While it has been a crazy trip already, catching buses, staying in hostels, and eating sandwiches on a bus for three days in a row, God is clearly in this trip and moving in the hearts of those we encounter. Officially leaving Belize on Saturday the 21, we jumped on a ferry boat and then a bus heading down to Punta Gorda, Belize. Staying the night with some friends and moving on in the morning to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala where we then caught a ride to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Upon arriving in Honduras the realization hit us that English Speakers are hard to find and the little Spanish I know is much more rusty than I realized. Despite the obstacle we met a rambler from South Africa, traveling through central and South America as a photographer, who was heading in the same direction as us. Our new friend Peter not only helped us book our bus ticket and hotel room in for the next night in Managua, Nicaragua but went on to be sure we had the right tickets all the way to San Jose, Costa Rica. After some fun conversations and a few tips from Peter we parted ways in Managua and headed onto Costa Rica. While in Costa Rica we realized that our timing was not going to work to catch the transport to Panama we had hoped. We were easily able to stay another night at the YWAM base in San Jose and soon realized it was the Lords timing for us to be there.
The base in San Jose hosts many Outreach Teams as well as missions teams from all over the United States. We had the privilege of meeting one of these missions teams from Brandywine Valley Baptist Church, in Wilmington, Delaware. Having an extra day inSan Jose gave us the opportunity to meet this youth group and share the adventures of life together. Our team had the opportunity to share our story, and our heart for the upcoming adventure in Panama with their students. Building relationship and sharing the love and acceptance we have found in Our Father with students choosing to live the same lifestyle with Jesus.
After a night of sharing and a few card games we packed up early on Thursday morning to finish the final haul of our journey into Panama. Despite some trouble at the border and missing our planned water taxi ride the Lord continued to provide and despite the rain got us safe and sound to our Panama home.
Since arriving we are adjusting well into our new location. With limited fresh water, and a hard floor as a bed the adjustments can be a bit challenging but that has not hindered our desire to venture deeper into the jungle to learn more about the indigenous people of Panama. Early next week we hope to travel into our first village, while also helping around the home we are staying in. Our hearts remain geared for relationship and adventure, finding Jesus in new and exciting ways and showing others His overwhelming, never ending love. While the indigenous people have a troubled history and often are feared or looked down on by those traveling through, we pray for awesome ways to connect and to build relationship.
We look forward to keep you posted on our adventure and ask for your prayers and encouragements. Specifically we pray for the home we are staying in, to remain a safe place and a place of joy, peace, and vision. A place where teams can see Fathers heart for these people and this area, a place to embrace adventure and a reputation that encourages relationship.
Will Richardson – April DTS Panama Outreach Leader