July 19, 2012 marks our 5th anniversary since our one-way tickets carried us to Panama, as we left our nets, stepped out in faith, and into our calling into Latin America.
Reflecting on these five years has turned into giving thanks to God for His faithfulness. God has been faithful to His promises:
- Sustaining provision that keeps us here.
- Open doors for teaching in 7 countries.
- Ongoing teaching opportunities in the US.
There have been several times in where it seemed like we were at the end of the road, but fresh provision keeps coming in and we keep stepping into new waves of teaching ministry.
Teaching and Training
Unlike other mission organizations, we are not building schools, digging wells, or running an orphange. We can’t point to a structure and say “this is what we have built.”
Rather, our ministry is teaching and training.
- Training missionaries in contact evangelism
- Teaching churches about more effective evangelism
- Children’s ministry training
- Equipping cross cultural missionaries.
- Training church planters in personal evangelism.
- Helping churches rediscover a passion for evangelism.
- Assisting churches in developing plans for serving in their local community.
It’s a teaching ministry that has ongoing events, conferences, and speaking engagements. I travel to various countries each year in partnership with other ministries that invite us in to provide training for their leaders.
Fruit that will last
It is fun to say
- we did x number events,
- spoke in front of x hundreds of people.
- traveled to x countries this year, x number of times.
Those are just facts. A litany of facts would simply show that we are busy.
What is more meaningful are the testimonies that find their way back to me.
Such as these from the Dominican Republic:
- “This class opened my eyes to something I didn’t know much about – spiritual gifts. I want to know more . . . . “
- “This class helped me overcome my fear of the spiritual gifts. You presented them as if they were normal. . . “
- “You helped me see a better way to use the spiritual gifts.”
- “I’m not afraid anymore.”
One student in particular told us her story of how her ministry has changed in the past year.
She has experienced a deeper relationship with Jesus, a stronger sense of empowerment in ministry, and we bear witness to that.
She lead worship during the prayer time and it’s clear that she’s received an empowerment to do that.
She’s gained a greater confidence in particular because of some personal prayer ministry she received the prior year from our visit.
Or this one from Nicaragua:
Sunday morning was my turn to preach.
The church was packed, and the Lord had me focus particularly on relational healing:
- Between spouses
- Between parents and children
- Between friends
- Between pastors and leaders
The ministry time wound up being a time of surrender for people, inviting them to surrender their conflicts, seek forgiveness, and pledge to work towards a solution rather than destruction.
I could go on with more stories from
- United States
But many of them are already told here on this website.
Brenda and I remain grateful for our supporters who faithfully pray for us and give generously to allow us to remain in Panama, serving churches in Central America.