I’m sitting here wishing I could write something that would make people see and feel what I do right now. So much of the journey with my family over the last six years has been spent anticipating. Although, right now as I sit in the Tocumen Airport outside of Panama City, Panama, waiting for my flight to take me back to my family in Costa Rica, I am realizing that the next time I will be here, it will be my home. In just a few days (14 to be exact), we will finally be here in this country, to live and minister.
As I drove around these last few days between appointments and the Panama Pastors Conference, I saw this place differently. I wondered where my kids might play; where I might take walks with Bianca, where we would shop for groceries and even where I would meet people and what their stories might be. I realized more deeply than ever that we are not coming for any other reason beside the fact that the Lord wants us here. He has been preparing us for this moment and he doesn’t waste a single thing. The good, the bad, the enjoyable and the downright horrible and painful are all valuable material to God when it comes to developing us. And however much of each we have received, I know there is more than a healthy dose of all of it waiting for us here in Panama.
Our dreams and fears are right in our face right now. I think of all the optimistic hopes I have for starting churches and working with leaders to strengthen believers that will no doubt be met with tons of challenges and disappointments in the days ahead. I think of all the things that my kids will not get to have or experience because of not living where I grew up in the USA. I think of how hard it could be to watch them struggle making friends here while they labor to learn a second language. I often I wonder if they will see it all as a price they had to pay for there parents decision. I wonder about health issues and security for our home and how we will get help from police that are often corrupt and unmotivated. It really sounds easier sometimes to just stop here and pat ourselves on the back and for having come this far.
BUT. And that’s a BIG BUT… Then I remember why we are doing all of this. Its not because we have been promised we would achieve all our missionary dreams – because God never guaranteed us that; its not because we want to be seen in a certain light by other Christians who admire the notion of being a missionary. As strange as it sounds, it is not even because “the need” is so great. The real reason is that we believe the Lord wants us here-nothing else. We believe and know that he wants us here in Panama to serve Him and build up his church (Capital “C”) and to do anything else would be disobedience. I don’t write this to draw attention to us but actually I want to encourage anyone reading this. Whatever God has told you to do, do it; even if you have to do it scared. Start the habit of saying “Yes” to God and watch what He will do with it. You will find yourself places you never would have guessed you would be and you’ll be wondering, “How did I get here? …And What does God going to do next?” But it’s a grand adventure to be sure and it’s only beginning!
Lastly, I want to acknowledge those who have stood by our side and supported us through all of this. You have blessed us countless ways and your investment has really been with the mindset of blessing the Kingdom of God. We look forward to reporting to you all that the Lord will do with your decisions and prayers in the days ahead. I will end with our current top 3 prayers.
Dios Les Bendiga!!! (God Bless You All)
IN HIS Service,
Here are some things you can pray for us if you like:
1. The details and emotions of our family’s transition to Panama on Dec. 10, 2014. It has been hard for our boys to leave again and think of making friends all over. Pray that they see it as a sacrifice to the Lord.
2. Needed Vehicle Fund. We’re praying for $30,000 for 1 large van or 2 medium ones if possible. At present we have received $1000 and we are hoping to get at least one van for when we arrive. Pray for the Lord’s provision.
3. An ever-deepening Love for God and his people and Wisdom beyond our years. In the midst of all the changes our first love must be our constant anchor. Please pray for our walk(s) with Christ as we move forward and minister out of His love through us.
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