Good morning! The Smoke Rise team started off pretty early this morning. With a breakfast of cereal and fruits at 4:30 am, the team loaded up the bus and left Casa Blanca at about 5:15 a.m. We will provide updates as they progress in their trip and are missing them already!
Hello again! The team had such a wonderful time shopping and spending time together in fellowship. We explored around the Indian Market, looking at the beautifully handcrafted artifacts of the indigenous people of Panama. Members of the team were able to learn more about the culture while purchasing these crafts: hammocks, machetes, and more. After this we headed to Albrook Mall, a mall that is about three miles long and has hundreds of stores and three massive food courts, with anything you could want from Chinese food to KFC to Johnny Rockets and so many other options. The team was given a few hours to shop and explore before meeting up to have dinner all together one last time. It was a bittersweet moment as we said goodbye to the translators who have become like family during this time together. We then headed back to Casa Blanca for one last teaching. Walker taught on Dominions vs. Duties and the team encouraged one another.
Now the team rests and prepares for the early flight in the morning. We as leadership would like to thank you one last time for following and praying for our trip.
Hello friends! What a wonderful day it has been. Glory to God for all He has done and is doing in Panama. Most of the team started the morning out waking up bright and early at 5:30 a.m. to hike up the beautiful hill of Ancon. The hike is about 5.2 miles round trip and at the top of the mountain, you can see most of Panama City. The team prayed over the city of Panama, the contacts we have worked with, and for the ministry that will continue long after we are gone. We then had corn tortillas and sausage, prepared by the lovely Mirna and Blanca, to get us ready for the day. We headed out to Cinco de Mayo to perform the drama two final times. We were able to find a number of seeking souls out on the streets. One woman approached us after the first drama and spoke about how she has been praying to find a place to connect her son with. He has been struggling with depression and feeling alone. We gave her a card to invite her to a party that La Comunidad Bible Church is having tomorrow, and hopefully they will be able to connect with him there. This was just one of many stories we gained today and we know your students will be excited to share more about what God has done in Panama.
We are headed out now to go shop at the Indian market and to Albrook Mall. We will update again after shopping and will post more pictures. Thank you again for sharing your family members and friends with us. They have been a wonderful group and we will be sad to see them go.
Hello everyone! What an awesome day of ministry it has been. The team loaded up on the bus at about 9 a.m. to head to a suburb right outside Panama City called Loma Cova. We promoted two students to act as Team Directors for the day; they had the opportunity to get first-hand experience in what it is like to lead a group of missionaries in a foreign country. We arrived at a school in Loma Cova and headed in to present the drama to the students. We were overjoyed to see all of the wonderful, smiling faces which were there to greet us as we entered the gates. We performed the drama for two groups in the morning and were able to spend a lot of time hanging out and laughing with the children. After the second drama, we enjoyed our delicious lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, and cookies. We then received word that the parents were arriving to pick up their children and were interested in seeing the drama themselves. We did not even have to think twice: we grabbed everything and headed outside the gates to present the Gospel to the parents of the children who had just seen and heard it. We then headed back in to perform one more drama for the afternoon students. We saw many begin relationships with Christ and were beyond joyful to gain so many new brothers and sisters in Christ.
Once we completed our time of ministry at the school, the team said their goodbyes and reloaded the bus. We then headed to the church of the pastor who worked with us today. We presented the Gospel there, and, glory to God, we gained a few more new brothers and sisters in Christ! It was a wonderful day of ministry, and the students would have happily presented the Gospel another five times if it meant sharing the love of Christ. We will be finishing up the day with a wonderful meal prepared by our lovely cooks and a teaching on sharing the Gospel. We have so enjoyed serving with the Smoke Rise team and will be sad to see them leave on Saturday; however, we are excited to see them take everything they have seen and learned here back home to Alabama.
Thank you again to everyone who has been keeping up with our trip and for your continued prayers. Thank you to those who gave up your family members and friends for a week to do Jesus’ ministry here in Panama.
After returning home from our venture to the mountains, the team had some time for much-needed rest, journaling, and showers! This was a wonderful time of reflection on all that God has done. We then saddled up for another day of ministry. After lunch we went out to Cinco de Mayo and prayer-walked. The team was wonderful as they went out to S.H.A.R.R.E. the gospel. They shared without translators and did wonderfully. Several people the team spoke to even made the decision to follow Christ.
The team then returned home to Casa Blanca for a delicious Panamanian dinner and an exceptional teaching by Walker Moore.
We in Panama always do appreciate your prayers. Please keep checking in on us and above all keep praying; God is moving!
Thank you so much
-Smoke Rise Team
Today we left early on the bus headed toward the mountains of Panama. We journeyed to a small village called Aguacate. Arriving at about noon, we were able to help with the school in the village. The team split into four groups and taught different age groups. Each group taught the students simple English phrases, Bible stories, and the “Cupid Shuffle.” After about two hours of spending time with and teaching the children, all of the groups met together at the school’s basketball court and danced to the “Cupid Shuffle.”
After dancing, the team performed the drama for the students. All who were there saw the Gospel and many began a relationship with Jesus! God is so good: that He would call us to share with the children of Panama and that He would call them to Himself.
We later led the church service in the village. After an awesome time of worship led by the nationals of the village, the team performed the drama and Walker brought the message. All were encouraged by the drama and Walker’s sermon on the “Orphan Heart.”
Today the team rose early to load up on two trucks headed for Trinidad, another village up the mountain. The team then divided into four groups. One group went to the school to teach as they did the day before. Two more teams went out and invited the people of the village to the school to see the drama. While they were out, the groups tried to find ways to E.N.G.A.G.E. the culture. This simply means that they went out trying to find jobs or ways they could help the people with their everyday tasks. The last group stayed behind to make lunch for the other groups.
Upon meeting back together, the team had lunch and prepared for the drama. With food in their stomachs, the team began set up for the drama at the school. God again made his presence known among the people. God showed up and many came to accept His free gift. The team was greatly encouraged to see God work. We then went down to the river to take some pictures and while we were there, a dear sister from the village asked to be baptized. Her name is Kenya; she said she had been waiting for the right time to be baptized and chose to proclaim her relationship with Christ in front of our team. We were so encouraged by her boldness in this very important step of her walk.
After spending a little more time with the people, the team headed back for Aguacate. They then had a few hours of rest before dinner. Walker used this time to tell of his hike up Mount Kilimanjaro carrying the cross. The team was encouraged to hear of all that God revealed to him and the truths he learned.
After dinner, the church held a worship service. During the service, the children of the village performed a couple of native dances and a special song. After this the team presented the drama and Henry brought the message. The nationals then presented the team with gifts, and said their good-byes.
We left the mountains this morning and have arrived back at Casa Blanca without any issues. We will post further updates tonight as we will be doing more ministry this afternoon.
Againm we would like to thank you for following our trip and for all of your prayers.
Again we at Smoke Rise here in Panama would like to thank you for following our trip. Today we will be traveling into the mountains to the village called Aguacate. We will not have Internet, and thus will not be able to post until Wednesday, when we return.
Thank you so much for your prayers and for your willingness to send those you love.
Smoke Rise Team
Our team arrived in Panama last night on schedule and made it through customs without any delay. Praise God for He is good! When we met up with Walker, our team leaders and translators we heard great stories of the work God has been doing already in Panama. We spent our first night at the Casa Blanca and enjoyed a full night’s rest.
After breakfast we set out for “La Comunidad Bible Church” where we had an amazing worship service with our brothers and sisters here in Panama. Walker brought the message at church, and all were encouraged who heard. We know that worship makes us stronger and gives us energy, which is exactly what the team needed. After the service we ate the iconic peanut butter and jelly lunch the team was ready to go out and do ministry. On the street called Cinco de Mayo we did the drama and shared the Gospel. We were able to see God draw people to Himself today through the Smoke Rise Awe Star team.
After the day of ministry we enjoyed the cooking of Panama in Casa Blanca. We are enjoying the teaching and training led by Walker to prepare us for doing further ministry. Please pray for us as we go to Aguacate tomorrow for ministry.
Thank you for your prayers and for following your loved ones on this trip.
Smoke Rise Team