Why the blog?

I write as the Spirit moves me. I have prayed about what I'm supposed to do with my life a lot. A lot. Writing. Writing is what I believe God is leading me to do. Whether or not He wants me to write for anyone to read is His business. Much of my writing has been therapy for me so maybe I'm the only one who is supposed to read it. So, why the Blog? As a sounding board, a note pad, a place to keep my ideas and thoughts. A place to share and promote my books, and photography. Written prayers, a place to vent. Possibly, even a place for the unknown reader to learn about the love of Jesus.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hand made Paper from El Valle, Panama

While I was on a Mission trip in El Valle, Panama I helped to move some items for storage.  Among the boxes was a crate full of hand made paper.  Lisa Carter, the missionary who she and her husband had planted the church, told us that her husband, David, taught a man by the name of Lorenzo how to make the paper.  He was going to use the new trade to  earn a living for himself and his family.  There in El Valle is an open air market that tourists come to shop from local artisans.   David and Lisa purchased this batch of paper a while back but as yet had not had the time to do anything with it.   I thought it was too beautiful to sit in storage, therefore, I accepted the challenge of finding good homes for the paper.  Below are a few photos and how to order.  The monies collected from the sale of this paper will go toward purchasing Bibles for the children.    Contact me at freedspirit05@yahoo.com to order.  

Chose your bundle then contact freedspirit05@yahoo.com to order

Home made paper from El Valle

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

El Valle, A snapshot of God's people

I speak about 5 words of Spanish, however, I knew El Valle meant roughly 'valley'.  In turn, I knew there would be mountains in this place called Panama. I love mountains, hiking mountains, photographing mountains.  This post isn't about the mountains, it's about the people. God's people.  When it was announced that a group of adults was going to Panama, I jumped at the chance.  I've been wanting to go for years.  Until now, I had been unable financially, physically, etc. etc.  

Normally, I research everything to death.  Need to know every detail of every thing. When, where, what time, what's it like, what's the food situation, etc.  If there was a detail to be known, I had to know it.  Not this time.  This time, I put it all in God's hands.  I went with the flow, which was REALLY HARD!.  The one thing I did insist on doing, well two, was keep a journal and photograph everything.  After going over 34 pages of notes and 1600+ photographs after an 8 day and 7 night trip, I'm ready to share.  

I won't go day by day, I'll save that for something a little longer, like a novel, however, day one started with the song, "Panama" in my head.  If you know anything about 1980's music, you'll get it.  Only one word over and over and over again, "Panama".  I knew it was going to be a great week.  Travel was a breeze.  No security problems, no motion sickness, no food (allergen) issues, no luggage issues.  

I started taking pictures in the van on the way from the airport to El Valle.  

Panama City

We took a pit stop before turning onto the mountain road where I snapped a photo of this man.

At the "cheese place".

Hard at work at Iglesia de Cristo.

We got right to work as soon as we arrived sorting clothes, painting, hauling stone, laying culverts, visiting the people in their homes.

Cary 'working' hard
La India Dormida

Lisa and I piled river rock into the truck.

Precious children

Kuna woman

Varied nationalities during worship service.

David and Cary led 5 nights of praise and worship

Five nights of worship in English, Spanish, and Kuna with people from Panama- including the Kuna and Embara people, Spain, US, and Mexico. I've never felt so close to God as when I listened to the singing and heard the people speak in their language praises to OUR God.  
Exploring the mountain

God's beauty from above.

On top of the world, looking at El Valle.
A home in the mountain, kitchen.

Front door to a home.

Cooking area, with tamale in the pot.  It was delicious.

Embera tribe, Reubin and his family.  His son, Robin, was baptized.

It was very difficult to leave this beautiful place, these beautiful people who worship God with all of their heart and return to the land of plenty, luxury, abundance.  There are poor everywhere.  I've seen the poor and homeless in my association with Matthew's Hope.  These people are happy.  They work hard.  They walk and ride their bikes everywhere they go - rain or shine.  They walked to church in a downpour to find the church flooded, grabbed a bucket and a mop, cleaned for over an hour (side by side with the gringos), then pulled out the chairs to worship for two hours.  

Luke wrote in Luke 6:20, in speaking of Jesus:    Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God."

What is the church?  It is a 'who'.  

Iglesia de Cristo

This is God's church, his people, a few of us in a small little valley, El Valle de Anton, Panama.  This is where a little piece of my heart is today.  Not in this building, but in the lives of God's people.  I felt guilty while lying in my nice air-conditioned bedroom on my soft bed remembering where some of these children would be sleeping.  But, I know, I will never take the gifts God has given me for granted ever again.  I will return, I will serve. I wrote this in my journal:  "There are poor everywhere, in every city, on every continent.  How they are viewed, how they view themselves are even the same.  Those who have Christ are at peace, those who don't despair.  Hopeful versus hopeless."  My prayer is that God will use me to bring hope to those who need Him.   35" For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:35-36.

I have nothing. I need nothing.  All I have is God's.  I need only Him to say at the end of my journey, "Well done, good and faithful servant."  

** to support further Panama mission trips, please consider purchasing my books on Amazon..  

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mission Impossible?

What does the phrase, "The Great Commission" mean to you?  If you are not a Christian you probably are drawing a blank.  If you are a believer, you might (should) know.  If you are in ministry, you know exactly what it means.

I grew up in the church but didn't hear that phrase until I was in my 30s.  I suppose it either wasn't a phrase used or I wasn't paying attention.  Now that I know what it means and it's significance, I'm doing my best to put it to use.  

My One Word Challenge for this year is USEFUL.   I believe the Great Commission and Useful go hand in hand.

What am I talking about?  Jesus Christ was crucified and buried in a tomb.  On the third day he came back to life and presented himself to his disciples.  "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  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 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.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  Mathew 28:16-20.

I have struggled with my purpose, my usefulness, my abilities as a Christian for years.  Often my prayers have been, "Use me, God. Don't care how or when, but use me."  Then, when opportunities arose, I became frustrated by the lack of finances, which prevented me from doing what I thought was God's will.  Several years ago, I was blessed with the ability to go on a local mission trip.  Of course, at first I didn't consider it an actual 'mission trip'.  I was wrong.   I wrote a book based on that trip,  "Mount Mission".

This upcoming November, I have the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Panama.   Will finances prevent me from going?  Life happens, AC's break, kids get sick, etc., etc.   If I don't raise the money, does it mean God doesn't want me to be the "hand and feet of Christ"?   (see: 1 Corinthians 12)  The hands of Christ is 'serving', the feet indicating 'going' into the world.  

I'm doing my part, praying, studying, praying, fundraising through my businesses (Origami Owl and my books).  I have also created a GoFundMe account for donations.  

Now, I'm asking you for support.   Please prayerfully consider supporting me through any of the routes above and by sharing this post with your friends and family.  Feel free to download and print the attached flier, go on Facebook and share my event page.  Every little bit helps.  Five dollars from 600 people, $10 from 300 people, $100 from 30 people.  You get the idea.  

One last thought, Luke 1:37 "For nothing will be impossible with God." (English Standard Version).  If it is God's will for me to go to Panama, it will happen.

Thank you for your prayers and your support.

ShopFoward for Panama www.marathonmom.origamiowl.com


Colleen Wait Edits

Colleen Wait Edits