June 30, 2009

The Schallert´s Stolen Backpack Adventure

Hello Brothers & Sisters. We pray this finds you well and full of the abundant grace of our God. Diane & I have just arrived in Panama City and can´t tell you how excited we are to see what God has in store for us! There are so many amazing opportunities arising and we have only been here 24 hours!! Right now we have a project being developed working along side the US Embassy, who are beginning a campaign against Human Trafficking in Panama. With organizational prostitution being legal in Panama it makes this issue even harder to engage and more hidden, but the statistics of just how many woman and children are being trafficked in Panama are unbelievable. Some of that has to do with another major issue we are getting involved with during our time. We have strong contacts here working with an organization called Hearts Cry that are trying to find homes for the 50,000 neglected orphans in Panama. The system here is so unbelievably broken it would take hours to explain. But these children are basically abandoned and often worse off in the system that on the streets. Abuse is so prevalent and these orphans are one of the simplest target for Human Traffickers. So the two issues really relate to one another, yet we see so much potential for our team to really make a lasting impact over the coming months, leaving something behind that these organizations can build from and use. And last night, just as we arrived, we saw just how much the great darkness wants to stop our work for justice.

Last night as we rolled out of customs and into the greeting area of the airport, one of our backpacks was stolen. Diane had set it on the floor for one second to get my glasses out of it, stood up and said hello to our Panama Contact (David Tracy) and then as quick as that it was missing. We searched around, asked airport security, later called airport security again, but it was never recovered. It was probably stolen right from under our feet. Today we filed a police report (a very interesting cultural experience), but it is probably lost for good. The backpack itself along with all the following was taken:

Our 17" Macbook Pro (with charger, cords, and CS3 software)
Steve´s Cell Phone
Steve´s 60GB i-pod
Diane´s 350GB WD External Hard drive (Thank God we have a backup of our work)
2 pair of Sunglasses
3 Books I was very much enjoying
Diane´s Bible
and the saddest loss is our quote books that Diane & I have kept since we first started dating...

So we REALLY need your prayers. Again, we believe this to be yet another confirmation of just how much the Kingdom can shine here. Just how much the love of Christ is needed in Panama and across the earth. We bring a voice that the darkness wishes to silence, yet we WILL NOT BE SILENCED. Please pray for us at this time.

Also it is very hard for us to really accomplish our task without some basic equipment. Most everything we can live without, but it is terribly difficult to do our work for justice without a laptop...that is really the biggest loss and now one of our most immediate needs as we begin working on project in Panama. If any of you pray and feel lead to help us in our need, I have listed a link bellow to a smaller suitable replacement laptop that would help us tremendously...the replacement laptop will cost us around $1,300...beyond anything however, we are still very much looking for monthly financial supporters to walk with us over the coming year as we head into the world proclaiming good-news to the poor and freedom to the oppressed on every continent...how great is our God!!

Link to computer - http://www.apple.com/macbookpro
13inch Macbook Pro

Because He Lives,
Steve and Diane Schallert

PLEASE CONTACT US VIA EMAIL (projectlove1.0@gmail.com)

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