Good Folks, it is Friday, October 2, 2015 and I am in Panama. Although I wrote this epistle before leaving, I know that the ministry of the church continues when folks take on the mantle of leadership for the sake of Christ.
I am trying to remember the last time I physically left the country to be involved in a mission trip. I would have to say that it was over 20 years ago when a dear friend, Reverend Manuel Rodriquez, invited me to go with him and several other folks to a city just across the border into Mexico. We would spend the nights on the U.S. side, and then venture across for a full day’s work of building a church.
Those were exciting times filled with memories of fellowship and knowing that we were making a difference in that community’s life. This is what I pray will happen when our group enters Panama—make a difference.
What excites me is the uncertainty of the travel, sights and sounds to experience, plus the food that will be radically different from Kim & Jenny’s and Chubby’s menu. What excites me is knowing that the Project 3.7 container awaits us to break the seal, unload the container and begin the very purpose of this project: to help empower a community for greater health. I believe that we will be making a difference. What I also believe is that First United Methodist Church of Duncanville is making a difference. Your efforts, sweat, tears, gifts, handprints behind the wall paneling, the countless prayers for this project and the many hands and hearts that participated make a difference.
I cannot be prouder of a congregation that took a leap of faith to embark on this journey, 4,000 miles to Panama via Duncanville. I also believe that from the very beginning of Project 3.7 God’s hand was also painting the outside and inside of the container, nailing the nails and caulking the seams, making the countless sandwiches and delivering them to the volunteers, doing the electrical work and plumbing. From the very beginning, we envisioned a place where healing can begin for a community and offer them Christ and hope and love.
As always, I will be praying at takeoff and landing. I hope to take lots of pictures and make many memories. I covet your prayers. We covet your prayers and will be returning right after church on Sunday.
I want to take this moment to thank God for Alex Williams. He is much more than an “Associate.” He is a co-laborer in the Lord’s vineyard with me. I am so blessed to have as gifted and talented an individual as him, and I know that you are as well.
See you soon.