Out of the Box

Lesha in Panama

I am headed to Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Panama on July 21. I will be in Central/South America for a total of 5 months. 3 months in Panama and the last 2 months to be determined. I return to Boise December 12! Our outreach spans from medical missions to evangelism on the streets of Panama, the prisons, orphanages, remote villages throughout Central and South America. I am super excited for the adventure and plans God has for my life. This is only the beginning of a new season!

I would especially appreciate your prayer support. If you feel led to help financially, donations are tax deductible made payable to:

Global Mission M.C.
12000 Fairview Avenue
Boise, ID 83713
Note in memo: YWAM - Lesha


God's dreams and plans for us are soooooo much bigger than our own!

First Impressions
The first thing I noticed getting off the plane was the humidity. When I finally got out of the airport and was walking from the building to the van, my guitar case had beads of moisture in the short time we were outside! Yes, my guitar made it in one piece! My sleeping bag, however, is MIA. I put a claim in to Ame...rican Airlines so hopefully it shows up in the next 3 months. I’ll need it by the time we start outreach. Not worried as I know God is going to take care of that detail. Today I woke up around 10:45 am after having slept for almost 12 hours. I had only had 3 hours of sleep from the time I woke up Tuesday morning at 7 am. With God’s strength I maneuvered through unfamiliar airports, flight delays and many plane changes. He gave me helpful people along the way to alleviate the stress of the journey. It was awesome! Just before landing in Panama City I asked God to give me someone on the ground to help me. It was more to help keep me calm if someone was alongside me. He gave me Dana. I was standing in line waiting to get through customs and I turned and saw the same girl that I had seen in Miami at the airport. In Miami I had received an email from Elizabeth, the base director, that had let me know that I would be coming in at the same time with 2 other girls. I had looked around and noticed Dana sitting on the floor then and thought she might be one of the two girls. When I turned and saw her in line with me at customs/immigration I asked her what her name was and she told me “Dana.” I got excited and asked her if she was with YWAM and she looked at me oddly and said, “Yes.” I told her how God had answered my prayer to have someone with me here in the Panama City airport. It was so cool! I got up today and took a cold shower. (That’s the only kind available.) It felt good to be clean again. Of course, shortly thereafter I applied mosquito repellent. There goes the staying clean idea. I took time to get myself organized and then went to lunch. We had taco salad for lunch. I was able to meet some team members from Norway, Holland, and the US. There are also team members from Japan and Sweden. Most of them are in their early to mid twenties. Our base is built into a hillside in the rainforest. I have to walk uphill to get to my dorm. I will be in such great shape when this is over. I share a dorm with about 6 other girls. There are teams that will be coming in and out while I am here for training so roommates will vary over time with some being constant (those here for DTS like me). Everything is lush and green. There are the constant chirping noises of more than one creature. During the day you can hear the birds. Not sure what they are yet. There is a parrot here on base that knows how to say “hola!” In the afternoon, the rain poured for about 3 hours. The entire time I am here it will be the rainy season. The thunder and lightning was at times unnervingly close. It actually made me jump in fright once. I slept for another hour or so this afternoon. There are several buildings on this base. The dining/kitchen, classroom and office are all in the same building. The bathroom for men/women is in a separate building just down the hill from me. The buildings are all painted a soft yellow with white trim. There are trees here with purple flowers that dangle from vines. Not sure what the name is but I’ll find out. The flowers are about 3 inches wide. I saw a little bird that was blue. Someone saw a snake in one of the buildings. Wish I knew a little more about that. Note to self: Google Panamanian snakes. I don’t have a digital camera currently so I will post pics as soon as I can get them developed with my other camera.

Snakes and Scorpions (or bees) Shall Not Harm Me
After each meal we are responsible for washing our own dishes and putting them back. This morning after breakfast I was washing my coffee cup and I felt something sting me. I pulled my hand out of the coffee cup and a black bee was stuff to the second knuckle of my right pointer finger. The first minute it didn't hu...rt. I finished with my dishes and then extreme pain came as the poison spread. I got some ice from the kitchen to put on it. When I got back to my dorm room my finger was swelling. I showed it to one of the girls and said that I didn't need to accept this. Paul got bit by a snake out of the fire and there was no harm to him. I spoke against the poison and immediately the swelling started going down! As I write this, you can't even tell that I even got stung today. I will have to declare the same thing overthe craziness of people's driving here! = ) On the fun side of today, we went to the beach. My first time in the Caribbean Ocean! After it got dark tonight, 3 of us went tarantula hunting (Laresa, Eric and I). There are 3 dens behind the guys dorm. We found one! It was so awesome! = ) Tomorrow we go to church and then to town in a taxi (cost is $1.00) for some necessities and then school and outreach training start on Monday.

Hearing the Voice of God
Last Sunday we went into the church in Gamboa. The worship was in English/Spanish. The whole service was really good. Pastor Bill introduced us and the entire church prayed for us. Pastor Bill also told a story that happened to a group of Medical missionaries going into the Darien not long ago with our director Ric...hard Tracy. They went up the river and then walked for about 8 hours carrying supplies through the jungle to the village they were reaching out to. When they got there they set up clinic and began seeing people. They saw over 1500 in 3 days and gave out medication to 1200 of them. While all this was happening a man stood watching them for two days. This man was a well respected witchdoctor for that village. Other witchdoctors went to him as a mentor or for help. Finally, after 2 days he went up to the leader of the group and asked to address the entire group. After giving permission, the witchdoctor began. I saw you coming from the river. You were not in human form, but you were lights (luz) walking the 8 hours through the jungle. We used all our magic to stop the light to curse the light, but it would not go out. Your light is stronger than our darkness. What an awesome story that was as we were reminded of how much greater the light of God is. In fact, God is light. We carry the light inside of us. Darkness cannot put it out. After church we went to the mall in Panama City. THAT was an experience. The mall itself was extremely busy, very much like our American malls; but it was the bus ride home that was most memorable that day. The bus drivers WAIT for their buses to fill up before leaving. Unfortunately, we were some of the first people on the bus. It was so hot outside and inside the bus it was 10 degrees hotter at least. We sat there sweating even more than we thought we had ability for. Tommy, one of the guys on our team, had hot coffee which he was drinking. That made the rest of us hotter just seeing him do that. Sweat was dripping off of him like he had just stepped out of a pool. Just when we thought the bus was as full as it could get, an extremely obese black woman dressed in a yellow suit and black hat came in and sat next to Tommy and Eisleen. Then finally the bus took off after 45 minutes! When we got off at the stop we walked about 15 minutes back to the base. I can’t remember being sooooo hot in all my life!! This week has gone by in such a blur. I will try to list things that stick out In my mind as memorable: 1. Rising at 5:45 every morning to help get breakfast. 2. Killing a centipede next to my bed. 3. Fighting off bees and spiders. 4. Playing soccer (had a lot of fun, in better shape than thought) 5. Fatigued the day following soccer/ dehydrated I think. 6. Classtime/God is teaching me as much as the teacher Kenneth 7. Going into the city on Wednesday to worship/pray 8. Going into city on Friday unexpectedly for prayer walk. (prayed for pink/white/turquoise building used for adult movies) Spirit of lust reigns strongly in this place. 9. Learning not to complain about things, but viewing it as discipline God is using to grow me. I asked for increased discipline before coming. I am making my bed every morning in response to the fact that it is important to be obedient and disciplined (faithful) in the little things before God can trust us with the bigger things. 10. God is asking me to stop walking on the high beam and prepare to learn to fly. He gave me the example of how an eagle learns to fly. So exciting! 11. Everything is for the first time this week. Trying hard not to be too nervous. I just don’t really know what to expect. I need to learn to stay in peace in all things. 12. Taking showers (cold) but never being able to get dried off because of the humidity. 13. Spent time with a fellow YWAMer. Praying for her (anxiety). 14. My own worship time when I get away from “practicing” and just worship. 15. I’ve developed a regular time to play my guitar right after dinner. No one is in the dorm so it is quiet. 16. A man came and asked us to hide his girlfriend/child because the gang he was trying to get out of was trying to kill him. Richard, our director, gave him some money and resources to help and sent him on his way. We can’t afford to risk the young people’s lives here for that reason. 17. Monday morning I was so worried about being late for breakfast duty that I arose early. My cellphone was stuck on eastern time and is an hour ahead. I forgot it was the wrong time. I showed up for duty at 4:45 am. I could’ve slept a whole extra hour. Tried to, but was afraid I wouldn’t wake up. 18. Thursday morning woke up to lightening and thunder. The rain fell hard. Sol (lady who works in kitchen) said it’s not good for the fishermen (unsafe conditions) or the villages (mudslides). The base parrot, Squirt, absolutely loved the rain and wouldn’t stop talking. 19. Because of Thursday’s rain we comfortably wore jeans and then a sweatshirt in class. Very nice. 20. Chris, one of the base leaders has a passionate heart for Panama City. He is especially concerned for the human trafficking and wants to get involved in dealing with that. He wants to start a base in the city as well. We went to the city Wednesday night to worship and intercede for the city and the human trafficking issue. 21. Be careful not to jump ahead of God. Listen for His voice, leading, giving specific direction. The classtime this week has been phenomenal. The focus was "Hearing the Voice of God." The teacher sends us out at times to get quiet with God and listen for Him to speak to us. I've gotten as much from those times as I did the classtime. God spoke specific things to me that have drawn me ever more closely to Him. God's guidance should always draw us closer to Him. Satan will challenge that and cause us to question whether or not we heard from God. Insodoing, he challenges God's character. Therefore, it is even more important to know God's character to allow us to be able to filter. Additionally, it's important to note the character of Satan as a liar, thief and murderer. To recognize when He is trying to steal the Word of God spoken to us. God will speak to us anytime, anywhere. We do not have to be doing anything spiritual for Him to speak. It could be in the middle of washing dishes, etc. Because we are all different, God will choose to speak to individuals in different ways. Please read the book by Loren Cunningham, "Is That Really You, God?" I found myself pressed down into my bed by the presence of God as I finished reading it today. I wanted to just stay there and visit with God and listen to Him talk to me. I also have been struggling with just "being" this week as God is working in me. I know that that is an important prerequisite to what's ahead. "Doing" comes out of "being." Be with God and rest in Him, put the Word of God into me and out of that time flows God's purposes in touching the lives of others. This next week the YWAM Director from San Francisco will be teaching us about Urban Outreach. I'm looking forward to that. Keep us in prayer as God pours more of Himself into us this week in preparation for the doors of ministry that will be opening to us. Please also pray with us direction for where God wants us to go the last 2 months and what He wants us to do specifically. Shalom!

Reaching Out Right Where We Are
This last week focused on Urban Ministry. Our teacher was Tim, the Director of YWAM San Francisco. We could see the passion he has for city ministry. He shared a lot of wisdom and strategies that he has gained over the last 25 years working in city ministry. He queried us saying, “Do you live in the city or does t...he city live in you?” Meaning do we merely live in the city or does the burden and passion for that city which God placed you in live in you. We all have a responsibility to that place we live whether in large or small scale. We use our specific gifting to reach out to that people group. The United States sends out the most missionaries out of any country in the world. With the massive amounts of immigration we are seeing from nations all over the world into the US it is no longer necessary to go to reach people groups you feel a call to go to. They are right outside our front door. Author Ray Bakke states, “Yesterday the cities were in the Nations. Today the nations are in the cities.” That is not to say we shouldn’t go to other nations outside the US. We should go. Our nation is blessed because we do so. There is also a very real need to reach those same people groups within our own country/city. There were several strategies discussed this week as to how to reach a city for God, but one particular question was posed. How can I be a friend to the city? Most often, it is in making relationships that the door is opened to share the gospel. Do you know what the goals of your city are? City issues? If so, how can you align yourself with other organizations or just yourself with your own gifting to help make a difference. It is important to reach the people’s felt needs in order to have an open door to reach their spiritual needs. Our teacher was the Director of a YWAM India base for approximately 22 years. He said to be careful not to be driven by “passion” because passion fizzles. It is important to go into ministry with a strong Biblical foundation because your ministry philosophy comes from that. Passion is important because it ignites us, but ministry philosophy sustains us. Additionally, in speaking with Mother Theresa’s sisters, he asked them what sustains them. They said that quiet prayer sustained them. Mother Theresa herself was in touch with people’s brokenness, in touch with her own brokenness and she allowed the people she ministered to in return minister back to her. We all are called. We are all have gifting. We all are challenged to go into wherever God has placed us. Listen for His voice as He leads you and gives you insight and wisdom in that calling. I found out this week that we are to be going to a YWAM NIKO survival camp in Costa Rica for about 4 days. We have to cross the border and come back in anyway to renew our visas. I am nervously excited for that. I know I will gain so much from that experience. Please pray for good health for myself and the team as we head into that experience. Also, please pray for a divine ability to relearn Spanish much more quickly than I am.

Lesha Cambra
I'm coming back to the heart of worship....it's all about you Jesus! It's in knowing the character of Abba, Father...Daddy, God that we speak out by faith the Word of God making it alive and active in our life.

Theft, Survival Training and so much more....
Shortly after my last post the ladies dormroom was broken into on Sunday morning while most of the people on base were gone to church. The person(s) stole approximately $3500 worth of items including 3 laptops. My laptop and cell phone were among the items stolen. While this was no doubt stressful, feeling violated,... I knew God would be faithful. That what the enemy has stolen will be returned seven fold to me. Peace came. God has revealed more of Himself to me. In that process, I have seen more fully who I am both good and bad. From the beginning, I submitted myself fully to whatever He had for me here in Panama. Some moments have been absolutely breathtaking as He has revealed Himself through nature here and in Costa Rica. He has revealed Himself through His Word, through others and in that small still voice during my quiet time. The other day I was wanting to hear from God on a specific issue. All afternoon I heard nothing. I felt compelled to stay in my room that night while the rest of the base was at worship. I lay in my bed calling out to God. Suddenly I felt a heavy presence rest on me and I spent time talking with Him for almost a half hour. It was the most amazing moment. I've never sought God so intensely, in almost a demanding fashion. "God, where are you?" I cried. He responded, "I'm right here. Sing a song to me." I sang a song and we went on from there. Some day I will share what that conversation was about. He will answer when we call. I went to survival training camp in Costa Rica called NIKO. NIKO is greek meaning to overcome or persevere. That was a difficult week. My knees were killing me on the parts of hike when we went uphill. I took a total of 1600 mg a day of Ibuprofen for the pain. Twice I wanted to quit, asking myself what I was doing there. On the trail I reminded myself that God has a purpose and He will sustain me. I learned alot about myself and my leadership style. I learned alot about the people on my team and their leadership styles. That time served to grow us individually and as a team. Outreach is just around the corner. We will defnitely be putting into practice some of the principles learned in NIKO. During NIKO, I recognized two strongholds that I hadn't defined as strongholds before. These strongholds were beliefs or attitudes that were interferring with my intimacy with God and being effective for the Kingdom of God. It takes courage alot of times to real with oneself and with God, but God completely blesses that and brings such joy and peace in the process. Read More on the blog.

Heading Out!!!
Classroom time is over and it is time to apply many of the things we have learned about ourselves, God and others. Tomorrow we head out for 2 months of outreach to Panama and Costa Rica. The first 2 weeks we will be in Panama City doing street ministry, going to the Mother Theresa home for kids, men and women as well... as other ministry opportunities in churches and schools. We will then be going to Boca del Toras an upper province of Panama and then up to San Jose, Costa Rica for a week. The final month the tentative plan is to visit every province of Panama starting from the top and working our way down to the bottom Darian province working with the Embera and Cuna Indians. It will be a time of challenge to our faith as we will not know often what the next moment will be bring, but we go forward trusting God has gone ahead of us and nothing is a surprise to Him. We will be mostly sleeping on church floors with the occassional luxury of a bed. As of yet, we have not had the entire team healthy since our arrival here in Panama. Please pray for strength, health and discernment for our team as God leads us. In some ways it feels the same as when I was about to leave the states and head for Panama. Going to a place I was unfamiliar with and had no idea what to really expect. All along before I came here I was trusting God to be with me and to provide in every situation. I have no idea what is ahead, but I know God is in it and I will grow immeasurably as a person and in my faith. Please pray also for unity among our team for the entire team. We are already extremely close which is a huge blessing, but we will be living in closer proximity to each other the next 2 months. Also, the YWAM team from Belize will be joining us for our first 2 weeks of outreach in Panama City. I am excited to head out on this further adventure with God!! Thanks so much for your continued prayer and words of encouragement. Please continue to email and post comments on facebook as I will be trying to find Internet cafes along the way. I love and appreciate you all!

Outreach - Week 1
First week of outreach in Panama City went by FAST. One more week in Panama City and then on to Boca del Toras. It's crazy to think how fast time really will fly and I will soon be back in Idaho. Bittersweet. I love what God is doing here in me and through us (YWAM) here in Panama, but I miss my family tremendously...! We ministered to a full spectrum of people on the streets of Panama City. Psychotic to Highly Intelligent. Getting to minister to people before and after doing our dramas in the various squares and parks has been a stretching point given the language barrier, but His will is being accomplished. People have come to Christ while others have been encouraged as we speak hope, love and truth into the lives of people that God is bringing into our path. Because much of Latin America is Catholic, when we speak to people about God, most of them will say they are a Christian. Many of them believe they are Christian from birth because their parents are Catholic and so on. While I was writing down some of my observations 2 days ago to prepare to write songs and poetry, I was thinking about how many Catholics are cut off from a personal relationship with God because they are taught that they should pray to the saints and Mary who make intercession for them. They have many rules and regulations that are manmade and not from God's heart. My own parents come from a Catholic background and were surprised to understand that they could have a "PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP" with God. All of a sudden as I was thinking about all this I saw a VEIL made out of human faces. I was reminded of the VEIL that covered the Holy of Holies that separated the common man from entering into the throne room of God, that VEIL that Christ Himself rent in two when He died on the cross to bring us into true communion with God. Such grief overcame me that was almost unbearable as I felt God's heart about this issue. God himself had destroyed the veil, but man had put it back up again. That VEIL made out of human faces (intermediaries between common man and God) interwoven with man's traditions, rules and regulations robbing so many of sweet intimacy with God. Catholicism is not the only religion that does this, there are more. I praise God for the work He is doing in many Catholic churches to bring about truth and light regarding relationship with Him. I shared this VEIL vision the next day in devotions with my team, as well as, 2 Cor 3:7-18 that explain the "Glory of the New Covenant" where it talks about the veil that covers the hearts and minds of man keeping them from understanding. We interceded for these churches in Panama specifically. In many places, because people are illiterate they don't read the Bible so their understanding of their faith and belief system is based on what they are told by the priests. I've prayed for priests to have an Encounter with God that opens their hearts and minds to truth, that they would understand God's heart and desire to have an intimate relationship with not only Him but those that he shepherds. GOD IS BIGGER THAN RELIGION! As we worshipped that day in devotions we sang a song by Jason Upton that says, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.....Freedom reigns in this place, showers of mercy and grace, falling on every face, there is freedom. Jesus reigns in this place, showers of mercy and grace, falling on every face, there is freedom." As we did a prayer walk that afternoon noon, I came upon a Catholic church and went in for a time of intercession and then I sang that song quietly. I saw the VEIL slowly beginning to tear.

Lesha Cambra Check out my newest post about the first week of outreach. Obviously, there is more that occurred and was experienced than what I posted, but what I posted was important. Also, does anyone know of any person/group in the Boise area dealing with Human Injustices specifically in the area of child prostitution locally and/or worldwide?

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