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Panama Guide

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Wednesday, April 24 2019 @ 08:12 PM UTC

Mission of Faith - Part 2

Groups & OrganizationsBy Sophie Soong: Panama - Imagine spending your two week vacation a thousand miles from home, working all day in primitive conditions. That's what news producer Andrea Compton and I did when we joined our church on a mission to panama. With six other local team members, we set out on the trip, not knowing what to expect. We just had our goal in mind: construct two churches. But it didn't come without obstacles. First of all, there was the rain. It was pouring most of the time we were there. Our first day of construction on the church in the village of Renacimiento got off to a soggy start. "This is going to be very difficult because every time you dig a hole, it just fills up with water," team member Jesse Walton said as he worked. Still, we did our best digging, mixing cement, and trying to get a solid foundation for the church. "It was a stretch I think for us because we're not used to it. Just different type of work than we're used to, just manual labor," Tara Love, another team member said. Throughout the day, we trekked back and forth to the main road, hauling heavy rocks and building supplies back to the village. Meanwhile, we confronted a challenge of a different sort: lots of bug bites.

All the while, we fight against time. With only four days in Renacimiento, we rushed to get as much done as possible.

But despite our best efforts we were unable to finish the church.

The missionary who was leading us, Kendall Brown, tried to cheer us up. "The foundation is done. I mean, we all know the most important part of whatever building is the foundation."

With heavy hearts, we prayed for the future of the building and the villagers before heading out to our second destination: the coastal village of La Pina. There we were refreshed by the beautiful sandy beaches and breathtaking scenery.

We had much better luck with this construction due to help from the villagers. "What's really neat about this project is that the believers here in La Pina have really taken ownership and pride in this church," team leader Jeff Fryer explained.

Within a couple days we had columns up and the roof structure in place--complete with a-frames. We wish we could've done more, but our time in La Pina and in Panama was coming to a close.

As we prepared for our journey home, the team took some time for reflection. "Overall, I think it's been an amazing experience.I went in with an open heart and an open mind, just wanting to serve God and I think he's had a lot of lessons to teach us. One of those being patience.I'd do it again," team member Sara Wessling said.

The mission continues. Our church here in Eugene, Calvary Fellowship, hopes to send more teams to Panama in the future and complete the work we started.

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