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Generosity, part 2

In the last entry I wrote about Papo and Linda. Let me tell you a little more of their story.

The next time we saw Papo he showed up at our house wanted to chat with Alex. They talked for a long time into the evening, and at the end of the conversation, Papo had shared they he and Linda wanted to join as YWAM volunteers, and participate as students in our DTS next year.  That was great news! It was even better to see how excited Papo was about the opportunity to serve and to grow as a person.

The first YWAM meeting that they attended, they brought a little bag of groceries that they wanted to donate for the next family who would benefit. Papo began sharing about what God had been speaking to him. Suddenly he has been aware of all the people around him who need to experience God's love, and is passionate about wanting to do something about that.

Talking to him is like having a conversation with someone who has been asleep for a long time and had suddenly awakened. He is excited ab…

Generosity

We arrived at Papo and Linda's house in the late afternoon, and approached the doorway, calling out, "Buenas!", since doors are rarely closed in the Panama heat.
The small structure seemed to sag as if tired of staying together.  The mismatched boards left gaps, and as we ducked into the house, the only light was a small bulb  hanging from an extension cord in the middle of the living room/kitchen.  A small bench provided the only seating, and was immediately offered to us as the guests.  We sat down, and leaned back a little against the inside wall, only to find that it wasn't so sturdy, we quickly sat up straight again.  We began to chat with our hosts, while some coffee was put on.
We had been asked there to pray for Linda, who has been experiencing health problems that the doctors hadn't been able to solve for her.  We listened to their story, then spent quite awhile praying for her.
Our next visit was to deliver a small donation of groceries that our YWAM te…

Where are we going?

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When we began to pray and plan for this DTS (we just finished our 3 month lecture phase), we know that same things would be different.  We wanted to make the DTS accessible for out students.  Two big challenges were the finances of our students, and the fact that many were in the university, or had their children in school and couldn't take a full five months off.

One solution that fit our group perfectly was to put off the outreach until next year.  So we finished up the lecture phase just as the school year was beginning, and our DTS students were heading back to class.  Not only does this not disrupt their schooling, but it gives us ample time to pray and plan for outreach.

Time which we knew we would need, once God started nudging us in the direction he wanted us to go.

It started last year when we attended a meeting of YWAM leaders from all over the Americas and were able to meet several YWAMer who were working with First Nations people in North America.  We were challenged …

My heart is heavy...

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My heart is heavy tonight as I think about tomorrow.  Many of our friends will be meeting in downtown Panama to protest the government's treatment of the Wounaan communities.  They are asking for justice, to be given rights to their land, so that they can defend their precious forests and their children's future.  They are asking for the law to be upholded.

I know that much planning has gone into this day, and many have traveled from remote communities to support this cause.  And yet I know that humanly speaking, they don't have much of a chance.  The Wounaan estimate their population as about 15,000, but the government says they are only 6,000.  The law says they should be given rights to the lands where their communities are, and have been for years.

But money is being made from the valuable rainforest wood that is being logged out of their land.  Some where, some one is benefitting from this, and so things are held up.  The Wounaan leaders have stopped believing anythin…

Reaching across the gap

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Living in another culture is constantly becoming a child again. In order to understand another's way of thinking you have to let go of the idea that you know it all.

As someone who teaches God's word to others, you have to let go of the idea that you have all the answers. You have to stop talking every once in a while and just listen.  You have to stop giving answers before you really understand the questions.
Last week was a wonderful opportunity to practice this.  I was teaching our students about the character of God.  Wow!  What a huge subject to cover in one week!  
We got right to work digging into some of my favorite stories from the Bible. Stories are great vehicles for truth. Everyone can understand them, and one story can contain huge amounts of truth.  We spent two days on that. After hearing all those stories we felt as if we had been immersed in a deep, sweet river of God's truth.
Jesus really is the answer.  He really is the truth.  If we look deep into who …

Water to thirsty ground

Last week we spent with our friend John Henry, talking with our DTS students about storytelling.  We talked about the church and our cultures, and how the two don't have to be enemies.

It was a week of learning, and the students shared their stories with us.  Some stories were funny, other encouraging.  One student shared about how her dad was a community leader and fought for the lands of their people.  What an inspiration!  Another shared about her mother's years-long search to find her grandfather, and the bitterness that ensued.  Some tears fell, and we all stopped to pray for her family.

Lina, who is always the sunshine of our group, shared this at the end of the week:

"I love hearing these stories.  Every story I hear encourages me more.  My in-laws were here this week, and I shared every story that we heard.  They are so moved, and encouraged. Then when they go back to the village, they share these stories with their neighbors.  And their neighbors are encouraged a…