Saturday, April 14, 2007

Family Trip to Chiriqui

My dad always emphatise on the importance of a clear and healthy relationship within the family. He would always go with what he always say and preach about quality time spent in family. As long as I can remember he has always given to it a huge importance and definitely now after years of it I have come to see some results. Thanks God for that. It takes lots of energy to pull a family together and keep it that way, it takes a lot of determination to not to give up despite his own inner struggles.
I am leaving Panama once again this coming 15th of april, just a day after his b-day and we thought it'd be a great thing to spend the weekend out of the city. So we packed our things, jumped in the bus and left to the high lands of Chiriqui. We took turns in the driving, something really new in our family road trips, for this time it wasn't only him on the wheel but me and Daniel. I guess that is just so not important for anyone else to read but me. Anyway, we arrived after almost 7 hours of driving through the night and left our bags and stuffs at the hotel and since we had only two days we decided to start visiting places right away. So our first stop on our vacation trip was the border with Costa Rica, a place called Paso Canoa. Since it was Holy Friday, it was empty and very few people around, so it was not crowded like usual and we did walk a little here and there, did some shopping and headed back to the hotel. We were so tired, and sleepy, but decided to pay a visit to my old pastor friend I met last year during a mission trip. We had previously lunch and when we arrived to his house, we were offered to lunch. So being polite as we were, we gladly accepted it and it was good, but we had to struggle to push all that food inside our stomachs. Spending time with Pastor Eric and his family was an amazing experience specially for my mom. They are still in the process of building their church and it hasn't been easy at all, but obviously by what we saw and felt in our spirit, God is in all this and with him. So after saying good bye and wishing everyone the best we finally headed back to our hotel at almost 6 in the evening. We were so exhausted to say the least. We hit our beds till next day. So next day we woke up early in the morning and we continue visiting some beautiful spots in chiriqui, like Volcan Baru town and Cerro Punta town which is in a very prominent high spot in the territory of Panama. We took lots of pictures and enjoyed the scenery. Next day we headed back to Panama city but right before, we chatted a long while and had a healthy time to share things. Thanks God for it. I guess that so many destroyed homes worldwide, the least we can be is thankful for what God has given to us.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Carrying it on

Throughout the years, it has become a habit for me to ask God in my prayers to reveal to me his perfect will for my life. A habit that was passed onto me from my parents that has paid great results and avoided lots of unnecesary headaches.
Two weeks ago, I had to go to the U.S. consulate to get my working visa renewed. I brought all the important papers, the same ones I had brought on the several different previous ocassions, and I was very confident that I was going to get it as usual. To my surprise, the consulate officer denied it for no apparent reason. It really hit me hard and right away all sort of thoughts began to rush through my head. What am I going to do now? Will I find a nice job in Panama? and so many other very much important questions. I sort of got depressed and by the end of the day, I couldn't take it no more. I was feeling real bad and hopeless and only then, I did realize that I had shifted the trust I am to put in God onto me. Almost without realizing about it, I stop trusting God and being thankful for everything in all, and of course it lead me to depresion and hopelessness. So after realizing my wrong approach to the situation I decided to thank God for this and I started to pray that His will might be done in my life, and that no matter what the result, he would give me peace of mind and heart to accept whatever it was, for the Scripture reassures me that everthing works for good. I felt how , during two weeks after the day I got my visa denied, my faith was getting centered in God. There were so many things involved, at times, they would get into my head and won't let me go, and then I would just brush them out of my head and praise God. Finally, yesterday I went again to the U.S. consulate and brought some extra documents I didn't bring the first time and I got the visa approved this time around. As I was sitting on that chair waiting for my name to be called, I prayed once again and I said "Lord, may your will be done" I felt in peace and I was aware that from that moment onwards my life could have changed 360 degrees, and yet I was peaceful. That could only be the work of Christ in the life of anyone. I praise the Lord, for today like never before, I can tell with all security that I am still walking within His will for my life. Ever since last year I would ask God if he still wanted me to be working on the ships and yesterday I heard his voice loud and clear. When the consulate officer said "yes, I will give you the visa", that was God talking to me "yes, I still want you on the ships". Many of my friends and family constantly ask me if I am sure about being on the ships, and they would ask me all sort of question about my future. They care about me I guess, and am thankful for that, but as long as I walk where God wants me to walk, then I am happy and feel 100% secured. On one ocassion, several months ago, a friend of mind who is not believer, asked me "why are you on the ships, if you don't do all sort of worldly things? I told him, if there were not believers on the ships, then, who would tell you about Christ's love and sacrifice? My prayer is that during the days or years ahead of me on the ships, may I always be up to spread the Good News to all.