Written By Christina Pineault
God has opened a door…
A door of hope…
A door that requires sacrifice…
Sacrifice by the body of Christ…
For there are needs…
Needs so great….
Too numerous to count…
There is a community. A community that is lost. They have bought the lie that Satan fed them through many generations. They have run after the lusts of their flesh or looked for hope in a bottle because Satan said it was good. No one was there to tell them the truth, and even if they knew the truth, they chose the sweet lies of temptation because no one was there to disciple them. Their choices, like a virus, have infected the next generation, causing an epidemic of poverty that is not easily cured. There seems to be no hope for the next generation.
There, on the edge of a dirt-lined community, sits a humble building. It’s small, only one room. The building itself is in need of much repair. A broken chain link fence surrounds the tiny property on the edge of Espave, Panama. The building bears the name Templo Bautista. Here in this simple dwelling lies the hope for a once-forgotten community.
Various times throughout the week you will see many children there, 60-70 at times, along with a handful of adults; they call this building their home. These children are stuck with the consequences of the choices made by their parents and their grandparents before them. They carry the weight of poverty.
Many children are forced to work just to eat; they sell charcoal and fish on the street, or they get involved with prostitution and drugs. Some have no shoes on their feet; some have only the clothes on their backs. Many sleep on concrete or dirt floors, and some are covered with flea bites. There are many medical and dental needs, but it appears no one cares. They are left to fend for themselves at a very early age and are fortunate to receive one meal a day. Their parents are caught up in their own poverty-stricken lives, apart from their children.
At Templo Bautista, Pastor Cesar and his wife Dayra, along with their two children, humbly serve 60-70 children (and a handful of adults) each day. Cesar and Dayra are tapped out physically and financially, but not spiritually. They run on God’s strength. To call them the modern-day George Mueller (an Englishman known for his incredible work on behalf of orphans in the 19th century) only scratches the surface of their ministry. Cesar is pastoring this church unpaid, supporting his family by working odd jobs.
Cesar and Dayra pray daily for God’s provision, for energy to do the work God has placed in front of them. They are at the church most everyday, though they live 35 minutes away. They pour their lives into these kids, training them in God’s word. They provide meals for the children who come for after-school tutoring, many times paying for the food out of their own pockets. Each Sunday morning they make a meal such as homemade fry bread to serve alongside a humble piece of sausage divided between the children and adults in attendance. There are many times when Cesar and Dayra have taken children with no one to care for them into their own home; they bathe, feed, and provide a safe place for the children to sleep.
The children who attend this church have found hope in Christ. Templo Bautista is a place where they can lay down their burdens and just be kids, if only for a few hours at a time. They find love, acceptance, and a warm meal. Cesar and Dayra are serving as God’s hands and feet, touching the lives of these forgotten children.
God has burdened our hearts for the community of Espave, and the work that has begun through Templo Bautista.
Several times a week we interact with these children. We feel God is placing a burden on our hearts to mobilize the Church back home to come alongside Espave. Everyone has their place in God’s story. You have faithfully sent us here when we felt God calling us to serve globally, but it doesn’t end with us. It is just the beginning of the rest of the story.
God has opened a door of hope for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ through ReachGlobal’s child sponsorship program called Global Fingerprints. This program can help them more effectively reach their community and country with the hope of Jesus. Our eyes have been opened as we see how God is using the national church to implement the key areas of Global Fingerprints first hand in countries such as Haiti, India, and the Congo. Global Fingerprints mobilizes and empowers the national church, such as Templo Bautista, to help care for the needs in their community just as the Bible intends for those needs to be met. They know their culture, their community and their people better than we ever can. They simply need resources from their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
We are asking individuals, small groups, churches, even businesses, to sponsor a child or children in Espave Panama. We know and see these kids every week, and want to partner with you to bring them hope, to fill their empty bellies with food, and their minds with the love of Christ.
Please join us in prayerfully considering how you can best support a child in Espave through the Global Fingerprints program.
You can choose from several ways to help:
- Give a one-time or recurring monthly/quarterly gift toward start-up costs.
- Commit to helping us find 5-10 sponsors for children in Espave.
- As a church, group, or individual, commit to a minimum of $200/month for the first year to get the program launched.
And always, pray for this ministry, and for the children.
Follow this link to learn more about Global Fingerprints.
Thank you for partnering with us.
Sponsorship video link