By Caroline Anderson
The pandemic provided an opportunity for Panamanian believers to truly love their neighbors and show Christ’s love through their actions.
Tim Louderback, who serves in Panama with the International Mission Board, said Christians picked up medicine and bought groceries for their non-Christian neighbors who were fearful or unable to leave their homes. Their acts of service led to many inroads to share the gospel.
Southern Baptist work in Panama through IMB missionaries Tim and Tina Louderback and Sean and Shelley Blacksten was highlighted during the 2021 Week of Prayer for International Missions. The two couples shared how U.S. churches were partnering in valuable ways on the ground, in addition to their prayer and financial support.
The most recent volunteer team from the U.S. came alongside believers from a Panamanian church plant. Louderback asked the Christians how the volunteers could serve with them. The Christians asked for help in scheduling appointments in the homes of their neighbors.
“People were open to it because they were really isolated and not leaving their homes – not going to the grocery stores themselves or picking up medicine – so we were able to have one-on-one meetings in homes,” Louderback said.
In one week alone, 42 people committed their lives to Christ.
“We’ve never had that happen before since we’ve been here,” Louderback said. “We are now discipling those individuals, baptizing those individuals.”
Louderback said the way believers showed love to their neighbors during the pandemic led to hearts opening.
In the first half of 2022, Louderback and his fellow IMB missionaries will host at least 20 churches on short-term trips.
Panamanian churches are also seeing opportunities for continued growth through English as a Second Language classes and hosting English clubs on university campuses.
Join Louderback and Panamanian Christians in praying for the 42 new believers as they grow in their faith. Pray more would follow in their footsteps. B&R