Update on my Costa Rica / Panama Trip [December 23rd ]
I am so grateful for the support of so many as I have prepared for the upcoming Missions Trip to Costa Rica and Panama. This will be my last update before I leave on December 27th. I am not sure if I will be able to write an update while I am in country, but if not, I will write one when I get back. I am excited to help lead a team of 31, as we partner with our sister-church in Paso Canoas, Costa Rica. Pastor Marvin Cabrera is faithfully serving the Lord as he pastors a church in Paso Canoas and also helps to mentor other pastors in the surrounding area. If you want to read more about my trip, please go back and read some of my previous updates. Otherwise, I do want to share a few last prayer requests and celebrations.
I have been humbled by the support of so many. The last time I wrote an update, I still needed to raise $1000, but at this point I am fully supported! The response from so many was very encouraging. I have not seen the final numbers for our team, but we have gotten very close to our total goal (maybe even met it by now). God has provided! Praise God with me for His financial provision for this trip.
Thank you for praying for me as I completed the team devotional booklets. They turned out well. Please pray for our team as we use them throughout our trip. Beyond the work we will do to help Marvin, our desire is that our team would grow in their love for Jesus and closer to one another throughout our time. Pray for our teams growth throughout our trip.
I have caught a cold. I am hoping it will be mostly gone by the time I leave next week. Pray for my health, and for the overall health of the team.
We are working out the final details to show the JESUS Film to the Ngabere while we are in Panama. We still have some logistical details to work out in order to make it happen. Pray that we can find a way to show the film, and pray that the message of Jesus would capture the hearts of the people who watch.
With a team of 31, we are bound to have some conflict at times. There will be people who are annoyed with one another and irritable outbursts are sure to follow. Pray for our team. Pray that we would be patient with one another, treating one another with respect, seeking unity and having one another's best interests in mind. I am personally excited to get to know our team members more and develop deeper relationships with them. Pray that I can have some deep and personal connection with some of our team members.
The Work We Will Do
There are a variety of aspects to our work, but the two primary touch points will be the construction of a new building and the VBS that happens twice each day for the kids of the village. The new building will serve as a meeting place for a church in the area which currently meets under trees. The VBS is a great way to gather kids and teach them about the love of Jesus. We will be participating in a few other aspects (ie. JESUS Film), but the construction and the VBS are the primary tasks. Pray for the work we will be doing.
Partnership with Marvin
Our primary goal in going to Costa Rica and Panama is to help Marvin in the work God has called him to do. We will go for a week and then leave, but Marvin will stay. Therefore, our interest is mostly to serve him as he serves the Lord. We will be serving the Lord by serving Marvin. Pray that we would continue to grow the fruitful partnership we have had with Marvin.
I have mentioned this before, but the hardest aspect of this trip for me is leaving my family. I don't mind the long travel, the physical work, or any other aspect, but it will be hard to be away from my wife and kids. Megan and I have done our best to prepare them to have a good week - we have made some frozen meals ahead of time and arranged for some family and friends to spend time at the house, but it will still be hard. Pray for my family while I am away.
Thank you for your prayers and your partnership. I am grateful for each of you.