138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
Word of Life Panama
The Bible Chapel's mission to develop followers of Jesus Christ not only leads us to travel on short-term trips and establish long-term missionaries to other countries, but also compels us to seek out and nurture long-term international partnerships. This way we can proclaim salvation by God's grace in the context of deep, authentic, Christ-centered relationships.
Our primary international partnerships are with Word of Life Panama and Africa Inland Church (AIC) Zion in Kenya. Over the years, God has led us to:
Invest our resources with them.
Build relationships with their leaders.
Send missions teams to them regularly.
Work alongside them to improve their communities.
The fruit from these relationships has been an amazing testimony of God at work through his people. Children and families previously living in the darkness and desperation of extreme poverty are now growing in the light and hope of Jesus.
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In 1992, Word of Life, a world missionary organization, established a camp in Panama to minister to the country's youth. The Bible Chapel has partnered with this camp since it began, helping its missionaries run Bible clubs, children's drama productions, sports programs, and a summer camp that draws about 1,700 children each year.
Our work with Word of Life Panama includes a special focus on children from a nearby state-run orphanage, who land there after years of abuse and neglect. We partner with Word of Life to pair these children with devoted foster parents and provide them with meals, medical care, education, Bible teaching, tutoring, friendship, and most of all, love.
Through these efforts, so many children who were lost have gained a future. As they turn 18, they are positioned to do what would have been impossible from the orphanage or the streets: continue their schooling, find meaningful work, live independently, and become disciples for Christ in their own communities.
Near Nairobi, Kenya, is the Mathare Valley, one of the world's largest and most desperate slums. People there live in the kind of crippling poverty that is unimaginable until you've seen it. Homes are tin and mud shanties. There are no services - no clean water, roads, or health care. Disease and hunger are epidemic.
In the midst of this despair is Africa Inland Church (AIC) Zion, founded in 1989 to minister to the people of the slum. Soon after it started, AIC Zion set to work providing some meals and basic care to the community, striving to meet their physical and emotional needs in addition to their spiritual ones.
The Bible Chapel partners with AIC Zion to equip the church and its leadership in all their efforts. We have helped them build, staff, and continually improve a school for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, a medical clinic, and centers for children, youth, and women.
God has blessed this work by multiplying its results. The AIC Zion school has grown from 16 students to more than 300, who receive education plus a complete meal every day. In 2013 the school began graduating eighth grade classes, with students eligible to attend secondary schools and leave the slum behind. The clinic serves literally hundreds of people each day, and the church has more than 1,600 members in multiple locations, and offers Bible, sports, and music ministries.
Every day, people are fleeing from Myanmar, which is plagued by unrelenting civil war, extreme violence, and riots. Many of them are young girls who arrive across the border in Thailand with nowhere to go. Without help, they often fall into sex trafficking, drug abuse, and slave labor.
Faith House is currently impacting the lives of 34 of these girls, as young as eight years old, by providing a safe, loving home, teaching them English, and arranging for them to attend Thai school, which is typically not allowed for refugees. Most importantly, the goal of Faith House is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with these girls. The hope is that not only will their lives be changed forever, but that they will share this message with others when they return to their native countries. The girls are already gaining the training they will need, as the leadership of Faith House is teaching them to evangelize to other refugees living in the area.
Faith House is run by missionaries from the Philippines, who felt called to help these girls escape the horror and tragedy that surrounds them daily. The Bible Chapel partners with Faith House to give these girls a chance at a new life, free from the dangers of trafficking and war, and fully engaged in God’s Word and his plan for their lives.