Panama Mission Trip 2022
Joining MG Panama on their mission to take the Good News to the unreached areas in Panama.
God has been so good to us this entire trip. I can’t write all I would like to say due to low phone battery. I will keep it short and sweet!
Right now we are sitting at a Nobe tribe church service. One thing that has amazed me is the body of Christ here in this people group. In each village we have visited there is a small group of believers. One of the dominant religions is Mamatata. I could not tell you much about their beliefs, but they basically believe that Jesus was just a prophet. The local believers have joined us in each village as we evangelize to their neighbors. Their heart for others to know the true God is so evident. They sacrificially make time to hike to other hidden villages and share the Gospel. God has taught me so much through time and the way they live their lives.
It has been so cool to see the body of Christ here. Though small, they live together as one community. So much of the day they seek to do together. Like the church service I am attending, everyone pitched in to make it happen. This is their life and their example has ministered to me. God created us to live life in community!
To say the least, God has really used these people to remind me of His heart and hope for us as believers. I know I will leave Panama changed and am eager to live the same way back home.
Panama, wow. I can really say this has been an adventure.
We started our morning with Bible reading like we do every morning at The Fellowship program. We gathered together under a pavilion since it was still raining. We are reading through the books of Acts during this trip. We are in chapter 8 now. It’s been a little slower reading because of David’s team joining us so we are translating everything we ready and speak. The book of Acts is exciting to read right now because we are doing something very similar to the acts of the apostles, mostly the sharing of the Gospel. No miracles yet!
After reading we had eggs and sausage with some fry bread for breakfast. For me personally, it was comfort food because it reminded me of the reservation in Washington state where I grew up.
As you know from Alexis’ note, the constant rain has changed some of our plans. The changed plans were to stay in the current village and go door to door sharing the Gospel. So Dali and I along with Daniel (pastor of the community), Mateo (local missionary and disciple), and translators Coral and Natividad, set out to meet the people. We were able to reach two houses where Dali and I were able to share a little about ourselves, the Fellowship program, our testimonies and most importantly Jesus. There were no visible signs of acceptance of our message but there were visible signs of seeds planted. We hope and pray one day the people we met may come to understand fully what it means to have Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
After lunch and a short break in the rain, we received good news that roads were clear enough to make it to a trail that led to the next village where we were originally scheduled to visit. So we packed up and loaded the truck.
I had the incredible privilege to sit in the back of the truck with my buddy and mentor Keith! And there was no rain! The two of us held onto the rails on the side of the truck and road through some amazingly beautiful scenery. I can’t wait to get back and show everyone pictures and even footage from my GoPro.
Once again we left the paved roadway to a dirt road which eventually met the river. That’s where David Vega dropped us off and left to retrieve the others. I was surprised by how high the river flowed. A few days back the river was low but the rains had changed things.
We crossed the river once everyone got to our spot. It was about thigh high which wasn’t too bad. I let my Nike’s get soaked and saved my boots to wear once we got to the village. The hike was about an hour through the jungle in about ankle high much. It was as slippery as you would think it would be. I almost lost my shoes a few times! We had to cross the river two more times. We had to use a boat on the last crossing because the water was too high. Everyone safely crossed the river and it was another 15 minutes before we arrived at the village.
To my surprise, Tulve (the tribe’s name) was a lot bigger than the Nova tribe. They had a lot more houses, sidewalks, lit streets and a very nice little store where you can buy cold Coca-Cola and a nice hot meal. There were also young adults playing a very tense soccer game under a huge pavilion.
We set up camp with a “person of peace” as David called him. We rested until dinner because the hike was intense.
Around 7pm we had dinner what was very good. My favorite so far. Rice, Beans and a chicken leg.We hosted a Sunday night service at the community house. Morgan was suppose to share, but she began to feel sick (please join our prays that she will feel better as soon as possible) so I ended up volunteering to share my testimony instead. We sang songs. Scripture was read. I shared my story of how I became to know Jesus. The language and cultural barrier is big, but I think the people enjoyed hearing how God is moving in my life. I pray these people my come to know Chirst like I did.
That’s all I really hope for because in reality, I’ve tasted what it feels like to be separated from God. I shared that I absolutely do not want them to face what I have faced. Especially facing the fire accident that happened to me and the lasting impact that made. But I know God now and that has changed my world forever.
This is the trip so far from my perspective. I know the work we have done today and hope that if anything, seeds have been planted. We can only pray now that the Holy Spirit may open the eyes and hearts of people we’ve encountered today. Not for my sake, but for their own safe,
For those who are praying specifically for our trip, please continue… especially for Morgan. My life continues to be changed by those who support me and ultimately by what God is doing in me and through me. I will post more on my personal blog this coming Friday. Please check it out. God bless and thank you for reading.
[note from Alice: pictured below is the village Blake wrote about visiting in the morning. It is poor quality but it was the only picture that made it to my phone.]
Hola mi amigas! Me llamo Alexis.
Today was day 4 of our trip! So much has already happened, and God has been at work each day! This whole experience has been new for me, and every day feels like an adventure. The Noble people have been so sweet to us, and I have especially loved playing with the kids.
Today has been training NONSTOP. This is not light rain, but rain I’ve never seen before. No surprise considering we are on the Atlantic side of the Continental Divide. Part of me wanted to stay curled up in my sleeping bag and avoid the rain altogether.
However, what caught my surprise was that the rain was no hindrance to the Noble people. They were still carrying on with their work, doing everyday tasks. And the kids were playing sports outside.
Part of our preparation for the trip was purchasing different sports equipment to leave with each village. Knowing this, when the kids saw us, they would shout, “jugar!” asking us to bring out the balls and play. So I tossed them the soccer ball, and they went to town playing! Despite the torrential downpour, they were having so much fun! The kids were drenched from head to toe, mud was flying, but they were all giggling.
As I sat there dry under the pavilion, watching them play, I felt the Lord calling me to leave my comfortable, dry place and join in the fun. So I did! Little did I know the joy I would experience in being obedient. By the end, I was drenched too, but I couldn’t stop smiling!
This trip has been me coming out of my tent into new, uncomfortable territory in many ways. This is my first time in Panama. First time backpacking. First time secluded in a jungle. I had some fears beforehand, but each I have been learning to just trust the Lord and play in the rain. I have seen the Lord provide many blessings through my obedience. I have learned so much through this trip and my hope is that I continue to live life in the rain!
[note: they tried to send some pictures but the signals are too weak. It may be a few more days before we see pictures.]
All is fine. Everyone is well and doing really good so far.
We finished breakfast and we started our journey from Guaba to Dayra 2, another tribe that is about 2 hours and a half hike away. It was full of challenges, humidity, mud, rivers, jungle, sliding and some of us even fell a few times. We all carried our backpacks, around 25 pounds each. With these challenges, God is teaching me how we need to sacrifice our comfort at all times for Good News sake.
The last part of our hike included a short boat ride. Like 5 minutes short. Ha Ha. Boating up and down the river is a major way of transportation for these people.
[no pictures today … very spotty coverage … hoping to get more tomorrow!]
It was a 4am start for this crew. We caught a 7:20 am flight to the city of David without any issues. Talsy and David Vega met us with a truck and van and drove us to their house. We dropped off any unnecessary items at their house in order to pack light for our journey up the mountain.
Then it was off to the mountains. Our backpacks in the truck and us in the van. It was a 2-hour winding road up and over the continental divide, some nicely paved and some just dirt before we stopped for lunch. Lunch was good. We ate at a roadside cafe. Most of us had pork chops with rice while some chose chicken.
It was another hour’s drive before we reached a small village right off the highway call Guabal. Although it is right off a nicely paved highway, it is very primitive. It’s on the reservation for the Nobe people. Most still live very simple lives. Most of the homes have no plumbing or electricity.
The local pastor who works with the Vega family had cleared out part of their church for us to set up our tents for sleeping. It was little but nice. Once the tents were set up, we took off on foot to explore the little village. We stopped at the school and then on to the river. That was about it.
We took time for our daily bible reading which traditionally on mission trips is ready through the book of Acts. Nothing like living out what you are reading to help get a better understanding of His word. After an hour or so in the Word it was time to eat again. This time lintels and rice and ham. It was good.
After dinner darkness set in, the pastor invited the girls to his house for a shower. Morgan and Blake and I decided to pass. Not so sure a shower was going to help with the humidity here. Think Texas in July or August in Houston. Hot and humid.
Not much to do after the sun sets and no electricity for lights so we are headed to bed. The church had wifi so I am able to get this message through. I don’t anticipate having a signal once we head to the next village in the morning.
Tomorrow will be a 2-3 hour hike to a little village called Dayrae. Our plan is to leave at 8am, spend the day and night in the village then hike back to Guabal on Saturday afternoon. The only way to reach these people is to walk in or boat in. No roads.
We will send our next Saturday night if the wifi is working on Saturday night. Until then, please be praying we are good stewards of the work and relationships the Vega family has already begun and hearts will be receptive to anyone who crosses our path.
Hola everyone! We arrived in PANAMA! My name is Morgan Aragon.
This morning we woke up bright and early and flew out of San Antonio to Houston and then Houston to Panama City!
On our Houston to Panama City flight, I was sitting next to my teammates when the flight attendant came up to Keith and told us we had been upgraded to first class. I was so humbled to receive this privilege that I definitely didn’t deserve. God reminded me in that moment of how He came, and tore down the curtain between 1st and 2nd class and made a way to Him through Jesus Christ.
Everyone has the opportunity to experience the honor and privileges of the kingdom promises if they put their hope in Jesus Christ. The Lord reminded me that this is why The Fellowship is here in Panama, to share and plant seeds of the gospel to those who have no idea about the Lord Jesus Christ, and to share the promises He has for all that believe!
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”1 Peter 2:9
After our flight, we arrived at our hotel and got settled for the night. We fly to David in the morning. After a few tries, we caught a few taxis to explore the Panama Canal. Unfortunately, we arrived 5 minutes too late and missed our tour. God rerouted us to a lookout spot where Keith gave us a brief lesson on the canal!
We all rode back to the hotel and are now getting ready for our trip to the villages tomorrow! Everyone is excited for what God is going to do and we have already seen little miracles along the way. Dalí has already been translating and has been a huge blessing for our team! Today has been an adventure, we are excited for tomorrow!
Thanks for joining us on our mission adventure to Panama.
Quick glance at our trip:
We will be sending daily updates and posting them on this page.
The Fellowship Team 2022
P.S. As The Fellowship Team, we have devoted this past year to studying the Bible and learning about discipleship. Without a doubt, God has used this program to shape and deeply impact each one of us into the disciples He calls us to be. If you would like to hear more about this, you can read our weekly blogs or reach out and we would love to share what the Lord has been doing.
– by Keith Myer
I met Moises on my first mission trip to Panama in 1997.
Watching Moises’s passion for his ministry left an impression on my heart so deep that I still feel it today. Moises was a disciple-maker with a servant’s heart.
Along with his wife, Talsy (pictured in the pink dress), Moises had a calling to bring the Good News of Christ to the indigenous people of Panama. He loved his family, and he loved the Ngobe and Nasso people living remote lives high in the Panamanian mountains.
Today you will find schools and churches, and training centers for pastors in all the regions of the Ngobe people.
I’m sad to say Moises died in 2011, but his family has continued his vision and ministry. On this trip, we will be traveling to the Nasso people living on the other side of the mountain from the Ngobe people. We will join their beginning efforts there.
Thank you to the people who have made this effort possible. We couldn’t do this without you!
Our mission and drive are to equip and mobilize God’s Church to evangelize, to make disciples as in 2 Timothy 2:2, and to establish His Church in remote places, among the unreached in Panama, thus fulfilling the order of Jesus to take His Gospel to all the nations (Mt 28:19:20) and being part of the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
Learn more here: About PG Panama
5:15 am Depart Lone Oak for SAT airport
5:45 am Arrive SAT
7:45 am Depart SAT via United Flt 2486 for Houston (IAH)
8:50 am Arrive Houston (IAH)
9:53 am Depart IAH on United Flt 1916 to Panama City (PTY)
2:15 pm Arrive Panama City (PTY)
3:30 pm Arrive at Hotel at PTY (Crown Plaza)
4:00 pm Visit the Panama Canal
6:00 pm Dinner at Hotel
7:00 pm Open time
9:00 pm Lights out
5:00 am Wake up
5:30 am Leave for PTY airport
6:00 am Arrive and check-in PTY
7:19 am Copa Air flt 17 departs for David, Panama (DAV)
8:29 am Arrive David (DAV)
9:00 am Picked up at airport by the Vaga Family
Go to Vega house and pack for backpack trip
2:00 pm Depart for Bocas De Toro Mountain region
6:00 pm Arrive Dayra 2, a village we will be working in
Greet host, set up camp, eat dinner
10:00 pm Bed
6:00 am Rise and Shine
6:30 am Breakfast
7:00 am Workout (Bible reading)
8am-5 pm Explore area, Visit houses
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Team Meeting
10:00 pm Bed
7:30 am Rise and Shine
8:00 am Breakfast
9:00 am Workout (Bible Reading)
10:00-Noon Hut to Hut Visits
1:00 pm FOB
3:00 pm Day Camp for the kids
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening Program
10:00 pm Lights Out
7:30 am Rise and Shine
8:00 am Breakfast
9:00 am Pack Up Camp
10:00 am Hike to Pick Up Spot
1:00 pm Meet bus and head to David
6:00 pm Arrive David at Rental House
6:15 pm Dinner and Free Time
11:00 pm Bed
6:00 am Breakfast
6:30 am Bible Reading
7:15 am Visit Canal and Shopping
7:30 am Head to Airport
8:00 pm Arrive at Airport
9:29 am Depart Copa Air flt 18 to Panama City (PTY)
10:30 am Arrive PTY
3:35 pm Depart United flt 1033 to Houston (IAH)
7:57 pm Arrive IAH
9:36 pm Depart United Flt 4807 to San Antonio (SAT)
10:40 pm Arrive SAT
Midnight Arrive Lone Oak, Home sweet home!