And the legacy continues…..
Legacy can be defined as a gift or bequest that is handed down , endowed, or conveyed from one person to another.
April 4th, 5th, and 6th, we saw this in action. It was the 20th anniversary of YWAM in Panama. What a celebration! Over 150 people gathered from Panama, the U.S., Brazil, Sweden, Colombia, and Costa Rica and .joined us in the celebration.
Rich and Debbie Tracy, our base leaders and the national leaders for YWAM Panama were highlighted for their huge contribution to the ministry here. Their tireless work over the past 20 years has produced much fruit and resulted in literally hundreds of people completing DTS training in 39 DTS schools. Practically any area of Panama you mention to Rich he responds “oh yeah, we lived there for this period of time and started a work there”. We know this has not come without a price. We are so blessed to work with leaders who are willing to continue being obedient to God and His call.
HERE COMES THE REALLY COOL PART FOR US
Sunday morning Brett Curtis (formerly with Mercy Ships) shared his vision for YWAM Ships. He told the story of being contacted by a man two years ago who was told by God to donate a ship to YWAM ships ministry. It was a beautiful handcrafted wooden 60 foot sailing vessel which had never seen water. He had been told by God 10 years eariler to build the ship. At the time, Brett did not know where the ship was going but willingly received it. We will share the name of the boat later.
Then a sequence of events happened that gave clarity to Gods plan. Many of you know that our first 14 months here were spent on an island in the Caribbean in the north eastern edge of Panama. During our time there our hearts cried out to God regarding the people there and their need for God. Spiritually the area is incredibly depressed and it seems like a heavy cloud hangs over the entire area. Many times when we prayed it seemed like we were praying with a blanket draped over our heads. We continued to pray and believe that God had a plan and knew the needs of the people of the area. Though several months after the base closure there we felt led to move to YWAM Chiriqui part of our hearts remained there on the islands. The brokenness and bondage of the Ngobe people grips you so powerfully you can’t shake free from it.
We moved to Chiriqui knowing God had sent us but wondering how He would continue to care for the Ngobe there in Bocas. It didn’t take long to find out…
Last fall we were contacted by Kim and Dale Kapsar, the owners of the property in Isla Bastimentos and the couple we worked with while there in Bocas. They said God was telling them they were to not sell the property (which appraised for $691,000) but rather donate it to YWAM Chiriqui. Rich immediately contacted me and we began to pray for Gods direction.
A few weeks later Rich was at a conference in San Diego. During that conference in a time of worship Rich looked across the room and saw Brett Curtis. He immediately sensed God saying we were supposed to give the property to Brett and YWAM Ships. After a time of prayer and discussion on both sides we agreed that God was definitely in this and that the process should move forward. then came the complexities of transferring the property back and forth so it could in fact be donated because it was held in a Panamanian corporation and was being donated by owners who were U.S. residents back in the states. Pretty complex. Add to that the speed, or lack thereof, with which Panama does anything and six months later we were ready to make the transfer. Sunday morning during the conference with Kim and Dale on speaker from their home in Ohio and Brett and his wife here in Panama we officially gave the property to YWAM Ships. It was an incredible moment. We could hardly contain our emotion as the process unfolded in front of us. For us we knew that times of prayer spent there on Bastimentos praying for and claiming land we believed had been given by God to not go into non believers hands had not been in vain. We knew that the ministry there would continue and become something far beyond we could hope or imagine.
Brett shared that as soon as he knew they were to accept the donation he knew where the donated ship would be coming, Panama of course. And the name of the ship……. El Encuentro. Literally “the meeting” or the encounter. Fitting, don’t you think?
Imagine the process. God spoke to Kim and Dale 10 years ago to buy the property and develop a YWAM base there. 10 years ago God spoke to a man to build 60 foot sailboat to be used for ministry. So many people involved in the process. All being led by God.
Here is a link to YWAM Ships announcement of the transaction.
The vision going forward is that this boat and others like it will be used to sail to remote islands throughout the Carribean to take the message of Gods mercy and grace to many who have never heard. You can’t fly in, drive, or walk, the only option is to sail in. There are pockets of isolated people groups throughout the region that will now have an opportunity to hear Gods message. What a blessing it has been for us to be a part of this process.
Meanwhile on the home range….
Terry continues to heal from his eye surgeries. He has had two now. The first to repair the torn retina and the second to remove the silicon oil. He expected his vision to suddenly be better after the second surgery but that has not been the case. It is slowly improving but has a ways to go. He has had to suspend his woodworking class at the boys home till his vision is clearer in order to ensure the boys are working safely.
Liz continues to attend the nursing home ministry and with the teams lately has had quite a large group going with her. She has also added childcare and cooking for large crowds to her portfolio as we are now officially referred to as “Nana” and Papa” by Andy, the little boy that Rich and Debbie are raising and she keeps him each Tuesday morning so Deb can have a few hours of time to herself ( they are also raising 4 children from the commerca so they can continue their education past grade 6-so it is a very busy household.) Liz also cooks one day a week at the base. We have had multiple teams this month so cooking for 50 has been the norm. Terry has been doing some teaching and has been invited to go to Costa Rica and teach in two schools there for a week as well. We have been asked to handle much of the special counseling needs here at YWAM Chiriqui. We had said we would never do counseling again but never say never! We think God laughs each time we say anything about “never”
We have hosted several teams since the celebration and successfully sent out our own DTS of 14 students for their 7 week outreach in Panama. They will be covering a large area of Panama and end up in the Bocas area.
For Terry’s vision and that it will be fully restored.
Terry will be traveling to Bocas this week to help obtain a boat for the new folks coming to YWAM Ships. They are bringing larger vessels for ministry but still need a smaller boat for transportation. Please pray they will be able to find the one God has for them quickly.
Pray for safety as we finish the training center in the comarca. The winds have been very high and now we are entering into the rainy season. We plan to start the first Discipleship Training School there in July. There is a team leaving from here to go tomorrow, they will be welding at the top of the tall structure, so special prayers for them as they go.
The “get Raphael a mule” campaign. We have received $350, approximate cost is $800.
Our monthly support has dropped by about $250 per month this year but $3,000 in one time donations has come in this month. This will make a huge dent in he $4700 medial expense for Terry’s eye surgeries.
Thru a generous offer from the owner of Airbox Express here in Panama we have $100 a month in free shipping from Florida. In the past it has been cost prohibitive to receive packages. Here is the address for packages:
Terry and Liz Bolt
7801 NW 37th St
Doral, Fl 33166
The address for letters:
Terry and Liz Bolt
PO Box 25207
Miami, Fl 33102
We love to get letters and packages! Our first “Care Package” arrived last week and was awesome! In this time of electronics it is still fun to get a “real” letter or card. :) If you do send a package, please let us know when it is sent as we have to notify them in advance for speedier service.
Liz’s knees are getting stronger! She is walking 3 times a week with friends in the neighborhood.
The confused Rooster in our back yard has been…uh…removed! His sense of timing was a bit off. He started crowing at about 10PM and went pretty much until 8AM. We may actually have to set an alarm!
We will try to add pictures next time. We are waiting for more flattering pictures of us. :)
Blessings to all of you,
Terry, Liz, and Odie