> newsletters e-Mailer for 12/09


Dear Friends,


Greetings in Jesus!


If you'd like to read past issues, see Newsletters. This monthly e-Mailer includes updates on ministry, family, praise and prayer.


It was our pleasure to work with the team from River of Life AG in Hood River, OR with Pastor Terry Abbott. They ministered in music, testimonies and the Word nine times in nine days--all but our host church with my good friend Simón Gonzales were new church plants. They also distributed over 3000 of the Book of Hope in public schools. One high school in particular had almost 2000 students.


God used one of our Panamanian pastors giving a word of knowledge to several team members. It confirmed what God had been speaking to them prior to this missions trip. As I always share with teams in orientation, God may do more in you than through you this trip.


November's seminar with our Children's Ministries leaders was especially enjoyable. With Christmas approaching, we gave everyone a mini Christmas program with six songs, lyrics and accompanying scriptures. It was fun to see the enthusiasm and joy on each face as we practiced and adapted the choreography for each song.


November is Panamá's patriotic month. Red, white and blue flags are everywhere--hanging out of car windows and from windows of houses, on private and public buildings, and especially at schools. With the several national independence days and Flag Day on the tenth it seemed like kids were out of school more than they were in.


Here is something I found interesting about Panamá's patriotic pride: how they recognize elected officials when they pass away. For example, in October President Guillermo Endara passed away (see photo on left). To remind you about him, he was elected in 1989 and then removed from office by the military dictatorship. The US invasion was in part to return him to office, in addition to removing the dictator Gen. Manuel Noriega. A couple days after his passing the country observed a national holiday. All government offices, schools and certain public buildings were closed.


Then in November another past president passed away (Manuel Solis Palma, see photo on right). The talk among friends was if we would get another national holiday, in addition to all the planned patriotic ones. It turns out that he was not "elected" president, but was "appointed" by the military dictatorship, so no additional day off.


Thanks so much for praying for the KidsQuest Crusade in Cerro Punta. Our Rep. Edilma de Villarreal (seen here leading kids in prayer) along with host pastors Eric & Vielka Fuentes did a superb job organizing and inviting children from the surrounding mountainous communities. Total attendance was over 700 children.


It is a much cooler climate up near the extinct Volcano. That is why you'll see these children dressed much warmer than most of our crusade pictures. I even saw one boy wearing bib overalls and a jacket like for skiing! It was a little chilly in short sleeves, but still a far cry from snow weather.


Here are the three prize winners who invited the most new visitors: Angela Gonzales, Arnold Santamaría, and Carlos Cerrúd. Thanks to their efforts and many others, hundreds of children prayed the sinner's prayer at the conclusion of each of the crusades.


Please continue to pray for our KidsQuest Christmas Crusade this coming Saturday 5 December in Santiago!


This past semester I team-taught Cultural Anthropology at the Larry Cederblom Bible School as part of the new Missions preparation program. We had two students: Ana Elida de Jimenez and Natividad de Barrera. They had a keen interest in understanding what a call to world missions would involve. Pray as God guides them in that process. Ana graduated last week along with a dozen other students from the Panamá City campus.


We trust your Thanksgiving celebrations were rich and meaningful. Ours were. We sincerely thank the Lord for prayer and financial supporters like you who love the Lord of the harvest and partner with us doing our part to fulfill the Great Commission. We are also very thankful for a happy and healthy family. In addition, we thank the Lord for the freedom to worship and minister and live here in Panamá.


Chloe had an awesome Thanksgiving road trip with three friends from Panamá all in the US going to college now. They got to spend the weekend with their former youth pastors, the Warders, in Minnesota. We missed her here where we celebrated Thanksgiving with 29 missionary and "expat" friends. But we will get to have Chloe with us for Christmas--Wahoo!


Anthony turned 17 in October. We celebrated with several of his friends at the beach. After one of our favorite Panamanian dishes, arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) and lots of Monster cookies everybody swam in the warm Pacific Ocean (we definitely noticed a difference from the central coast of California). Thanks to a little generator we set up our own theater on the beach with projector, 10-foot screen, sound system and watched a movie. But first we all laughed at the difference ten years makes--watching Anthony and several of these same friends at his 7th birthday party in Panamá. The evening ended with a bonfire and s'mores.


Lately Celina has had the opportunity to baby-sit for some of the new missionary families with young children. She came home with stories of how hard it is to get them to go to sleep. We just laughed.


Gracie is keeping very busy--dancing in the church cantata, practicing for the school Christmas program, and preparing a piano recital piece for the Christmas concert.


The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide:

A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master.

Luke 2.10-11 The Message


We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year! The current issue of our newsletter is up on the Newsletter page. It's more of a Christmas postcard. If you'd like to receive our quarterly newsletters in the mail, just let us know your mailing address.


Yours for Them,


Kirk for all