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LACC

Latin America Resource
and Training Center
 

Portland CC Builds New Mt. Zion School
By Rod and Sherry Boyd

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

 

Twenty one adults and youth from Portland Christian Center laid block for the entire first story of the new building for the Mt. Zion School. The school is a ministry of the Mt. Zion Assembly of God Church located in the most densely populated suburb of Panama City. The Panamanians call this a “zona roja” (red zone)—a high crime district. Pastor Marcos Tunon and members of his congregation have had a burden for the children of the area for years.

Portland CC at Monte de SionAlthough the church had property next door for a school, they did not have the funds to build it. They decided to open the school in 1998 with in church facilities with 60 students, hoping that God would honor this step of faith. Enrollment grew to 150, but could not be sustained because of poor, overcrowded facilities. The majority of children that attend are from non-Christian families, many of whom have been won to the Lord along with their families.

 

Portland CC at Monte de SionNine members of the team were present for the entire 17 days. The rest spent at least a week working on the project. This is Portland’s third trip to Panama in the last three years.

The team came to lay block for half of the school. While the team laid block for the ground story of half of the school the first week, a group of Panamanians were going to pour the second-story floor above. The team would lay block on the second-story during the second week. However, a section of the flooring gave way while it was being poured. Although some suffered scratches and bruises, including Pastor Bob Ward from the team, no one suffered serious injury. The team responded quickly, removing sheeting, rebar, metal, and moving the accumulated concrete to the floor of the adjoining classroom.

Portland CC at Monte de SionThe accident required significant changes in building plans. Instead of laying block on the second story, the team blocked the remaining section of the ground story. This required a quick purchase of additional I-beam material to install new columns. By the end of the 17 days the team had blocked the two classroom buildings—each having 4 classrooms and a divided office area. In addition the team also blocked the two bathrooms—much more detailed work due to the plumbing. And, the stairwell was also poured and blocked.

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

 

Several children from Mt. Zion school are sponsored through Latin America ChildCare. Three of the team sponsor children at the nearby Canaan school where the team worked the previous two times. One day all three children came by the work site to visit their sponsor. It was great for them to see how much the children had grown since the last time they saw them.

Portland CC at Monte de SionThe team really connected with the church. Several men and women participated in the construction effort. Some were there every day! The bond was evident during the two farewell services. Pastor Bob Ward preached at the first farewell. Many were touched by the simple message of God’s love.  The second farewell was very special. The team presented various ladies, including the pastor's wife, with a quilt made by the women's ministries group of Portland Christian Center. We laid hands on the new building, dedicating it to the Lord. We can’t recall a time when the members of the local church developed such deep relationships so fast.

Portland CC at Monte de SionThank you, Pastor Bill Wilson and the Portland Christian Center MAPS construction team for your hard work. When finished, the school will have 18 classrooms, 4 restrooms and 2 office areas with occupancy of more than 400 students, three times its current enrollment. Pastor Marcos has a vision to continue on with a junior high. We are praying that God provide the funds needed to continue construction. Most urgent are funds to complete the second-story floor over one classroom section, the restrooms and stairwell. We hope to be able to finish the whole school within the next two years.

If you’d like to help towards construction of the Mt. Zion Christian School, please send your offering to:

Assemblies of God World Missions
Project 7958
1445 Boonville Ave.
Springfield, MO  65802

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

Portland CC at Monte de Sion

Portland CC at Monte de Sion