The house church we are working with took a Sunday off to have a family day out in the mountains. Here are some photos of the event.
Archives for October 2009
Through God’s sovereign working, we’ve received an invitation to do a workshop here in November in a church out in a very poor suburb of Panama City.
According to the pastor, this suburb has over 63,000 residents, only 3% of which are professing Christians. I’m told there are approximately 45 churches trying to serve this residential area, with most memberships under 100 people. This suggests an large unreached population.
The walls are made of whatever material can be found. Picture is the block wall. The back wall is unfinished wood planks, or 1/4 plywood on some battens. Other times it’s tin.
We attend a prayer meeting on a Saturday morning in this structure to help plan the event in November.
Instead of a Sunday morning time, when the sun would overheat the building, the workshop will be on a Thursday evening after working hours. This will present a logistical challenge for our team to get there on a school night, in the dark, and without a car.
Pastor leads up a pastors association and his dream is to have several churches squeezed into this little one room church for an evangelism workshop.
Yes, that is a stake holding a piece of plywood in place.
We had rented a car for the weekend to make sure we were able to get out there. Even with a car, it was still about 45 minutes from where we live. I can’t imagine the bus trip during rush hour traffic.
The community needs are so great (one block away is a intersection that at least 3 gangs fight for control over – it’s the border between them all). Crime is a concern being the “gringo” in a poor neighborhood after dark.
The lack of resources is clearly visible in the structure of the church, as well as a little thank you gift we received: a bag of lemons from the tree in the back yard.
Pray for this little church, the workshop, and the logistics of how we will get there.
This past weekend I went to Paso Canoas, where I first went last month and wondered, was it worth it?
Once again, the 6 hour red-eye bus ride, a brief stay for rest at a friends house, followed, by the 90 minute bus-ride to the border town.
Pictured to the above is the actual border crossing.
We took a small bus to get up there. I took some video of the jam-packed overcrowded bus on the way home, but the lighting was off and it didn’t work.
A small group had gathered in a very small, blue painted room, one of the few tiled areas in this structure. They were patient with my Spanish as we talked about church planting and a biblical theology of missions.
Did I really do that?
This time, my host was the director of the school I am teaching, and he shared with me several testimonies of how our evangelism training is being used.
This group is working particularly with Muslims who are seeking Christ. I am not an expert in this kind of evangelism, yet they are taking the principles of our teaching and applying it in their context.
Another group is applying the teaching on evangelism to how they are wanting to reach indigenous tribes accessible only by boat.
Yet another group is applying the principles to reach out to others in their neighborhood and I heard reports of new believers because of those outreaches.
I’m not an expert in any of these fields in particular, but it demonstrates how people take the training we provide and run with it in their given context.
That leaves me in awe of how God is taking this work further than we could ask or imagine.
The troubles of travel
The bus home was overcrowded and very uncomfortable 90 minute ride back from the border to the terminal.
The second bus was not entirely clean, had broken seats, and the suspension system so overworked that the 6.5 hour trip home felt like we were driving on a gravel road.
My body couldn’t relax, as it was constant jolted from the bus’s reaction to the ruts in the road, or thrown from side to side as it rounded curves. The air conditioner was so high, that with even a sweater and a hat on, I was cold. Sleep unfortunately was not an option.
14 hours of bus travel round trip for a 3 hour class.
Is it worth it?
The answer is still yes.
That’ll become clear when a house church gets launched among new converts out there.