Weekly Newsletter: April 22, 2016

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This Sunday at Balboa Union Church

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10.00 a.m. English Worship Service 
Lead by Pastor José Ordoñez
Sunday School starts at 10:20 a.m.

Easter

5:00 p.m. Spanish Worship Service

Lay Person – Joel Guerra – will be leading our Spanish evening service

Readings:

Acts 11:1-18
Psalm 148
Revelation 21:1-6
John 13:31-35

We are pleased to welcome our guest speaker Pastor José Ordoñes, Former pastor of La Boca Baptist Church


Ecumenical Council – Global Network of Religions for Children

On Friday, Betsy Moran attended the meeting of the Ecumenical Council in Panama, in which there was a special meeting, with representatives from  Uruguay, Japan,  Turkey, Kenya, India, Nepal, Sweden, Brasil, United States, Spain, Italy, Thailand and Panama.

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Represented at this meeting were the following religious groups:

  • Global Council of Churches
  • Baha’i
  • Islamic Community
  • Greek Orthodox
  • Buddistas Soka Gakai
  • Krishnas
  • Catholic Church
  • Episcopal Church
  • Evangelical Methodists
  • Kol Shearit Israel
  • Balboa Union Church

In 2017, Panama will host a world youth forum of religous groups.


Membership Classes

membership-class

This week Joel Guerra will be organising a new members class, as we have had interest from some of our regular new visitors who would like to formally join the church.

If you are interested in becoming a member – either as an Active Member or as an Associate Member (maintaining your membership in your «home church») – please contact Joel or Leslie to organise the time and date for the classes.

We will announce next week in which service we will be formally welcoming our new members into the congregation.

 


May – The Month of Pentecost – Celebration of the Holy Spirit

In May we will be celebrating Pentecost, and so will be focusing our worship on the presence of the Holy Spirit.
In our worship, we will be using:
Hymn 334 – Sweet, Sweet Spirit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QZZtmhu3kc
Hymn 347 – Spirit Song – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWEDBaFy0SI
Hymn 475 – Come Down, O Love Divine – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLQu6_Tjk9M
Hymn 465 – Holy Spirit, Truth Divine – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-l3crMBYP8
Hymn 543 – O Breath of LIfe – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TxIhTJ3VDA
Hymn 393 – Spirit of the Living God – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK-O5nfL1Mo

We will also be using some worship songs that are not in the hymnal:
Glorify Thy Name – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QltVKW6wXdo
Create in me a Clean Heart – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fVliokreqE


Fundraising for the purchase of the Land – Building 773

2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”

We continue our recent fundraising effort to purchase the land under Building 773, across the street from the Church & parsonage.  As many of you know, BUC applied in 2000 for the purchase of the land, according to the terms of the Panama Canal treaty, of all three of our buildings: the church, the parsonage and building 773.  In 2012, thanks to the efforts of past and current members, the purchase of the land under the church and parsonage was finalised, and we were given title to not only our buildings, but also the land. At this time, we have title to building 773 itself, but we do not own the land under and around it.

We are asking all friends and members to collaborate and assist in any and all ways possible, financially, with their skills and time, so that we can make this purchase also a reality.  We ask you to give generously, as you are willing and able.

Please contact Leslie, our church secretary, for details on how you can make donations to this fundraising, or contact one of the Council members for more details if you have any questions.


Next Week at Balboa Union Church:

Friday, April 29 – Chitre Youth visit – 9:00 a.m.

Next Friday, Balboa Union Church will be hosting  Children from Chitré on their inter religion tour of the capital.  We would appreciate all volunteers who are able to receive them to be at the church by 8.30 a.m., to get ready for their visit and tour.


Upcoming Events in Balboa Union Church

MONDAY, MAY 16 – AAAM SALE OF FOOD (FUNDRAISING)

We will be selling lunch, as a fundraiser for our AAAM program.  Please contact Leslie or Maria Luisa for the Menu and to make any orders.

SATURDAY MAY 21- COUNCIL MEETING-1:00 PM

Venue: Church Office.
All members of the congregation are welcome to sit in on council meetings, where they may ask to have a voice to participate in any discussions.
If there is anything special that you consider should be on the agenda, please send an email to councilsec@balboaunionchurch.org in advance, so that the meeting agenda can be sent out in advance to all council members.

SATURDAY, MAY 28– AAAM, 2.30 P.M. – DELIVERY OF FOOD BASKETS

Come & join us on Saturday, as we deliver a short message, prayer and food to our “oldies”, in the AAAM program.

SUNDAY, MAY 29 – POTLUCK LUNCH

In celebration of the end of the Northern Hemisphere school year, we will be holding a potluck lunch to say «see you back soon» to those families who will be going away «for the holidays».  We invite all members to bring a plate and come join the fellowship & family time.


UPDATE ON PASTOR LUIS VEAGRA (FRIDAY, APRIL 22):

LuisPastor Luis Veagra is quite delicate. His doctors suspended his chemotherapy treatment, as he was not responding well: the side effects were leaving him weak and he has been in considerable pain. He gets some respite, but the pain returns. At this time, he is eating only soft foods, mashed vegetables and soup. He has asked that we keep him in our prayers, that God give him the strength in this latest test.

UPDATE ON PASTOR BILL WILBUR (SUNDAY, APRIL 1 7)

billwilburNahum 1:7

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.

Greetings Dear Friends & Family,

The reality of this verse has proven true time and time again and in very specific ways over these past several weeks.

We have truly seen the hand of the Lord in so many ways and we are so grateful for his faithfulness.

As many of you know,  I have been in and out of the hospital several times since March 10.   However,  April 10 was a very significant day as the awareness that the previous treatment plan that had been given had proven completely ineffective,  we had no answers, and based on key signs in my body, without divine intervention and supernatural guidance, I was running out of time.  Because of your prayers, the Lord in his kindness and mercy,  divinely orchestrated the help that was needed at the exact time it was needed.  As we were in need of a top specialist to evaluate my rapidly declining health and with no leads,  our dear daughter in law,  Martha remembered her elementary classmate that she was still in touch with after all these years.  He “happened” to be the leading rheumatologist in this country and the director of one of the top hospitals here in Panama City.   It would typically take up to 6 months to reserve an appointment with this doctor but because of his kindness and friendship to Martha over all these years,  and the Lord allowing her to make contact with him and share about my urgent situation,  he graciously saw me within 48 hours and the Lord used his wisdom and amazing  patience and thoroughness to get me the urgent care, correct testings  and proper treatment plan that I so desperately  needed.  It was truly the kindness and leading of the Lord and we are forever grateful!

On that same day, I was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and the strong immunoglobulin treatments that my body began to receive were effectively treating both my pre-diagnosed polymyositis, and at that stage of the game,  my not yet diagnosed guillan – barre’ syndrome.    I had also been unaware that my breathing capacity was only functioning at 50% and the prescribed mask treatments began to work effectively  and within a few days my breathing had returned back  to 90%.  We continued to see the hand of the Lord guiding and directing  the doctor’s over the next 2 weeks in such specific ways.

So exactly 2 weeks later, yesterday, I was released from the hospital and am currently back home with a good treatment plan, including physical therapy twice a day and strong supplements to help restore my strength and muscular abilities.  Huge improvements have included being able to walk unassisted and to be able to hold my 3 pound study Bible in my hands again!   I feel like I am gaining each day and  we are so grateful for all your prayer support!   We do continue to covet your prayer support,  as I am still quite weak  and need continued prayer for strengthening and further healing of the muscular and nervous system. Thank you also for your continued prayer support for this direction of the church and ministry here.  We continue to give thanks for the wonderful church leadership team that has been such an incredible unified support during this time.

On behalf of our entire family,  we are so incredibly grateful for all the beautiful letters, emails, FB messages, texts,  and  phone calls of love and prayer support.  And  for all the ways that you all have lovingly supported me,  our family and the ministry during this time,  we are most appreciative.   I was amazed at the outpouring of love coming from all of the world:   England, Turkey,  South Korea, Iran, South Africa, Australia,  New Zealand, Canada and all over the United States and Latin America.  My heart overflows with gratitude and awe at the Lord’s faithfulness and lovingkindness shown in tangible ways  and through all of you dear folks.

May the Lord bless you all!

Until He Comes Again,

Pastor Bill and Family