You know if there is one thing that I have learned in my life it is this, I don’t know what all I know or don’t know(hope that made sense). There was once a season in my life when I was positive I had my life figured out. What I was going to do, how I was going to do. I thought things would eventually look how I pictured it would all look and then I lost it in a matter of a minute and that was when I decided that I didn’t know what I was doing and I needed the creator of it all to “take the wheel.” As time went on those times of letting the Lord take the wheel continued on and here I am again this time confessing confidently that
I do not have it all figured out but I do have a promise and a fear of the Lord so great that I cannot move unless he physically moves me(some would call that a bad thing, I call it a gift).
Well, that’s how it all ended in Panama for us. We thought we would live there for decades. We had a picture of what things might look like but we also knew that the Lord does not always work within our box. His view from up top is far more expansive than our little view from Earth. The really neat thing about it all was that although it ended in a flash (or so it seemed) it ended right how it was supposed to.
Chris and Israel had just finished up evangelizing in 1 of the neighborhoods in our little community and before leaving after spending each Saturday there for weeks they came upon the most curious little tree that had begun to sprout. You see, a few weeks back Israel had found a seed on the ground and Chris and him took it to a patch of dirt which they dug up with their hands and placed it in there covering it up and asking the Lord to bless it. Their last day there that interesting looking seed that they has planted turned out to be from a palm tree and it begun to spring forth. Even as I write this there is an overwhelming peace and joy as the tears fall down my face and I keep hearing/sensing so gently from Romans 10:15
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Sadly but with much peace we left Panama a few days later with those words and that palm tree plastered in our hearts and minds. I cannot even begin to put into words the unexplained peace yet sadness we feel upon leaving a country specifically a people that we love so dearly. Panama is a very special special place. The people we met there and their willingness to receive us with much patience has made such an impression on us and I am not feeling a prompting to go into detail of what all occurred because I really don’t want you to miss it, I hope you will see the beauty there is in following Christ and his plans, his way. Yeah, we are mourning right now because there has been a loss for us but like Paul described in Philippians 3
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.”
Oh family, there has been so much that we learned in Panama and more we are learning even now as we journey on going from house to house sharing bits of our journey and a message for both the believers and nonbelievers. It has and will forever be a message of God’s love and the great cost of following him. We do not have many answers for what is next, none that would be sufficient for most, but we do still have a promise. He is coming soon! With that, we await the next steps and take comfort in the fact that we are already being used to strengthen his church wherever he plants us and we will continue to bring you along with us as you permit us.
Thank you again for your encouragement and unconditional love. It means a lot to Chris and I. Look forward to updating you soon. May God bless you richly in Jesus’ name, Amen.