Hello Friends and Family,
Sitting down and writing this blog seems to be a huge task. I am not sure what the last thing I actually wrote was, but I am sure it was while I was still in Nicaragua which seems forever ago. I have gotten to where I never know the actual day of the week they all just seem to run together.
The team and I left for Costa Rica (I wish I could tell you the date). We had a contact, but non of us felt the call to go there. Because of that we had no where to stay. For 3 days and 4 nights we stayed on Playa De Coco (Coco Beach). It was very beautiful even though we had no running water (other than the ocean), no electricity, and no toilet. SO we made one. A tarp and tree and a shovel that's all you need. The camp fires ever night and the cool breeze made it that much better. However I could have done without the tourist trap just around the corner making food buying so expensive! Also we learned about the 2nd day in we were staying in one of the most dangerous places on the beach. 3 of our team members who were staying in one of the pop ups got a lot of valuable and necessary things stolen from them (computers, hard drives pictures, cameras, toiletries $2,000.00 worth of stuff between 3 people). It was all really difficult, but God gave them grace through through it. While in Costa Rica we stayed in another tourist area on the coast for one night because we left to late to make it to the border for Panama. We didn't do to much ministry while in Costa Rica besides the occasional person on the street, but I believe God gave the team and I that time to rest because we have a lot in store for us in Panama and in Colombia.
On thing I have been learning while on this trip is how God wants so much to partner with us opposed to just telling us what to do. While in the car one a driving day (which is where we are literally driving all day, hence the name) my car was listening to a message from Chris Valatton. At one point in the message Chris says something that God was saying to him and it struck me really hard. Jesus Said to him “what kind of friend would I be if we only did what I wanted to do.” When I heard that I had to quickly repent for the way I had been praying because I had been praying as if I was a slave not a friend of Jesus. Really striving when I prayed begging God to tell me what to do. When He already said go to Latin America and I said yes now He wants to partner with me and the team and some amazing things! That was a really cool nugget to receive.
The Panama border was hectic and crazy I think in total we were there about 7 hours waiting in line for our stamp in the passport, trying to get the cars insured, and inspected. Finally we made it though and hit the road again stopping for food and potting every once in a while. Trying to make it the whole 10hrs Just to put you into perspective what would normally take 7 hours takes us 10 because we are a huge caravan of cars and trailers) to the YWAM base in Panama City where we are staying. Needless to say New wine (our van camper) Broke down and we had to tow (and when I say tow I mean a rope hooked up to one of our other cars) it to the closest hotel we could find. The manager of the hotel we found was so sweet! He gave us and entire section of parking to let us set up camp and we only had to buy one room. The room was awesome and there was Hot water in the shower which was amazing! The hotel was beautiful and the food in the restaurant was great! The next morning We got all the cars fixed and headed to Panama city! We only got 2 flat tires along the way. We arrive at the YWAM base and we are sleeping in a church and the directors of this base are so nice and have so anticipated our arrival. I am so excited to see what God has in store for us here! It is just one of those places you can feel in the atmosphere God moving.
Where we are staying in Panama City is literally Is really cool it is literally about 50 feet from the Panama Canal. The YWAM base doesn't actually have a base yet, so we are sleeping on the floor in a little church. The past couple of days here have been amazing! Yesterday we went to one of the worst ghetto neighborhoods here in the city and God really showed up in one of the apartment buildings. There were about 30 kids we got to bless and play with. As well as a woman who has been in a wheel-chair for a year not able to walk without people holding her up got up and walked around the entire room by herself! She was crying and so was everyone else! Praise Jesus He is good! We held a service today and God really blessed a lot of the people. Later on in the week we will be ministering in mental hospitals, prisons, aids houses, and going and living with an indigenous tribe for a night!
Community living with the team for the most part has been very smooth and there isn't much conflict at all. We are like one huge family and we work as a unit. Anytime someone is down we pray for them anytime someone has a need people try and fill it. It is amazing how God can appoint 22 people (from 6 different nations so far) for something and they all come together, as diverse and I mean diverse as we are, and function as a unit. By no means at all is our family perfect, but everyone at least tries and has a learning spirit. I am so thankful for the amazing brothers and sisters He has given me. While driving we have walky-talkies to make communication easier between vehicles and every hour we switch off interceding for the team and the places we are going. It really is amazing how we all function together so well. I can honestly say every person on this team is needed in one way or another.
We plan to leave Panama within 4 or 5 days where we will be shipping ourselves and our vehicles across the Panama Canal into Colombia. Where we will be for a month (at least that is what I heard at one point, but everything changes constantly so no one ever knows what is happening).
Well I am not sure when I will have internet again! I hope everyone has amazing holiday times. I miss you all so much! Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me and supporting me! Please keep me and the team in your prayers! We really need all the prayer we can get. There is Continual opposition! But our God is Greater!
Much love and Many Blessings,
Rachael Michelle Singleton
P.S. Sorry I am being so bad about pictures! I had some up, but I am not sure if anyone else can see them? However, they are on facebook! At least ones from Nicaragua!