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Panama 35-Day 2015

Good evening,

We just received an update from the Panama team. They are doing well. They just had a wonderful day in Icandi and made it safely to Chepo.  They say that hopefully they can get Internet access tomorrow to give you more of an update of what God is doing and how He is working.

Thank you for continuing to pray for them.

Awe Star Ministries

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Hola!

We continue to serve the Lord here in Panama City. Thank you so much for all of your prayers! Today was a full day of ministry on Cinco de Mayo. We performed the drama twice this morning and three times after lunch. We saw a few salvations, and many many Christians who were encouraged by our presence!

During the first drama after lunch, the floodgates opened, and it started pouring down rain. But the students continued to share the Gospel by performing the drama. And God honored their perseverance when two people gained a newfound relationship with God afterwards!

We are preparing to head to our next city of ministry, Chepo. Tomorrow we will head out early in the morning, and after dropping our stuff at our headquarters there, we will continue on to the village of Icandi. Please pray for unity for our team as we continue to share the Gospel. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and we believe and trust that God will move and save lives because that is who He is. We need your prayers as we labor in the fields white to harvest, and we trust the Lord of the harvest!

With love,

Craig and Meridith

CCs

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Good evening!

Today has been such a day of refreshment for our team! We took a rest day here in Panama City so that as we travel soon to Chepo and Las Culebras, our spirits and bodies will be fresh and full of joyful energy. We know that God created rest for our good and for His glory, so we pray that this day glorifies Him and helps us to glorify Him all the more from day to day!

After sleeping in this morning, we took our team to Albrook mall for lunch. Albrook mall is the biggest mall in Panama. This mall has hundreds of stores, a bus terminal, and a subway station all attached. There are at least two food courts. Anything you could want, you can find at Albrook mall. The students split up into groups to explore the food court, where they were able to choose from American comforts like McDonald’s and Taco Bell, Chinese food, steak houses, pizzerias, you name it. Many of the students also stopped in at the several ice cream parlors scattered around.

After this special lunch, the team returned to the White House for a time of Man Up! and Reign On! teaching. The men learned about the spiritual armor of God that we have been given to wage war against Satan and his forces of deception. The women learned how to be examples according to 1 Timothy 4:12 in speech, life, love, faith, and purity. These teachings are always a reminder that God is not only saving souls in Panama, but He is also moving in the hearts of our students. We are growing in grace, to God be the glory!

After dinner, we entertained ourselves with our annual talent show! There was singing, preaching, songwriting, and even a galactic drama presentation. The students had lots of laughs, and some touching moments as well. This annual event is always a way to relax and spend time together in a refreshing way that only draws us closer in fellowship.

Thank you for your prayers, they are always working! The Lord has sustained us through the first days of this trip, and He will be faithful to sustain us through the last couple weeks. Continue to pray for good health, hydrated bodies, and especially refreshed souls. May we never grow tired of seeing the Lord move, in our team and in the people of Panama. And your prayers are as important in this work as our physical presence here! So thank you!

Grace and peace,

Meridith and Craig, Country Coordinators

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Buenas Tardes from Panama!

Oh how the Lord moved in Altos de Jesus and Santiago this past week! But we are so glad to be back in Panama City.

This morning, we left Santiago and drove straight back to the city. After a healthy lunch, the team was able to rest a little while spending a lot of time soaking up God’s word.

After some time in the word, our students had the awesome opportunity to prayer walk up and down Cinco de Mayo, which you probably know is the road not far from our headquarters that is always packed with people. While prayer walking, one group felt led to share the Gospel with a woman named Maria. After hearing the Gospel, and reading along our team’s ministry card, the woman responded in faith and expressed a desire to follow Jesus! Praise the Lord! Though we love to do the drama day by day, the Lord does not need our drama. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and that was true for Maria this afternoon! To God be the Glory!

Upon returning to the White House, we had a delicious dinner. Afterwards we took the time to participate in the ministry of encouragement. Each member of the team wrote a small note of encouragement to the plethora of translators who have served us this summer, including also our cooks and contact Pastor Luciano. We pray the Lord uses those words to encourage the hearts of our Panamanian brothers and sisters, for we could not participate in Jesus’ ministry here without them!

Thank you for your continued prayers! We so need them. As you pray, pray that our bodies would be rejuvenated as we regroup in Panama City before heading back out to the town of Cheppo. May the Lord use this time to refresh our whole selves, body, mind, and spirit. We are ultimately depending on Him, and trusting Him all the more day by day.

Much love,

Craig and Meridith

Country Coordinators

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These past two days in Santiago we have had the awesome privilege of ministering in schools, a bus station, and even in front of supermarket. Last night we celebrated two birthdays with singing and cake and ice cream! After a good night’s rest we began more ministry at schools where over 1,000 students got to hear the Gospel! The team has been working with one translator for the past six days, but today we had the wonderful blessing of finding several English speakers at every drama site. Language is not a barrier with the Lord! One team came across a young man who just so happened to be visiting his mother from North Carolina. A simple day at the grocery store turned into a divine encounter as our team got to minister to him by boldly speaking truth in love and grace.

One of our favorite stories from today was at our last drama site where we performed the drama for 350 students. One of the ministry teams went out to share and were met by unattentive ears. They came back and decided to pray, asking the Lord to provide them with someone who would have a desire to know more. Right as they finished a group of three students from the school tapped them on the shoulder with one request: “Tell us about the story.” The dove into the Gospel and explained to the students the true meaning of the story. The ministry team leader proceeded to ask if any of them were ready to follow Jesus. The one who had in the very beginning asked to know more told them that he couldn’t because it’s against his family’s beliefs. This young man just so happened to be a Buddhist and he was presented with truth for the very first time. Although he did not make a decision, we praise God that he was open and seeking to know more. We ask that you would be in prayer for him and his family and that the truth of the Gospel would open their eyes.

Today we took the opportunity to give two of our students a leadership role to give them the chance to serve the team in a new way. We see so much potential in each student on our team, and these two students humbly serve and seek to lead by example every day.

Tomorrow we leave in the morning to head back to Panama City. We have enjoyed ministry in Santiago and  are all the more hopeful and excited for what is to come! Please pray for safe travels and more opportunities for ministry in the city!

 

Love,

Your Team Directors,

Jordan and Becca

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Hello again from Santiago!
Thank you so much for your patience and for your prayers as we have been ministering far away from the internet for the last several days! God has moved in mighty and merciful ways!
Since last Wednesday we have been high in the mountains in a place called Alto de Jesus. We were welcomed by Pastor Rey and his wife Isabellita. What incredible servants they are! Alto de Jesus is a beautiful rural community in the Comarca. The Comaraca is a region of Panama where the indigenous people, the Ngäbe, live. There is a high prejudice and tension that exists between the Panamanians and the Ngäbes. There is no electricity. It is a very primitive region. And by the grace of God, our team was able to live and minister with and to them for five days! It was hard work, but oh so worth it. For our God is always worth it!
Thursday we were able to participate in house to house ministry. The students loved getting to spend time with the people and start to build relationships with them. At the end of the afternoon, we presented the drama in front of a little store. The people who came were so thrilled by the story of Jesus!
Friday morning we walked to a nearby school and were able to perform three times! Second through Sixth grades heard the gospel. And many responded and surrendered their lives to Christ! After lunch we loaded up and traveled to the town of La Ruices. We were welcomed there by some of the member’s of La Ruices’ church. The students went out, invited, and then presented the drama in a Park in the center of the town. Many people came and saw. We didn’t have very many translators, but that didn’t stop the Lord from moving! It was so amazing to watch the ministry team leaders step out in boldness and use their best Spanish and our ministry aid card. It was incredible when we all came back together there was a resounding theme of “In my weakness, Spanish, He is strong. They just came to accept Christ!”
Saturday morning our missionary contact, Pastor Luciano, wished us a happy Fourth of July! But he apologized that we weren’t going to have Turkey. Oh how we bonded over the Thanksgiving and Our Country’s birthday mix up! We love Luciano! We traveled to three smaller communities on Saturday. The first one truly broke our hearts. Kids with inflated bellies met us with smiles and open arms. This was the first time for many of the students to witness true starvation. The students performed the drama and presented the Gospel with much fervor, for they understood that they had the Bread of Life to offer. In the next community, we were moved to just simply worship. It was so strengthening! And oh how it affected that community. They asked us to pray for rain. And guess what?! Later that night, it rained! Our God is so faithful! In the third community of the day the team’s joy overflowed to the people. It was so great to see the Students truly share where their joy comes from. And what an impact it made!
On Sunday morning we went to Alto de Jesus’ church service. The weather was so beautiful it was held outside! Some of our students lead a song of worship and Craig brought a powerful message. Our team is consistently humbled by the Body of Christ and we love to worship with them! We had a great afternoon furthering relationships and enjoying our last day with the people of Alto de Jesus. In the early evening they hosted a farewell service for us. How generous and gracious they are! They lavished us in gratitude and exquisite homemade Ngäbe gifts! We were truly blessed and amazed. It’s always hard leaving, but the hope of seeing each other in heaven lifts our hearts to go on. We ended the evening by participating in another church service down the road. Again, the Body of Christ always encourages us!
Alto de Jesus was a place of bonding and unity for our team. We truly do have an incredible team. We are honored and give thanks to Jesus for that time in the mountains! But we know He is far from finished with us! We left Alto de Jesus and traveled to Santiago this morning. After some rest and time in the word, we left for ministry in schools. We cannot wait to share more stories soon!
We are utterly thankful to out Faithful Savior and for you all sending your love, support, and prayers. Please keep them coming! We praise God for such wonderful opportunities and how He is bringing us closer together in unity. Please pray for continued open doors and hearts for the Gospel, strength, furthered unity, continued health, endurance, and for lives to be transformed. Muchas Gracias!
Through His unending love,
Craig and Meridith
Country Coordinators

We received word from the Panama 35 day team and they are doing great in Altos De Jesus.

They said everyone is healthy and happy and they have already seen many people come to know the Lord.

Continue to pray for them as they are there. We are thankful for you all and how you lift them up. You are on a mission even if you didn’t leave your town.

God is good

Awe Star Staff

Good morning everyone!

We received a message from Craig and Meridith that the team had a good trip and arrived safely yesterday to Altos de Jesús. The team is excited to start ministry today. Thank you for checking in with us!

 

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Jerald Jumps with Joy

Today was an amazing day! We got to do more ministry on Cinco de Mayo in Panama City and the Lord showed up big time! Without a doubt the story of our new friend Jerald is the favorite of divine encounters today. The team set up for a drama by a bus stop where many would come and go. Jerald was among the hectic crowd. He saw the drama as he was passing by and felt the need to stay and watch. After the drama was over, a ministry team went out and spoke to him about the true meaning of the drama. Jerald told that ministry team, “Minutes before I passed by I prayed God would give me sign.” It turns out Jerald had been struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide and today was going to be the day that he ended his life. But the Lord had a different plan! Jerald came to receive Christ into his heart and is now a brother to all of us in Christ! He asked if he could come with us to watch the other dramas we were planning to perform today so he could have a better understanding of the gospel. Even our translators poured encouragement into him and now he has a church to go to starting this Friday night! Praise be to God!

We thank God for the ministry that we have gotten to be a part of thus far in Panama City, but we are also looking forward to the ministry He has for us in Alto de Jesus. For the next eight days we will be doing ministry in a mountainous area of Panama that will pave the way for future Awe Star groups to reach the forgotten Ngabe people. Please be patient these next eight days as we will not be able to update as often as we would like, due to lack of internet connection. Craig and Meridith will try to update every two days until we get back to Panama City. We covet your prayers as we travel tomorrow and begin this new work.

In Christ,

Your Team Directors,

Jordan and Becca

 

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Happy Monday from the exciting Panama City!

What a great start-off to our morning with an absolutely delicious breakfast off pancakes, bacon, and eggs. It was made all the more better when Craig shared the Gospel with the team as an encouragement as we started another day of Jesus ministry.

We headed out to the out-lying edges of Panama City, the region of Tocumen. Today we shared Christ’s love in the slums. It was so humbling to watch the students embrace the environment with enthusiasm. As we went out and invited people to come our presentation, children ran out from what seemed to be every corner and fled to our sides with the biggest smiles. The pavilion in which the team presented the drama was filled with people. The spirit moved and many accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior! One group of students shared with a large group of children. The children’s attentiveness was impeccable as they heard the Gospel explained. How our hearts were blessed as they raised their hands showing their desire to ask Jesus to be their Lord!

Our second ministry site was in another slum area. We were joined by many members of the church for encouragement and follow up. It’s truly wonderful to be a part of the body of Christ! People watched the drama from rooftops. After the drama one of our students was compelled to go and talk to a group of men on a balcony. The men were so intrigued by the Gospel. They nodded their heads in wanting Christ as their Savior. As they were responding, another man behind them said, “Si!” so boldly. The group shifted over to him. He explained that he has always believed there was a God but today it clicked and He wanted to surrender His life to Christ. His boldness and faith lead the other men to be bold and accept Christ with all the more fervency!

We performed out third drama with the Kuna translation! And what a blessing it was to have one of our translators bridge the gap from Spanish to Kuna. Our last site for the day was around a busy bus stop. Each ministry team was able to share with many people!

Tonight, we shared an incredible meal (some students are claiming it to be their favorite yet)! We started our group studies over what it looks like to live out biblical manhood and biblical womanhood. What a great time of bonding in the truth with the men and women. We are so looking forward to furthering both studies!

Praise God for the Harvest! We are truly humbled by the work the Lord is doing here in Panama. And we are ever so thankful for our translators! Your prayers are being answered. We need them! Keep them coming! Please continue to pray for molded hearts, clarity of the Gospel, that the team would walk in power through unity, continued health, and safe travels. Thank you so much!

Through His Love and Grace,

Craig and Meridith-CC’s