November Notes

We are quickly approaching the end of the calendar year. This year has gone by so quickly. Some highlights for me have been: Running our first two Discipleship Training Schools at YWAM Panama City (www.ywampanamacity.com)- these schools have been great. A total of 19 students from 7 countries graduated. For outreach we had people in Peru and Panama. Being involved in ‘life change’ is the most exciting aspect of being in ministry. To see the light go on for the first time when someone realizes a new concept relating to themselves, God or others is just a lot of fun. Watching my kids all get a little older- they are growing and maturing in new ways every month. Such a joy to watch them struggle through and learn. Of course, my favorite part is when they realize I was right all along…hahahaha. I love my kids. ALL NINE! Life would not be anywhere near as much fun without them.  The “big boys” (Tommy and Simon) in Dallas continue to work and live  near their Grandmother.  Jonathan is completing this first season of service as a missionary in Uganda.  The Other six, Miriam ( who has blossomed into a beautiful young lady), Andrew (amazing young man- skater and musician), Esther (still cheering and dancing) Josh (helper and jack of all trades) and of course the little ones ( not so little anymore) at eight years old Besufekad and Wudasse. Celebrating 25 years with my wonderful wife. Holly and I have come a long ways. We have been able to persevere through all types of trials and challenges. Some made by poor decisions. (mostly mine) Others just circumstances of life- illness, loss, etc. She is amazing. I am so glad she is my best friend and wife. Meeting great friends and serving with YWAM in Panama City, Panama. Our leaders are great. Our team is great. The ministry is exciting and growing. We have set the groundwork to impact more people in more places for the upcoming year. I look forward to sharing with you these events in the future. This year has been filled with much healing and encouragement. I am excited about what this next year has to offer. How has your year been? What have you seen? experienced? How has God worked in your life? Have you learned anything new about yourself, God or others this year? Have you thanked Him for your blessings? What about the challenges? Thanks for reading my ramblings. Have a great week.

San Antonio

Last Saturday we went as a family to San Antonio—Not San Antonio TX, but San Antonio Panama.

This is the hometown of our new friend Kenia Cabezon. She is from the Wounaan tribe. One of the indigenous people groups of Panama.

We were invited out to have a fish dinner with her village of about 45 or so people. I did not take my camera…but I wish I would have.  I thought: “If my friend Tano or Gary or Bill invited me over for dinner I would not necessarily bring my camera. I do not want to go and be a tourist in their home…” I thought it might be rude or something. So I did not take it.

I missed an opportunity to get some great shots of life in the village. I have borrowed some pix from other people who did bring their camera. You can see them in the gallery section.

We left by van from the Campus and headed out towards Gamboa. Gamboa is a beautiful city. It rests on an island along the Panama Canal. There is not much to it, but what is out there- including Gamboa Union Church, where I am an Elder- make it a very quaint community.

We arrived at The Dock on the far side of the island…the jungle side from the Canal. We grabbed our stuff and hopped in the taxi that was waiting for us. As we all climbed into the taxi, the driver told each one of us where to sit. Front or back; left, right or middle to keep the weight balanced in the taxi.  We kept the gear up near the bow to keep it elevated out of any water that might seep into the taxi.

It was about a twenty minute ride through very thick vegetation to the island. You could see “trails” made by the boats- or maybe cut through by the people- that were clear of vegetation.

It was great to meet her family in their village and share some of what we do at YWAM with them through Dramas, testimonies and just hanging out with the family. I got to play a little soccer with the kid…we lost. So much for the German heritage helping with my soccer skills.

Here are some pictures from our time on Saturday:            

    our Taxi           This is our Taxi

San Antonio Bound       Here we are on the way out to the village

reinforcing a house

I helped lift up a house so Felipe could insert a new  support beam

 meeting the kids Playing a little Futbol

kids playingLocal kids playing in the rain

jungle walk      Hiking to the “neighbors house”

Going up into the house      Going up into Kenia’s home

relaxing upstairs     They invited us in to get out of the rain

on the way out          Coming back to the dock

It was a great day. We had some wonderful food cooked open the open fire and great fellowship with the family. Thanks for stopping by. God Bless.

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