“Many hands make light work.”
This was such a truth for us this summer as three different teams traveled here to serve alongside us. It was amazing to see the relationships that were formed and all of the work that was accomplished. God is so good!
When we are thirsty, most of us simply go to our faucet or fridge and fill a glass with water. We don’t have to stop and contemplate if the water is clean…. that is a privilege we take for granted!
The Embera-Drua are an indigenous group that live here in Panama. Over the past year, we have had the honor of getting to know Valerio, the pastor of one of the communities. During our visits, we learned that the community did not have clean water. This resulted in sickness for many of the kids and the adults as well. Something that we take for granted is the one thing that many in the village longed to have!
HUGE praise…. this summer we worked with Pathways Church and installed a clean water system in the village. This was not a small task. It was truly humbling to see how the Lord provided the means for this to happen: the funding, the team, the materials, the schematics, and even the weather. God is so faithful!
One mom from the village reported that for the first time in ages, her son woke in the morning and did not have diarrhea. I seriously had no words. It brought me to tears- tears that represented so many things- heartbreak, joy, surprise, but most of all, thankfulness. I thank the Lord for His goodness and His provision. Pray with me that the Lord will use this clean water to point people in this community to Jesus, the source of living water.
We were blessed to serve with Faith Church. It was a packed week working with the local church to help build relationships within the community of Lidice. We provided music, arts and crafts, snacks and Bible stories for the kids; served breakfast and gave out Bibles at the local health center; spent a morning worshipping and playing soccer at the rehab center; and taught English and played games at the schools.
On Sunday morning we had a time of dedication to celebrate the “breaking gound” for the new church kitchen. Part of the ceremony was to mix the concrete to put in the “cornerstone” of the kitchen. I must admit the locals were surprised when Matt grabbed the shovel and started the mixing process….they were even more surprised when he did it correctly!
NORRIS FERRY COMMUNITY CHURCH
The last group of the summer was Norris Ferry Community Church. It is always great to host groups, and it was super special to have our home church here. We began the week serving with the church in Nazareno. What a joy for the youth to lead worship, and Ian was happy to jump in on bass. The group had the opportunity to play soccer, hand out food bags, share the Gospel in the school and do some updates to the church building.
They finished their week in the Embera-Drua village. We provided a mini VBS for the kids, began work on the roof to cover the water tanks, and ended with a hot dog and movie night for the community. We look forward to seeing the Lord continue to grow these relationships and pray that He will use them to grow His Kingdom here in Panama.
Here are a few more pics from the summer. We were able to visit family and friends back in the States for a few weeks, rescued a sloth, got a new puppy, and Matt celebrated his 50th birthday (despite the fact that he neither looks or acts 50:). We are SO thankful for life and the opportunity to continue our ministry here. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
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