Share God’s love with the people of this land of fish, trees and butterflies, where nature, tourism and its canal trade combine with commerce and banking to provide 21st century Panama’s high-income economy.
Panama’s four million people are a nation of great diversity and great potential. Its location draws a melting pot of many races, and offshore financing opportunities. Over 80 per cent of the population are under 55, 97 per cent of whom are literate. However, water and air pollution, soil erosion, and deforestation are the climatic downsides of its industrialisation.
Unemployment for the under 25s is high, at over 40 per cent of the population. This has brought an increasing problem with young people forming gangs and taking drugs. When Martin was in Panama, he taught Bible school for kids every morning, even preaching in Spanish in the local church. It was a great learning experience in cross-cultural communication for him, and he was able to see God work through him.
As he waited for the mountainside church to start, Martin saw “lights moving in the darkness. They were families with torches walking through rocks, mud, and darkness, coming to sing to God and listen to His Word. Others came out of curiosity because no one ever goes there to visit,” he recalled.
Officially, there is religious freedom in the country. Figures state that 88 per cent of the nation are Christian, historically mainly Roman Catholic, with over 12,000 people having yet to hear the Good News of Jesus for the first time. There are actively thriving churches in all tribal groups, encouraging other indigenous churches to grow and mature. Followers of Jesus aim to disciple young believers in a deep personal relationship with God and reach out to others who do not yet know Him. Local church fellowships are then encouraged to send workers into other parts of the world as visible expressions of God’s love.
Come to the capital city, Panama City, teeming with two million relational people. The majority language is Spanish, with English primarily used by 14 per cent in education, so you will be able to converse with English speakers or encourage those using ‘Spanglish’ – an unofficial English variant!
The team would love to welcome people who want to make an impact in people's lives locally and globally - athletes, artists, cameramen, writers, dancers - and you. Any international worker can live alongside national Jesus followers: you do not need specialist skills. You will always work to build the manpower resources of the country, as you share your personal journey of faith.
Whether you come for a long, or short time, or join us remotely; or whether you pray, or invest in lives through financial support, there are many ways for you to share God’s love with the people in Panama.