart out to God as tears ran down her cheeks, my cheeks, and the cheeks of many of our students.  We ended our time with Nivia by praying over her.  We believe, and Nivia believes, that the power of prayer is far stronger than any earthly measure.  God has all authority over all situations.  He is able!  Not only that, but we know He is with us, and He is for us.  We ask that you would please join us in praying for Nivia.  Regardless of what transpires, I can say with certainty that Nivia will give all glory to God in sickness or health.  I wish you all could have the chance to meet her, but you should know that she is praying for you, and appreciates all the prayers for her.  As Nivia always says “Gloria a Dios!!”

Chad, Daniel, Charlotte, and Walker

Sunday 7/1

Let me tell you what great things God has done in our first day doing Jesus Ministry here in Panama.  The team arrived today at 10:15 a.m.  I am happy to say that everyone is safe and healthy. We took them straight to church from the airport.  After church the team had lunch at the house, and then it was time to do Jesus Ministry.  Today we were reminded that God uses all things to work together for His purposes.  On a day where the president of Panama was scheduled to make an appearance at Cinco de Mayo, God sent a most beautiful rainstorm that left many looking for shelter.  It’s a common misconception that we prefer to do the drama on a pretty, sunny day.  However, there is nothing like doing the drama in the middle of a downpour.  With a simple afternoon rain God pulled together a group of individuals who otherwise may not have seen the drama.  Many of these people came to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior today!  One woman in particular, when she was hearing the Gospel, went and got three friends to make sure they heard the story of the only man who has the power to save their souls.  They were so attentive they were even warding off distractions for each other.  Praise God for many salvations today, and many others who saw the drama and had a seed planted.

We just finished an amazing night of worship topped with a powerful lesson on the Great Commission.  The team is now unloading and settling down getting ready for bed.  Please pray for us that tomorrow would yield many more divine encounters in the schools.  To God be all the glory!

Walker, Daniel, Charlotte

The team with all of its luggage has arrived in Panama. The team ate a quick lunch are heading out to do ministry. Pictures and more tonight!

Walker Moore

Unfortunately, the team’s TACA flight from San Salvlador to Panama City was cancelled today.  They will be staying in a hotel near the San Jose airport for tonight, and they will be arriving here in Panama around 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.  However, we know that our disappointment is God’s divine appointment.  They have the opportunity to do Jesus ministry is two countries instead of one; as well as getting some much needed rest before we present the Gospel of Jesus to the beautiful people of Panama.  When the team arrives tomorrow we will be taking them directly to church from the airport, and then straight to Cinco de Mayo to do Jesus Ministry!  The team will be traveling in their costumes so they will be ready to get to work as soon as possible.  We look forward to telling you many stories of people coming to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior tomorrow.

PS  When we informed the Panamanians that the team would not be arriving tonight; they informed us that TACA stood for Take A Chance Airline.

Dear family and friends,

We have heard from our Calvary Inola group that they are all doing fine but have had a delay in the travel.  The flight out of San Salvador, El Salvador was cancelled so TACA airlines is putting the team up in a hotel and taking good care of them.  They will fly out at 7:00am tomorrow and arrive in Panama about 10:00am on COPA airlines.  They are looking for Divine Encounters to share the gospel there in San Salvador!  They know the mission is not just in Panama. Tomorrow morning they will wear their costumes on their flight so they can arrive in time to perform the drama  in a parade in Panama City first thing!  Thank you for your prayers for this team and for the people they will meet.

Carol, Awe Star Staff

“We must work!” This is the theme of Awe Star this summer. Here in Panama we have learned through experience that God has authority over all things. So as we work our plans change. Each time a plan changes we get to experience His divine appointments. Today we got to experience this. Our team got to do the drama in and around a school in the roughest area of Panama. We got to share Christ and His love to many children and adults who were very responsive to the Gospel.  Many of these children don’t experience the love of a family at home, so when we got to the schools the kids were simply amazed that we would travel so far to tell them the ultimate story of love.  Who would have imagined that in an area that is home to the most notorious gang in all of Central America, the biggest danger we would face was being mauled by children who desperately wanted the little ministry tracts we hand out.  After we finally dragged our team away from the school we took to the streets.  We found a nice little area in the Racatacas (slums) to set up for the next drama.  As soon as we started playing a little music people came from near and far to see what the ruckus was about.  Before we knew it we were surrounded with an audience of gang members, prostitutes, and normal people just passing by.  Still others watched from their balcony, and many were calling out to as many people as they could to help the audience grow.  After the drama God moved in an amazing way.  We ministered to people who knew Jesus and even more who did not.  Many of the believers left wanting to do more for their community.

Then the rain came.  At first we thought we were going to continue doing ministry in the Racatacas.  However, God had other plans for us.  We loaded up and took off for a mall that has never allowed us to perform the drama.  Surely this would be the time God would open the doors to a busy mall to do Jesus Ministry.  Yet, He saw things playing out a little differently.  At this point we knew God had something huge in store for us!  Let me just say that huge is an understatement.  The team hopped on the bus, and we left to go to a refuge camp.  The Panamanian government is building a tourist area right next to the Racatacas.  For safety reasons, the government is tearing down the Racatacas and relocating them.  It took about ten minutes at the police station to obtain the proper protection forces for the area we entered.  In my wildest dreams, I would have never guessed that the police force would be needed to keep the kids out of the bus rather than an actual danger.  That’s exactly what happened.  About fifty kids aging from about two years old to ten years old chased our bus a quarter of a mile down the street after we were done.  But before all of that, some of our students got a chance to talk to the police chief on site.  He informed us that they try to do much more than just serve and protect.  They do everything they can to give the people a sense of value and worth.  He explained that they always give the people two choices; the easy way and the hard way.  However, he meant so much more than just prison and violence.  He said he uses his position as a means to communicate that we all have a decision to make that affects our souls for eternity.  At the end of the day, he gave us his number and said he wants us to come back soon, but this time it would be a huge event.  He wants to bring his most troubled youth and criminals for them to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Praise God for a simple rainstorm that opened up a relationship with the police department, and many opportunities in one of the darkest areas in Central America.

Unfortunately, Icandi, the Kuna village we were going to visit tomorrow has been shut down by the elders so we are switching to Gamboa, a small island where the Embera live. We will be working with three small villages over the next few days. We will arrive back into Panama City Friday afternoon. While we are in the village there will be no updates until Friday. Please continue to pray for us as God is using the team mightily.

Chad, Daniel, Charlotte, Walker

Welcome to the Awe Star Ministries Trip Updates! This page will give you an inside scoop on the great things God is doing in and through our team in Panama. Here, Team Leaders will post frequent updates via text and pictures. You can access the text updates on this page and view trip pictures by clicking the “pictures” tab located at the top of the page. In the updates, you will read stories of salvation, revival and other ways God is changing lives. You will see pictures of students ministering, studying and fellowshipping with team members and the people of Panama.

Here is how our trip updates work!

TEXT: View text updates immediately above this note. The most recent updates appear at the top in order of their posting (generally by date).

PHOTOS: View photo updates by clicking on the “Pictures” tab at the top of the page. Pictures will be posted in this area as well as pictures being embedded into the text updates. Please download and utilize the pictures freely to encourage others to pray. Mom and Dad: we strive to include as many students as possible in our photos, but please do not be alarmed if your student does not appear daily. Keep watching!

PATIENCE, PLEASE (IMPORTANT!): Internet access in international locations can be inconsistent, and our busy travel/ministry schedule sometimes keeps us from posting and/or loading new photos. When you don’t see an update, please keep praying and know that we are doing our best to stay in touch!

COMMENTS: This vital feature allows parents, friends, pastors and other supporters to leave comments on the posts. Comments remind the leadership and team of your love, support and especially of your prayers on their behalf. To leave a comment, simply click the title of the post next to the date. This will lead you to the specific post’s page where you can comment at the bottom. A page will open that allows you to leave yours. Please keep all comments:

1. Respectful and upbeat: Anything else has the potential to detract from our important work.

2. Appropriate: All comments will be reviewed by Awe Star staff or leadership before they appear. This prevents spam or other potential problems for our missionaries.

QUESTIONS: If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at kenny@awestar.org. You can also call the Awe Star Ministries office at (918)664-3500.

We are so grateful for the many ways you have already supported this group of student missionaries. Bathed in prayer, they will do incredible things for our Creator. They will return with many stories of the ways God touched hearts and changed lives—including their own.

Kenny Hindenburg

Manager of Ministry &  Multimedia