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Latin America Resource
and Training Center
Skip Navigation Links : Other Ministry : Itineration: Renew, Reconnect, Refocus

Itineration:  Renew, Reconnect, Refocus
Rod and Sherry Boyd

We returned to the Pacific Northwest the first of August to begin our period of “itineration” scheduled through January. Assemblies of God World Missions Itinerate(AGWM) missionaries are required to return from the field every fifth year to visit churches and individuals to renew both prayer and financial support and enlist new support. Of course, itineration also means reconnecting with family and friends… grandkids at the top of the list!  In addition, this time away from the field allows us to refocus our lives and ministry.

Covid-19 significantly restricted movement and ministry in Panama our last five months. Other than a five-day period the first week of June, we were quarantined at home and allowed to leave for essential errands for two hours (based upon the last number of our national ID card or passport), three days a week (Mon, Wed, Fri for women; Tue, Thu, Sat for men). Curfew is 7:00 PM to 5:00 AM, Monday through Friday; and from 7:00 PM Friday until 5:00 AM Monday.

StudentsSchools closed in March. The Good Shepherd Schools (ChildHope) have tried to offer virtual schooling, but it has been very difficult. We’re so thankful for ChildHope sponsors who have remained faithful, allowing us to continue to support our schools and teachers. We’re also thankful for technology that facilitates communication and commerce, but can't for the kids to return to school!

International travel into and out of Panama was suspended for 30 days on March 22nd; then again on April 22nd, May 22nd, June 22nd and July 22nd. Multiple ministry trips were cancelled. The US Embassy in Panama maintained communication with US citizens in Panama and coordinated humanitarian flights for those who desired to return the United States.

LARTCAs our return date to the US was approaching, we monitored scheduled commercial flights and actual humanitarian flights. We were able to purchase reasonably priced tickets on what was scheduled as a commercial flight that later became a humanitarian flight after the airport closure was extended. Our United flight included the humanitarian segment from Panama to Houston and then a commercial segment from Houston to Seattle. We want to thank all who were praying for us these last few months, especially for our return to the States. We’re happy to report that we had safe and comfortable flights!

LARTCOne of our greatest disappointment during the Covid-19 crisis was suspending construction on the Latin America Resource & Training Center (LARTC) project. We had two teams scheduled to work on the training addition the first week of May. We were sad when the date came and went… a missed opportunity of seeing friends and family, a loss of the construction offering and labor savings, and a loss of momentum.

As the economy was slowly reopening, we decided to resume work with a very small crew. During the last four weeks our crew completed the first floor of the training addition, except for the air conditioning. Work completed includes: LARTC

  • Sheetrock walls that divided the 2,500 sq. ft. into a 1,650 sq. ft. spacious classroom, small classroom/dining room and storage room/office

  • Doors

  • Electrical cabling, wall outlets and brass floor outlets, switches and LED ceiling lighting

  • Suspended ceiling structure and tiles

Please pray with us that the Lord will provide the $7,500 needed to purchase and install air conditioning in these rooms. The Center is now more than 90% complete! We’re about $30,000 away from completing all inside work and need another $150,000 to complete the exterior work that includes parking, roads, security wall, entrance, lighting and landscaping.

LARTCThe LARTC facility is our legacy project. The Lord gave us a vision for the Center about fifteen years ago. Our desire was to have a facility to empower Christian leaders; to train teachers, pastors and leaders; and to develop and provide resources and tools for those involved in educational ministries. So many have given sacrificially for Center construction. This large investment today is an endowment for the future to help facilitate and sustain our vision for generations to come!

In addition to building Center facilities these last few years, we’ve also been “building” special leaders who will assume leadership of the various ministries we have directed. Some of these transitions are complete, others are still in process. The writer of the book of Hebrews used the analogy of a runner when he said, “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV). As we enter our last missionary term, please pray that we finish well and that we’re able to hand off all the batons in full stride!

We’re looking forward to reconnect these next few months and the opportunity to thank all who have faithfully stood with us to raise up Christian leaders in Panama and throughout Latin America.