I just returned from a 3-day visa renewal trip to Panamá yesterday. After living in a jungle cabin on the island of Bocas del Toro, I’m back in San José, C.R safe and sound. I’d love to share with you some of the highlights of this month thus far and fill you in on the ways I see the Lord moving around me.
First, I’ve been blessed beyond measure with a community of believers in Costa Rica. You and I prayed when I first arrived that the Lord would grant me genuine relationships and deep friendships…and he has done just that! Praise Him! The friends I’ve made during this time have been nothing short of God’s timing and perfection. I’m excited to see how God continues to work in their lives & the new friendships I’ll encounter in Bolivia soon!
Moreover, I’ve learned how holy and freeing moments of pure honesty & authenticity can be. The friends I’ve made here have enabled me to experience the sharing of scars more than just the sharing of similarities, and for that I am being continually blessed. I’m also learning to be more like Jesus in the sitting and listening rather than the standing and preaching. I’ve felt the presence of the Lord in the moments where words fail and silence prevails & it feels right.
Secondly, I’d recently been challenged by a mentor in my life to pursue a deeper intimacy with Holy Spirit. So, I fervently prayed during my time in Panamá for the Lord to make that step practical yet supernatural. I wasn’t sure what that meant, until I met Emiliano. While walking around the markets in Bocas we stopped in a little street shop with handicrafts owned by Emiliano. After seeing the hebrew tattoo, “Elohim” on my shoulder, Emiliano began to talk about God with me (who knew I’d encounter a Panamanian who just happens to read Hebrew?). I did my best to keep up with his Spanish and ask questions about his beliefs. After some time, I looked to one of my friends and said, “I think we should lay hands on Emilano and pray over him”. We told him we were Christians who believed Jesus is God and that we wanted to pray to Him for whatever he needed. Emiliano responded by saying he needed clarity in his faith and growth in spiritual aspects. Just as we were about to start, Hannah, walked into the shop (how convenient, eh?). Hannah is by far the best at speaking Spanish among us, and after praying in English over Emiliano, she was able to translate it into Spanish.
There, amid the sweaty, humid, salty, hot, dirty, stifling street tienda we laid our hearts and hands on a soul that Jesus loves deeply. I couldn’t stop smiling not because of what we had said or done, but because of where Jesus shows up. He’s in the dusty car exhaust-filled rooms in the middle of Bocas. He’s among the body odors, misfits, open sewage ditches & burning trash, in addition to the grandest of cathedrals and most scenic vistas.
Better still, He is using the hands and tongues of young women with limited Spanish, broken pasts and average knowledge to proclaim the Truth…and it’s working.
I think I’m beginning to glimpse the practicality that is weaved into the supernatural when I acknowledge His Spirit in the everyday. Pray with me as I pursue a deeper connection with the Spirit who moves in common places in the most uncommon ways. I desire to simply live as a witness to the greatest news in human history, act on His promptings wherever I am, & rejoice in the dirt with Jesus.
“We have moments of transcendence, as if the thin veil between heaven and earth is fluttering in the most normal and ordinary moments of our lives, and then we can’t breathe for the loveliness of the world and each other, and just like that, our souls remember something; we recognize him here.” -Sarah Bessey