Category : Panama
We always try to send out a newsletter in January, which, among other things seems to coincide with a State of the Union address. When I think of it, it is timely as we begin a new year to take stock of where we are and how things are progressing. This year begins with much excitement in the life of the church and in our lives personally. As I write this we are on “baby watch” for our second grandson who will be born any day now. We are excited to meet this new little one and especially so as we will be returning for a six-month Home Ministry Assignment (HMA). We are grateful for time to spend with our family as well as reconnecting with individuals and supporting churches. We return to Marietta on February 5th and will take a couple of weeks to acclimate and spend time with our family (new grandbaby). After that we would love to get together with various people / churches to share what God is doing in Panama. If you are interested, please let us know and we will start filling in dates on the calendar.
Personally, that is our exciting news, but we are also so encouraged by what God is doing in the life of the church here. In two weeks we will have the first election of Elders. We have four candidates who we believe are ready to take on the role of shepherding the church. It has been a blessing to watch them mature spiritually and see their hearts to serve. Time and again, we are humbled by God’s faithfulness. Along with the excitement of electing elders is watching the church understand their role as members. Membership is a new idea for most, but they have responded with enthusiasm as they have understood their unique position as founding members of this church. God has been good to allow us to be here for this full cycle of establishing a core group all the way through to seeing a “real” church established and to be able to return to the US to share that story as well as look for new partners.
This term in Panama has been a great start, but the work here is in no way finished. We are still praying for a pastoral candidate, still working to get the church registered with the government, still looking for a more permanent church location and still praying for a church planting movement. Our desire is to see Christ’s reign extended to all parts of the city and to the nation of Panama. El Cangrejo has been a great strategic location but there are other areas of the city that we would like to focus on in the future.
Finally, to sum up for you the “State of the Church”, we would say that the most important thing we have seen in the establishment of this church is lives transformed by the power of the gospel. So many people have encountered grace for the first time and some have understood it more deeply in their interaction with the church. Grace is transforming marriages, the way parents’ guide their children, the way we interact as brothers and sisters in Christ and the way we worship. Apart from any number of members or classes that have been given, this is the true measure of the health of the church and we are amazed that God has given us the privilege of being a part of this work.
If you are interested in hearing more about ministry in Panama (or know someone else who might be) or are interested in partnering with us in this ministry please contact us, we would love to share with you how you can be a part of what God is doing. Thanks to those of you who have supported us in prayer and financially, we are grateful.
God has taken such great care of us through your faithful gifts and prayers. Thank you ! ! !
4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy
5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
We feel honored to partner with you.
Some possible options to become a Financial Partner for Panama and the Summers:
Mail a check, payable to Mission to the World, and include a note stating the investment is intended for Summers, # 16932 to:
- Mission to the World PO Box 744165 Atlanta, GA 30374-4165
- Make an investment online at the MTW web site, https://www.mtw.org/missionaries/details/marc-and-sam-summers You’ll find
the donation tab at the top, and you’ll be able to designate your gift as you desire (our account # 16932 )
- Set up a payment on your bank’s web site (One-time or Monthly) (Info for checks may apply)