Mission Trips


Day 3 and we’re having FUN!

Posted Jan 6, 2017

¡Hola from Panama! 

It’s our first full day of camp here in Panama and boy has it been fun filled! 

Another guest post today from another one of our rockstar staffers Payton Weinzapfel!

¿Que xopa? which means, “What’s up?!” This is one of the many slang Spanish phrases my girls have taught me in an attempt to help me out. It’s also one of the few I’ll actually use. #discernment. As day three is wrapping up, I sit typing with paint and mud-covered hair smelling like a Panamanian dish sponge and I couldn’t love it any more. Today, we enjoyed a far more relaxed morning than we are accustomed to at camp. Breakfast allowed us to try a traditional Panamanian dish called Hojaldra – tasted like funnel cake without the powdered sugar, looked like a wrinkled pancake – accompanied with hot dogs. We got to have Club (all songs in Spanish) and worship with our cabins, reminding us all that language is no barrier when you’re worshipping the same God. After a relaxed two hour Bible study (that’s right, DOS) the day ramped up with activities and games, “What did they say?”s, laughter, and lots of bonding. The Panamanian people know how to have a good time!​

As I sat on The Slab this morning watching the sun come over the distant Panamanian hills, eating a clementine I picked the day before, the Lord reminded me of a few things. Putting them into coherent sentences is a little outside my current brain capacity, so here’s a few bullet points:

  • God is not limited to my bias. 
  • The Gospel needs nothing added to it. 1 Corinthians tells us to preach “Jesus Christ and him crucified” – and that’s all, “Lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” 
  • Sometimes a language barrier is good because it means my words are fewer, and I have to filter them through the lens of Christ before speaking them. 
  • The way the Lord provides the fruit trees that we keep enjoying is a beautiful example of “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Sure, we have to hike to them, but then again, we have to seek the Lord: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.” (Matt. 7:7) 
  • Finding a fruit tree, only to discover the fruit on it is rotten was convicting as a Christian. Do I want to be one that people come to, only to realize that I produce bad fruit – or worse – no fruit? 
  • Being obedient is more important than being happy. 

It’s only day 3 and we are tired, sore, and losing our voices – but MAN, God is being glorified, kids are being loved, and the Gospel is being lived out. I’m learning more than I’m teaching and can’t wait for some more. And s’mores. I also can’t wait for s’mores. We are having those tonight. 

– Payton

That’s all folks! Look out for tomorrow’s post with an update about another amazing day here in Panama!

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  1. Paytonnnnnn. Reading this made my heart SWELL. First off, solid stance in pic 6. Second, I love you and I miss you. Third, I can’t wait to discuss every bullet point bc wow they’re so relevant and answers to prayer. And fourth, I laughed out loud at the s’mores comment bc you know why. 😉

    P.S. You’re welcome for not being embarrassing.


  2. Hello kids,
    Greetings from freezing Fort Worth, the pictures of the campers and the joy that God brings through your message is inspiring and amazing to us all!
    Mud and rain are great for your complexion, ha,ha.. we’ll pray for energy and wisdom for y’all and for him to come into the hearts of all your Panamanian campers! Be safe and be blessed.

    Miguel & Cynthia

  3. QUE XOPA! Man I miss you all so much and am so jealous I am not there with y’all. But I know the Lord is working and that’s the main thing. Just wanna say to keep giving it your all and just love, it’ll be over before you know it. I forget the name of the song that has that cool dance but someone needs to tell Alex Moser about it. Also BK, next year I’m thinking they need a ropes course… we can work on that. Keep up the good work and Go vols.

  4. OH MAN YOU GUYS!!! This rules. I know the kids are having a blast! I love you all and am praying for you that you would be thirsting after the Lord even when you’re stinkin tired and feel overwhelmed and also when awesome moments are happening. Cling to the Lord and work, knowing that you are eternally His. Jesus fills and surrounds you and all the people you are loving in this time!

    Love from the Forge!