Celebrating God’s Faithfulness: Restoration of Sanctuary Completed in Balboa, Panama

Story By LCMS missionaries, Rev. Dr. Arthur and Deaconess Eva Rickman, Pastor and Deaconess of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Balboa, Panama
Photos by Zoe Rickman, daughter of Rev. and Deaconess Rickman, except where otherwise noted

Redeemer Lutheran Church in Balboa, Panama, emerges from the shadows of adversity with its sanctuary fully restored—a testament to God’s faithfulness and the resilience of His people.

The journey of restoration was no ordinary one, marked by trials ranging from storms to a fallen tree and compounded by the intricate challenges posed by the global pandemic. Through it all, the congregation stood firm, anchored in the promises of the Lord. The sanctuary, once marred by storms and a collapsing roof, now stands as a symbol of hope and perseverance.

The joyous culmination of this restoration journey was experienced on Christmas Eve with the return of worship services in the newly restored sanctuary. The air was filled with the familiar strains of hymns, the warmth of fellowship, and the shared celebration of the birth of Christ. It was not merely a physical restoration but a spiritual homecoming, a fitting conclusion to the Advent Season after such a long wait and being displaced for several years.

Central to the success of this restoration was the generous support extended through LCMS Disaster Response efforts. Heartfelt gratitude is extended to the members of the LCMS who, through their generous gifts, made it possible for Redeemer Lutheran Church to receive a substantial disaster grant. This financial assistance served as a tangible expression of Christian love and solidarity, bringing hope not only to the congregation but also to the broader community.

Looking ahead, Redeemer Lutheran Church eagerly anticipates hosting the LCMS Latin America & Caribbean regional leadership team from January 30 to February 1, 2024, followed by the Panama FORO. The week will then crescendo in a collective expression of worship and gratitude as the congregation dedicates the sanctuary on Sunday, February 4. We are thankful to share this celebration with our LCMS family since your support and prayers have been instrumental in this journey.

The dedication service promises to be a momentous occasion, where not only a restored building is rededicated but also a renewed commitment to proclaiming the Gospel in the community of Balboa, Panama. The partnership with the LCMS has been a source of strength, and the congregation is eager to share this joyous milestone.

As we move forward in God’s mission, may His continued blessings and guidance be upon Redeemer Lutheran Church and all who contributed to this remarkable chapter of restoration, a testament to the enduring promises of our Lord.

The congregation celebrated their return to the restored sanctuary on Christmas Eve 2023

Jana Inglehart

Jana Inglehart serves the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as the Regional Communication Specialist for the Latin America and Caribbean region, based in the Dominican Republic.