Saturday, March 18, 2006

Chiriqui Mission Trip.

Once again I have been truly blessed by God by going to a mission trip in my country. Last saturday I got a call from Benjamin, my brother´s best friend´s brother inviting us over to work as interpreters for this group of american fellows from Texas. So I raised up my hand and counted myself in for the trip. So we departed from Panama city the following day very early in the morning for we knew it was gonna be a long ride to reach the high lands of Chiriqui. My friend Benjamin told me to pack all my warm cloth because we were heading to the coldest area of Chiriqui. I´ll refer to that later on here. Anyway, so the ride itself wasn´t to bad for me, cuz I spent the whole 7 hours sleeping like a King with no crown on a very unconfortable seat of an old bus but as I said, it wasn´t that bad. When we finally made it we were eager to stretch out badly our dumbed bodies but I was happy to be there safe and sound. Our brothers and sisters from the north stayed in a local hotel and I was told we (interpreters) were gonna be relocated to local homes of some church members. So the teams were formed and I was assigned to a three-person group. Pastor Larry and his son Andrew and Mr. Ron, we were assigned to a small very humble village called "Vista Linda". Houses there cannot be called as so, they are made of zincs and pieces of wood, on the inside there is no other floor but the bare soil and health condition is real bad. That was the first glimpse of the village I perceived and I knew it wasn´t gonna be an easy week. The other two interpreters were from Costa Rica, James and Jujesky and they also knew it was gonna be hard. We started right away evangelizing people using the evangicube from "Global Mission Fellowship" and we went knocking doors from house to house. The one interesting fact about americans on missions here in Panama is that people inmediately opens up their homes and themselves to hear what they have to say or share. It is unusual to have white-tall-blonde-blue eyes-people walking in their neighborhoods so as soon as they are seen, specially the children come and surround them. So this, I conclude is a wonderful way to break the ice and be able to communicate the message. As an interpreter I realized that the way you transmit the message has an extremely important role and I have been blessed with both, the missionaries and the people from the village on the process of interpreting. As we entered house after house and we shared with them and we spent time with them, a strange love started to grow inside my heart for this people and an urge to be of any help either spiritually and economically. We were able to share with as many people as we saw during that week the gospel and we held also discipleship meeting with them for a few days. An interesting fact was that while it was extremely hot and the sun was very intense, from time to time the wind would blow hard and would kick up the dry dirt and because we were sweating very bad the dirt would stick to our skin. Anyway, at the end of the week I was very bonded to many of the villagers and it was a sad thing to depart. I learned something very important though. Once couple of years ago, my friend Travis and I were walking in Panama city and we saw a homeless who was probably on drugs as well, but he approached us and Travis decided to share the gospel with him. The guy listened to us to the last word and was very happy that someone would take a time to speak to him. Afterwards he asked for something to eat and Travis said, "yes of course", so we took him to a restaurant and we bought him a meal. Later on, Travis and I talked about the experience and he told me, "I want to share the gospel to as many people as I God allow me, but the same way I am giving them spiritual food I want to be able to give them material food if needed, I want to be able to meet their needs if it is possible" That was quite a lesson for me and ever since then, when I see people like the ones I met in Chiriqui I feel like I should be of more help, yeah, it is important to evangelize all, but part of the discipleship is to help them if it is in our hands to do so. Many people however, think that it is wrong to help poor people because then they would become dependant of them and that is true to a certain point. I think we must find the middle point where we help them economically while not making them dependant but at the same time we are making sure they are growing their faith in God as His all powerful supplier and helper and not in the help of other humans. I saw how much need there is in this small village of perhaps 200 people mostly children with no proper houses, electricity, potable water, jobs and the basic things and I felt in my heart that I could bless some of them with what God has blessed me. I think that´s all about. The more you receive from God the more you should bless others. The more we put this into practice the more God is gonna bless us and so we are gonna be tools of blessings to others. We minister people with the Gospel of Salvation, but it will be incomplete if we having in our hands the material bread dont feed those who are in a worse condition than us.


Brooke Templeton said...

WOW:) Thats sooo awsome. It really makes me miss & long for the mission field. I can't wait to get back out there....& who know maybe we'll get a chance to work together again one day. Your in my prayers Josue. May God's Blessings be upon you:)

Todd Szalkowski said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Todd Szalkowski said...

Joshue, what a blessing to have one of my church planters send me your blog. Thank you for blessing my team and me last week in David.

Todd Szalkowski

Larry Parsley said...

Josue, you were a HUGE part of our ministry in David, and it was a privilege working with you. I especially appreciated your influence with my son Drew. I don't know if Carnival ever gets anywhere near Dallas, Texas, but we would love to have you stay with us and meet the rest of our family.

In Christ,
Larry Parsley

Josh said...

Indeed Brooke....I can still remember those wonderful days in Piriati with your team. It was quite an experience. Perhaps someday we´ll get together once again.

Josh said...

Thanks Todd and Pastor Larry for coming to my country and do what God has put in your hearts. My people get blessed big time.

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