God has been moving and working in so many ways, both seen and unseen, during the first quarter of 2018. He continues to amaze us with His plan and His creativity, proving time and time again that nothing that we have gone through or put effort into is in vain! We are so excited to say that even as we continue with what is going on in Costa Rica, He has made a way through all of the hurdles of paperwork and legalities to also open doors into Panama. To see what He is doing with things that He started almost 8 years ago in Costa Rica continue and to begin to overflow to Panama is nothing short of miraculous.
This quarter’s Work Discipleship Project has brought two new men to the construction project and we are grateful for what they bring to the job. The process is moving along at a brisk pace, and we are confident in God’s provision not only for them and their families, but for ours as well. Continuing to bridge the gap between language and culture, every day brings new opportunities to share the love of Christ even as we work along side of them with everything from purchasing and delivering supplies to painting and designing a beautiful home!
Really never imagining the doors that teaching English would open, classes continue with both children and adults. The ability of God to weave conversation and questions into an English lesson never ceases to amaze – the opportunities to share the Gospel, have open discussion and answer questions, and teach the Word of God all in the name of teaching English is something we are humbled to be a part of. It also remains one of the best ways for us to continue to improve in our Spanish skills as we see more and more how much Costa Rica and Panama are and as far as we can see in the near future, to remain our home!
Friends have made the trip to Panama from Costa Rica with us and interest in joining us keeps on growing – that’s always encouraging! Although the countries are similar in many ways, their differences are just as obvious. With the location of the farmhouse being so tied in with the surrounding families from the indigenous tribes, there are continually growing opportunities to serve in many different ways. One very exciting addition is the work that a friend has done to get audio files of the Bible not only in Spanish, but also in the native Ngobe tribe language. We look forward to multiplying that resource and working with him to help spread the word of God to all peoples.
Having had a break from receiving discipleship participants and mission groups from the states, we are thrilled that the door to that is opening again with the property of the Christian Agricultural Foundation of Panama being the home base for this year’s internships and ministry opportunities. The focus remains on sharing the gospel and discipleship, while supporting the outreach that each group has a heart for. Because of the overflow to Panama, we now get the added plus to also use their missions time with us to work on the farm, help with the greenhouse planting, production, harvest and distribution to those in need.
Our trips from Costa Rica into Panama this year have already proven to be fruitful in many ways:
- Finalization of paperwork for ease of movement in, out and around Panama.
- Completion of the Structure of the first 48′ x 60′ greenhouse.
- Ministry volunteers using the bunkhouse as their home base during their time serving in Panama.
- Completion of hydroponic test towers.
- Feeding of families and sharing each day’s egg collection from the ever growing chicken house!
- Preparation for the first ministry team’s arrival.
- Connecting with others ministering in Panama to help them further their calling.
We have been learning:
1. When you allow God to order your steps, you can’t keep up in your own strength. Habakkuk 3:19 (ESV) “GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places….”
2. Relying on Him for everything makes it all possible! Matthew 19:26 “And looking at them Jesus said to them, “”With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.””
3.Even the smallest of seeds grow into something great when God makes it grow! 1 Corinthians 3:6“I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.”
Each moment that we take to reflect on what He has done, where He has brought us and how He never leaves us nor forsakes us, we see His greatness and His majesty. That makes it easier to see that even the hardest of times and longest of valleys are all for His glory. We are entering into this next quarter of 2018 encouraged, refreshed (even within the ‘busy-ness’), and hopeful of what is to come. Our heart is for God to move in and through us in whatever way He sees fit while we keep our eyes on the prize set before us and run the race with all we’ve got.
Heb. 12:1-2 “…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,….”
We would love to have you be a part of ministry in both Panama and Costa Rica!
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