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Trip Blog

Day 1 - Panama Men's Work Trip 2017 - All about Word of Life

Posted by Wes Hileman on

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...


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Mary Ann Karl Mar 19, 2017 2:53pm

Dear Wes & Men of TBC,
Praising God for each of you being in Panama and for traveling mercies getting there.
Praying Jesus will bless you in unexpected ways and those you minister to. Isaiah 43:10-11.

Cheryl Mar 20, 2017 6:57am

Good Morning Brothers (and dear husband!!)!
I'm so thankful that everyone got to Panama safely! I'm praying for you this morning as you begin your work in the heat and sun of Panama, praying that you're able to accomplish a lot, you'll have a great spirit of teamwork, and that everyone will be safe and stay hydrated! Be blessed to be a blessing!

Paul Boardley Mar 20, 2017 11:04am

I am praying for all of you and ask God to keep you all safe and able to complete the task before you.
I know each of you are doing this all for God's glory and I commend you for it

Ryan Middleton Mar 20, 2017 2:21pm

Great job on keeping us updated on what is going on. We pray that God uses your team in mighty ways and keeps you all safe!

Wayne Johnson Mar 20, 2017 2:28pm

I appreciate that you are modeling Phil. 2:3-5 - "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus." Praying for you all in this 'incarnational ministry.'

Scott Myers Mar 20, 2017 7:38pm

Thanks for all you guys are doing down there. You are in our prayers!

Cindy Nicastro Mar 20, 2017 8:23pm

Praying that the hands of God are all over your tasks, your safety, and your fellowship. Blessings to my husband, Tom, and all of the fine men doing God's work.

Roger Mar 21, 2017 6:04am

Thanks for the update and learning of your successful trip. The team and your mission was remembered in ABF on Sunday - know you have people at home praying. Thank you to all for your willingness to serve.

Jackie Myers Mar 22, 2017 10:09am

Just finished viewing the video of camp testimonies with a box of Kleenex! Such a blessing to be able to pray for those who are literally laying the foundations for this type of fruit. May God bless your work there.