This is the first mission trip for Julia, Sheila, and Rosemary, and the 8th trip for Cheryl, our team leader.
The 4 of us start every morning with a devotion that includes a time of reflection to share what we are learning from our experience here.
This morning, we shared how we are more and more in awe of God's plan for the salvation of the world through missions. Many of the volunteers working here received Christ at WOL summer camp, as teenagers they come back to volunteer to make each camp experience meaningful for the kids. They are here now serving this group of women. They are mopping floors, setting up tables and chairs, preparing meals, and cheerfully serving us. Young men are being mentored to serve selflessly. Some will choose full-time mission work. The others will be better prepared to serve God in various ways.
The WOL staff tell us over and over how much they appreciate the support from TBC. Our visits are a "ministry of presence" that encourages them. They in turn encourage us. It is a beautiful circle of God's love.
Our speaker, Naomi, spoke again this morning about Calma and then explained she was needed at home and needed to leave the conference early.
As she spoke, she was a perfect example of living out God's peace as she spoke to us about casting all our anxieties upon Him.
The WOL team does not allow things that are out of their control to steal their peace.
Traci and Shelia stepped up to present the next two Saturday sessions and they were powerful messages.
In the afternoon the women had a break to swim in the pool, and then they enjoyed painting beautiful nature scenes with the craft supplies we provided. These are activities most of the women rarely have the opportunity to enjoy.
Julia, Rosemary, and Cheryl shared our testimonies through an interpreter. What an experience that was. To share the transforming power and love of Christ with hundreds of women who came from all over Panama and beyond.
After dinner, the ladies of Panama were treated to a Hawaiian Luau
serenaded by a Mexican Mariachi band. Charades, a limbo contest, and the best Lua costume contest were also part of the festivities. Our team was called upon to judge the best costume, and last year's winner crowned the spirited 85-year-old winner.
Panamanians know how to demonstrate their joy in the Lord.
We walked back to our quarters exhausted but exhilarated by the day's events.