God’s Prayers for Panama

Prayers for Panama

This is Maryanne…every year I spend time preparing to send out our Mission teams-it is such a privilege to walk alongside these people that God invites to join Him on mission and  to see what He has in store for them!  Today I was reflecting on some of the prayers we had as a team for Panama, and wanted to share that with you.

While we were in Gretna at Orientation we spent some time talking about praying for the nations...the people groups of the world and asking God what verses and pictures He wanted to give us as we interceded on behalf of the Wounaan and others. We sat outside with our big poster board and Nicole wrote down words, phrases and verses as we prayed these things out over the people and places the team would soon go. (picture above)

Many of the verses God gave us as we prayed were about His victory and His armor as our protection.  We prayed that God’s name would be proclaimed through the team and that His faithfulness would be evident in all. Eph 1. We prayed for healing and that we would be able to speak fearlessly as a team Eph 6:19.  We claimed Isaiah 61:1-3 …that the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord would use the team to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the Lords favor , to comfort all those who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  It is great to know that while the team was in Platanares God gave them opportunity to do just what these verses say…to comfort those who mourn and to walk alongside those that were grieving the death of a community leader.   I can’t wait to hear what other prayers  God has been answering through the team.  He is faithful!

Prayer Walk in Yaviza

Street in Yaviza

Yesterday the team shared with me that they were going on a prayer walk around the community of Yaviza…a small town in the Darien, at the end of the PanAmerican highway, where Einer and Girlesa live. Yaviza is a town in great need of hope and purpose.  I look forward to hearing what prayers God gave the team this year for this town and the people that Einer and Girlesa rub shoulders with each week.   God has planted the MB  IEU Camp Property in this community for a purpose- for the Wounaan who come from various villages down river and for the people of different ethnic backgrounds and needs that live in Yaviza or pass through. 
“May they be a light on a hill that cannot be easily hidden and may nations come to their light. ” Isaiah 60:1-3

Suspension Bridge across river to other side of Yaviza

Boats coming from Wounaan communities dock along Camp property where Zuluagas live

Thanks for joining in with prayers God is giving you for the Wounaan, for Yaviza, for the missionary families and for the team as they continue their time in Panama this week!  We’d love to hear what He has been leading you to pray.

Wounaan cooking!

posted by Maryanne

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God’s plans and timing…

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news… Is.52:7

We are now in Yaviza after spending four full, rich, and challenging days in Plataneres. Life there is so different from what we are used to in Canada, but our team embraced the new lifestyle, as we did our best to connect with the people there.

After we stepped off the boat and climbed the steep stairs into the home of Pastor Hermes and Aleyda, our hosts, we had no time to take in our surroundings before being swarmed by many small children. It wasn´t long before Curtis had four smiling kids hanging from his back and arms. This would become a familiar sight, as we spent a lot of time with the kids, swimming in the river, playing soccer in the rain, leading art projects in the school, and much more.

Girlesa and Janelle

We awoke on Tuesday morning to the news that a respected elder and one of the founders of Plataneres, Egido, died the night before. Our plan of youth events, joyful church services, and leaving on Wednesday suddenly changed as we joined with the Wounaan in mourning. Before the funeral on Thursday, we had the opportunity to gather with many people from various communities in commemorating his life.

As we reflected on our time in Plataneres, we realized that God had placed us there very specifically to support the community during this difficult time. Several people there expressed their gratitude for us being there. Egidio was able to attend the first couple of services we held and Einer and Girlesa really felt that what we shared was specifically meant for him before he went to be with Jesus. What a powerful reminder that God´s plans are so much better than ours.

Wounaan team mate Ezequiel

Our time here so far has been challenging; dealing with heat, a multitude of bug bites, and communication difficulties, but we know that God is faithful and He has placed our team here for a specific time and purpose. We have been so blessed by spending time with Einer, Girlesa and Alan (unfortunately his family isn´t able to be with us) and seeing their heart for the Wounaan.

We visited various homes in Plataneres and got to share with and pray for several families. In one house, Zach shared about how much our church cares for the Wounaan and that we are like family. This moved the woman in the house to tears as she expressed her gratitude for our relationship and support. The Wounaan communities are facing many challenges with land issues, division in leadership, and rebellious youth. In these difficult times, the support and prayers of Forest Grove are so important.

Visiting in homes

Pray for Zach as he´s been feeling a bit nausea lately. Alan is dealing with the flu and Einer is also facing some health challenges, so prayers for healing are very welcome! We hope to send further updates as time and Internet connection allows.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

posted by  Brady

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That’s what family does….

The team got back to Chepo Thurs afternoon after staying an extra day for a funeral that took place this morning.  A leader/founder of the community in Platanares passed away on Monday night and the team felt it was important for them to stay and take part in the funeral service with the community before leaving..cause that’s what family does.  As our relationship with the Wounaan has grown we have become family in a sense and even though we don’t know each other well we want to be available to celebrate, to mourn and to support one another through the things of life.  The team had some great opportunities for ministry as Wounaan from neighboring communities came as well.  The team will share more about this when they have a chance to blog themselves…( internet is not very available and time is short!)

After getting some groceries they began the trip to Yaviza, where Einer and Girlesa live.  They were going to stop about half way and stay at Alan and Colleen’s home for the night.

Einer and Girlesa’s home in Yaviza

More adventures to come in Yaviza this next week! Thanks for your prayers.

Posted by Maryanne

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