Traci and Bianca from WOL joined us at devotion time this morning. They told us stories about the ever-present social and financial needs in the areas they work in.
The variety of tasks they perform in a day is dizzying, but they shift with ease from helping in the kitchen, to running to the store or the local clinic to meet campers' needs, to presenting a gospel message, to providing translation services.
Before the morning session, Traci introduced us to a group of 15-20 women, ages 16-80, who traveled from their village 3 hours away to attend the conference. A missionary shared the gospel in their village 60 years ago and they belong to a church that grew from that.
The youth from the village want to grow in their faith and are hoping to obtain copies of the New Testament that has recently been translated into their language. Traci is planning a visit to their village soon.
Sheila was invited up to the stage to give her powerful testimony of God's faithfulness and redeeming power.
WOL staffer Claudia gave the final message of the conference on dealing with stress and anxiety God's way. She had little time to prepare because she was also called to fill in for the speaker who had to go home unexpectedly. She was another living example of trusting God in all things. She summarized the CALMA theme in a practical and memorable way. God is:
Merciful and an
After she spoke, the women were asked to give short testimonies about what they received from the Lord through the conference.
Each one said the messages were very needed and timely for this point in their lives.
The conference ended after lunch, and the women departed for home refreshed, thankful, and better equipped to deal with the stressful situations in their lives.
The days leading up to and during the conference were quite busy, so we spent Sunday afternoon and evening relaxing with the WOL staff.
They thanked us repeatedly for our labor and for our "ministry of presence." They look forward to visits from The Bible Chapel, and they treated us like family. We felt so much love for them and from them.
The staff took us to a nearby beach to enjoy the salt air, warm water, and conversation. This gave us an opportunity to talk one-on-one and hear their stories about their lives and their ministry
Jon and Bianca Fowler, the directors of Word of Life Panama invited all of us to their home for dinner. Jon shared his vision for expanding the reach of WOL in Panama. He showed us a map and drawings of a conference center and soccer fields they hope to build as the Lord leads and provides.
Traci is grateful for Jon's leadership and skills to grow the camp and services to reach kids for Christ.