Edwin and Wendy Lopez are missionaries serving the Mesoamerica Region since August 2013 in Panama. Edwin is part of the regional communications team and Wendy is the regional personnel coordinator. Previously, Wendy was the finance coordinator for the Caribbean from 2006 to 2010, and the Mesoamerica Special Projects Coordinator from 2010 to 2013.
They have two children: Joshua, 14, and Jeremy, 3 months.
They shared their story of being called to and serving in missions with Engage magazine.
Engage: How did you first recognize God’s call to be involved in missions?
Wendy: I went on my first Work & Witness trip to the Dominican Republic in January 1997. That trip transformed my life. Shortly after returning, in a mission service I prayed “Here I am, Lord, use me.” After that service, God continued to open doors through local and district Nazarene Missions International (NMI) and mission events. My calling was confirmed at the 2005 General NMI Convention.
Engage: What is your favorite aspect of what you do in your present assignment?
Wendy: I love to serve. As regional personnel coordinator, I have the privilege of serving the 80 missionaries in the Mesoamerica region. In our region we have missionaries from 14 different countries. It is inspiring to see the diversity of our missionaries. I appreciate the opportunity I have to serve them and their families.
Engage: Please share a story of a significant event or moment that has happened in your current assignment.
Wendy: As part of our ministry in Panama, we have the opportunity to minister in the town of Samaria. This is a very populated, low socio-economic part of Panama City. In this part of town, crime, drugs and alcohol are part of daily living. However, we are seeing how the church is making a difference in this community. Currently, we are working with Pastor Amable Polanco, the church leadership and the national/field Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) leadership in developing a child development center (CDC) that will service this community. As part of this center, we will offer nutritional hot meals for the children, assistance with their homework, medical clinics and life/work skills for the teens. Through the ministry of this CDC we hope to break the generational cycle from which a lot of the children/teens in Samaria come from. We pray that we can change the future of Panama by reaching one child/teen at a time for Christ.
Engage: How do you maintain a close relationship with God and your family in the midst of the demands of missionary service?
Wendy: We have daily family devotions. We read the Bible and pray together.
Engage: What are the rewards of what you do?
Wendy: Changed lives!!!!
Engage: What are some aspects of the culture where you live that you have come to love or embrace?
Wendy: We love Panamanian/Caribbean food! ☺ We love the people of the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. We have very diverse and rich cultures in our region.
Engage: What do you like to do for fun?
Wendy: I love to read. Joshua and Edwin like to work on computer and “techy stuff.” For now, baby Jeremy likes to sleep. ☺
Engage: What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Wendy: I was born in Puerto Rico. Edwin was born in the Dominican Republic. Joshua was born in Miami, Florida (USA). Baby Jeremy was born in Panama. We are a very international family.
Engage: What advice would you have for others exploring a possible call to missions, or embarking on their first missionary assignment?
Wendy: Listen and obey God’s calling. Where God calls, He provides. Don’t worry about the future; God is already there.
Engage: Other comments?
Wendy: We love being Nazarene missionaries. We appreciate the opportunity to serve God and our church. Thank you!
Engage magazine is a mission publication within the Church of the Nazarene denomination.