Letter from Cody: Panama – June 2012

Danielle & Sandra with some local Indian children

Have you ever noticed how many times the message from heaven is “fear not”? Do not fear, Abraham, I am your shield. Do not fear, Hagar, God has heard your prayer. Do not fear, Isaac, I am with you. Do not fear, Jacob, I will make you a great nation. Fear not, Mary, you have found favor with God. Fear not, shepherds, we bring you tidings of great joy. Do not be afraid, disciples, it is I. Fear not, John, I am the first and the last. (Genesis 15:1; 21:17; 26:24; 46:3; Luke 1:30; 2:10; Mark 6:50; Rev. 1:17) With this abundant testimony throughout Old and New Testament, is there any question what the message would be to us today? It is so easy for fear of danger, fear of want, fear of man, fear of the unknown to grip our hearts, but God’s repeated reminder to us is: Fear not! “As Jesus rested by faith in the Father’s care, so we are to rest in the care of our Savior.… if we have the Savior in our hearts, there is no need of fear. Living faith in the Redeemer will smooth the sea of life, and will deliver us from danger in the way that He knows to be best.” Desire of Ages, 336. May we learn the lesson of complete faith and trust so that in any and every situation, we can heed heaven’s repeated message to us, “Fear not.”

Zaida teaching

This month, I would like to highlight the work of the Acosta family, laboring for the Master in Panama. Despite challenges and difficulties, they are moving forward trusting in the blessing of the Lord to scatter fears and open doors for ministry. A major aspect of their work is using the entering wedge of medical missionary work to minister to people’s needs and lead them to the Savior. Enrique was one recent case. After injuring his back, he was in such intense pain that he could hardly walk even around his house. Since he could not come to their mission station, Pablo went to his home and started helping him with simple treatments and most importantly prayer and encouragement to trust in the Great Physician. With only one week of treatment, Enrique was walking and coming to church. Now Enrique is having regular Bible studies and desires to follow the Lord fully again. Another man backslid from the Lord decades before and became a well-known politician in his province.  His family encouraged him to come the Acosta’s mission outpost and they began working with his acute cancer. While the outlook looked bleak, they devoted much time to him, praying not just for an alleviation of his physical pain but for a spiritual healing, as well. When he first came, he was only interested in worldly philosophy, but as they continued to minister, his heart gradually softened and opened to spiritual things. While he improved physically, the cancer was so advanced that there was little that could be done. After several weeks with the Acostas, he returned home and after requesting for Psalm 91 to be read with his daughter singing a hymn, he quietly went to sleep trusting in his Savior. What a testimony for what the Lord is doing through this faithful family’s missionary efforts. When not giving treatments, there are many other doors that the Lord has opened for ministry, as well. Calls keep coming in for classes in healthful cooking which keep Zaida and their two daughters Sandra and Danielle busy.  Then there is the agricultural work in the rice and bean fields, Bible studies, music ministry and a host of other missionary activities to fill the days, but in the end it is all for the purpose of seeing the precious souls that they are ministering to make decisions and strengthen their commitment to our Savior. They are sacrificing to serve, would you like to help them serve the people more effectively? Consider helping their work by marking your donation “Panama.”

Teaching healthful cooking

Your brother in resting in our Father’s care,

 

 

 

 

 

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