Mission Trip to Panama

by Ruth Lenz

Palisades Christian Academy mission trip team stands next to the newly complete church. In the next few weeks another team will add stucco and paint the church to complete it.
Communion service held in the new church.
The completed Portrerillo Church and Sabbath School shelter.
The PCA team hard at work constructing the church.

Spokane, Wash.,  May 6, 2014  -   On March 18, 2014, 15 eighth- through tenth-graders from Palisades Christian Academy (PCA) and 12 adults left Spokane, Wash., to travel to Portrerillo, Panama. God blessed the group with safe travels of over 20 hours each way by airplane and bus. He also showed miracles of His providence, especially in finding housing and a place to feed the group and conduct Vacation Bible School at an affordable price.

PCA always works with Maranatha for mission trips because their support team is so amazing, and the building of a church and Vacation Bible School are just perfect service activities for eighth- through tenth-graders. Not only did the group build the church and a Sabbath School structure, but they finished a day early. The Maranatha construction workers told the students how happy they were to work with the group, because PCA has a reputation for building straight walls and completing projects.

On Friday night, the PCA mission trip team and the Portrerillo congregation met for the first time in the newly-constructed church to celebrate God’s goodness with a communion service, led by PCA’s spiritual leader for the group, David Springer. This has been the tradition of PCA mission trips since they began in 2000. Praying for and washing the feet of someone who speaks another language can be very meaningful, as the students discovered.

On Sabbath morning, the mission team worshipped with the Portrerillo congregation, as well as members from other area churches. Students and parents from the team, as well as the VBS children who came to church, conducted the service. Mike Meyer, PCA’s construction team leader, presented the keys of the new church to the congregation. It was a very special moment for everyone.

God provided another miracle for the mission team at lunch after church. Having invited the Portrerillo congregation for lunch, PCA was surprised when about four times the group expected (members from other churches) showed up for the “potluck” with no food. God literally multiplied the food for the group, and everyone had enough to eat. The PCA mission team members will continue to pray for the people of the Portrerillo Church and hope to meet many new members of their congregation in heaven one day soon.

Palisades Christian Academy is a K-10 Adventist School in Spokane Washington operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ruth Lenz was the leader of the mission trip and also teaches at PCA.