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A Day in Ezequiel’s Community

Looking back on our time in Panama, I, Janelle, am so grateful to the Lord for allowing me to return to a place I love so much, with such a great team of young adults, supported by such a generous and encouraging church.

There are many things that impacted me during this time, and many things that I am thankful the Lord let me be a part of!

Our team spent a lot of time working alongside the young adults of the Wounaan churches in and near Chepo and Panama City. This was so exciting, seeing the young adults rise up in their churches and want to reach out to their peers and community, to see God glorified!

One of the days, we planned an outreach to an area called Mananitas. It is an area that doesn’t  have a church in it, but is home to our good friend Ezequiel. I had the privilege of being on our Forest Grove Panama team with Ezequiel in 2014, where I heard and saw His heart for missions and reaching his people with the gospel. As someone who is thinking about long term missions myself someday, and wondering what God might have for me in the future, it was so cool to meet someone who comes from such a different place than I do, and yet is processing a similar call to mission.

Ezequiel

Ezequiel

Last year we spent time in the community of Plataneres with Ezequiel, but this year we were able to do ministry in his very own community, under his leadership! We met his family and spent time in his home. It was inspiring to see the way that Ezequiel put himself and his faith out there for all people to see, and how much he wanted all people, including those in his very neighborhood, to know the Lord. It gave me excitement for the fall when I will go to university and have opportunities to reach out to others here in Saskatoon, and also caused me to pray to the Lord asking for more boldness and courage like Ezequiel in stepping out and sharing with others.

The day was so much fun! We made new friends, played a lot of soccer, made tons of raspados (snow cones), did dramas, and heard the gospel message shared by our Wounaan friends! It even ended with a torrential downpour – in typical Panama style.

Soccer & Snowcones!

Soccer & Snowcones!

It is my prayer that the Lord continues to work in Ezequiel’s community, that He would stir up people’s hearts to respond to the truth they heard that day in the dirty, muddy soccer field. It is also my prayer that as I adjust to life as a university student, that I would see the Lord working in the same way here at home, and that He would fill me with such love for people that I would speak and act His truth out to them in boldness.
– Janelle Iwabuchi  

Janelle preparing for Panama

Janelle preparing for Panama

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. “
Eph. 1:3

Flights Delayed

The Panama Team was scheduled to arrive late Tues night but they have had some flight delays and will not be arriving until WED afternoon.

Joel, Ryan and Nick will arrive on Wed at 1:30 pm.

Heather, Kirsten, Janelle, Danya and Adam will arrive on Wed at 5:30 pm.

Pray for them as they will be weary travellers after these 2 long days of delays, interruptions, late nights and early mornings!  May they see God in the midst of these travel days and find rest and joy along the way.

Here’s a glimpse of our guys doing the Wounaan cultural dance with the men at the Missions Festival on Sunday.  Check back in the next few day for more stories and pictures from the Festival!

Panama boys dancing