The team is now back in the USA, and we have been busy with setting up for the next team, getting things ready for me (Luke) to return to the US and putting on Anti-Human Trafficking presentations in the church, radio and local school with a friend of ours! But to take the time to reflect back on what God did over the week that HCA was here, really puts me in awe of what God can do through us!
Cristal wrote about the first two days already here, so I'll continue on from Day 3....
Day 3: We went to a community called Salitrosa and worked in their Elementary School, and we were able share with every student throughout the morning. The group from HCA came prepared with Bible stories they had memorized in Spanish and the Gospel by Colors presentation and craft where they were able to present the gospel in Spanish, and we would fill in where their Spanish lacked. It was great to see these young people (and adult chaperones!) step out and share the gospel and impact these kids lives! It is great that we keep coming back here year after year with teams, and we can see the impact that bringing these
We went on an adventurous and somewhat scary tour of the sugar factory called Santa Rosa. We got an in-depth view of how the make sugar, which is one of the principle products of the economy in this part of Panama.
Later we had a church service in Aguadulce, where Mr. Krussow (the principle of HCA) challenged all of us that attended to be living sacrifices, and the church hasn't stopped talking about the idea of truly being a living sacrifice since then. It greatly challenged them.
Day 4: We took the team to a beach and had a fun morning of fun in the sun with the youth from the church!
That evening, we headed to Salitrosa where we did a lot of house to house visits and to share and pray with them. We invited them also to an Evangelistic Presentation in the park and we had a lot of people come to hear about how much God loves them! We are so excited how God's love was poured out on this community!
Day 5: We made the trek out to a town 45 minutes away from Aguadulce where we loaded up in the back of pick-up trucks and went another 40 minutes into the mountains of Panama to a small village called Agua Fria. We went around inviting kids to a program for children and we had a children's program for them.
Later that evening back in Aguadulce, we had a Youth Service in the church and it's always a party when we celebrate with the teams and the local youth! I got the privilege to share with them. It was lots of fun, since we were wanting both the youth from Hope to hear and the youth, I spoke in English and Cristal translated. It's always fun when we get to minister together in this way!
Day 6: We helped with the churches AWANA program for the morning service and after that we took the team to Panama City for their tourist day! We went to the Canal, Craft Market, and a stroll on the Causeway and ate dinner overlooking the Ocean! Panama sure is a beautiful place to be! Once we made it to our hotel in Panama City, we had a final de-brief and prayer time with the team, we were able to bless each student and speak into their lives what we see God doing in them, and they also blessed us too!
Day 7: An early morning to take them to the airport, and then say good-bye! It was a great week with them! We saw many people give their hearts to God, or open up to Him in a new way! How cool it was to see this team step out in obedience to God!
Thank you for your prayers as we were leading this team here in Panama! We are so thankful for this opportunity to serve in this way!
Luke & Cristal