Spotlight On Panama
By Nelson Lugo, Pastor, Panama International Church
Nelson and Amy Lugo have served as lead pastors of Panama International Church since July, 2011. In this feature, Nelson shares how the Central American nation of Panama is growing into a major international hub and how that growth is affecting the church. Nelson also shares what the church is focusing on spiritually, and how church ministries are reaching both internationals and nationals.
Panama: A Nation on the Grow
The country of Panama has an estimated population of 3.6 million people with 1.4 million living in the urban center of Panama City. It is estimated that over 70,000 expatriates are living in Panama.
Panama also has one of the fastest growing economies in Central America. As a result, due to incentives offered by the Panamanian government, many companies from around the world are moving their businesses here. Since English is the global trade language, Panama is becoming more international as companies are sending their people to do business in a world-class city. Panama International Church was established to reach the international community of Panama.
Panama International Church: Focus on Vision
It was vitally important to start 2015 with a focus on vision. Vision keeps us centered on God’s plans and direction for the church. Our vision is to connect our community to a loving God and we accomplish this through our worship services, Bible studies and outreach activities. We are currently going through the book of Nehemiah. The sermon series is called 20/20 Vision: What do you see in 2015. We have looked at some valuable insights as it relates to vision. Each week we have focused on the following themes, the discovery of a vision, the development of a vision, the deployment of a vision and the difficulties of a vision.
New Ministry: In Pursuit
The church recently launched a youth group to meet the needs of the youth. The ministry is called Pursuit Student Ministries and is led by our youth directors Eduardo and Clarice Torazza. They meet every Wednesday night and 2 weeks ago took part in their first outreach activity, which was going to a local skate park. The Lord is blessing the youth group and they are growing weekly.
Outreach: Homeless, The Sick & Orphans
The church is currently involved in different outreach activities. We have a homeless ministry called “Blessed to Bless” that reaches out to the homeless living on the streets of Panama City. We also have a ministry called “Healing Touch” that visits and prays for people in the hospitals. In addition to these, the church is also involved in a ministry that reaches out to the needs of kids who live in a local orphanage. This past week we had the opportunity to be apart of an informational fair at the US Embassy, which provides information for internationals who have just arrived to Panama. They allowed us to set up an informational table about our church. As a result of that outreach, we had a young lady from Vietnam visit our church for the first time.
We are so grateful for what is God is doing in Panama through Panama International Church. Panama is a strategic location on God’s global radar. Our church has been positioned in Panama for the purpose of bringing people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to affect change wherever they go in the world.
Want To Pray?
1. We currently rent our facilities from another local congregation. We need our own building to accommodate the increase of our church growth as well as the flexibility to use when needed.
2. We need God to help us identify a worship leader within our church or bring us someone who can lead and fulfill that responsibility.
3. Later in this year we will have a transition in leadership in our children’s department and we need God to direct us in finding someone who can lead and fulfill this responsibility.
Want to Know More?
Church website: http://paintchurch.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Panama-International-Church/89038601751
E-mail Nelson: [email protected]