One word that describes 2016 here in Panama is ‘Progress’. We have been blessed in so many ways. Every time I go into a village to share the love of Jesus through movies, the attendance is large. This year we had over 1000 people see and hear the Good News through movies. That, in itself, is good news.
We have 9 Rainwater Recovery systems installed and one waiting to be installed in February. That means more than 10 families do not need to go to the river to bathe and do laundry. 10 families that don’t have to worry about snakebites while bathing and doing laundry.
The ‘Church on the Hill’ is becoming a bit more time consuming as I try to keep up with the rising attendance. This little, upstart church had 6 people attend the first ‘church service’ in August of 2015. And, I am all too excited to announce that 250 people showed up to worship the second Saturday in December!!!! Plus another 140 for CHRISTmas eve. For the year the attendance (per service) has grown 55% since January 2016 and 1,190 have attended during the once-a-month services last year(13 services). December 2016 had a whopping 280% increase over December 2015( with the exact same venues)! The Mother’s Day church celebration for 2016 rose 1,100% (250 vs 28) over the same event last year! For the last half of 2016 we averaged 107 per worship service with 95 being the maximum seating available in the ‘church’. Only God knows what is in store for 2017. Maybe we need to switch to twice a month services to try to spread out the crowds? This may be the only way to continue worshipping in the confines of the dormitory dining area that we use in Chami. Pray with me about this.
Another exciting connection was made to help cataract patients receive FREE cataract surgery next year. With all the eye problems here, this is great news. The program starts Jan. 1, I’ll keep you posted as I get clearer details on how I can help. I will offer pay to transport the patients to the town of David, an hour or so away.
The World Mission team reviewed and approved some needed projects for 2016. I am happy to say that the funds were sent to me and the projects have all been completed. Thank you World Missions for your continued support and encouragement.
I was blessed this year to have Reverend Ann Winters, from Ohio, and Patrick Rowland from Pennsylvania, come to Panama and help with some projects and movies.
I am super excited to see where 2017 takes me and my friends here in Panama AND back at New Life. I will NOT worry about it as God is in charge and HE will provide whatever I need to do HIS will in this mission field.
Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Have a safe and Godly New Year. And, while you are at it, spread the Good News to all who will hear it.
Joyfully Serving Our Risen Lord,
p.s. I’ll leave the light on for y’all.