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Panama 28 Day 2017

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Buenos Tardes!

The Lord has been so faithful to us over the past day. We have seen him bring us person after person. We have faced discouragement from the enemy in many ways, but overall, we know that we have the victory. 

Yesterday we took a bus into the main part of Chitre where we performed a drama at a plaza. Every drama we have performed at, we felt as though the enemy was doing everything in his power to try to discourage us and prevent ministry from happening. But God has a plan. Although there weren’t many people at this drama, the Lord still had a plan for his people to be saved. On the way back, two of our students struck up a conversation with one of the riders on the bus. What started out as a friendly conversation about music turned into asking deeper questions and eventually, the students got to share the gospel with  this man. Moved to tears, he asked these students to pray with him as he repented and surrendered his life to following Jesus. All this was just on one, city bus ride back to the church. God is so sovereign!

Later that afternoon the students got to enjoy some rest before we headed out to a local basketball court. While this basketball court is normally packed with young people, it was completely empty. We are so thankful for students who perform the drama with everything they have, regardless of the audience size. A few scenes into the drama, one little boy came up and sat on the bleachers with us. Immediately after the drama ended, one of our ministry teams went up to speak with the only little boy at this drama. They got to lead him to Christ! Gloria a Dios!

This morning we were blessed to perform the drama for a school that is next door to the church we were staying at. Our students loved interacting with the young kids and enjoyed building relationships with the teachers. Today is our last day in Chitre, so tonight we will have a fellowship and time of prayer with the church. We know that just because we are leaving the city tomorrow does not mean that the work is finished here. God is not done in Chitre. 

Please pray for us as we travel back to Panama City tomorrow! God has a lot in store for us still on this trip. Pray for continued unity and for the Lord to guard us from the enemy. We have been blessed by a team that is hard-working and works well together, but we don’t want to be unaware of the enemy’s schemes to ruin our ministry. Pray that we are full of joy and love for one another. We can’t wait to see what’s next for us!

Your Country Coordinators,

Razi & Melanie

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Buenos Dias!

“So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thessalonians 2:8).

Greetings from Chitre! It has been such a joyous time here in Chitre for the past few days. Our team has been embraced by the wonderful church people of Alfa y Omega Iglesia. They have such a desire to make the gospel known among their people, which has been encouraging to our team.

Yesterday we enjoyed a morning of worship with our brothers and sisters here in Chitre. The students were able to perform the drama for the church in the morning. After a delicious lunch of peanut butter and jelly, the students spent some time in fellowship playing soccer with some locals and continuing to build relationships with one another. 

At Awe Star one of our main teachings is that “our disappointment is God’s divine appointment.” A lot of our plans here in Chitre had to be adjusted due to the fact that there are many celebrations going on, which prevents us from performing the drama. However, we know that God has a plan and a purpose for us here. Just last night, we had originally planned to go to one of the biggest plazas in Chitre. That plan was changed last-minute because of the celebration, and we walked less than a mile to a small neighborhood. Although this wasn’t our original plan, we began to watch as people flocked from their houses to come to this small park and watch the drama. One of our ministry teams talked to a group of over 10 children and each of them prayed to surrender their life to Christ. Gloria a Dios!

That night we spent time in fellowship and then did a teaching on the Five Love Languages. We are trying to learn how to love one another better, because love covers a multitude of sins. We are so blessed by this team and how much they already love and serve one another and we are excited to see what else God has for us!

Today we are performing the drama near schools and in basketball courts. We are hoping that many students who leave school for the day will stop to watch the drama and hear the gospel.  Please pray for the students and their energy. Pray that they are able to stay focused on what God has for us in store. Pray that the Lord of the harvest would bring many people to himself during our short time here in Chitre. Pray that we can learn how to love and serve one another above all else, and that the Panamanians will know us by our love, one for another. 

Your Country Coordinators, 

Melanie & Razi 

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Buenas Noches!

What a wonderful first day of ministry! The church here in La Arena is so hospitable. They welcomed us with open arms and open hearts. Several of the students got to experience worship in another language for the first time. What a joy it is to worship the Creator in multiple languages! One of our students got to share his testimony with the church. We may be from different countries, but God still changes lives no matter where we are!

This morning, the students awoke to a delicious breakfast of eggs and the traditional La Arena bread. After this, we headed out to begin our ministry here in Chitre. We walked to a local park where we set up our speaker system to play music, and then the students went out to invite. Several cars that were driving by stopped so the people could get out of their cars and watch the drama we were presenting. 

After this ministry site, we headed to a small plaza. Unlike the first drama, this site did not have a lot of people there at all. The students went out and invited locals, but no one was coming. Praise the Lord, God ended up bringing an abundance of people, and we had a crowd gather to watch! After this drama, our students went out into ministry teams and got to share the gospel one-on-one with the people. We are so humbled and blessed by the God we serve. Several people moved from death to life this afternoon, praise God!

The afternoon was more laid-back. The students had some rest time to recuperate from travel and spend more time in the Word. We then broke out into small groups of guys and girls and had discussions on what it is to be men and women of God. The Lord continues to bless our team’s unity, and we are so grateful!

This evening, the church where we are staying is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Several churches from around the area are in attendance. The students will perform a drama for the audience; we are praying that God opens doors for us to take this drama and work with new Panamanian pastors both now and in the future.  

Tomorrow, we will attend worship with the church and then spend the afternoon in ministry. Pray for the students that they will stay healthy, hydrated, and full of joy! We want to lay down our selfishness every day, and we know God has not called us to be comfortable. Pray against the attacks of the enemy and against complaints; may we always rejoice in what God is doing! 

Your Country Coordinators, 

Razi & Melanie

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Hello and Good Evening from Beautiful Panama!

The past two days have been a whirlwind of training and traveling, but we are finally in Panama City. On Wednesday we spent the day finishing up learning and perfecting the drama. That night, we heard Peggy Nunley speak on the authority we have in Christ and what that means for our team as we go. The students were moved to tears as they realized what the magnitude of our trip meant. Together we huddled and prayed, tears streaming down our faces as we cried out to God for His strength this summer. The Holy Spirit was moving and increased our team unity exponentially.

Yesterday, we started the morning off bright and early with a delicious breakfast. After saying goodbye to The Gambia team, we all loaded onto a bus and took the drive from Dallas to Houston. God blessed us in many ways, and we were able to move through security quickly. God continued to grant us safety and speed. We landed in Panama at around 11:05 p.m. last night. The students were tired but are ready to begin our first day here in-country.

Today, we started off strong and left for Chitre after breakfast. Pray for the students. Pray for their energy and strength to come from Christ and not themselves. Pray for them to be reminded that God has not called them to comfort. Most of all, please pray against the attacks of the enemy. The more tired we are, the easier it is to forget the need to take captive every thought. We must work the works of Him who sent us, for night is coming when no one can work (see John 9:4).

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  1.  Open up your texting App
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  3. In the texting/subject line, type in PAN28

Your Country Coordinators,

Melanie & Razi

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Good Morning!

Our hearts are filled with joy after an amazing day yesterday. It was long and hot, but our students worked hard at learning the drama. 

We started off the morning with a delicious breakfast and then sat under a few teachings. The students learned what the art of engaging on the mission field looked like, they learned how to SHARRE the gospel, and then we had a teaching on spiritual gifts. They learned that we could all use our individual spiritual gifts to work together to glorify Christ as one body. 

After some team time and then lunch, we headed out to begin drama training for the day. We are so blessed by this team. God is truly faithful in the little things; we heard not one complaint from our students. Their attitudes were set on glorifying Jesus and learning the drama. They have impressed us with their ability to learn the drama so well.

Yesterday we prayed that the students would be willing to give their all during training and that they would do their best, for God is glorified in our excellence. The team is growing closer with each day. We already feel like a family even though we have only known each other a short time! 

Yesterday evening, after we spent time in worship, Walker spoke on distinguishing the voices from above, within, and below. Afterwards, we taught the team how to share their testimonies on the mission field, and they prepared those testimonies in their small groups. 

Today will be a long day. This is the last day of drama training, so we will spend the entire day learning the drama. Please pray that the students are able to learn quickly and that we can make the best use of our time. Pray for hearts that have an attitude of worship and focus on who God is. Pray that they stay hydrated and that the Lord will protect the students from the attacks of the enemy. Tonight, we will begin packing and head out tomorrow morning for a long day of travel. We are so excited for all that God is going to do this summer in Panama and are looking forward to the ministry God has for us this summer. 

 

Your Country Coordinators, 

Razi & Melanie

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Good Morning!

Awe Star’s theme for this summer is Without Reserve. It is taken from Romans 12:1,

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (ESV)

This verse is our prayer for the students this summer. We want to see them present their bodies as living sacrifices. They have already sacrificed in working hard to raise money and are now sacrificing their summer to serve the Lord. We can’t wait to see what God is going to do!

Yesterday was an amazing first full day with our team! In the morning the students sat through various teachings to do some spiritual preparation. We learned what following Jesus as adults meant and several of our students laid down their childhood to take on adult responsibilities. One of the beliefs Awe Star has is that we do not take children on the mission field, we take adults. Our team has already begun stepping up and taking on that responsibility. Praise God!

After a delicious lunch provided for us here at Awe Star University, the students began drama training. Although our team is the smallest team this year at ASU, God has perfectly ordained each role for each student. We loved watching how the Holy Spirit began unifying the team. They were filled with joy even as they persevered through the heat. We are so proud of how they picked up the drama.

After eating dinner and showering, the students sat under a teaching done by Caleb Moore. We also got to cherish some time spent in worship together. At Awe Star we believe that worship makes us stronger. The students could have easily been tired from a hard days work, but by spending time in worship we felt the Lord rejuvenate our hearts and our minds so that we could be stronger. 

We closed the night out with some team time. Razi spoke on the importance of sharing your stories and how our lives are living sacrifices to the Lord. This prompted our students to begin sharing their testimonies. Several of our students were moved to tears as they began sharing how the Lord rescued them out of bondage and brought them to where they are now. We encouraged vulnerability because vulnerability brings forth unity. We could definitely feel the unity in the team grow exponentially throughout this time. Praise the Lord!

Today will be another day similar to yesterday. The students will have teachings this morning and then will continue in drama training after lunch. Please keep our students in prayer for energy and strength to make it through the day. Pray they stay hydrated and that the Lord will keep their strength up. Lastly, pray against any attacks of the enemy on our team. We want to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Pray that the Holy Spirit will move in our students, and bring forth a spirit of oneness among the team.

 

Your Country Coordinators, 

Melanie & Razi

Buenas Dias!

Hello and welcome to the Panama 28 Day Team Trip Updates! We are so excited to see all that God is going to do in and through our students this summer. Yesterday the students all gathered here in Dallas and began their training. We are already seeing the Lord at work in our teams unity.

This morning the students are sitting under some teachings. After lunch, we will begin our drama training. The drama will be our main tool of ministry while we are in Panama this summer. It is an 18 minute long drama that goes from creation to resurrection. Each of the students will have a role in this drama, which they will find out today!

We believe God is going to do incredible things this summer. Please be in prayer for our students as we begin drama training. Pray for energy, focus, strength, and that they drink LOTS of water today.

Your Country Coordinators,

Razi & Melanie

The time is almost here for a great summer in Panama. Check here for pictures and updates on how the summer mission is doing. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

Awe Star Ministries