My wife and four-year-old son just returned last week from a two-week missions trip to Panama. While there, God allowed us to be in church with our missionary friends on two Sundays and their Thursday mid-week service, see their childrens and teenage classes, and meet a lot of their wonderful church members. On one Saturday we went on a church activity with their entire church family a couple hours away. What a great time of fellowship! This was our third missions trip visit to the Dolega, Panama area where our friend’s church and ministry is at. What a joy and privilege to be able to take our young son this time, and expose him to the mission field and to another international culture. Some of the same people were still there that remembered us from our first trip back in 2006, fifteen years ago. What a blessing to see people being faithful to the Lord and to His church all these many years later. God allowed me the opportunity to bring the Sunday morning message and I shared with them how God wants to not only just HEAR our faith in Him, but, He wants to SEE it. What are we DOING today that SHOWS to God our belief, trust, and faith in Him?

We were also privileged to visit with the young people at a children’s hame in David, thirty minutes away. We took them sports balls to play with, some special snacks for all to enjoy, and clothes that might fit some of them, then we just hung around and played games with them for awhile. Please pray for these wonderful young people, that God will show each of them that He has a specific purpose for their lives and that He can and will still use them greatly for His work. The children’s home could greatly use your prayers as well as your financial gifts, as they must feed almost thirty kids each day, clothe them, and educate them.

On a Friday morning, we travelled over two hours away to have church in an Indian village reservation. We parked along the road and then walked maybe ten minutes to get to where they all lived at. The adults all met together and sang praises to the Lord, prayed to God, and very attentively heard preaching. God allowed me to share for a bit while my missionary friend Rafael translated into Spanish for me. I shared with everyone there how God has a PURPOSE for your life and that no one was born by accident, that God has a PLAN for your life and that He has something specific He created you for and wants you to do for Him, and that God has a PATH for your life that He wants you to walk on, and that the first step to getting ON His path is Salvation. We all must trust in the finished work on the cross of His Son Jesus Christ, and allow Him to become our Savior. What a blessing it was to share with them the purpose, plan, and path that God has had my wife and my lives on, and now with our son Jozef. I shared with them one of my favorite verses, Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” My wife Synthavanh was teaching the Indian children how to play a game with the balls we brought them, and my four-year-old son Jozef was passing out candy to every single kid…and even to all of the adults later on.

On the next Sunday, Pastor Rafael was having a special day where he asked everyone to dress up in traditional Panamanian attire, and if they did, they would get their photo taken and he would print it out onto a mug for them the next week. It…was…HOT that Sunday afternoon, but what a privilege it was to be able to shoot pics of all of them, and see the joy on their faces.  Would you please pray about giving to the Rodriguezes and their church ministry for a special need they currently have? They are trying to finish a building they have added onto their church which will be a feeding center for feeding the children of Panama in their area. They were renting a place out for this special ministry for years, but could no longer continue doing that, and so, Pastor Rafael felt the lord calling him to build a feeding center themselves for this great need. The building is almost completed, but for the tile floor and the ceiling. They need about $5,000 more to finish everything.

May I encourage you today to take a missions trip, or even just create your own, and go and visit one of your church’s missionaries that they support? There is no better way to visit a country or to learn about a different culture than for you to visit one of your church’s missionaries on their actual mission field. We can all pray for our missionaries, and we should be. We can all give to our missionaries, and we should be. We can also GO TO our missionaries, visit with them, see their ministry work they are doing for the Lord, and help them however we can while there. There is NO BETTER WAY to get a heart for missions…than to GO and visit a missionary, see their work, and meet the people they are serving. Your heart will be blessed immeasurably.