138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
Greetings from the Chapel Men in Panama! Each year in March, the Bible Chapel sends out a group of men on a trip to the Word of Life Camp (Campamento Palabra de Vida) in Panama. We help with construction projects, youth sports programs, and discipleship opportunities at camp. We'll be doing concrete work, putting in light poles for the soccer fields, and running an American football camp this year.
We had a great travel day on Saturday, arriving in the early afternoon in Panama City. Overnight we stayed at Casa Paraiso (Paradise Home), a beautiful hostel near Panama City. We spent time with Mirko and Tracy Delibasich, who direct Word Of Life in Panama. They shared their testimonies, the history and plans for the camp, and plans for our week here.
Tracy shared that she grew up in Panama as the daughter of U.S. workers here. Tracy would often spend time at summer camp at Word of Life in New York state. Ever since she was a little girl, she dreamed of a camp like that in Panama. A place where children and youth would gather to learn about God, hear the gospel preached, and also grow together through sports and camp activities. Little did she know that she, along with her husband Mirko, would be the workers who God would use to establish and grow that camp.
Mirko shared that 2017 is the 25th anniversary for the camp, which was founded on April 15, 1992. The Bible Chapel has been a supporter of their efforts from the very beginning, and was one of the first churches to provide support. Nearly ALL of the funding for work projects has come from churches and supporters from the U.S., and 80% of the labor to build buildings and improve the property has come from church work trips like ours.
The Delibasich's purpose at Word of Life Camp is to "evangelize, disciple, and train leaders" to reach Panama with the gospel. Their focus is inspiring! One of the men on the trip this year is Russell Rice. Nearly every single person working at the camp was at one time a camper, then a camp counselor, and now a Word of Life worker helping run the camp and doing outreach across Panama. We are both humbled and blessed to be a part of their work here in Panama.
After church this morning (Sunday), we're heading out to visit and play flag football with orphans at the state-run Metro Amigo Orphanage in Panama City. More on that next time...