Greetings Brian and Members of Valley View UMC from Panama!
So good to have received your email to learn of your partnership with us here in Panama. We are so delighted of your decision of becoming a Covenant Partner. As you may or may not know, with this partnership, we will keep you and your church informed on what we are doing, details about the work we do here in Panama, and prayer requests that we have pertaining to the work. Cindy and I are so excited in getting to meet you guys. We want you to know that if ever your church wants to Skype for whatever reason, we are open to that. We have had Skype calls to churches during their worship services, sometimes during their committee meetings all while out on the field. So this can be done if you ever wish to do so. For some churches, this brings Panama right into your church sanctuary, live! (what a blessing the technology is).
We will be sending you all quarterly newsletters, videos, and emails to keep you informed. When we do go to the U.S. we can schedule a visit to your church so that we can get to know each other. Please know that if you all ever have any questions or input (we are covenant partners) to the work we are doing, please feel free to contact us. We would also encourage your church to consider a VIM team if you have ever done something like that. This is simply a short-term mission team which can consist of either a construction or medical team (vision screening, general Rx, dentistry, etc.). Those are always welcomed but is just an option for consideration.
Let me tell you a little about our work here in Panama. We are Located in the central part of Panama. Our charge is to try to develop a Methodist presence in the region of Veraguas. The strategy is twofold: first is to develop a new church congregation, secondly is to develop the community-based healthcare program. Through these means we hope to develop the Methodist presence in this region. As far as the church plant, we have already begun construction project which is about a fourth of the way completed. There's still much to do and will consist of a two-story multipurpose building. This building will serve both as a church and as a launching pad for the community based health care program. It's located in a marginalized neighborhood and where our ministry is focused on: the marginalized an indigenous population. Cindy's ministry consists of the development of a community based health care program which helps the government medical program reach its goals in rural populations throughout the region. This task is done by several ways, VIM medical teams that come from the US and training local Panamanians and basic healthcare. It is an exciting ministry, it is new, and it has thus far received great reception from the folks that we are mentioned with.
Once again we are excited that you have decided to covenant with us and be our partners in ministry. We will keep you informed and provide you with frequent communications on the development of our ministry. Please convey our sincere thanks to your pastor to your mission committee and members of your church. We hope to be able to meet you in person the next time we are in the United States.
Blessings upon you and once again thank you.
Grace and peace,
David and Cindy Ceballos