Pics from Panama

Well, I'm back from Panama. It was really a great week. It's a little sad being back. If the weather was a touch cooler, I wouldn't mind living there permanently. The people are so kind, the pace of life is so much slower, and the church seems to be so focused on reaching the lost. It's inspiring and refreshing. Here are a few pictures:

This is me with my friend, Gabby (Gabriela). She is so much fun to be around. When I was in Panama this last January, Gabby was my shadow. She teased me relentlessly because I couldn't roll my r's. When I tried she laughed and said I sounded like a turkey (pabo). This trip she picked up where she left off and immediately called me pabo again. She's a great girl and was incredible leading the younger children during our VBS. I told her she should be a teacher when she's older.

I met Randall on my previous trip as well. He's a total ham. He's got a great sense of humor and loves being the center of attention. Randall had great fun tricking me into saying Spanish cuss words. He wants to work with computers after he graduates next year, but I'm secretly praying he'll hear God's call to ministry. He'd be a great preacher!

Panamanian children are very well-behaved. But there was one boy at the VBS that was definitely the exception to the rule. Oscar was a sweet boy, but wanted nothing to do with the rules or anyone's affection. He would flip everyone off and yell profanities all the time. It was obvious he came from a rough home life. We found out that his parents weren't together anymore and his mother was an alcoholic. Despite the tough front he put on, he was always the first one there and the last one to leave. I believe he really felt safe and cared for at the church, but he didn't know how to respond to the affection. Pray for Oscar and his family.

There were 34 people on our team, but above are the 14 who went from our church. (L-R: Marty & Ann Robertson, Joe & Julie Wilson, Austin Moore, Karlee Wilson, Gary & Katy Fry, Jon & Becky Chastain, Jeff Myers, Katie Poletti, Debbie & Frank Webster, and our host missionaries, Stan & Brenda Bunch) I was extremely proud of everyone from our church. They worked very hard and accomplished alot. But most importantly, they allowed God to use them and speak to them in Panama. It was definitely a trip we'll all never forget.

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