The Pahl Family Story
In 2010, we were married and moved to Ankeny, Iowa in order to work at Inste Bible College. After only a couple of months we decided to visit Heartland Church because we had heard about Kingdom House of Prayer and we were interested to visit a church that placed a high priority on prayer. The first time we visited Heartland we responded to an altar call at the end of the service. Pastor Christopher Olson had been leading worship and he came down from the platform and started praying for us in Spanish. We were shocked because we didn’t know that Pastor Christopher spoke Spanish (we thought he was speaking in tongues!). We also knew that he did not know that we spoke Spanish. We later learned that he felt directed by the Lord to pray in Spanish for us, even though he did not understand why he was doing it. Heartland has been our home church ever since!
Our time in Iowa has been very fruitful for us in ministry and in establishing our family. We are very grateful for the mentors that God has given us in Drs. Nick and Leona Venditti (our leaders at Inste Bible College). We are also grateful for the friendships we have developed at Heartland Church. We are specifically grateful for the way that Beth and Christopher Olson have mentored us.
At the end of 2014 we began to sense from God that He might be calling us to move. We were not sure where God was calling us, but part of our desire was to be closer to family since we had just had our first child, a girl named Lucía. We began to pray and we did not sense a clear direction from God about where He was leading us. We both felt drawn to Panama, where Claudia’s parents live. Not only in order to be close to family, but also to serve in the church that Claudia’s parents lead. In January 2015 we went on vacation to Panama and while we were there the Lord clearly spoke to us that He was calling us to move there. Caleb sensed God telling him to ask Him for the nation of Panama. The Lord began to fill Caleb with love for the people of Panama, especially the young people. Also, in a prayer meeting, the Lord gave Claudia a vision of a boomerang going out and coming back. The Lord told her, “I sent you out, and I am bringing you back to Panama”.
It has taken a bit longer than we thought, however, in May 2016 Caleb received a job offer to teach at a Christian School in Panama City called Crossroads Christian Academy (this is the same high school that Claudia attended when she lived in Panama). Lord willing, in July 2016 we will be relocating to Panama. Caleb’s focus will be teaching middle school social studies and also some chaplain responsibilities in the school. We also plan to be involved part time in helping to support the church where Claudia’s parents are the pastors, Ministerio Cristiano Creciendo Fuertes (Growing Strong Christian Ministry). We also would love to be involved with the work of INSTE Global, the same ministry that we have been working at here in Iowa. The headquarters of INSTE in Panama also happen to be Ministerio Cristiano Creciendo Fuertes!Our vision is to be able to train and equip others in Panama so that they can fulfill the purpose that God has for their life. We believe that the church in Latin America is not only to be a place that receives missionaries, but it is to be a mission sending church–indeed many missionaries have already been sent out from Latin America, but we want to help accelerate this! Our prayer is that God will raise up and send out many missionaries from Panama to the nations of the earth (especially to the Muslim world). We look forward to joining the Lord in His mission in Panama.