Panama Journal Entries

June 30~

On my way to Panama once again! Yay! Cameron is traveling with me and I am extremely excited for him to experience an inkling of what I lived through for three months.
My mom, dad, and Teresa are all being involved and teaching a marriage seminar in El Valle.
Cameron and I are watching the children so that the couples are able to deepen their love for one another without such distractions.
God will use us–I know it!

He is awesome, mighty, and graceful–who knows what whispering ways He’ll work in us… 

I am practicing my Spanish in my head and have been for the last week. I had two days where my rambling mind only allowed me four hours of sleep.

I have only spoken little bits, here and there, but this trip I am going to try to be more outgoing and not care how bad my Spanish is~yo necesito a practicando! 

Our flight goes from Detroit to Houston to Panama City. And we are currently about an hour and a half from Panama!
Gracias a Dios por su bondad! Safe flights are ALWAYS nice! 

Sleep seems to be out the door–none of us has really rested well, just enough to rest the eyes.. Good thing today we don’t have too much planned besides catching up with mi otra familia and putting together the marriage seminar books.
I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M BACK!!!!!!!!!
 

July 1~

Genesis 25 con mi amor; Cameron.

Went to visit the school today and saw so many familiar faces, each one of them lit up my heart as their smiles came after meeting my eyes. 

When Nair saw me, I almost cried because of how much she hugged me.
I was sort of scared that none of the kids would remember me, but the girls saw me at the playground and Cameron put it this way “She was mobbed and I was back, standing alone watching”.

Jesús {one of the second graders from last year that I connected with} was in my friend Florencia’s third grade class, so when she was outside her door-I asked her if I could see him.
She called him outside, “Jesús, please come here”
I was slightly around the corner digging in my back pack for a picture and frame that I put together for him for his birthday the next week.
His little body popped out the door and when his eyes met mine, I saw something I’ve never seen before–ever. Desperation for love and an unbelief of presence. I almost cried how tight he held me around my neck as I picked him up in an embrace unlike any of the other kid’s. 

I love that boy, I pray he realizes that. 

Nair introduced me as her sister to her class 🙂

It was different without Sanna…

I love Cameron, he is so quiet and trying to soak up everything. I think he’s comfortable, but frustrated with the fact that he can’t speak Spanish–I know; I was there…I still am sorta there.
I pray God uses us. There are only so many scheduled options for God though…He’s to marvelous to work in a way we expect! 

When José picked Cameron and I up from the Weet’s house, we were introduced to three new couples, I reunited with Glendon and Isa and then met Glendon’s wife!

Rita–who is a Spanish teacher to a high school helped me practice all the way to El Valle. She doesn’t know much English but she is good at helping others, like me communicate. Just like me, she understands more than she speaks (her for English, me for Spanish)
I told her I needed her in my life and that she was good for me. 

José told me that my Spanish was very good. I told him that I hadn’t practiced when I was home. He was astounded.
I think that it was just a lot easier {by God} because I gained self-confidence and decided to not care how terrible I truly do speak. 

It is so good to have friends and family here!!!
I have missed Panama mucho…

July 2~

I woke up this morning and after walking on the beautiful pathway, Rita came up tome and was excited so she started speaking rapid Spanish. I was trying to understand as much as I could, but keeping up was hard–so hard in fact that I misunderstood her; I thought she was asking me to talk to her daughter on facebook, but really she said that I DO talk to her daughter! Then she said the name of her daughter and it clicked that I had misinterpreted and actually KNEW her!!! I was so surprised and happy, I hugged her at least five times. Haha! 

The kids and us overseers went on a long walk for two hours while the sessions for marriage were happening. 

I have never seen Cameron so precious and endearing before. Lucas is a {8 month old(?)} baby who Cameron sweetly carried when my arm got tired, it was so adorable to see him care for him. He was so good with the kids.

I had a good supper with Michelle, Cameron, Kati, and a couple who are a pastor and wife from Chèpo. She doesn’t speak much English at all, but she knows some nouns.
He said he knew some English, but forgot a lot because he did not practice.
Michelle assisted in being the translator when I struggled understanding or spelling correctly.
It was SO good to do that again, like I did in the tribe, except I had Michelle as a translator this time! 

Cameron and I talked a bit before we each went to our rooms. We both are finding it hard to not treat this like a vacation We don’t feel as though we are needed as much as hoped for. Hopefully God brings the harvest to our eyes–a very encouraging thing, BUT even if He does not, I pray I trust Him better yet. 

Feeding Lucas and walking with the group; that's my man 🙂

Entering familiarity

We arrived safe and sound!! The Internet at the airport didn’t work, so my update is a bit later than I hoped. After walking to the Rey (local grocery store that I’m so familiar with), tackling Jesse in the kitchen, and being embraced by the humidity, we all went out to the Cozway for some delicious food at Alberto’s.

It is amazing how time flies (como pase el tiempo!)
I was telling Randy how it seems like I have been gone six months, by it also seems like I never left…everyone is so familiar, nothing has really changed, except for the lack of Jordan and Sanna :/

The streets are as busy as ever and the Weets are still as comforting as ever. Rain and humidity; white clouds and skyscrapers.

It’s good to be back.

Cameron and I will be riding with Michelle, whom I love dearly, and her parents to El Valle (the place we will stay for the marriage seminar)

Yay

Bon voyage!

My posts will be short and sweet as I will be using my iPod for the updates.
My mom is calm–check
My dad is rested and prepared–check
Teresa is at our house–check
My missionary journal is packed–double-check
Mi amor is by my side–currently processing..

After leaving home we will pick up mi amor and then drive to the shuttle, which will take us to DTW, where we will encounter the usual silliness; metal detectors and goofy people who back up the line with trying to get their over-sized carry on into the overhead compartments…agh I love traveling hahahahaha 🙂

Looking into my passport I realized that I never came back into the United States; my passport didn’t get stamped coming back into Atlanta, Georgia…meh :/ I guess it is sorta lame that my parents have more stamps than I do in their passports. Oh such is life…que sera sera.

We are all pretty awake for the trip, watching some Mister Bean, all of us crying and laughing extremely hard at his goofiness…I love it when my dad laughs 🙂

…until my update from the airport, luego!

¿?¿who knows¿?¿

.Incomprehensible.
I cannot believe that it is already the end of June…
In one month I have gone to Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, Ohio again, and now I’m going to Panama for missions.
I’m leaving Thursday around 1a.m.
{{prayers are ALWAYS appreciated}}

After a week in Panama, trying to be open to anything and everything that God calls of me, I’m off to Colorado and Minnesota.
*sigh*
…I definitely have the travel bug. 🙂

Sonria means Smile

It was the way I entered Panama last year…almost eleven months ago…

My dad worked extremely hard to set up his duties for Panama–he’s teaching a marriage seminar. My mother is assisting as well as a friend from church.
Mi amor and I, in the beginning were very unaware of what we were to do.

After much time-spaced e-mailings with Randy (head pastor) and Paco (youth pastor) a decision was made for us.
In order for some of the couples to be able to attend the marriage seminar, they would need a babysitter, which they were unable to find at home…therefore, mi amor and I were needed.

This {{I’m gonna call it..}} re-trip has reminded me that ministry comes in many diverse forms.
Even though we will be working within an air-conditioned hotel in Panama, we are obeying God’s lead.
Who am I to judge what is ‘right’…I’m so imperfect! I am not God–WHOOHOO! {{cause that’d be far worse than a disaster}}

God may use us to reach one person, and maybe we won’t even know it–but that one person Jesus died for.
God may cause one specific couple’s marriage to affect tons of lives, and the only reason they would have been able to come is because there was childcare available.

¿?¿who knows¿?¿

Mi amor helped me focus again on understanding that God can use anything and I’m glad he feels that way, it is undoubtedly encouraging to have the comfort in knowing he is trusting God, even if expectations aren’t met.

God is in control.

Lord, keep me smiling

~Wear a smile–one size fits all~

Panama Clothes

Yes, I realize that I have both men and women followers, but this is on some of my progress towards Panama. So, Men…I’m sorry if this bores you. 😛

Today, I decided that I would get out my collections of skirts and shirts that I’ll be taking with me to Panama!!! To show you what patterns and colors I will be fashioning in the country, here are some pictures!


These, I will wear, along with the various tank tops I already own, as well as a few pairs of shorts.

Most likely in the afternoons when I get back to the house from being at the school, I will pull on a pair of shorts. But, then again, I might turn into a skirt lover.

The weather there is an average of ninety degrees, so therefore…I’ll be sweating profusely. arg.

God has already blessed me with figuring out more of my life, and what will be happening during the remainder of my senior year!!! YAY!

I’m feeling better today, and more accomplished.

~Praise God~

Progress?

Recently, I have made progress with Panama related things. I have gotten new shirts and skirts in the past few days.
My mom and I are on the hunt for ways to fix up ‘super duper clearance’ items. Yesterday, we got two skirts for under $4, at Goodwill!! That was exciting!

I have found myself realizing that time has flown by so amazingly fast. I cannot believe that I will be graduating in two months. High school is almost dust. YES!
Although, knowing that, I think about how fast Panama is coming and how I need to begin readying myself more.

And oh my word, I have to get out open house//graduation invitations. I am thinking about slipping in a ‘Send Sarah To Panama’ flyer in the envelope as well.

My open house will have a little bit of info about Panama, as well.

This past Friday, my mom had me write a list of things that I need for my open house and that pushed me to begin my ‘running away from procrastination’ stage.

Talking about this, just makes me realize that I’m farther behind that I thought. It just collects and begins piling up higher than I can see, and once I realize that it’s doing that…I am overwhelmed and need to try to conquer this mountain. Oh without the wonderful work of God, I would be in a giant ditch.

God, help me be at ease with all that lies ahead.


Welcoming Changes

So, today I decided that I would take the challenge of writing a blog. I don’t know how much work it takes, but I have a need to write my thoughts down. “A need?” you ask. Yes, a need. If I don’t write down my thoughts they will eat me up inside. I review the day when I’m falling asleep at night, and sometimes that causes insomnia. Those nights are when God shows me what I need to change in my life. If I talk to myself and ramble on and on about the nonsense of the day I learn nothing, but if I bring my issues to God and pray about them, He directs my paths.
So, here I am, age seventeen, a young woman, sharing my thoughts to anyone who is willing to read them.

I should begin by declaring that Jesus Christ is vividly in my life and that I will not go one post without typing His name.

Anywho…this year I have gone through many changes, such as welcoming my seventeenth year of life. January 4th was my birthday, and on the 10th a wonderful Christian guy came to my house to ask my father’s permission to date me. My father agreed and now I hold another man in my heart, his name is Cameron. I could probably write an entire blog on the wonderful things about him, but I will save you from my ranting, unless you oppose my self-control on that topic and would like to read a post on that.

Another change was that I bought a Toshiba netbook at Best Buy. His name began as “Mac”, because of the fact that he is a PC. Then thanks to a close friend of mine, I changed his name to TobyMac. “Why Toby?” you ask. Because Toby is short for Toshiba. Hehe, isn’t it marvelous? So, TobyMac has helped inspire me to start this blog.

I also want to keep up this blog while I am away, doing mission work in Panama City, Panama. It will be my first time going out of the United States and Canada. I am learning Spanish this semester in school, so that I will at least know some basic conversation.  I aced my first test, 100%! whoohoo! So, that’s one way I am preparing for my new adventure.

Another way is preparing a letter to send off to friends and family, to ask for prayer and financial support.

My mom and I have sewed some skirts, because that will be the majority of my dress while away from home. I am not so much for skirts, but I know that God is calling me down there, so I think I can bear it for three months.

I will be staying with a family that I have never met, but my mom and the father of the family were best friends in College. Their family’s last name is Weet. They have been missionaries down there for twenty years!!!

You might think I’m crazy, going to a new country, one in which I will hardly know the language, and where I will be staying with people I don’t know…well, maybe I am crazy…but I believe that God has given me the love of travel and a passion for bringing people to Christ.

While down there I will be helping out with an orphanage, school, and music in the Weet’s church. I’m sure I’ll be helping with many random things, but my main objective is to help in anyway God directs me.

Well, I guess this is my first blog post, I hope you readers have enjoyed the beginning of welcoming changes.