Letter from Cody: Panama – March 2014
This morning I was thinking and studying about Jesus’ last words to His disciples. After He had washed their feet and instituted the Communion service, He gave to the eleven faithful disciples some of the most precious instruction of His ministry. John records the beautiful words in his gospel, chapters 14-17. He assures them that He even though He will be taken from them, He “will come again.” John 14:3. He promises that even though He will be physically separated from them, He desires to be as close as the branch is to the vine—even closer than before! (John 15:4, 5) He promises that it is actually good news that He is leaving because then the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, will be their constant companion. (John 16:7) Then in John seventeen, He intercedes for His disciples and for us that we all may know Him and behold His glory. “Let us study over and over again the fourteenth to the seventeenth chapters of John. The last sermons of Christ, and His last prayer for His disciples, contain precious instruction, the treasures of which, study as we may, we can never exhaust.” Australasian Union Conference Recorder, January 6, 1908. How the disciples must have appreciated these words as they went over them again and again in after days and years. How much should we study these exhaustless words, as well!
One family that is working faithfully for the Lord and looking forward to His soon return as He promised in John 14 is the Acosta family. For a number of years they have been working in medical missionary and evangelistic work in a rural area of Panama. As they have sought to educate and minister to the needs of the people, the Lord has opened doors for them to share the message in exciting ways! Last year, Zaida was invited to a conference in the capital city on natural remedies and was asked to represent the province of Chiriquí. Desiring to exalt God’s methods of healing, Zaida came equipped with Ministry of Healing to share. At the meeting were representatives from the World Health Organization and various governmental leaders from Panama including media crews. Near the end of the meeting, Zaida was able to give a Ministry of Healing to the lady who was the master of ceremonies. Immediately this lady began perusing through the book and manifested a great deal of interest. When this lady returned to the stage, she took the book with her and read a paragraph regarding true healing being found in natural remedies and not drug medication. After her endorsement of the book, everyone in attendance wanted to get a copy, and it was good that Zaida and their family had come prepared! Everyone at the meeting, from the government leaders to the indigenous mountain-dwellers, received a copy of this truth-filled book—praise the Lord for the doors He opens! Not just in this divine opportunity, but in other simpler ways the Lord is blessing their labors. People keep coming to their home, knowing that they will pray with them, teach them a better way and do natural remedies. Recently a teacher at the local school came in much pain from a cyst on her spine. Two previous surgeries had not removed the problem long-term, but through prayer and the application of simple, natural remedies, God worked and honored her faith by removing the cyst. Through their home “out-patient clinic,” the doors have been opened to share the gospel with many who otherwise would never have listened. Not only are they able to minister to their physical needs, but the Lord has blessed with conversions and reconversions to the everlasting gospel of the three angels. We ask that you remember the Acosta family as they minister by word and hand to share the message of God’s love with the needy multitudes in Panama. If you would like to help in their work, please mark your donation “Panama.”
Yours in studying and sharing Jesus’ words,