Thursday, December 20, 2012

Changes Ahead

It's hard to believe that Christmas is less than a week away, the end of the year is only 11 days away and our stateside time will be ending in just over a month.  We are getting everything in place to move to Bogotá, Colombia around January 26th.  More changes, more goodbyes, more hellos on the other end, more getting used to a new culture, more settling into a new home.....  and more getting to do the work that God has called us to do!  Oh, the life of a missionary family!

This time we will be leaving John Robert behind in college.  This will be very hard, but we are trusting God in this.  We are believing that we have equipped John Robert to live on his own with God guiding him each day.  Please keep us all in your prayers as we make these changes.

In Bogotá, Cavin will be the MegaCity Strategist for this city of 10 million people.  It is much larger than the "small town" of Panama City, Panama which "only" has about 1.2 million.  In the beginning, we will be prayer walking, making contacts with pastors, visiting the Baptist churches there, and meeting other people that God puts in our path.  We are excited to see what God will do in this next step in our ministry.

We are also grateful for the time that we have had in the States to reunite with family, friends and churches, to share what God did in Panama and what He is continuing to do in our lives, to disciple people that God has put in our lives here in the U.S., to help John Robert adjust to college life while we were only a short drive away, to allow our kids to experience school in the U.S., and to eat at Chick-Fil-A anytime we wanted!  The past few months have also given us a time to step back from our work in Panama, renew ourselves in the Lord, and gain an excitement about our next step in this journey - our work in Bogotá.

This will be our first Christmas in the U.S. since 2008.  We are excited to spend it with family, but most of all we are thankful for Jesus coming as a baby, living a perfect life and dying for our sins on the cross.  Let's keep that foremost in our thoughts as we celebrate Jesus this Christmas!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November Update

Novemeber has been a good month.  The kids are enjoying school.  Christian has been involved in drama this year and has really enjoyed it.  Preston has loved being able to ride his bike and play outside - which he was unable to do when we lived in Panama.  John Robert seems to be settling into college life.  He gets along well with his roommates and has found a church he is really enjoying.

All 3 of the kids had the whole week off for Thanksgiving.  This was our first Thanksgiving in the States since 2008.  We all loaded up and traveled to White House, TN to visit with Cavin's parents and then on to Brewton, AL to visit Charlotte's parents.  In the time we were gone, we packed a lot in.  Charlotte led a women's conference, Cavin preached, visited a fellow missionary from Panama who is on Stateside in Nashville, visited a childhood friend of Charlotte's in Birmingham in route from Tennessee to Alabama, and visited missionary friends in Pensacola, FL.  It has been great to re-connect with friends and family.  Because of our crazy lifestyle, God has blessed us with friends all over the world, and sometimes our paths cross in various places of the world.

We returned on Friday and had a day of resting at home yesterday.  It was nice to be at home together as a family.  We were sad to see John Robert leave today to return to school, but are glad that he will be back soon for a month during Christmas.

Today we worshipped in the morning at Eagle's Landing First Baptist.  It's always good to be there and share with this wonderful group of believers.  Tonight, Cavin preached at Piney Grove Baptist Church in Acworth, GA.  Their pastor Scotty Davis is a good friend of ours and truly has a heart for missions and ministry.  Cavin and Scotty went on a mission trip several years ago to Lesotho, Africa; and Scotty went to Panama two times while we were there.  It was great to share in this church.  At the end of the service the members of the church came around us and prayed over us.  They also made a commitment to continue to pray for us in our ministry.  This really means so much to us to know that people are praying for us.  Prayer is powerful, and we never want to take that for granted.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cawthon Update

The last month has been very busy. We went to Richmond, VA for 10 days and both Cavin and Charlotte were able to share.  Charlotte spoke at a women's conference and Cavin preached the following day at Anchor Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, VA.  We also went to our Stateside Conference just outside of Richmond during the first week of October.  This was a great time of praising and worshipping God and focusing on what God has ahead for us.  The kids also had a great time connecting with other TCK's (third culture kids).  A highlight for Christian was going to Williamsburg one day, while Preston's favorite part was going to a State Fair.

We continue to have visitors from Panama spending time with us.  It's been fun introducing them to the U.S. culture, and particularly the culture of the South.  They have tried boiled peanuts and cheese grits, they've learned why we like Chick-Fil-A so much, we've taken them to Walmart, and they have worshipped with us in English.

Please pray for Panama.  This week has been a difficult time there with a lot of protesting and discord in the country.  Several people have been killed in the city of Colon.  Schools have had to cancel classes; roads have been closed; stores have been looted; and there is a general feeling of unrest that some say they have not felt since the U.S. invasion when Noriega was overthrown.  Our friends are sad to hear of these things taking place in their country and to know what their friends and family are experiencing during these days.  And we are sad because of the people we know and love in Panama.

God is providing many opportunities to serve him.  Cavin is preaching almost every week, and Charlotte has several other upcoming times to speak for women's groups.  Cavin is also leading a men's group weekly on Thursday nights.  Last weekend he led a Church Planting Conference in Spanish.  We are thankful for many ways to serve the Lord while here in the States.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On the Go!

Sorry that it's been so long since we last posted.  Things are going well for us and we are enjoying being on Stateside.  God is giving us opportunities to serve Him, and it's been really exciting.  Cavin has shared in churches in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.  He is also mentoring a man one on one and has started a men's Bible study group, also.  In October, he will be leading a Church Planting Conference for Latinos.  Charlotte is having opportunities to speak and share also.  She will be leading several women's events over the next few weeks.  It's been great just allowing God to show us how and where He wants us to serve Him.  This weekend we will be traveling to Richmond, Virginia.  Charlotte will be leading a women's conference on Saturday and Cavin will be preaching on Sunday at Anchor Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, VA.  Next week, we will be going through our Stateside Conference with other missionaries who are on Stateside Assignment.  It will be great to see old friends and make new ones.   Christian and Preston will be with us and they are looking forward to the children's activities that are planned and just hanging out with other missionary kids who understand them and their crazy life!

We have had a friend here from Panama for the past week and a half.  It's been fun introducing him to U.S. culture.  We will also have two more Panamanian friends visiting us the second half of October.  It's been great having Panama come to us!

Life is good!  We are truly experiencing abundant, joyful life in Christ - and pray that He is being glorified in our lives.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A New Normal

Since last writing, we have become somewhat more settled. Christian and Preston are going to school everyday and John Robert has now started classes at Auburn University.  We are all finding our "new normal" here in the States.  We've experienced joys here, but also "reverse culture shock" at times.  For me, I have had sticker shock at how expensive everything is here.   While living in Panama, I had convinced myself that groceries and other things were much cheaper here. But, I either had a terrible memory at how much everything costs here, or the prices have jumped up a lot in 3 and a half years.  I suspect it's a little of both.

Also, all three of the kids are having to make new friends and find their place here.  It's definitely not a fun thing being the "new kid" but with a lot of prayers, God is helping all of us through this process.

John Robert is going through many new changes as he is now living "on his own."  He's finding out what it's like to be responsible for washing his clothes, cooking his meals, or eating out on a budget, getting himself up every morning.... the list goes on and on.  And we're finding that we miss him a lot. But we are confident that God has led him to this place in his life, and are praying that all that we've taught him for the past 18 years is being put into practice.

Two weeks ago Cavin preached (all in Spanish) at Olive Springs Hispanic Church in Marietta, Georgia.  This past week we worshipped at Paper Mill Road Baptist Church in Marietta where Cavin preached; and this week we will be at Olive Springs Baptist Church in Marietta.  It's been great sharing with these congregations about our work in Panama and how God blessed, and how He is continuing to do great things there.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Trusting God Day by Day

Since arriving in the States less than a month ago, our lives have been crazy busy.  We have been traveling and visiting family during this time.  A highlight was that we got to throw a 50th Anniversary Party for my parents which was a lot of fun. Cavin has preached at Catawba Springs Baptist Church in Brewton, Alabama and at Temple Baptist Church in White House, Tennessee.  These are our parents' churches and both of these churches have been so supportive of us during the past three and a half years.  It was such a joy to worship with these churches and see so many familiar faces!

Now we are back in McDonough, GA.  The kids started school this week.  Christian started high school (9th grade) and Preston is in 5th grade.  They are attending Eagle's Landing Christian Academy.  Please pray for them as they adjust to a new school, new friends, new teachers.  Pray that things will fall in place for them as they get used to a new normal in their lives.

This coming Sunday, we will have the privilege of sharing at Olive Springs Hispanic Church in Marietta, GA. This is the Spanish congregation that is part of Olive Springs Baptist Church where Cavin served as pastor for 5 years.   It will be great to be with them and worship in Spanish.  It's so great to be able to worship God now in two languages.

God is amazing and is continually reminding me to trust Him.

3 verses He has given me this week are as follows:

Matthew 6:8 "...your Father knows what you need before you ask Him."  This verse I read on a friend's FB status and just minutes later opened my devotional book to read the exact same verse.  Okay... yes, He got my attention!

2 Cor. 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal  glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
We discussed this verse in my Bible study group last night... I came home and a friend from Panama had sent me a message with this verse and the next one below (1 Cor. 15:58)

1 Cor. 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
My friend from Panama sent me this verse last night, and this morning I see this verse laminated next to my computer....  It was the men's memory verse from last night!

3 times this week!  Yes, Lord.... I'm listening.... and learning to trust you day by day!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

We have arrived in the U.S.A.

July has been an awesome month.  We hosted another great group from Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church.  They continued the work in the area of the city called El Cangrego through prayer walking, mapping and making contacts in the park.  They also led music at La Comunidad Bible Church and did a workshop on music/worship in a Kuna village outside of the city.  During the time they were in Panama, they also hosted a farewell party for us to show appreciation to all of our friends and the people we had worked with during our two years in Panama.

Just two days after the team left, we also left Panama.  What a day of mixed emotions.  We left a place that we love with so many friends and memories to go to another place we love with so many friends, family members and memories.  We flew to Nashville because John Robert was there.  It was great to see him after more than two months apart.  We spent two days there with Cavin's family and then drove to McDonough, Georgia south of Atlanta where we will be spending six months in a mission home of Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church.  We were greeted with open arms and it has already been such a blessing to stay in their Oasis House - as they have appropriately named this beautiful home!

Upon arriving in the States, we received sad news that Charlotte's uncle had passed away.  We were sad, yet thankful that we were back in the States and could be together with family during this time.  On Friday, we drove to Brewton, Alabama and spent time with Charlotte's parents and were there to attend the funeral on Saturday.

We arrived back in McDonough last night so that Cavin could preach today in the three services at Eagle's Landing.  What a joy to be with them in worship this morning!  Singing praises to our Lord in English brought tears to our eyes.  It is so evident that this church is on fire for the Lord and truly dedicated to serving Him.  We are truly blessed to be here.

Over the next couple of months we will be very busy with Cavin speaking in many different churches.  Some weekends we will have to travel, but there are some in the Atlanta area so that we can just drive there on Sunday morning.  It is wonderful to share of our work in Panama and how God worked!  I truly believe He will continue to do amazing things there!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July from Panama

Hello....  and Happy 4th of July.  It's just another day for the people here, but we will try to make it special for the kids as we celebrate this special day for our country.  Have fun cooking out, going to the beach, watching fireworks or whatever you may be doing and remember to thank God for the freedoms we have as Americans.

We are still in Panama for 12 more days.  The time is quickly coming to a close.  We have sold all of our furniture and most of our household goods.  The apartment is getting very bare as we approach the time to leave.

Last week we had a special commissioning service for the church planters that we have trained and worked with during the past two years.  It was a time of worship and sharing testimonies of what God has done, is doing, and is going to do here in this country.  We are excited because these people are equipped and ready to serve God.  We know He will do great things through them!

On Saturday we have another team arriving from Eagle's Landing FBC.  We are excited about this group coming to Panama, and pray that God will use them in a great way.

I'm going to leave you today with a view of a Panama sunset.  I took it from the window of our apartment!  I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Stateside is Coming in 21 days

Three weeks from today we will be traveling back to the States for Stateside.  We have been busy selling our personal belongings, saying goodbyes, and continuing with ministry.  This week we have a special service planned for all of the church planters we have trained here in Panama.  We have been able to rent out a theatre at one of the malls here - which just happens to be the biggest mall in Central America.  This will be a special time of sending these former students out to continue putting into practice what they have learned.  We also have another team coming from Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, GA.  They will arrive on July 7 and will be here until the 14, leaving just two days before we depart.  We have a full week planned for them and are excited about what God will do through this group!

As you might imagine, we have many emotions.  We are sad to leave Panama after pouring ourselves into the ministry God had for us here for the past two years.  We are praying that God will continue His work through those who have been trained.  On the other hand, we are excited to see family and friends who we haven't seen in a while.  Most importantly, we are ready to see our son John Robert who left for the States on May 2nd.  He has been staying with grandparents during this time, but it just doesn't feel right to have him missing from our family.

Please keep us in your prayers that we finish well here in Panama, and also that we will have a refreshing time on Stateside.  By the way, we are available to speak in churches during this time to share what God has been doing during our time in Panama.  Just give us a call, comment on here, send us an email or FB message.  We're not too hard to find!  We would love to share with many of you during the next six months.

See you soon!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Count Down to Stateside: 37 Days

We are in the midst of a lot going on right now.  Yesterday was the last day of school for Christian and Preston.  What a bittersweet day for them with the excitement of summer vacation, yet leaving the school and friends they won't see again.  We are selling all of our furniture and household goods, so there are people in and out of our apartment almost on a daily basis.  We have a team arriving today from Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, GA.  We will be working hard with them doing a graduation for the Kuna Church Planting Course that Cavin and Derek just finished teaching.  We will also be working in an area of the city called El Congrejo where we are trying to establish a new work.  We are partnering with a church here in Panama who will continue the work after we leave.

....And in 37 short days from today on July 16, we will board a plane for the U.S.  What a whirlwind of emotion.  Last night as I was driving through the city, I was reflecting on our time here - how God has worked through us, how He has taken care of us and been so faithful, and how blessed we have been to be here for a little over 2 years.  I was also thinking about the beauty of this city.  God's handiwork is so apparent here.  I was driving by the water while the sun was setting and it was absolutely gorgeous!  Of course, I didn't have my camera, but I have vowed to get a picture of that location before we leave.

Continue to keep us in your prayers as we say goodbye to the people we love here in Panama.  The "goodbyes" have already started, and it's not easy, even though we are looking forward to the "hellos"on the other end!  Please keep us in your prayers during this time.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Oral Bible Storying Conference

This past weekend we were honored to have Keith Stamps (IMB Missionary in Mexico) and Donny Barger (IMB Missionary in Peru) here to lead a conference about Oral Bible Storying.  We had around 100 present for the conference with many parts of Panama represented.  Several passages of scriptures were "storied" and ample time was given for the participants to practice.  Effort was given to detail making sure it stayed true to scripture.  For people who are oral learners - and often illiterate - this is their Bible stored in their memory and we want to hold true to the scriptures so that it is not passed on in error.  Even for people who can read, often hearing a story will get their attention and they will be able to retain it longer.  We are great at using the storying technique for children, but so often it is not used when teaching or evangelizing adults.  Please pray that the conference participants will use this technique as a method of reaching out to those they come in contact with.  I will also challenge you to use this way of sharing the scripture with those you come in contact with.  Everyone loves a great story, and what better place to find a story than in the Bible.  The Bible is packed full of very interesting stories, but they are much more than entertaining, they can reveal to people their need for a Savior.  Even Jesus used stories, as he shared many parables during His earthly ministry.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Adventures in Panama

Cavin spent Friday and Saturday in Piriati - an Embera village - leading a church planting conference.  This is an area about two and a half hours away from the City.  It was quite an adventure as several of the male missionaries traveled together along with some Panamanian guys who were participating and assisting in the training.  They spent the night in a church along with a lot of other creatures such as bugs and rats.  Needless to say, Cavin did not sleep a lot that night.

....But the important thing is that they were able to lead this conference and see God work in a great way in this area.  Already, this village has sent one of their own families to another part of Panama to live and be missionaries.  This man - Jorge-  shared this morning in La Iglesia Bautista Redencion (Redemption Baptist Church) about how hard it's been to go into another culture.  That may sound a little strange since this is a Panamanian family serving in another part of Panama.  However, each area and people group have their own culture and way of doing things.  He is from the Embera people group and he and his family have gone to a Latino area.  It is a slow work, but they are seeing God work and are now discipling several families in this new area.

This morning Cavin preached at La Iglesia Bautista Redencion.  This is a church we have grown to love over the time that we have been in Panama.  This church and the pastor have been very supportive of the work that we have done here in Panama.   Cavin taught a 6 month church planting course in this church, and they have started 4 new works.  They have a vision for reaching Panama City for Christ through church planting.

Praise God for how He is working all over Panama to start churches in a variety of ways.  He has used us to train people primarily in Panama City, but we have seen many of these people take what they have learned and go to other parts of the country to start churches.

This coming weekend we will be hosting a conference on Chronological Bible Storying.  This will focus on orality and telling the Bible through stories.  This is a technique that works well with a variety of people, and is very effective with those who can't read or write.  Two IMB Missionaries will be coming to Panama to lead this conference.  Please pray that God will use this conference to reach many people for Him.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Church Planting Conference in David

This past weekend we traveled 6 hours outside of Panama City to David in the province of Chiriqui.  David is much smaller than Panama City, even though it's the second largest city in Panama.  Cavin led a conference there on church planting.  Things went well and we are excited about what these people want to do in regard to starting new churches in this area of the country.

Below are some pictures from the weekend.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Conference on the Book of ACTS

This weekend we held a conference on the Book of ACTS.  It was an intensive conference that focused on the nine church plants of the book of Acts.  We were blessed to have Elbert Smith, Director of FPO, with prior service in Mexico and Guatemala to lead the conference.  The conference was held Friday night and all day Saturday with approximately 200 in attendance on Friday night and 150 for the Saturday event.  We pray that each person gained valuable insight into church planting, and that many churches will be started in Panama as a result of the training.  There were quite a few in attendance who are already hard at work starting churches in areas where there were no churches.

Cavin will be traveling to David, Panama this weekend to lead a Church Planting Conference in this city which is about 6 hours from the capital city.  Please pray for him as he travels as well as those who will be attending the conference.

We are also gearing up for an Orality Conference on May 26.  This conference will equip those present in the technique of telling the Bible through "storying" the Bible.  This works well among groups who can't read or write.

God is working in Panama.  Thanks for all of your prayers.  They encourage us so much!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Story of a Church Planter

Last weekend Cavin, along with John Robert and Derek Tucker went outside of the city to an area called Ciri to help with one of our church planters.  They had a great time of helping the church planter make contacts in the community, a time of recreation playing soccer in the area, showing a Christian movie, and worshipping with them on Sunday morning.  They camped in tents for the night they were there.  It was a great time of sharing in this village.

The church planter has a really neat story.  Cesar took the Church Planting course that Cavin taught last year at the Panama Baptist Seminary.  Cesar felt the need to put into practice all that he had learned, and that God was leading him to start a new work in an area that did not have a church.  The place where he is working is about two hours from where he lives.  Someone had worked there in years before, but nobody had been there recently, and there was no church in the area.  Last October he went there for the first time.  Cesar has a normal job, and works Monday throughout Saturday.   Since last Ocotber he has taken his only free day, Sunday, and dedicated it to the Lord to travel to this community to share the good news of Christ with the people that live there.

Cesar leaves his house each Sunday morning at around 6:30 am  to arrive in the village by 10:00 am.  He drives as far as he can and then walks 2 more hours into the village because to drive in would require a 4-wheel drive vehicle.  He teaches a Bible study, and gets to know the community through relationships, then returns home, arriving at home anywhere between 4 pm and 7 pm each Sunday evening.

He spends more hours traveling than in ministry, but he feels like it's worth it because of the people that are there who need to hear the Good News.  Pray for God to continue working in this area and pray for strength and encouragement for Cesar and his work in this area.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Today is what they call "Good Friday."  I've always struggled with that title.  How could it be "good" that Jesus died.  This is the day that many times I remember to be a dreary day, and today was no exception here in Panama.  It rained this morning and remained cloudy all day.  It is to me a somber day of reflecting on what Jesus did for me on the cross of Calvary.   I did a little research to discover a little more behind the name of "Good Friday."  There seems to be some disagreement over how this day received its name.  Some say that the use of "good" as an adjective is in Old English synonym for "holy."  Others say it is a form of the word "God," similarly to how we use the word "goodbye" which comes from the phrase "God be with you."

However it got it's name, for Christians it is "good," for only through Jesus death on the cross can you and I have any hope in this world - or for eternal life.  He took all of our sins upon Himself and died as an atonement for our sins.  When we accept him as our Lord and Savior, we accept His gift of love and forgiveness of sins.  Jesus is the "good news" which means "gospel".  He died for our sins, was raised again, and we who believe have assurance and hope!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Prayer Requests for The Urban Panama Team

Things are going very well here in Panama.  We are seeing the work of the Lord through the Church Planting Institute.  I ask that you pray for some key conferences that are coming up.  April 20-21 is a study on the book of Acts.  We are expecting 400 people to attend. We are also doing 4 workshops in different areas in Panama.  We believe that this is the training ground for our trainers and seeing more people trained in church planting.  We are in week 8 of a 20 week course with 22 church planters.  March 24 we start a new class for the Kuna Church Planters.  We are expecting 50 people for the course.  Later in May, we will have another conference planned focusing on Storying - telling the Bible through stories.  This technique can be especially helpful when working with illiterate people who can't read or write.  I ask you to keep these events, classes, and conferences in your prayers.  God is working!  It's exciting to be a part of it!

Monday Night Bible Study

This is a picture of some of our Monday night group.  God is working in their hearts and teaching them many things as they learn to trust Him everyday!  What a joy to experience God with them!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Christian!

This weekend we are celebrating Christian's 14th birthday!  Yesterday and today she has celebrated with friends, and tomorrow we will celebrate as a family on her birthday (March 18th).  We pray that this will be a great year for Christian and that God will work powerfully in her life!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Reflections on Relationships

This week I've heard from several people that I haven't heard from in quite some time.  Some had good news to share and others sad news.  This has caused me to think about relationships.  In our 20 years of being married, Cavin and I have moved many times.  The sad part to me is leaving the people that I have loved and experienced life with in that place.  But the exciting thing is that there are new friends to meet - new people that God puts into my life.  He puts those people into my life - and yours - to impact us, or for us to impact them and isn't that what life is about?  - especially when we are impacting others or they are impacting us through the Gospel of Christ.

God has been showing Cavin something recently that I want to share - and it's all about relationships.  He likes to call it the "2:2:2 Lifestyle" based on The Great Commission, 2 Timothy 2:2 and Ephesians 5:21. The Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20 says "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." 2 Timothy 2:2 says "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others." Ephesians 5:21 says "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" 

The way it could be best described is the idea that you always have a least 6 people in your life at all times: 2 non-believers, 2 new Christians, and 2 mature Christians.  You are praying for and sharing the Gospel as you have opportunity with the 2 non-believers.  The key is that you are building a relationship with them so that they will accept Christ and then become disciples.  The second 2 people are new Christians that you are mentoring in their Christian walk.  The third 2 people are mature Christians that you are accountable to in your walk with Christ.  These 2 people are people that you can share ideas or come to for wise, godly counsel.

Who is God bringing to your mind?  I challenge you not to waste the relationships that God is giving you in your life RIGHT NOW!  He has put people in your life for a reason.  There are people in your life who need to hear the gospel and know that it is REAL in your life.  There are also struggling Christians who long to grow and have a mentor to help them in their desire to live a Christ-centered life.  Maybe God has put you in their life for that very reason.  Then there are times when we all struggle and need a godly person to share our struggles or frustrations.  We need to know there is someone we can go to when we need godly counsel based on the Bible - not just what someone "thinks" - and we can know that this person will pray for us.

I thank God for the people He has placed in my life to bring me to where I am today; and I pray that Cavin and I have had an impact on others for the glory of God.  However, it's a continual process.  Don't stop working on those relationships!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Great Weekend with our Mission Family!

Friday morning, all of the IMB Missionaries here in Panama came together for a day of prayer.  We all shared what is going on in our ministries as well as our personal lives.  After each unit shared, the other missionaries came around them, laid on hands and prayed over them.  It was truly a very special time of unification as we all have the common goal of sharing Jesus with the people of Panama.

It also hit me that day that our time in Panama is short, and we have much to do before we leave this city.  In a few short months, we will be leaving this beautiful country and leaving behind people we love and have shared so much with.  Some of the people that we will be leaving are the other missionaries that we have served alongside.  Others are Panamanian nationals that we have worshipped with, worked with, prayed with or shared the gospel with.

We left the prayer meeting refreshed and re-energized, ready to face whatever lies ahead!

Saturday we spent another day with our Mission Family, but this day was a fun family day at Isla Mamay - an island located about 2 hours outside of the city.  It was a great day of relaxing and just enjoying the beauty all around us.  Below is a picture of Cavin and me.  You can see from the picture just how beautiful this place is.  It is one of our favorite places here in Panama.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Approaching a New Week

It's Sunday morning....  it's calm right now, but like your house, it won't stay this way.  As I begin waking the kids, there will be the hustle and bustle, and rush to get out of the house and to church on time.  By the time we do get to church, we will be exhausted.  I've always said I think Satan works overtime on Sunday mornings with Christians as they prepare to go to church to worship our Lord and Savior.  He wants to take away our attitude of worship and praise, and better yet, keep us from being in church at all.

This morning we will be worshipping  in La Iglesia de Las Americas (The Church of The Americas).  This is a great church that has been very supportive of our ministry here in Panama.  Currently, our weekly Thursday night class is meeting in their building.  The class started back this past Thursday with 22 students in attendance.  We are excited about this great group of of students.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Derek and Cavin on a MISSION TRIP

One of my students, Cesar Guerra, from last year's church planting class at the seminary is starting a church in the jungle.  He called me a couple of months ago and told me about his new work in a small village about 4 hours from the city.  Cesar said that he was using the information that I shared during the class.  Cesar, Derek Tucker and I met and talked about the work.  Even though the UP Team's focus is only on the city, I told him that Derek and I would come to the village and visit his work.
Sunday, Derek and I left the city and went on a "Mission Trip."  The new church is only 3 months old and has about 30 people in attendance.  God is using Cesar Guerra in an amazing way.
 The above photo is during the worship service on the front porch of one of the members house.
 Cesar is the one with the white hat on the left side of the above picture.
The trip to the village was sometimes scary.  Here we are going through a river.  This was not the worst section of the road.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekly Update

It's been a good week.  We enjoyed our visit with my parents.  They left Thursday morning and made it home safely.  We are so glad that we were able to have this time with them and show them Panama!

2012 is off to a good start with our ministry.  As I write this, Cavin is in a training session with some of our church planters.  Tomorrow morning he will leave very early in the morning to travel outside of the city to what we might call "the boonies" to be involved in a worship service at a new church that one of our church  planters has started.  It will be a long day of traveling several hours outside of the city and then going on a road that can only be traveled in a 4 wheel drive.

Next week, the church planting courses will start back.  We are praying that God will put the people in these classes that He wants to use to impact Panama.

After a VERY long Christmas break, things are finally getting back into a routine.  John Robert started back to school on Tuesday.  This will be his last semester at Florida State - Panama.  Christian and Preston will start back to school on Monday.  I know it will be very hard to get them up so early because they (especially Christian) have been sleeping late every morning.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bob and June Martin arrive in Panama

After a long day of traveling, my parents Bob and June Martin arrived safely in Panama. We have enjoyed showing them some of the ministry we do here in Panama, introducing them to friends and other missionaries, and showing them around this great city. Today we took them to view the Miraflores Locks and see how the big ships go through the Panama Canal. Tomorrow Cavin will be preaching at La Comunidad Iglesia (The Community Church). We are looking forward to worshipping and sharing with this sweet group of believers.