Our International Volunteer Team from Florida has returned safely from a productive and inspiring trip to Panama! As with so many of our teams, the team from Christ Lutheran Church in Brooksville was moved by the power of the Holy Spirit as He works through Lutheran Hour Ministries—Panama. Here are excerpts from team leader Linda Meseke’s daily blog:
Tuesday, June 17
Today was all about paint, paint, and more paint! We scraped old paint, painted walls, painted stairwells, window irons, doors, signs and even trees (that was a new one for us)! It was a full day of painting—and in fact we were all wearing our fair share of paint by the end of the day. Our painting for the week is now done.
Wednesday June 18
Instituto Bolivar [one of two schools visited by the team] is a public high school. We met a classroom of approximately thirty 13-14 year-old children. For their [Project JOEL] Life Project, each student was asked who their hero is, what profession they want to study for, favorite things, and other personal information. They were encouraged to think about how God plays a role in their life and how faith can change their life. Each of us got to introduce ourselves and say how we’ve seen God work in our lives.
Thursday June 19
What a joy-filled day sharing with God’s people! We have begun to realize that people should not be valued based on what they wear, where they live, what they live in, where they work, what they have… We have been truly humbled by our surroundings and grateful for those that have spent time to make sure we understand all that is going on around us—Edilberto, Kemuel, David, Itza, Porfirio, and Pastor Patricio, just to name a few.
Saturday June 21
As we are packing for home this evening and preparing for our evening devotions, I am thinking of how we are ONE [as the church]. One belief, One love, One fellowship, One God. We will worship at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Balboa tomorrow morning with a different viewpoint than last Sunday. It won’t be like we cannot understand what is being said or sung. It will be all about God and all about our fellowship of believers—both here in Panama AND in the U.S.!
Sunday June 22
We returned home believing that we made a difference last week. As we each transition back into our daily routines here in Florida, we know we have changed. Our perspective is different now about “church” and what is needed to worship, praise, and share God’s Word. It is definitely not about the “stuff” and the luxuries of life that we like to enjoy. The saying is true that home is where the heart is—and we now share our heart with the people of Balboa and Loma Coba in Panama.
Please join Lutheran Hour Ministries in giving thanks and praise to God for moving in the hearts and lives of these volunteer missionaries—and for the team at Lutheran Hour Ministries—Panama, who walked and prayed and ministered with them throughout their experience.