> newsletters e-Mailer for 7/06


Dear Friends,


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


Happy Independence Day, USA (a couple days late)! At the zone minister's meeting Tuesday I had several Panamanian friends give me congratulations on the 4th of July. On the way to that meeting I had a "Get to Know Panama" moment. About an hour into the three hour drive all traffic stopped dead. Couldn't see any reason for it, so I asked other drivers, now pedestrians, what was going on. "Protests" was the answer. To get attention for a cause, groups sometimes shut down major thoroughfares. In this case the Interamerican highway was closed down for at least the hour and a half that I waited with them. I was just about to turn around when traffic started inching forward, and I made it to the meeting "fashionably" late. But doesn't our Speed-the-Light 4Runner look great waiting in line?


Later that day we celebrated the 4th of July at a barbecue with other North Americans, and a couple Chino-Panamanians. Hot dogs, baked beans, apple pie--all that lacked was the fireworks display overhead.


Thanks for praying for the Seminar and KidsQuest Crusade in La Arena last month. On the 10th we had a great turnout for the rural central zone of 45 leaders, despite the torrential rain (evidenced by this umbrella parking lot). For the three Crusades the following weekend there was a total attendance of 516, with about 300 new visitors. Pastor DeLeón seen here and his team organized neighborhood canvassing and invitation drives, arranged transportation and prepared the facilities very nicely for the crusade. Plus, their children ministered in song and drama before each crusade, as you see the "Nets of Love" team doing here.


The team from First AG in Visalia did a bangup job in Duíma during the last week and a half of June. Their adventure began getting stuck in the mud on the way up the very slick, red clay "road." Half of us made it up the alternate route, and the other half had to find a hotel in San Felix, down the mountain, until we could bring them up the next morning. We really appreciate the team's incredible "can do" flexible attitude all week!


Their project was to install three complete bathrooms with showers--one for the boys and girls in the school, one for the teachers dorm and then one for Pastor César and family. Since water pressure can go down or disappear in the dry months, the first task was to install a reserve water tank, as seen here left-to-right, Pastor Randy Foster, Pastor & Contractor Heriberto Perez (on ladder), LACC school Director César Rivera, and Kirk. Another crucial part of the project was the sewage system, underground tanks and leach field, installed by Heriberto and crew before the team arrived.


On Sunday they ministered at the special 39th anniversary service of the Assemblies of God in Panama at the church in Oma. Each night we shared Bible cartoon videos, and closed out the week with The Chronicles of Narnia feature film. You can see more pictures in this month's photo album. Thanks to Pastor Randy and the team and all who supported them to provide funds for their travel and project materials.


For July's monthly seminar with Children's Ministries leaders, Yvonne and I co-taught on how to use children ministering in drama and music. She shared on the power God releases when children, even babies, worship Him, from Psalm 8:2:


From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Psalm 8:2, NIV


Then she taught three worship songs for children, with motions, a little harmony and singing in a round. I shared basics on drama presentations, then gave them two dramas I had translated on true worship. So the leaders left with a complete ministry package for their kids--especially helpful since Children's Day is coming up Sunday 16 July. More photos are in this month's photo album.


We appreciate your prayers for these upcoming events:


* KidsQuest Crusade and Leader Training in Metetí, Darién jungle province (first time in that province) 15-16 July, falling on Children's Day. We'll be working with Pastor and Panamanian missionary Misael Concepcion, who we know from previous trips to the Darién for Bible School extension courses.


* The following weekend 21-23 July we'll be doing the Crusade at the tiger's house…that is, at El Shaddai church here in Panama City with our host, Manuel Miranda, who plays Ninja tiger "CJ."


We appreciate your prayers for many children to come know Jesus and plug into these terrific local churches. Also, an urgent request from my perspective is to find a replacement clown for Ding, who let us know he can't be at the Darién crusade.


* We'll be ministering again with our minister's kids at the Annual Retreat 30 July - 2 August.


Yvonne and the kids blessed me with a special Father's Day dinner waiting for me once I got back from the La Arena crusade. Having these four wonderful kids call me "Dad" is the best gift!


Gracie bought a Guaymí dress with her own money while up at Duíma. You can see her and Celina in their dresses up at Duíma in the photo album. She still has a lot of bug bites left over from that week. She really enjoyed riding her own 2-wheeler bike on the Causeway (entrance to Panama Canal) with the family last night, except that the chain fell off a lot.


Today (6 July) is a very special celebration for the Jones family--Celina turns 12! She told us she is now "officially a pre-teen. I was just acting like one before." She has had the day planned out for weeks now: she makes her own German chocolate cake, with help from Mom. Then she gets a manicure with a good friend. Then they get one ear pierced. Next month at the friend's birthday they get the second ear pierced. Then she finishes preparing her own enchilada birthday dinner, all by her request. Then an overniter party. Should be fun!


Anthony's glad school's over. When I asked him to elaborate, he says it's "good." He's practicing electric guitar more. This weekend he's going to be onstage tuning guitars for friends in a Christian youth rock band. Watching the World Cup (along with about a billion other people around the world) has been fun, even though his two favorite teams--Spain and Brasil--are out.


Chloe loves sleeping in during these summer weeks and not having much schoolwork, but she does have to read 5 chapters for AP US History before school starts again. She's keeping busy with friends and stuff, and excited about Celina's birthday today.


Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues?

Fix my eyes on God-- soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God.

When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, From Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar.

Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me.

 Then GOD promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night!

My life is God's prayer.

Psalm 42:5-8, The Message


We're excited to know that God is on our side as we live out our lives as a prayer to him. We're also very appreciative of your support and prayer that put tools and treasures in our hands to be able to use to flesh out that prayer in everyday living and ministering.


We trust you will get to enjoy some recharge time over summer vacation. We are planning to do the same with a few days on the beach in Pedasí, near the southernmost tip of Panama.


Yours for Them,


Kirk for all