Panama Feeding Program

I often wonder if our mission efforts are making any difference in the lives of the people that we are ministering too.  With this in mind, I recently asked our contact in Panama to provide some answers that would allow us to evaluate the impact of the Feeding Program that we are supporting at the Republic of Korea School in Samaria, San Miguelito, Panama. Take a look at some of the questions and answers below:

Q.   How many children are fed each day when school is in session?
We are feeding between 300 and 350 kids now.  We feed the kids from January to December, from Sunday to Saturday. It is just in few cases that exceptions happens and it is because a teachers strike or a teachers congress we don??t serve the meals but if that happens we stop the program no more than three days in the row. The only moment when we have to decrease the number of kids receiving food is when for some reason the cash stops from the beloved brothers and sisters from St. Paul C.C. Then we have detected the neediest and we only feed between 75 and 150 depending on the menu.

Q. What is the current monthly cost of feeding these children. The monthly budget we have permanently is $4,000

Q.  Is there any government funding available to assist with the funding of this program? In the past, before St. Paul C.C joined to this program there existed an organization from the government that provided some funds, but this new president decided to close this organization and money stopped from this department. I have sent several letters to congress people and people in different departments of the government without positive answers

Q. Does Cielos Abiertos Church continue to provide volunteers who assist with the feeding of these children? Yes they are. Youth from the church had involved more lately.

Q.  Are the families of the children who are being fed being impacted in any way by this program? Yes, the Principal of the school reports us that even th community in fact had changed. Fewer crimes are reported in the area and the parents are shown more often themselves at school. He also says that families look more united and drugs and prostitution ???jobs??? looks disappearing from the families of the kids receiving the blessing of the food. Children are more constants in classes and they don??t have to go out down the streets begging for money or doing wrong things to help their families to find money for food.

We cannot express in words our gratitude for St. Paul C.C??s generosity and we pray every day for more blessings come upon all you who open your hearts to help this kids to be out of crime and inside the schools trying to build up a better future for them and their families.

Unquestionably this program is having an impact in the community that is being served.  There is currently a gap between the monthly need and our monthly contribution so some of our friends in Panama are attempting to supplement our gifts.
Thanks to everyone who is involved in this ongoing mission effort.

Bob Jeram 

 


God’s Plan A for Hard Times

I???ve been reading the Psalms lately. I???m usually not a big fan of the Psalms. They require a lot of deep thought and concentration, rather than taking off with a point by point story such as those found in the narrative portions of scripture.

The Psalms demand to be read over and over again. I???m more of a ???page-turner??? when it comes to the Bible.

However, I???ve been noticing a trend in this poetic book that makes me glad I???m forcing myself to sit and think. The Psalms deal with two things quite frequently: telling God about our problems and establishing a starting point for our relationship with God.

It???s no surprise to read that we let God know about our problems and ask for his intervention. Perhaps we may be startled by the frankness in the Psalms and other books, but we generally catch on to the idea even if we probably need to observe more about the form of those requests, laments, and complaints.

However, I???d like to focus a bit more on the starting point for our relationship with God, especially when we are in times of trial, trouble, and heart break. What is our plan A?

According to the Psalms, we hold to the steadfast love of God that reaches to the heavens and stands as an immovable rock. This is our foundation, our starting point.

When affliction comes upon us, our first recourse is the faithful love of God. This is what drives our requests and helps us wait patiently for God???s answer.


Confession

This post is specifically for those who were at the membership meeting this week. It is a personal confession and is in no way meant to be question or accusation of anyone else.

Before I begin, I want to once again thank the finance team for their faithful and conscientious service. You guys have a heavy job and you are handling it with grace. I also want to thank you, Beth. I find it amazing how many different things you do – and do so well.

I was troubled in my soul on the way home from the meeting. My own thoughts and feelings had something to do with it, but it was more than that. After a restless night, the Lord gently dealt with me the next morning. He showed me how quickly and easily I can revert to the wisdom of the world. I mean, fund raisers? Come on. What is this – the P.T.A.? And offering to personally supply specific needs, including rent shortfalls, is nothing less than pride. Who would get the glory for that? But the hardest thing to hear and accept was that in saying what I did, I had denied Who I personally know my God to be. Folks, recognizing that broke my heart and brought me to my knees.

What I am going to say next is what I should have said in the meeting, but couldn’t because I didn’t hear it until the next morning. We are not a business, we are a church. A church is a living organism. Living organisms grow. If our focus stays on Jesus – the head of the church – on loving Him and loving our neighbors, the rest will take care of itself. Matthew 6:33. My focus needs to be on the kingdom. The fields are white to harvest! I allowed myself to buy the lie that the proposed budget was all we would have to work with for a year. Where did that come from? (Hint: he fell from heaven) God loves people. People need God. We love God and we love people. When that gets out, they should be beating down our door! What would happen if we spent as much time and energy seeking wisdom for reaching our communities with Jesus as we do on other things? (These questions are not rhetorical, by the way)

I know my God is faithful. I know that where he guides, He provides. I know that He has great plans for the St. Paul’s community that are beyond what we can currently imagine. I believe that He is in the process of proving us. I believe He is bringing us face to face with our attitudes about money – personally and corporately. I pray that we would allow Him to show us what we need to see. God has not given us a spirit of fear. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. I know that facts – especially financial facts – change, but I also know that change is a work of the Spirit.

My confession to you is that I spoke from my soul instead of from my spirit. I missed an opportunity to honor my God – our God – with my words, and perhaps build your faith. God has forgiven me, I pray that you will also.

Father, thank You for your faithfulness to the body of believers at St. Paul’s. Continue the good work that You have begun in us to the end that You are magnified and Your kingdom is expanded on earth and heaven, all to the glory of Your precious son Jesus. Amen.


God’s Word – The Best Prescription

This list of scriptures was compiled for my Grandmother, Olive.?? We read these aloud together, and as we do, you can see her sit up taller, and her voice gets stronger.?? She turns 99 today.?? I am so grateful that she has attended to God's Word all of these years.?? Even now, when her body isn't always that reliable, she still draws on the Bible for strength.

-Lorynda Fish-Ianni

God???s Word ??? The Best Prescription
Dosage: ??Take one in the morning and one in the evening, and another whenever you feel like it. Read this out LOUD!


Psalm 55:17 Evening and morning and at noon, I will cry aloud and He will hear my voice.

Each day is a gift. Thank You Father, for Your Son Jesus Christ, and for this fine day.

Psalm 118:24 – This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

On this day I will lean on You completely and trust in You. Trusting in You makes me relaxed. I don???t have to figure everything out. ??
Proverbs 3 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

I don???t have to worry.
Psalm 34:4 – I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

I know You will take care of me. I can thrive in any situation.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 – Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

You have loved me from the beginning and will not forsake me.

Isaiah 46:3-4 – You whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth.
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

I know that I can be healthy at any age. This is Your promise to Your people. I receive the gift of Your grace, forgiveness and health in all areas of my life!
Psalm 103:2-5 – Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

I may not always feel great, but I know that You want me to be well. You gave me the power of Jesus??? Name to defeat sickness. I declare, I am HEALED!
Acts 3:16 – By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

When I am weary, I say, I am strong! I resist satan and call out to You, Father for help, in Jesus??? Name.
Ephesians 6:10-11 – Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

My hope and strength are renewed.

Isaiah 40:28-31 – The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I have Jesus with me all the time. I may not be able to do all things on my own, but with Jesus, all things are possible!
Philippians 4:12-13 – I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

Isaiah 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before my child calls, I will answer him; and while he is still speaking, I will hear him.

AMEN! ??Let it be so!


A Simple Hour of Worship Schedule

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Hello all.

Just wanted to post the times for this week's prayer and worship in the Chapel. Please come and join us if you can. It will be very simple:

Come and go as you please.
We'll be worshiping/ praying for an hour or so.
The lyrics to the songs I'll be playing will be printed out, so pick one up when you come in.

I'm not sure how long I'll be doing this for, but I'll keep posting the times so you can plan to join us if you are around.

Tuesday June 22- 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Wednesday June 23- 5:30pm -6:30pm
Thursday June 24- 9am- 10am-11am

Monday-June 28- 10:30-11:30
Tuesday- June 29- 4:45pm-5:45pm
Wednesday- June 30- 11am-12am

Grace and peace. -beth