PAL has been an experience through which I have been equipped, trained and encouraged. Pal provides opportunities to meet new workwers in His Kingdom as well as time with those who inspire me simply by continuing in thier ministry.
“Attending the Pan American Lectures has been a life-changing event for me. I have learned so much from these lectures. It has open my eyes to the powerful presence of God. One of the lectures was about “Quo Vidas?” Where are you going. The next thing I knew my wife and I were doing Medical Missions in South and Central America. We fell in love with the people. We had 4 different international students live with us to attend the university in the US. Two of them graduated while living in our home. I will always be grateful for the spiritual feast of the Pan American Lectures.”
“As young missionaries to Costa Rica, my wife Linda and I attended our first PAL in Panama in 1978 (year?). It was so encouraging to us to hear exciting speakers and to receive the warm support of Christians from the USA. We met many people who would later influence our lives. Some were administrators at the Baxter Institute, where we would later work. Another was veteran missionary Howard Norton, current Baxter president, who encouraged me. Through the years we met many other missionaries and Latin American church leaders and those that support them. We also became acquainted with needs. At the PAL in Medellin, Colombia, we learned from missionaries Harland and Catherine Rall of the need for workers in that country, where we later moved. The Ralls became our nearest American missionary friends (300 miles away), and we traveled to the PAL in Manaus, Brazil together. The PAL has also allowed us to become acquainted with other success stories in Latin America. We attended the PAL in Quito, Ecuador and got to know Kent Marcum and the work in that country, and we were present at the PAL in Toluca, Mexico the Sunday they appointed elders. And at the PAL in San Salvador, I presented the concept of getting behind native Latin American mission teams and began conversations with Continent of Great Cities which led to our current work. When I think back on it, I am amazed at the difference the PAL has made in my life.”
“The Lord has blessed his church with growth in so many places in Latin America but few people seem to know about it. I am so grateful to the Pan American Lectures, moving from country to country each year and highlighting what the Lord is doing in that location. If you are not participating in the lectures each year not only are you missing inspirational messages from faithful brethren, you are also missing out on seeing how God has worked in these countries to spread of the Word to people so desperate for it and so receptive to it. Don’t miss another!”
For the last 10 years Donna and I have looked forward each year to be at the Pan American Lectureship, as we do this year. We have only missed one year during this time and that was because Donna was to have surgery. Each year we would put it on our calendar in January so we make our schedule not to conflict with PAL. PAL provides the opportunity of renewal and encouragement with spending a week with those of like minds for both our Lord and Latin American. That is what PAL means to us.
PAL is important for Latin America for several reasons. Here are few of them, as I see it.PAL keeps mission work in Latin America focused and updated. PAL keeps information on Latin America mission efforts, up to date, to all those missionaries who attend it. PAL offers the opportunity for “time off” to missionaries, even providing opportunity for knowing other Latin America countries. I would never be able to know Machu Pichu had it not been through a PAL in Lima, Peru. PAL offers the opportunity to get to know other missionaries to Latin America. PAL offers the opportunity to even listen to other preachers and teachers, a change from the fact missionaries often preach and teach. PAL offers the opportunity to know even new methods and ideas being applied in mission work in Latin America. Usually we attend lectureships in our own countries and even those having to do with global outreach. PAL provides the opportunity to know what is going on between local and global outreaches.
The Pan American Lectureship have been a wonderful experience. It gives a glimpse into the life of mission sites and folk who are so valuable to the kingdom. The fellowship with native brethren is a delight. The Lectureship itself is great because it features some of the outstanding preachers in our brotherhood. Singing is always a part of each session. It has been my good fortune to travel to most of South America and all of Central America, which has become invaluable to strengthening my ties to Missions in our world today. Blessings,
Charles Sheppard, elder of University church of Christ, Abilene, TX. Former Missionary to the Philippines