Greetings from beautiful Panama! Today was a day of learning. As construction projects began we learned how to work with cement, how to prepare walls for plaster and how to bend rebar and cut wood without the modern conveniences of power tools (a huge shout out to Bob Donaldson and Dave Caldwell who turned into MacGyver and prepared a section of wall for new cement header with only a gum wrapper, 3 nails, some rotted wood, two cockroaches and a pineapple. Well, maybe not the gum wrapper, but you get the idea!). We learned it is possible to communicate despite language barriers. We learned what the word humid really means. But the real challenge came as we learned how some choose to live with radical faith.
Ultimately, our "learning" today prompted the entire team to reflect on our faith. There were lessons in faith all over the place... We worked alongside a pastor who began a large construction project, in faith, believing that God would provide the resources for completion. We worked alongside another pastor who gave up a good job with the government, to go into full-time ministry serving the poorest of the poor, in faith, believing that God would provide for the needs of his own family.
Faith. Could it be that our "faith" isn't really faith? Is our faith too small? Too self-centered? As we painted church classrooms, as we mudded walls of what will be a kitchen and dining room designed to serve the community, as we played soccer with kids who gathered at the church throughout the day, our faith was challenged. God is doing a remarkable thing in and through His church in Panama. People of faith are living by faith.
What a joy it is to be here. What a privilege it is to be a part of God's redemptive work in Panama. What an opportunity we've been given to have our faith stretched by ministry leaders who are living out Hebrews 11.