It’s that time again… Time to say goodbye to the people and the place that helped me grow a lot in my journey in becoming a missionary as well as my own spiritual journey. I’ve truly learned a lot from the people here and I am going to miss it greatly. Right now it’s 7/1 and I am set to leave from Panama to Costa Rica on 7/4. The last month/few weeks that I have left in a place always seem so strange to me. I feel like there’s so much that I want to do or need to do, and am always worried about having the right amount of time to spend with the people and closing the door on the things that I’ve been doing. The days and weeks go by so fast I haven’t seemed to be able to catch up the last couple of months. I’m thankful that God has helped me to just focus on what’s in front of me and how I can learn, grow, and make an impact where I am and what I’m doing today and not worry about the time. I am grateful for these missionaries accepting me and welcoming me into their Church, families, and ministries. I’ve had such a great time being part of what they are doing and learning more. I’ve taken many notes on how I am planning to doing ministry in the future, modeling from the ministries here. Even though I am going to miss the missionaries and ministries greatly, I do have an opportunity to come back here after my time in Costa Rica. I’m still praying about it and seeing what the details will be with the budget and if I will need to raise a little more funds, but the door has opened for me to come back here to help from October to around Christmas time. The missionaries have really enjoyed having me here and they definitely could use an extra hand as there is so much going on but not as much manpower. I would love to come back and serve wherever God wants me to.
I must admit, my time here in Panama was a bit of a spiritual roller coaster. I was struggling quite a bit with things, but through the struggle and the support of many of you back at home, I’ve grown a lot in my relationship with the Lord. It’s been growing pains for sure, but I’ve grown a lot and I’m grateful to serve a God that will never leave me or forsake me, and He turns all things for good. I truly thank you all for your prayers, comments, messages, phone calls, video chats, etc. But truly, your prayers have been powerful here as I have definitely been attacked emotionally and spiritually a lot during my time here. Thank you for your love and prayers!
God’s been working here and it’s been fun to have front row seats. The ministries here have been growing! I’ve been able to be part of the Bible Studies at the universities where I’ve been able to meet new people and practice my Spanish with them. I was able to meet someone at the University and have conversations with them talking about God and the Bible and they accepted Christ as their savior! And I did it all in Spanish! Then last week they came to the Bible Study at the University!
I’ve enjoyed helping out with the kids club on Saturday’s, being able to lead the games some of the time which is always a good way to practice using my Spanish as well. The young adult nights on Friday nights have been a lot of fun and I was able to get someone else to continue leading the game nights when I leave. A part of the game nights is having someone share their testimony each week so that they can not only know eachother better and hear each others stories, but so that the people that we invite from the Universities can have a chance to hear the Gospel as well. I’ve had many opportunities to share my story and the gospel at the Universities and I’m praying that those seeds continue to be watered!
Another cool thing that the missionaries do here that I’ve been blessed to be part of is the English Club that they do. 2-3 days out of the month we open up the church to anyone and everyone to come and practice/learn English. There is another missionary here that brings young adults from the States to come for a couple weeks and doing various ministries here. We partner with them and they come to the Church for a day of English club. It’s a great way for us to reach out to people and young adults that are learning English or want to learn English and can practice with native speakers. We usually split into two groups. One group stays at the church for a few hours having conversations with the people here practicing their English, and the other group goes with me to the University and we bring all my board games. We go to the cafeterias and are able to play games and at some point before we leave we share the gospel with them. It’s been good and some of the people we have met are interested in being part of an English Bible Study if I or the other missionary here starts one. I definitely will be starting it if I come back here, but I just wasn’t able to this last month. During this time at one of the cafeterias we met someone that lives here but he is from the States. We ended up talking to him and he was questioning and attacking the Bible and God. I took this opportunity to use apologetics to defend the faith. He kept changing the arguments and whenever I would defend it he had no response. Through this, many of the teens/young adults there wanted to talk and learn apologetics and how to defend the faith. That was a couple weeks ago, and since my time here is busy and winding down I was not able to start an apologetics styled class/study, but I pray that if it’s God’s will that I return that I will be able to start it up because there are a lot of people interested after hearing defenses of creation, the Bible, and various other topics for the first time.
I’ve truly learned a lot here and I’m grateful for my time here. I’m excited to go to Costa Rica to see what God has planned for me there. I’ve already been in contact with both of the Grace Churches there and many of the young adults that are interested in everything that I have planned, game nights and Bible Studies. I’m excited to get there and open the next chapter in my journey! Last night we had a worship night at the Church and it was great time to really reflect on who God is and to trust Him with my future. I truly thank God daily for all of you. I wouldn’t be here without your love, support, and prayers. I thank you all for being part of my journey. I’m excited to continue to learn and grow in the Lord, in my Spanish, and in ministry so that I am more and more prepared for whatever the Lord has for me in the future. As I said, the last couple months have had a lot of ups and downs, but I’m glad that I serve a God that never changes no matter how much my feelings or circumstances change. Psalm 102:25-27, “In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”
Here’s all the photos that I have of the last month! Sorry I don’t have more of everything that was going on this last month. I’m never conscious of my phone when I’m in the moment so I usually am terrible at getting more photos of everything happening. Just know the photos don’t do justice just how much we are doing here and how awesome it all is! Thank you all for everything and I can’t wait to continue updating you on my journey!
- Transition to Costa Rica.
- Continued growth with Spanish.
- Continued Spiritual growth.
- Continue to stay healthy physically.
- Focus, to bring the Gospel into everything that I do. Sometimes I can get comfortable just doing and being, and forget to bring the Gospel and purpose into what I’m doing. I really want to focus on the overall mission and to stay Gospel focused.