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Grace Upon Grace in Cañitas!

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Panama 14 is having a wonderful time doing Jesus ministry here in Cañitas! We left Panama City early yesterday morning after another delicious breakfast and, on our way, stopped at a local supermarket to buy supplies for the four days in this more remote location. The students divided into groups to help purchase the needed groceries and also a few snacks and drinks for their time away from the city. Four of our amazing interpreters have joined us for the trip as well as Pastor Luciano, our main contact in Panama, who has been busy setting up locations for us to serve.

We arrived in Cañitas and spent much of the afternoon setting up the three locations where we are staying: a local church, a school, and the home of a man in the community who is graciously sharing with us. Many of us are sleeping in hammocks, a much-awaited part of the trip.

That evening, we all met at the church for a delicious dinner cooked by the women of the church and then prepared to lead worship and present the drama during an evening worship service. This church has a beautiful history as the first evangelical church in the community, and the members greeted us warmly. The pastor showed special excitement as he introduced us, and the church sang for us before we led them in worship and then presented “Freedom.”

As a part of the service, Walker preached a brief sermon on Zaccheus and encouraged the national believers as well as the Awe Star students. The church presented a special gift to the students: a second dinner, this time featuring Panamanian cuisine (chicken with spices and fried yuca). After their long day of service, few had trouble eating once more! Church and students prayed for each other as we departed with a friendly police escort making sure we arrived safely for our overnight stays.

Cañitas is a farming community, so the sounds of chickens, roosters, and even cows accompanied our slumber along with the noises of more tropical birds and other animals. But we slept peacefully and were grateful for our natural alarm clocks since two groups had to leave by 7:30 to meet the third group at the church for breakfast. We are being careful to eat protein (scrambled eggs and Spam this morning) and drink plenty of fluids as our bodies continue adjusting to the heat and humidity of Panama. We then had a beautiful ride to the small mountain village of Buenos Aries, another farming community. Our wonderful local policeman, Ricardo, who is also a member of the church where served last night, again accompanied us. It is a special blessing to have this type of support and protection.

Our service there consisted of ministering to a small elementary school. The one teacher for about 25 students also lives at the school. This was the very first time the school had ever had an assembly or even special guests. “No one has ever come here,” the teacher told us. A fellow believer in Jesus, she was very excited for us to share the story of Jesus with her students.

The group took time to dance and play with the students first, then shared “Libertad” (“Freedom” in Spanish) with them. The Panamanian students, in their blue and white uniforms, sat in rapt attention as the story unfolded and many spoke with us afterward to hear more about the gospel. The students again took more time to minister to the students. One of the girls from the school even called the entire group together to say a special thank you from the students, telling us, “We will never forget you” before we returned to the church to fill up on water and rest for a few minutes.
As this update is being written, the men of our team are out serving the community by helping move gravel. Soon, we will go out within Cañitas itself and invite people to one or more drama presentations. Once again, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve this beautiful place and people.
We also look forward to tomorrow, when we will have the unexpected opportunity of traveling by boat to the village of Maje, the first place Walker Moore did ministry in the jungles of Panama. We will travel, serve and get to know the nationals, and then present our drama once again.
We covet your prayers as we are experiencing not only new places but new languages (we will hear a national language as well as Spanish tomorrow), people groups, foods, and cultures. We ask that you pray for the team’s continued health, unity, and service. Please lift up our sister team also serving in Panama as well as the teams in Suriname and Peru, and feel free to check out their updates, too. Thanks for partnering with us as we take the truth of Jesus to the nations!
For His name and renown,
Panama 14-Day Leaders

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2 response to Grace Upon Grace in Cañitas!

  • Dawn Contreras says:

    Continuing to lift you all up in prayer daily. Love reading the daily updates. So good to see your smiling faces. Keep up the good work. Love you all and your love for the Lord and spreading the word. Love and hugs!!

  • Gilbert says:

    Hi from Britain to y’all! – Psalm 96 v2-3 – rejoicing for those who have responded already, and praying y’all will see many more coming into a relationship with the Lord, as you go on sharing!

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