138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
My name is Dawson. I know, it’s me… again. So, to all of my fans out there, I am back with another brilliant piece of literature riddled with twists and turns you will never expect. This is unfortunately the last time I will be writing to you. The end of the trip is here and I’m sad to say, the boys are about to be back in town. So, I’m here to tell parents, friends, and family what these trips are really like.
You go on a trip and expect so many things, yet you must have an open mind. Your heart is thrown through many obstacles and opportunities. Needless to say, you are on an emotional rollercoaster in your faith. I’ve spent a lot of my time in Panama thinking deeply about what my future holds. Through this time of pondering, I have had a steady mentor. Our youth pastor Jeremy Adams has guided me through some rough patches and really shed light on my spiritual situation. I’ve slowly been learning what God has in store for me and what he really has planned for me. The two most important days in a person’s life are the day they are born and the day they figure out why. So, to finish out this paragraph, I would like to send out a sincere thank you to everyone who helped with this trip.
What an adventure it has been. I never knew ten days could pass so quickly. Our last day, in true Panamá fashion, did not go as planned. Drama was supposed to perform twice, but we ended up only performing once. Even still, it was full of emotion. The Spirit moves differently in everyone, and today, we got to open up about how the Spirit has moved us and where we plan to go from here. One thing that amazed me was how quickly we formed friendships. As one of the only people on the trip who speaks Spanish, I found myself making friends with people from both our group and Palabra de Vida just by translating for them. The connections we make are strong and unfettered by the usual worries, like what other people would think or how different some of us are. Even the language barrier couldn’t stop us. Today, someone shared that when he was trying to communicate the gospel without a translator, it felt like genuine understanding and fellowship, despite the difference in language. Panamá is a mountaintop experience, and it is easy to lose sight of it from the bottom of the valley. Pray for us as we return home, that we wouldn’t forget what God has done here and what he has done in us. Joshua 1:9 says that God is with us wherever we go, so pray that we won’t stop looking for him, and that we will remember to rejoice in his presence wherever we are.
Sadly, today was our last day. We had another relaxing, laid-back type of day. We went to our last school with about a total of 100 kids, and over half of them surrendered their lives to God. In my opinion, that’s awesome because it just goes to show that our hard work is really getting through to these kids. Afterwards, we came back to HQ. All, the running around finally caught up with us, and everyone was mentally and physically exhausted – we all crashed. Through this trip, over 5,000 kids have seen and heard the gospel. It’s amazing that we really made an impact and left our mark here in Panama. I want to come back as soon as I can.
¡¿Que Xopa?! (What’s up?) It’s me again. Our time here has been a great time. We did our last performances today and they were great. I met a very friendly dog today as well. It is very sad how many stray dogs there are here, and the saddest thing is that most of them can carry diseases so we weren’t allowed to pet most of them. Other then the dog, the best part was seeing how happy the kids were. After our dance, the team put on their final puppet show, and then there is a gospel message. The kids get very involved and afterwards we break off into small groups and try to bring the kids to accept Christ. All in all, it is a very moving experience to see these small children have fun learning about Jesus.
Speaking of kids, yesterday we went to an Indian village and it was amazing. It was very interesting seeing the way these people live. They only get money by selling things to tourists. This experience has been necessary. It has opened my eyes to see that I need to stop caring as much about what others think of me. I have also gotten very close with some friends and pray that these relationships will last. I fell in love with a country called Panama this past two weeks and would love to come back. In two years, I will be the first one signed up. It is currently 12:20 a.m. and some of us are staying up till 3:00 a.m. when we will need to leave. So, I have a party to get back to. Goodnight everyone. Stay cool. Can’t wait to see y’all. Hasta Mañana!!!