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Shoreline and Eastridge Continue Jireh Construction
By Rod and Sherry Boyd

While the Portland team was in Panama we received a call from Eastridge Christian Assembly (Issaquah, WA) about the possibility of coming to Panama. They had a building and ministry team on its way to Brazil in a few days, but they were having problems getting their visas. The Shoreline Community Church (Seattle) team would be arriving the day after the Portland team left. The two team leaders spoke. Within days the Eastridge team confirmed that they would be coming to Panama. The two teams arrived to Panama within a few hours of each other. We're grateful for the Lord's help in working out all of the details. And we were impressed with the flexibility of both teams to work together.

It wasn't possible for the teams to begin working at the Jireh School. The new floor needed to cure for a few days. In addition, the beams for the 3rd story floor needed to be placed by a boom truck and additional foundation work needed to be done on the first floor. So the 13-member Shoreline team and 24-member Eastridge team spent the first five days working on the secondary school building at the Las Mananitas school.

The teams worked in two areas. Most of the members worked on blocking six new classrooms on the second story. They were able to bring all of the walls up to bond beam height. The other members worked on leveling and pouring floors in the large library and administrative area on the first floor. This was grueling work as all several cubic yards of concrete had to be mixed by hand on the ground, "Panamanian style." (Take a look at a short video of this experience, Mananita's Concrete.) Both teams really connected with the children and staff. A small group returned one day to lay block in the administrative area when the rain didn't permit laying block on the second story at Jireh.

After five days at the Las Mananitas School, the two teams began work at the Jireh School. There worked in three areas. Most of the group worked at laying block on the second story. By the time they left they were able complete about 1/3 of the block work. A second group worked on blocking nearly all of the remaining divider walls on the first floor library and administrative area to bond beam height. The third group formed and poured bond beams on the first floor. Nearly all of the members of this group were the same ones who did the floor work at Las Mananitas, earning them the nickname, "the dungeoneers."

The two teams attended church at the Fountain of Living Water Church in Tocumen. Steve Jamison, pastor of Eastridge preached a powerful message on the woman at the well. The team ministered around the altars following the service. This was a return visit for the Shoreline team. They had worked on the school 18 months earlier. They were encouraged to hear that all of the classrooms that they had built were full. School registration has increased from 296 in 2005 to 490 in 2007!

A highlight for both teams was the farewell chapel at the Jireh School. The upper grades of the school packed into the church sanctuary. They put on a special program for the group, including songs and a typical dance. (Take a look at a sample of the typical dance, Jireh Typical Dance.) They called each one up to give them a small gift. Pastor Johnny then prayed for the group. The team enjoyed a tour of the Panama Canal and an overnight trip into the interior of the country.

We say thank you to team leader Glen Eggebraaten and the Shoreline team and congregation, for returning to Panama to bless not just one, but two schools. And thank you Pastor Andy Rosas and the Eastridge team and congregation for coming to Panama. Our prayer is that the disappointment of not being able to travel to Brazil was replaced by the satisfaction of seeing the lives of children and youth impacted by your ministry. Thank you to both teams for your flexibility and willingness to labor where needed. Thank you for ministering to the children, youth and staff in prayer and encouragement.

We do ask you to pray for the Jireh School project. Additional teams and building funds are needed to continue with construction. Construction will be suspended until additional help arrives. If you are able to help, please send your offerings to:

Assemblies of God World Missions
Project 7795, Jireh School
1445 Boonville Ave.
Springfield, MO 65802
Additional photos

Shoreline and Eastridge at Jireh

Shoreline and Eastridge at Jireh

Shoreline and Eastridge at Jireh

Shoreline and Eastridge at Jireh

Shoreline and Eastridge at Jireh

Shoreline and Eastridge at Jireh

Shoreline and Eastridge at Jireh

Additional photos