Establish God's Kingdom in Panama
We have been praying for an opportunity to be God's faithful witnesses and establish his Kingdom in Panama, and now we are partnering with the local church to meet the needs of the residents of Panama City.
In May 2016 I received a call to go preach the Gospel in Panama. After praying and consulting with Bishop Clark and our former Rector Bishop Glenn. The Lord led us to connect with Fr. Mark Ball of Missio Dei and the Greenhouse movement. Thus began the journey of planning and preparing for the mission of church planting in Panama. For the past year, I have been learning the dynamics and discipline of church planting from Fr. Mark. I now feel ready to take my acquired education in the US and use it in Panama for God’s Glory.
Plant a vibrant Anglican Church among the expat and international community of Panama City, Panama. As of 2013, there is an estimated 20-30 thousand Americans and Canadians alone living in Panama. Over the last few decades, the country has seen explosive growth in population, business, technology, banking, and the arts. Just the right ingredients for a modern thriving metropolis. We have been praying for an opportunity to be God's faithful witnesses and establish his Kingdom in Panama. Urban ministries are essential in today's world, as people increasingly make their way to urban centers, the need for an effective proclamation of the Gospel is imperative to changing lives. We are partnering with the local church to meet the needs of the residents of Panama City.
Strategy: First 3 Months
We plan on arriving late summer 2018, We will be moving into an English speaking neighborhood. Our target neighborhood is Casco Viejo. Casco is the center of Panama city’s culture. It is a mix between Silicon Valley and Barcelona; It has an entrepreneurial vibe to it. The expats in Casco Viejo are typically between 20 and 50 years old. We feel that our ministry will take root in such an environment due to our western upbringing. In addition, it will soften the transition for our American family, making it easier to balance ministry and family life.
Our initial ministry will be with my brother-in-law, The Rev. Obed, and Iglesia Cristiana Unida en Santidad. This will be a good base for us to worship, be nurtured in community, and engage in active ministry. Obed and his church are in the process of becoming an Anglican body. They are in talks with the Latin Bishops and the Greenhouse movement here in the U.S.
We will begin by working on establishing relationships. Three primary avenues for this will be through 1) ministry through Obed’s church (Iglesia Cristiana Unida en Santidad) 2) TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages); 3) enrolling our kids in some sort of sport or art activities. The TESOL will open relational doors as well as supplement needed income. And the sports/art activities will supplement the kids’ homeschooling (at least for year one) and serve as a point of contact with the people.
City Group: 3-6 months
Next, the primary focus will be community involvement, I plan to launch a City Group at the 3 months mark by having folks in our home for dinner once a week for games, book discussions or a light bible study depending on the spiritual temperature. The goal is to meet people where they are and to gather intentionally. This is our primary method for evangelizing the unchurched and the under-churched in the city.
City Group is the precursor to a Life Group or Bible study and will allow us to get a feel for the spiritual needs of the community, as well as potential leaders and people of peace.
During this time we would be planning on a pastoral visit from the Rev. Mark Ball, and a few other people from Houston to help encourage us and engage this missionary effort. The goal is to become the diocesan hub for reciprocal ministry. Reciprocal Ministry is essential for the growth of the church worldwide.
We believe that not only are we going to Panama to serve but we are also praying for people from Panama to one day come to Houston to serve our communities here.
Life Group: 6-12 months
Once a “critical mass” is achieved through City Group the next step is to launch a home bible study or Life group at the 6 months mark. We hope to host/lead a home bible study with the goal of praying for God to birth a church (or at some point) begin specific DNA training of what it means to be an Anglican church in Panama. This is a real discipleship program.
Our focus on the following areas:
Worship: word & sacrament;
Fellowship: friendship & pastoral care; and
Community Ministry: local expressions & reciprocal missions.
Why an Anglican Church in Panama?
Panama has traditionally been a mixture of indigenous religion and Roman Catholicism on the native side. On the expat side, we might expect some understanding whether flawed or not of the Gospel. There is a need for sound biblical discipleship to transform the hearts of people and further the expansion of God’s glorious fame.
“The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them” Matt 4:24
Ways of partnering with us
This is the most important part of partnering with us. Nothing happens without it.
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” Matt 24:14
2. Financial giving
"...whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work..."
3. Share The Vision
It is essential for any ministry to have ambassadors. Please share our vision with your friends and family and help us spread the word.