The Renacer Prison, formerly the Canal Zone Penitentiary, is located just a half mile from Gamboa. Shortly after arriving in Gamboa in 1976, Pastor Wilbur was invited by some prisoners to continue weekly meetings as the previous pastor of the church had done. After overcoming a variety of fears, he began his first meeting. This is told more fully in Pastor Wilbur’s book “Finding Freedom in Panama.”
Presently, a team of three men go with the pastor each Thursday morning for a bilingual service with the men. The prison has a population that varies between four and five hundred, mostly from Panama, but also from many nations. The English speaking men from North America and Europe are glad to have someone speak to them in English. Over the years, we have seen many changed lives and some men do keep in contact with us and support the ministry to the prison.
Photo taken from a passing cruise ship in the canal.