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FILLED TO OVERFLOWING

Your Panama 14-Day team has returned from Cañitas to Casa Blanca with overflowing hearts, minds,

and spirits, ready to share the great things God has done. We will save most of our stories for Saturday,

when we return home to family and friends, and the days that follow, but we want to share some of

them here as well.

Thursday was our final day of ministry in Cañitas. The team woke up early because of the need to pack

for the return trip to Panama City. A number of the students have discovered during this part of the trip

that hammock sleeping is more restful than they anticipated. Several more have grown in their Spanish

abilities and willingness to try out new words and phrases. And even more have grown in their

relationship with the Lord as they have watched Him moving through the people and places we have

encountered here in beautiful Panama.

After one final hearty breakfast prepared by the local church women (ask your students about the

delicious chicken empañadas they made for us Wednesday night), we met as a team only to learn that

today’s ministry had changed. A teacher’s strike meant our planned school visits could not go on as

scheduled. We traveled out to the local community instead with a view to helping the pastor of the

Cañitas church in his missional outreach.

We spent the morning traversing the streets of a local neighborhood, inviting people to the drama but

also engaging them in conversation, serving them in various ways, and watching for opportunities to

share (or SHARRE, as your students can explain) the gospel. You would be very proud of them and the

many ways they stepped up to serve: washing dishes, picking up trash, folding laundry, and even

removing an unwanted chicken from a bedroom (takeout chicken, Cañitas style).

One group of students encountered a man who fished for a living and told us it was a miracle we had

found him there. He was home only about every six weeks and was only planning to be home for a few

hours that day. He told us he knew God had saved him from a crocodile he encountered while fishing for

tilapia, and the group was able to talk to him about heaven and the power of a personal relationship

with God. Please keep praying for Caesar; our conversation was cut short, and we did not see him at our

later drama performance.

Another group met a woman and her son. The woman said her son went to church occasionally, but she

knew nothing about Jesus at all. Both wanted to know more, however, and as our students shared God’s

plan for bringing salvation to the world through Jesus, each made a decision to turn away from sin and

receive the truth of the gospel. Truly God was moving through our team today!

The noon hour brought our presentation of “Freedom” to the neighborhood where we had served, and

many adults and children came to hear and see. One group of students pushed a woman in a wheelchair

all the way to the park where we performed the drama, holding an umbrella over her head to protect

her from the midday sun. Another group played tag with a group of children, who later enjoyed

watching the students perform.

Just as they had done in service and conversation, the team gave their all in sharing “Freedom” and in

conversations with the people of the community afterward. We are asking God to not only grow the

church through the results of our outreach today but to begin more than one missional outreach

(church plant) as well. Please join us in this prayer.

After a welcome lunch of sandwiches, chips, and cookies back at the church in Cañiitas, we loaded the

waiting bus and traveled back to Panama City. The bus was quiet as students and leaders took

advantage of some siesta time after an exhausting few days. Later, after refreshing showers, the men

and women of our team traveled separately to local restaurants to celebrate guys’ and girls’ nights out

followed by our Man Up and Reign On Bible studies for each group.

The team has seen so many of your prayers answered, including those for health, safety, unity, and the

deep desire of our hearts to make an impact in the country we have come to love so much. Through our

service and by His grace, God has had a deep impact on our lives as well. As we prepare to return home

tomorrow, we ask for your prayers that we be like those disciples in the book of Acts who “turned the

world upside down” (Acts 17:6c).

We had more ministry on Cinco de Mayo today and having a special team celebration tonight. We

have already begun the debriefing process, so make sure to ask us to share our stories with you. Thank

you again for being such a vital part of God’s great work here in Panama.

For His glory,

Panama 14 Leaders

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response to FILLED TO OVERFLOWING

  • Renee Hudgins says:

    Many thanks from the Hudgin’s family back home in the U.S. for allowing us to be a part of your reality by sharing your great testimonies, journalism, and pictures. God has been honored and glorified. May He continue to bless the people of Panama and to give you traveling mercies for the journey back to the U.S. Much love and many blessings. Again, Happy Birthday Cora Hudgins. So proud of you, Mya, Issac and all members of your team. Always in my prayers, Granna.

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