On February 13, Pastor Ock Soo Park, the founder of IYF, and his party arrived in Panama, the last country of their tour of four Central and South American countries (Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and Panama). Panama is a country that is very famous for the Panama Canal due to its geographical location dividing the North American continent and the South American continent.
In addition, Panama is a strategic hub in Latin America and a hub for transportation, logistics, and business. In 2019, pastors representing Christianity in Latin America gathered and announced a joint declaration supporting the Good News Mission.
Visiting Good News Panama Church
On the morning of the 13th, Pastor Ock Soo Park arrived at the Panama Airport and immediately visited the Good News Panama Church.
Receiving a warm welcome from the local brothers and sisters, Pastor Park briefly talked about the schedule for the four countries in Central and South America, testified of the amazing works of God, and conveyed the message of how precious the gospel is.
Pastor Park greeted the Panamanian brothers and sisters and said, “Jesus took the punishment for our sins instead. He sprinkled blood on the horn of the kingdom of heaven. Even after reading the Bible, many people do not know this fact. Jesus paid the price for our sins. When Jesus was nailed to the cross, our sins were cleansed and we became righteous. I hope you will believe this word.”
Panama pastors meeting
At 2:30 pm, 10 Panamanian pastors gathered in the meeting room of Pastor Ock Soo Park's hotel. They have been connected through the Christian Leaders Fellowship (CLF) in Panama. In particular, Pastor Fernando Poulel, Pastor Ronald Richards, and Pastor Catia Sanchez graduated from Good News Theological Seminary and are preaching the gospel of the forgiveness of sins.
Pastor Ock Soo Park stole a lot because he was hungry when he was young, and while searching for a way to forgive his sins, he discovered that there were pairs in the Bible. Just as in the Old Testament, the sins were forgiven through the laying on of hands on the head of a goat, the New Testament introduced that John the Baptist washed away the sins of mankind by laying his hands on Jesus and passing them over.
Pastor Park said, “Our sins, our transgressions, and our lies were all washed away on the cross of Jesus. I am preaching this gospel all over the world. Jesus died for our sins, but if we are still sinners, then the cross of Jesus has failed. The pastors gathered their hearts, saying, “Let’s preach this gospel that has completely forgiven all our sins.”
The pastors who attended said that they were no longer sinners, but “Justo (righteous)” and said, “Amen! Amen!” and presented gifts to welcome Pastor Ock Soo Park’s visit to Panama.
“What Pastor Ock Soo Park said today was very clear. It was the word of truth recorded in the Bible. What we lacked was that we didn’t have a good teacher, but we are so grateful that Pastor Park taught us accurately today. The truth is right there. This is the truth. The truth has set us free. The reason we believe in Good News Mission is because it is a true teacher. He traveled all over the world and came here to do this. Thank you for sharing the amazing gospel." - Eric Del Rosario / Pentecostal Pastor
Gracias Concert held at Panama Hosanna Church
At 7pm, the Gracias concert was held at Hosanna Church in Panama. Hosanna Church is the largest church in Panama that can accommodate 5,000 people.
Senior Pastor Edwin Alvarez, who is serving at Hosanna Church, has been close since 2018 after being connected while promoting the CLF. In November 2021, Pastor Jinseong Kim delivered the Sunday service at Hosanna Church, and in March 2022, Pastor Jaehoon Shin delivered the Sunday service.
In addition, Hosanna Church is a large church that even has a broadcasting channel called 'Hosanna Vision'. As the pandemic began, the high-quality choir's Christmas performances, Easter performances, and contents such as 'For Unto Us' were distributed together to bring closer relationships. The choir's concert that day was also broadcast live on Hosanna Vision's YouTube channel, making it known to many people.
Before the event, Pastor Ock Soo Park met Pastor Melissa Cumberbach in the office of Pastor Edwin Alvarez. Pastor Melissa Cumberbach is a pastor who attended the New York CLF in 2019, is one of the seven associate pastors of Hosanna Church, and is the wife of the mayor of Panama City North City Hall.
He said, “It is truly an honor to be able to attend Pastor Ock Soo Park at our Hosanna Church. This is a great blessing for Panama as well as our church and saints. I am so happy to hear the pastor's gospel message today.”
Afterwards, they met and greeted Pastor Edwin Alvarez, the senior pastor of Hosanna Church.
Prior to the Gracias Choir concert, Pastor Edwin gave a welcome speech.
Pastor Edwin said, “The Gracias Choir, which we had only heard about, is with us today. They have a much more beautiful voice than I could have imagined. It is a world-class choir, so please pay attention and listen to the performance of the Gracias Choir. In particular, Pastor Ock Soo Park is also with us today. Most people of Pastor Park's age usually want to retire or live comfortably, but Pastor dedicates everything to the work of the gospel. Even though it is a really long distance from Korea to Panama, he is the one who does anything for the gospel work. Along with Pastor Ock Soo Park, representatives of the Good News Mission in Central America also came. Everyone is welcome.”
The concert started with the prayer of Missionary Lee Seung-jae of the Good News Panama Church.
Missionary Lee Seung-jae said, “During the pandemic, we delivered hope through the words of the Bible and the choir's performance for many Panamanians. I am grateful to Pastor Edwin and the people involved for preparing this event, and I hope that today's concert will bring hope and faith to the hearts of many people.”
The Gracias Choir drew admiration from the audience by showing beautiful harmony.
Following 'Way maker' by soprano Eudeum Oh and tenor Julio, and 'A Dios demos gloria' by trumpeter Seongyo Han, the beautiful chords of the a cappella team Candlestick continued, followed by Marimbist Yoon Dae-hyun's 'Más Cerca, Oh Dios, De Ti'. A beautiful melody flowed from the instruments and voices.
The choir's stage continued. In particular, after the stage of ‘Cuán grande es él’ was over, a standing ovation poured out from the audience at Hosanna Church. The audience gave an explosive response, and the warm energy was transmitted as it was, leaving a deep lingering impression.
Afterwards, Pastor Ock Soo Park introduced the gospel of the forgiveness of sins in detail in the Bible.
Pastor Park said, “In the Old Testament, sins were resolved by laying hands on a goat, slaughtering the goat, and sprinkling blood on its horns. So, through John the Baptist, the representative of the world, God laid his hands on Jesus and passed on his sins. ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’ In this way, the sins of the world were passed on to Jesus, and Jesus forgave all our sins by being nailed to the cross. So, are you guys righteous? Are you a sinner? Yes you're right. Now you are the righteous!” He shouted the gospel to the Hosanna Church members and citizens.
Hosanna Church members and citizens responded to the Word by shouting “Amen!” and “Righteous.”
"Through today's message, I learned that Jesus took our sins. This has always been written in the Bible. Christians like us must believe this fact. Now I am so free. Now I have no more sin. We are free from sin. It's gone. This is the most precious thing we can receive from Jesus. Thank you so much." - Miguel Angel Cubilla Espinosa / Member of Hosanna Church
“Tonight was a night of blessing for us. Pastor Ock Soo Park, the founder of the Good News Mission, gave us a detailed message about the forgiveness of sins. The citizens of Panama were very happy to hear this message. , It must be preached throughout the region. This has been a great joy to me. I thank God for forgiving all of our sins, and I hope that this word will spread throughout the world. Thank you in Jesus' name." - Ronald Richard / Pastor of Impactando Alas Naciones Church
“The Good News Mission is like clear water to thirsty souls. Thank you for coming to a country with a different time zone and different culture to bless us. The choir's music was perfect. Furthermore, what is visible in the lives of young people is God's grace. It's amazing to sacrifice a lot of time and sing perfectly, and I'm even more grateful to the pastor who was with me. Many people came to praise and bless this evening, and I think there are many people who are meeting Jesus for the first time. If even one person came to believe in Jesus by attending this concert, I think it is a valuable event. Thank you beyond words for delivering such a wonderful concert and message. Blessings to the missionary and everyone.” - Pastor Edwin Alvarez / Senior Pastor, Panama Hosanna Church
It was a short day, but it was a day when the gospel resonated throughout Panama through meetings with pastors and Hosanna Church. Although it is a small country in Central America, it is hoped that Panama, an important strategic point connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, will be greatly used to ignite the fire of the gospel throughout Central and South America.