On Saturday Janaury 25th, a Work and Witness Team from NE Indiana joined the Samaria and Ancon Churches of the Nazarene in a church planting effort. The group left Panama City at 5 am for a two hour bus ride and then a two hour boat ride to the island of Chepillo. Chepillo is located just 2.6 nautical miles from the mainland of Panama and is only 1.7 km long from coast to coast. The 2000 census counted 236 inhabitants in the island. It is there that Pastor Eduardo was born and raised.
As a young man, Eduardo left his home and went to Panama City in search of work. Instead, he found the fast city life. At a desperate point in his life, Eduardo met Brother Deudedith Murillo from the Ancon Church. For months brother Murillo ministered to Eduardo, until he finally surrendered his life to Jesus. Eduardo immediately felt a calling to preach. After evangelizing in several high crime areas of the city, he felt a need to go back to his place of birth and preach to his family. That is how this church type mission was born. Today, the Ancon Church helps Eduardo with the only evangelical church in the island. This past Saturday, the Samaria Church and a W&W team from Indiana joined their efforts. The group organized a VBS with puppets and clowns, made lunch for the kids, had evangelistic meetings and a prayer vigil.
God is doing mighty things in Panama! The Church of the Nazarene is going into places where it has not yet been. We praise the Lord for Pastor Eduardo and his tenacity to reach his neighbors with the gospel. We also thank God for the efforts of the Ancon Church and Pastor Melinda Dotin, Brother Murillo and their families.
Information provided by: Wendy Lopez, Missionary at the church of the Nazarene, Mesoamerica Region