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