One of our GoodSeed staff couples, Simon and Lavonne, were missionaries in Panama for 17 years before returning to the USA where they now continue ministry at the GoodSeed office in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.
Recently, after being gone from Panama for more than a year, they had an opportunity to go back for a visit to reconnect with many of their dear friends in a remote village as well as in the city. In preparation for their trip, they packed a “Be Ready” suitcase full of GoodSeed resources that explained the Bible’s message clearly. Among the books was a copy of All that the Prophets have Spoken in Arabic to be given to their friends who own the hotel where they often stayed. For the Chinese shopkeeper where they used to buy their groceries, they had The Stranger in Mandarin. Also included in their suitcase were several copies of El Forastero (The Stranger book in Spanish) and El Cordero (The Lamb book in Spanish).
As Simon and Lavonne boarded the plane for Panama, they were eagerly praying for opportunities to encourage their friends and to share Christ along the way. Upon their return, Simon described how it went:
God was in the timing of our trip because we were able to connect with so many people. We shared meals and got caught up with all that has been happening in each of our lives over the past year. The books we brought were also very well received. The Arabic-speaking hotel owners were honoured to receive the gift from us. The Chinese shopkeeper lit up with excitement at having a book to read in her own language––in all the years she’s lived in Panama, she had never really learned Spanish. Another friend shared, “I have been so burdened to share the gospel with my family and neighbours but I felt that I needed some good tools… El Forastero is the answer to my prayers!”
Then, in the village up river, we spent time teaching several families, encouraging them in their walk with the Lord. During the several days we were there, Lavonne was able to read El Cordero in its entirety to a group of very attentive children. Each day they would ask her, ‘When are you going to read to us?’ Then they would scurry around, gathering together all of their friends to make sure no one missed out.”
Simon and Lavonne’s trip to their Panamanian home is a good reminder of what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica:
“We were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8 ESV
Photo credit: Simon Challinor