Ministry

Panama Program Update

FSM would like to introduce you to our first young lady in the new Panama Transitions – Orphan Prevention program. It is our utmost pleasure to introduce you to Mabel, and her newborn son, Josue (no pictures will be posted on social media of women and children in the program)

Mabel is a 20 year old Ngobe woman who was referred to Manos de Fe from women’s social services in David, Panama after she delivered her baby in the hospital and had no place to go. Mabel had been living with her father who is blind and already had 12 people living in his small house. He was angry that Mabel became pregnant, and he told her that she could no longer stay in his house once the baby was born. The father of the baby has abandoned her and wants nothing to do with her or the baby. Mabel was left in the hospital in a homeless state. Social services became involved, and because both she and the baby were at-risk, they contacted us. During our initial interview, Mabel stated that she wanted to keep her baby but she feared that she would not be able to feed or care for him. She also stated that she would like to continue her education, but worried she wouldn’t be able to. Mabel was very shy and depressed about her situation. 

Once she heard that we wanted to help her and her son, she became hopeful, and her sad, shy face slowly began to smile. Mabel moved into one of the cottages on Monday, October 31st. Mabel came with very few possessions, mainly a small amount of clothing. It will be a significant transition for her, but now both she and baby Josue now have a chance at a better future. She will begin her classes and vocational training once she settles into her new home and her role as a mother. We will also ensure that she hears the Gospel and understands that she is loved by Christ. 

We thank you all for your prayers and support. Please continue to pray as God continues to bless the mission in Panama. We are expecting 3 more girls in the next 2 months. These young ladies are all aging out of orphanages, and one has a baby. God is good!

CR Update - Kathleen

The month of August began with our Women’s team from Tallahassee, FL.  The team carried out education and counseling for new moms and teen girls.  We were extremely encouraged to see a very large group of teen girls who attended each night and we were able to provide great education on a variety of topics including health education, something which we have discovered is not covered well in the schools, if it is even mentioned at all.  We gave the girls a chance to write down questions and it was so apparent that there are a lot of gaps in their understanding of what is taking place in their bodies and what God’s plan is for sex.  So we were happy we could address these topics with the girls.

Another positive outcome of this group was conversations with several of the women from the community who gave us recommendations for upcoming teams.  One plan we have is to improve education about communication between teens and their parents, and a move away from giving away items when teams are here.  Although we have felt very blessed by the amounts of donations we have received from the women’s teams, our fear is that we are not sending the correct message to the community by giving away so many items when groups are here, so we will try to improve in this area.  We are already making preparations for our October women’s team and I know the lessons we learned with that team will be communicated to the October team leaders.   As far as scheduling is concerned, I feel as though we have improved immensely in the flow during the week and the quality of the interactions between the teams and the women from the community.  I look forward to working more with these groups.

Our weekly Women’s group is going very well.  We have been maintaining a constant attendance each week and we are seeing so many improvements in the community within the women’s group.  Nathaly and I organized a Mother’s Day dinner for the women of the community.  We organized different games with prizes and the women had a great time.  We also organized some special music so the women could worship together.  It has been so special to see this group really growing as a community of believers.  We have seen a lot of improvements in the attitudes of many of the women and we are encouraged by leaders who have developed within this group.

Attendance for the tweens group has steadily increased.  Last week we had almost 45 tweens! We made the decision to open the group to 11-year old’s as well because we felt that due to the grade in school the 11-year old’s should be in the same ministry group as their classmates.  These children had been showing a decreased interest in our “children’s” activities so we feel as though we made the correct decision by adding them to the tweens group.

I have continued working with my discipleship group.  It is a constant struggle due to the different elective schedules at the school, but we are starting to get into more of a rhythm.  We had a really nice group where we talked about prayer and I was encouraged to see the girls treat the topic with a lot of respect and take time to pray silently without distractions.

The last weekend in August we were extremely excited to celebrate the weddings of 4 couples from the church.  These couples had been living together for many years so it was amazing to see them make the long -term commitment to one another and to make a commitment with God to put Him first in their relationships.  We are extremely encouraged because we feel as though these couples have so much potential to serve as the future leaders in the church.   Nathaly and I spent a lot of time decorating and preparing music for the wedding and the couples were so happy we could have a special day for them.

We had some new volunteers during the month of August, so I helped with giving them an orientation to the mission and connecting them to the education and administration departments.   I plan to continue to coordinate with the various volunteer organizations to ensure that the volunteers we receive are a good fit for the mission, and to ensure that we are utilizing them well while they are on campus.

Brian, Nathaly and I were able to attend a conference about missions a few weeks ago in San Jose.  The pastor gave a wonderful message and we left the conference feeling rejuvenated and excited to continue to carry out God’s work in Bajo.

Pastor Brian's Ministry Update

CHURCH

We continue to grow our worship service and with the word of God. The church is getting a deeper education that motivates them to continue learning, and that learning will lead them to develop stronger convictions and those convictions will lead them to live in a different way. Additionally, church members are being challenged to share the message of salvation with others in Bajo. Our current attendance is around 46 adults and 30-40 children. 

 

GEN 7

GEN 7 is a ministry aimed at young people 18 to 25 years old. It is a new and different type of program for us where we discuss issues that are important to the group. Participants choose the topics they want to discuss during meetings. It is a ministry we hope to see grow and grow.

MEN'S GROUP

Definitely a ministry that needs a lot of prayer is the men’s group. Thank God we have maintained the attendance of the same men, but we need to grow. After the retreat in March, five new men joined the group. We are challenging the new men to be leaders. 

WOMEN'S GROUP

Nathaly (my wife) continues with this excellent ministry dedicated to women, where each Monday she handles the teaching of what the Bible says about women and their role as wife, mother and servant of God. On August 15th, they held a beautiful Mother’s Day celebration in the church.

CHILDREN & YOUTH

Kids club continues to grow, and thanks be to God, we have been provided with the necessary development of this ministry team in the church members who have a willing heart to take charge of program development every Saturday.

As for teenagers, we opened the tweens program up to include 11 year olds, which has increased our attendance to 40-45 teens and attendance continues growing. 

We continue every Saturday with the new and renovated program called Conecta2 for youth between 15-18 years old where we share with the youth, always teaching the word of God. 


PRAYER REQUESTS

  • MISSIONARY CONFERENCE
  • SAFE TRAVELS FOR BRIAN & NATHALY AS THEY ATTEND A MISSIONS CONFERENCE IN THE U.S.
  • CHURCH BAPTISMS
  • CHURCH MINISTRIES
  • LEADERSHIP AND FUTURE CHURCH LEADERS