Friday, December 30, 2011

Farewell 2011

We are wrapping up a wonderfully relaxing, lazy and much needed week at the beach.  It was just what the doctor ordered after the busy holiday season.  We have loved every minute of it.  Much of our time has been spent in our PJ's playing games and watching old movies.  When we have managed to get dressed, we have thrown on our swimsuits and hit the beautiful beach.  We even managed to take in a few day trips to some of the most beautiful places we have seen thus far in Panama.  All in all, it has been just about perfect family time.  I am so grateful for this sweet family of mine and have enjoyed the get away from everyday life.  

Today we have spent time reflecting on 2011 and all that God has allowed us to experience.  We talked about our favorite memories of the year and all of the wonderful blessings of 2011.  Then, we talked about the challenges and hard times 2011 brought. We remembered that in their own ways, they were blessings too.  We were even able to see "good things" that have already come out of some of those challenges. We talked about faith and trust and how to be thankful for the good and bad.  

So, we have kind of closed out 2011 and are now looking forward to what God has in store for 2012.  More on that soon.......

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas from Panama

May your heart be lifted in praise this Christmas
for the wonderful gift of Jesus
and the joy He brings to our lives.
Have a wonderful Christmas
and a Blessed New Year.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

a thought from Trinity

It’s November 17th. It’s been about 2 months since our last blog post. Louderbacks = Lazy, huh? Anyways, let me get you people up to date on our lives.
Gracie Lynn and I had great birthdays last month. She had a CANDY PARTY for her 11th birthday. All you can eat CANDY! It’s like Halloween twice in one month!
I spent my 15th with some friends, hanging out, making music, and watching Nacho Libre. Then came Pumpkin Day. We went to many parties, many Fall Festivals, and ate LOTS of candy. 
J I love holidays where people have to give me candy.
Hmmmmm what else is new? We’ve got our Christmas decorations up! Don’t judge… I think it’d be weird to have turkeys and stuff all over my house for Thanksgiving. The pilgrims will understand. We put up our Christmas tree today while we listened to the wonderful Christmas songs on Glee’s album. Good times.
The girls are busy rehearsing for the Cantata coming up in December. The Cantata is a Christmas Program that happens every year to share with people the true meaning of Christmas. (Jesus!)
I don’t know what else to tell you about. Life’s good.
Okay, I’m going to sleep now. Later people! – Love, Trin.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Current Life of the Louderback's

Tim has been BUSY keeping up with lots of exciting things God is doing here in Panama! The team has just wrapped up two weekly church planting classes and are preparing to start another one in a new area of the city in a few weeks. We are constantly amazed at how God is opening doors to train Panamanian church planters and start house churches. Tim also enjoys discipling several of the guys who have graduated from the class and are now working in their own areas. In his free time he is taking a seminary class and of course still is in the running for Dad of the century!

Trinity has settled into life as a high school student. She is enjoying singing in weekly chapel at her school as well as her youth praise team. She is a great student and spends lots of time hitting the books. We are navigating our way through the scary teenage years and all in all, I think we are fairing pretty well. :) She is an amazing Godly young woman and we could not be more proud of her.

Noah is enjoying being top dog in the middle school this year. 8th grade has it's privileges you know. Currently, he is a basketball fanatic and spends every waking moment possible with a basketball in his hands. He is enjoying playing on his school team and God has given him the opportunity to have some really great coaches who teach him life lessons as well as basketball techniques. Noah seems to be following in his Dad's footsteps and does not meet a stranger! He is the life of the party and only slows down to sleep.

Sweet Gracie Lynn is just as happy and carefree as ever. To her delight she is on the cheerleading squad at school this semester. She loves school and does great. She is so creative in so many ways and really loves art class this year. She is also leaning lots about Latin American history so she always has stories to teach the rest of us. She is such an amazing big sister to Eden. They have the sweetest sister bond.

Speaking of Eden, she is enjoying being a first grader. She is learning so much and loves to read to us each night. She is still quiet at school but has a sweet group of friends that she enjoys being with each day. Eden asked if she could take violin lessons this year so we found a teacher and she LOVES it. She practices each day and the teacher tells us every week how amazed she is at her progress. She looks so sweet and dainty holding her little violin.

Finally, as you can tell Mom stays pretty busy keeping up with this crazy crew! I really do love being a wife and Mom to my family. I enjoy working alongside Tim with our church planters and also enjoy doing some research for the IMB on different church planting movements in Urban cities in Latin America. I have also been able to attend a Women's Bible study in recent weeks that has been such a blessing to me. It is an eclectic group of women from so many different walks of life. In fact, last week I looked around in the area I was sitting and there was a young lady with a Chinese Bible and on the other side of me was a friend with a Spanish Bible. What a beautiful picture of God working in all the Nations!

As you can tell, the Louderback's are doing great and are living large as my husband likes to say down here in Panama. We cannot thank you enough for your prayers! Keep them coming!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Wrap Up

As we finish up the Summer, and look back upon the eight mission teams from the States that we have enjoyed working alongside the past two months, we are thankful and very blessed to be a part of what God is doing in this beautiful city on the Canal!  

We currently have national church planters with new works going on in 10 focus areas of the city, and 3 more areas that we will be starting new works in over the next few weeks! 

All of our work is done inside the city limits, but there are more than 1.2 million people living within it, so it is a God sized task for sure! God gave our team a vision for creating the “Church Planting Institute” a year ago. This is a class where we teach, train and disciple Panamanian’s who desire to plant churches and see lost people come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Thus far, we have 15 graduates, with 32 more graduating in September!

 Please join us in praying for the specific areas that we are working in:
Las Acacias, Los RosiosBoca la Caja, San Francisco, Villa GraciellaChanisCurundu, Bella Vista, Bethania, and Santa Fe. 

The map above is a picture of Panama City and the areas that Panamanian church planters are starting work. What an exciting time to live and work in Panama! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

A quick update

Just a quick note to remind you to jump on over to the team blog this week to hear all about the amazing Team Thomasville! God has been doing some exciting things!  Check it out at Urban Panama Team Blog

Friday, July 1, 2011

A note from Jacob and Ally

Hey friends and family! We have had an amazing time in Panama these past two weeks and it will definitely be bittersweet to return home. As recent graduates from high school, we both really wanted to experience life as a missionaries and spend some dynamic time with the Louderbacks before we go off to college. Although this trip was filled with lots of fun things, God opened up some cool doors for us to do ministry in diverse ways. First we were able to work with the people of the Gamboa Indian Village. We partnered with a mission team from Ohio and helped them in their game plan to minister to that people group. This trip was accompanied by a pretty sketchy boat ride to the village, some rain, lots of soccer and butterflies. Weird combo, huh? Anyways, working with the Gamboa Indians was cool in that we got to play games with the kids, fellowship with the adults, pass out dental hygiene supplies, soap and medication, make salvation bracelets, sing songs, etc. It was a very cool experience because that people group is so independent, hardworking, and interesting. Their way of life is just so different that it opened up our eyes to a new culture. The second thing we were able to do was visit an orphanage here in Panama. We actually did this for two days and it definitely broke both of our hearts. We worked with about 19 2-4 year olds and to say the least, they were adorable. All they really wanted was someone to show them affection whether that was by a hug or by pushing them around in a little broken car. The kids stole our hearts and made a lasting impact on our lives. Whether they are special needs or not, they are precious children of God that simply need the love of a parent. Trust us, at 17 we would've adopted every single one of them if we could. Another thing we got to experience was a Panamanian kids camp. Yes, kids camp. We were both counselors for about three days for 3rd-5th graders at a place here in Panama. It was very cool for us to be able to invest in the lives of these kids that never really get to go to fun stuff like the camp. Pastor Andrew from Crossroads did an excellent job of coordinating the camp and the weekend paid off for sure. The kids learned more of what it means to be a light for Jesus Christ and how to shine that light to the world. It was encouraging to see the kids learn so much and get excited about sharing Jesus with their friends and families. These are just some of the things we did on this trip and we could both go on forever about all that God did. He is so faithful and it's such an honor to be able to serve Him in other countries. It'll be sad to leave Panama and the Louderbacks but maybe God will lead us back! Thanks for your prayers and please continue to pray for the UP team and all that they are doing for Gods kingdom.
In Christ,
Jacob Spencer and Ally Smith

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A week in Antigua, Guatemala

Thoughts from Trinity..........
As many of you know, the Louderback family just spent the last week in Antigua, Guatemala. Every once in a while, the IMB missionaries from our area will gather together for a certain amount of time. The parents were stuck in meetings all day while us kids were hanging out around the hotel. A team from Georgia came in to work with us. GL and Eden participated in VBS until dinner everynight. The youth had a bible study in the morning and recreation in the afternoon. We had a blast swimming in the pool and meeting all the Missionary Kids (MKs) in our part of the world. It was a great time just to be able to go and hang out with other people our age who have the same life experiences that we do. At the end of the week, no one wanted to leave. It was neat to see how quickly we all bonded and became best friends. I hope we get to do something like that again very soon.:)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Team Thomasville

I will be updating the Urban Panama Blog this week with stories of how God uses the team from FBC Thomasville to share Jesus with Panama.  Hop on over and take a peek. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Glimpses of Gratitude: Mother's Day

I had a wonderful treat this Mother's Day and got to spend it with my mom.  I cannot remember the last time that we were in the same place for Mother's Day! My brother and his sweet wife decided to treat us both and gifted mom a plane ticket to Panama.  We had a wonderful visit, did some shopping, played lots of family games and even got to take in a fun Panamanian dinner and dance show.  It was such a sweet and unexpected blessing.  
                                     Our Panamanian Dinner and Dance Show

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Noah's Bum Knee

Well, the boy of the house decided that he wanted to liven things up a bit so this is a current look at how he is spending most of his time. 

Noah's knee has been bothering him off and on for a few months.  However, we kind of chalked it up to growing pains and the fact that he goes NON STOP on any ball field around.  Last week it seemed to get worse than normal and he was in a good amount of pain and unable to get around well so, off to the doc we went.  After a full day of docs and tests, Noah was diagnosed with osteochondritis.The doc put him in a full leg cast for 2 weeks to let the swelling go down and get a better look at what we are dealing with.  The best option is that the bone is fractured but still attached and he will have to have physical therapy. The other option is that the bone is already detached and he will need to have surgery.  Obviously, my prayer is that is not the case.  Ugh.  He is doing ok but pretty miserable in the cast.  It is hard for him to be still. 

On a much happier note, my brother and his wife have gifted my mom with a plane ticket to Panama for Mother's day!  How sweet is that!  She arrives on Saturday and the whole house is so excited!  What a special Mother's Day treat her and for me!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Peeks Into Panama: Beautiful Views

One of the really cool things about living overseas is getting to visit a variety of different cultural locations and enjoy the beauty. We live within a short drive to some of the most beautiful beaches ever!  So, when we have a day off or a weekend without things on the calendar, we love to make a day trip to relax and enjoy the beauty.  This is a peek of one of the amazing views we are blessed to enjoy.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalm 19:1

Friday, April 15, 2011

Quick Catch Up

Whew!  It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks!  The time with the Tville youth team was AMAZING! God truly blessed through the work they did here in Panama.  It was so good to visit and work alongside sweet friends.  It was a great time of encouragement for our entire family.

This week we have been playing catch up.  Soccer games started for Noah and Gracie Lynn.  The kids had achievement tests at school and just for fun, we threw in several meetings, dentist visits and hair appointments. Just the typical crazy week!

We are looking forward to a break next week.  It is Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Latin America so the kids have the week off.  Ya Ya (Tresa) is coming for a visit so we have planned several day trips and are looking forward to sharing our world with her.
More soon.......

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Blogging this week over at the team blog

Our home church is sending a group of amazing teens to work with us this week!  We are so looking forward to our time with them.  We will be posting about what God is doing each day over at the 
Urban Panama Team Blog.  So, come on over and see how you can pray for the team as they serve each day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Prince Avenue Christian School

I want to send a huge shout out to our new friends at Prince Avenue Christian School in Georgia.  Each year, the Senior class of Prince Avenue takes a Senior trip to minister overseas.  This year, it was our privilege to host them in Panama. The class divided into two groups, so we got to hang with them for 2 different weeks.  These kids arrived in Panama and hit the ground running!  They worked with our local church planters in communities where we are currently ministering and church planting.  They prayed, mapped out areas, performed dramas and skits and most importantly, showed the love of Jesus to the folks they came in contact with.  

Their sweet spirits were such an encouragement to us.  We really enjoyed getting to know them!  We are so thankful for their willingness to come and serve with us! 


Thursday, March 24, 2011

From Blog to Book

I may be the last one in Blog world to know this but did ya'll know that there are services that will take posts from your blog and make them into a book as a keepsake???  What a wonderful idea!  It is like digital scrap booking. This is the one I was checking out today;  Since I stink at the regular kind of scrap booking, I thought I would try the digital kind.  Anyway, all that to say that I am going to be posting more family fun online. Hope it does not bore you to much but I am thinking this is going to be a great way to capture memories. Who knew!  I love new things! Happy Thursday. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cheesy Nasty Grossness

HOW GROSS IS THIS!!!!  Last week I splurged on a treat for the family and bought a $6 box of Velveeta Mac and Cheese at the local grocery store.  The kids were out of school yesterday so I decided it was a good day for a yummy treat.  Imagine the HORROR when I opened the box and found this nasty mold mess inside. 

How in the world do noodles even mold??? We were all pretty disappointed over the snafoo but such is life living overseas. Think of me next time you enjoy cheesy goodness. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Glimpses of Gratitude: School

One of the things on my "concern list" about living in Panama was the education of our children.  I have never felt called to home school although I have many friends who do. Knowing just what we needed, God placed the most wonderful school blessing in our world!  We have been so pleased with Crossroads Christian Academy where the kids attend classes.  It offers a strong academic program as well as a positive and loving learning atmosphere.  The teachers have been such a blessing to our children and to us.  They also have lots of fun activities mixed in with the learning.  A few weeks ago they enjoyed SPIRIT week.  This is a picture of ZOO day. 
I am so thankful for a school full of lots of learning and love that I can send my children to each day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blogging at (in) courage today!!!

I am super excited to be making my first guest post over at the (in) courage blog community today:
Click here to read my thoughts on: 
Finding Community Away From Home.

Hop on over and check it out! While you are visiting, enjoy all of the other encouraging ladies who share their hearts over there.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Peeks into Panama: Public Buses

Thought you would enjoy seeing the lively public buses that travel around Panama.  Most Panamanians use these buses every day to get where they need to go.  You can ride around the city for just 25 cents.  Typically, we do not use the buses because although they are colorful, they tend to be a little rowdy and dangerous as well.
We do enjoy checking out all of the colorful painting each day though. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Peeks into Panama: The Heat!

As mentioned (possible several hundred times) Panama is HOT!  The average temperature is between 80 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  Currently, we are in the "summer" season in Panama which seems to stay closer to the 100 side of the average.  This past week, Tim put the temperature gage in the car just out of curiosity.  Here is what he found after a couple of hours! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Glimpses of Gratitude: Selah

To tell the truth, I am not a big "animal" fan.  Never have been.  I am however, a huge fan of giggling children!  So, as crazy as it seems coming from me, I am so grateful for the newest member of our family.  Sweet puppy Selah brings lots of laughter into our home every day. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Church Planting Institute Graduation

One of our main goals here in Panama is to start Bible studies and new churches in areas of the city that are unreached. God has allowed us, the Urban Panama Team, to do that in a neat way. Rather than just us do the work, we have had the chance to teach Panamanians about church planting and do the work alongside them. For the past 6 months we have had a class of passionate Panamanian Christians who have been training to church plant in an area of the city that they have chosen to work in. Having completed the training, we had a graduation celebration to honor them.  It was a special day for our team, the students and their families. 


We began a new class this past week and had 23 new excited Panamanians show up to learn how to start churches! We had planned on 5 to 10 folks showing up. God has blown our expectations out of the water!  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Peeks into Panama:Medical Fair

Peeks into Panama: Medical Fair

Recently, we were able to participate in a medical fair in an area we have been working called Santa Fe.  The day was a success on so many levels! Over 250 people were able to receive medical attention and medicine free of charge. Those same families had the chance to hear about how much God loves them and wants to have a relationship with them.  This picture is a group of children gathered to hear about the love of Jesus.  Precious faces and hearts!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sad and Happy News

The sad news is.........while we were in the USA in December, our family dog got sick and died.  The kids, especially little Eden, were so sad. :(
The happy news is......we have a new furry friend at our house!  
Selah is her name and she is bringing lots of giggles and love into our days!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The past few months have been a whirlwind of adventure. Our family took part in a huge community Christmas musical production here in Panama and the day after the show, we hopped on a jet plane and headed home to Thomasville, Georgia. We spent 3 weeks reconnecting with our home church and precious friends there. We were able to spend time with our extended families and make memories with them. I was apprehensive (okay, a nervous wreck) about spending time back in the USA. I had a long list of worries but at the top was this;

I was afraid that we would not want to leave and come back to Panama.

I was afraid that goodbye to our friends would hurt too much. I was worried that having to leave the "comfort" of life in the USA would be too difficult. In the end, there was some validity to my worries and fears. There were tears shed with goodbyes and I fondly remember quick trips to Walmart, Chick- fil- A and Sonic. However, what I had not really trusted was the peace in my heart as we left and headed back to Panama. It felt, well...... right.

I know that God has called us to serve in Panama City for this time in the life of our family. There is nothing sweeter than being in the center of God's will and knowing that you are being obedient to what He has called you to do. Not even Krispy Kreme donuts (which I ate A LOT) are as sweet as laying your head down and waking up knowing that God is working through your family for His good.

I am so grateful for the time we were able to spend in Georgia. We needed it and it recharged our batteries. I am also grateful that coming back to Panama felt like going home. I am grateful that there is room for two homes in my heart.