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Latin America Resource
and Training Center

Missionary Associates Needed in Panama
By Rod and Sherry Boyd

LACC studentsWE NEED HELP!  We have been blessed to have several construction and ministry teams help us in Panama. These teams are absolutely essential to the development of the Latin America ChildCare school ministry in Panama.  The number of schools has increased from six in 1995 to 33!  Attendance has grown from 1,500 in 1996 to 8,500 today.

We need helpWe are so thankful that God has sent us Randy and Lynne Forsyth who are focusing on school construction.  Construction is just one indicator of how demanding growth has been in the LACC school ministry in Panama. The number of teachers has doubled in the same five-year period. There are been a number of program improvements. For example, nearly all of our schools teach two important specialty subjects: Computer Technology and English. Parents dream of better things for their children... a way out of poverty. A survey was conducted in early 2004 by Panama's principle newspaper La Prensa. The question was asked: "Do you believe that English should be a required subject in elementary school?" An amazing 96.4% of the 1,453 voting declared "Sí" (yes).

Of course, this is a moot point as the Ministry of Education now requires that English be taught in all Panamanian schools.  Parents know that if their children learn English and computer technology, they have a ticket out of poverty. And since Latin America ChildCare believes in ministering to the whole person, we want to help!

We want to help our schools improve in these specialty subjects. Most often, the English teachers have poor pronunciation and attempt to teach English as if it were the students' first language. They need help. The computer labs in our schools are woefully under-equipped, with far too few computers; at times, years behind in technology.

English surveyThis is why we urgently need two missionary associates that will give one year or more to ministry in Panama. We are looking for two capable people to serve in the following ministries:

TESL Coordinator (Teaching English as a Second Language). This person would serve as a consultant and advisor to Panama's 23 elementary and secondary schools. Responsibilities would include:

  • Evaluate current efforts to teach English

  • Assist to develop a TESL program, including identifying curriculum

  • Provide training for English teachers

  • Model classroom teaching

Technology Specialist. This person would provide support and assistance to the school computer labs, ministry offices and General Council offices (and others as available) in the following areas as able:Computers for schools campaigns

  • Assemble and repair computers

  • Install and troubleshoot software

  • Install and maintain networks

  • Programming (Visual Basic, and MS Access would be very helpful)

  • Website design, programming and maintenance

  • Provide training to computer teachers and staff

Panama is a Spanish-speaking country. Therefore, missionary associates will need to know or learn Spanish in order to function, most likely attending one or two quarters at CINCEL, our language school in Costa Rica. The Missionary Associate Program is a ministry of Assemblies of God World Missions. Visit the Missionary Associate page for more information.

Would you join us in praying that God would send us these three capable people? We believe God is already calling. Please pray that each one will be listening! If the Lord is speaking to you, write us or talk with your pastor.