Hello from Panama! We just want to give a quick update and say thanks for your encouragement and prayers. Here is a glance at what our last month has looked like:
- We got a call on February 25th that Angie’s grandmother had passed away. Thanks to the gift of airline points from her aunt, we all were able to fly back and be with family. I returned the following Monday and Angie and the kids stayed an extra week and flew back on March 9th.
- March 9th was the first reported case of COVID-19 in Panama. Schools were closed within days and soon all bars, dance clubs and large gathering places were closed. All were encouraged to wash their hands and stay home if possible.
- On March 14th Angie began to feel pretty crummy. She immediately quarantined herself. After about a week she was still not well, so we called the Ministry of Health. Impressively, about 6 hours later they were at the house to test her. Thankfully, she was negative.
- March 18th a curfew was enacted.
- March 22nd all commercial flights in and out of Panama were suspended until further notice.
- March 25th Panama enacted a strict quarantine. You are only permitted outside of your home during a 2 hour time period that is determined based on the last number of your cedula (which is like a SS#). You may only leave to go to the grocery, pharmacy or doctor.
I ventured out to the grocery store today. There were masked police checking identification when I entered and then I received hand sanitizer to clean my hands. I must admit it is strange to see so many restaurants and businesses closed. This is honestly the first time that I have traveled through Panama with practically no one on the roads.
We were asked if we are trapped in Panama? I guess you could say the answer is yes, but we made the decision to stay. This is our home, and we know that this is where the Lord wants us. At times it is a troubling thought to know that we cannot get back to our family in the States if something were to happen, but we cast our cares on Him, knowing that He holds the answers to all the “what ifs.”
Here is how you can pray during this time:
- Pray for our GlobalFingerprints kids here in Panama. They are the most vulnerable, and with the strict quarantines we have no way to reach them or provide supplies. The government is forming a program that is targeted to care for the vulnerable here in the country. Pray that this would be successful and provide sustenance for these families.
- Pray that the Lord will show us opportunities where we can minister and serve. Everything is different right now, but we have no doubt that the Lord has a purpose and plan for it all. Pray that we will find creative ways to encourage and pour into the lives of others. Salt and light. (and FYI… we are praying this for our churches and all of our brothers and sisters in Christ back in the States!)
- Angie is feeling better, but is still not 100%. Please pray with us that the Lord will restore her health.
- Praise the Lord that He has given us peace. Pray that we will continue to put all our trust in Him. Different country, different culture, all communication in a different language, so many unknowns… it can become overwhelming at times. May we continue to be anxious for nothing and let the peace of God guard our hearts. (Phil. 4:6-8)
HOW CAN WE PRAY FOR YOU? Please email us and let us know how we can be praying specifically for you and your family. We thank the Lord for each of you. May we continue forward with confidence. God is good. All the time. Let us not forget…