The work of raising awareness of missions is not easy in our country. We are glad to have met you, and as we are all co-laborers in the kingdom of God we want to work with you in the future.
We believe that God has brought you here to help us, and God permitting, let’s work together to use each others strengths to advance God’s work here in Panama and around the world.
We know that in God’s sovereignty, He’s permitted us to work together for His glory and I look forward to how we can help each other in the future.”
Casa de Oración, Panama
This is the general gist of what Pastor Mario said after the second day of the missions congress at Casa de Oración Cristiana, Panama on August 29, 2009
I was invited to be part of a team of expositors from
- Costa Rica
- United States
- El Salvador
to share specifically on the Role/Work of Youth through the Bible, history, and now in world missions. That was such a big theme to cover in 75 minutes. I had approximately 60-70 people attend my workshop.
Other workshops focused on the work of missions, working with handicapped, working with the youth, and working as business owners to generate funds for missions.
As a four day event, this missions congress was wonderfully organized with an international collection of speakers. The church streams its services live over the Internet and as I write this, I’m listening to one of the plenary speakers wrap up the congress by speaking of global missions through the book of Jonah.
One of the challenges to global missions in Panama is a common phrase: “We need to reach Panama first.”
But one of our speakers called out this excuse and exposed it for what it is:
“What if our North American friends waited to reach the US before coming to Panama to bring us the good news?
What if our European friends waited to reach their own country before coming to Panama?
We’d still be lost in our sins, waiting to hear the good news from somewhere. Those missionaries who came to us from Europe and the Americas didn’t hide behind the excuse that they needed to reach their own country first. . . .
Neither can we hide. If we are called to global missions, we need to go!”
The Foursquare denomination chose Panama as it’s first mission field in the early part of the 1900s. Methodists, Church of God, Assemblies of God, Baptists all came along as well, bringing the gospel message.
Panama owes a lot of its Christian heritage in the last 100 years to missionaries who came from other countries and were willing to learn it’s language and communicate the outrageous grace of God.