Prayer news

Welcome to the SAMS Prayer Line for the week commencing Wednesday 12 March.

Please pray for the members of the Anglican church of ‘Vida Nueva’ in Canal Beagle, Viña del Mar, Chile, which has been devastated by fire, caused apparently by an electrical fault. Remember them as they meet together in homes and begin the long process of rebuilding.

John Sutton of SAMS GB continues his short tour of eastern South America. Currently in Recife and Olinda (Brazil), on Friday (14th) he moves to Uruguay. Among those he will spend time with are SAMS Latin Partners Gonzalo & Leticia Soria. Pray for John’s time with them and with other members of the diocese.
Two special services merit our prayers:
(i) On Friday St Andrew’s School in Asunción, Paraguay, holds its Easter Service, with Patrick Butler preaching. Pray for Patrick’s ministry and that the whole service may bless students and staff with the life-giving message of Easter.
(ii) on Tuesday (18th) in northeast Spain, the Church of Christ, pastored by Sue Woodcock, will be holding a united service for Holy Week with the Baptist churches of Sabadell. Pray for this special event at a special time in the church’s year.

Finally, please remember Alf Cooper as he flies back to Chile on Monday (17th) after UK ministry, rejoining Hilary and the family in Santiago.

Yellow Fever in Paraguay

Linn TedmanLinn Tedman, a SAMS Mission Partner in Asuncion Paraguay writes..

The main news focus has been on an outbreak of yellow fever in the country and some people have died. This caused widespread panic. The Government issued warnings as far back as eighteen months ago that Yellow Fever could reach Paraguay but no vaccination programmes were started. When yellow fever was confirmed there was very little vaccine in the country. People have been demonstrating and fighting each other and the authorities in order to get vaccinations.
Eventually neighbouring South American countries sent in vaccine and France has just sent 2 million doses. Over the course of a fortnight more people have been vaccinated. The problem seemed to be down to lack of monetary resources to pay for vaccine, but some money has now been found.
There is now a massive clean-up campaign to try to eradicate the breeding areas of the mosquitoes in rubbish which can trap water. A new law means that anybody who does not clean up will be put in prison. (Prisons are already grossly overcrowded.)

Baptisms in Northern Argentina

Barr JohnstonsThe Barr Johnstons in Northern Argentina write with news of 26 people baptised after coming to faith.

There continues to be more evangelistic outreach in the Juarez area than in Salta. In Juarez, 10 new believers were baptized on Sunday 27th February… Please pray for them all, that they may grow in their faith and witness to others, and that the Lord may bring many of these friends’ relatives and workmates to know Him. Vicar Narciso is also evangelising and teaching evangelism, and is already thinking of preparing more possible baptism candidates. Pray for him in all this.

In Yema Vicar Tuqui is preparing 8 new believers for baptism, and in Quemado Vicar Juan is preparing another 8. These are the first 8 to be baptised in Quemado, though many more there have made a profession of faith in Jesus, and each Saturday they come regularly to meetings lead by Vicar Juan. The problem is that it is the first baptism, and many are fearful of it, which is not surprising, as this isolated village was full of superstition when we started regular meetings in about June 2001. The village is the centre for many who live in isolated houses where they look after their cattle. Some of these have also come to know the Lord. Please pray for Juan and the team he takes with him, which includes Sylvio and Juan’s son Cristian.

Read the full letter.

News from Beryl Baker

Berly Baker
Beryl Baker is a nurse who has served in the Paraguayan Chaco for over 30 years. Here are some highlights from her latest prayer letter.

  • Tuberculosis and Yellow Fever outbreaks
  • Electricity comes to the clinic

Read the entire letter.

Gayle Stevenson update – Feb 08

Cati (Gayle) is back in Salta and along with her return comes the next edition of ‘The Argentine News’.

I’ve spent the last month helping at and attending summer camps both here in Salta and Jujuy another of Argentina’s northern provinces. After saying our final goodbyes to Cecilia and Pamela we got into a remis (taxi) and headed for the bus terminal and onto Jujuy for our first taste of summer camp Argentina style. The camp Lozano in Jujuy is run by an American missionary couple and is up in the mountains meaning it was a lot colder and a lot greener (I almost thought I was home again). Anyways for the first camp we were campers, it rained and was freezing for the whole week (not good when you end up having to wear the same clothes everyday for a week as you desperately try to keep warm ha ha).Now I’m going to be honest with you all here so you better appreciate it…I absolutely hated the first few days there…because I was scared (don’t tell anyone), to find myself in a new place, not knowing a single person there never mind not speaking the same language ( at least not confident in it) it was absolutely terrifying. So basically I arrived, took a major panic attack and then started to think like someone who actually believed in God and handed the situation over to Him…the week ended up being absolutely brilliant! The guys in my group were amazing and through all the activities i.e drama sketches, writing and performing a song, sports, quizzes, a cross country race thing, worship and sermons I learnt so much. So after a week of very little sleep and a lot of fun on we went to the next camp.

Lapen was a camp for kids and it was back in Salta at the orphanage/soup kitchen where I normally work. Here we were “helpers” and I was one of the cooks. The week was busy but pretty quiet and a real blessing too, as I wasn’t a leader I was able to be a friend to the kids there and not have to tell them off or keep them under control and the time we had playing, messing about and talking about silly things was something I will never forget.

The last camp was back in Jujuy for teenagers and again we were working in the kitchen. Over the course of the week we made some great friends, learnt a lot and for me one of the highlights was the worship, the songs were amazing, praising God in another language is just unreal.
We returned to Salta absolutely exhausted and spent the next few days running here there and everywhere as Hannah (from Richill) said her goodbyes before returning to sunny Northern Ireland last week. Since then I have been trying to catch up on a lot of missed sleep, tidying up the house and starting back to work with the church.

That’s pretty much me for the month of February so if you have a free minute send me an email and let me know how everything is going at home (I feel very out of touch)and stick a prayer list at the bottom. So for now I will love you and leave you with some prayer requests…? ?For “El Redentor” my church, for unity and growth.?For my safety and the safety of the house as I live alone until Cecilia’s return from Northern Ireland.
That God will use me to do His work in my last 3 months here.?That I will learn to seek God more and hear His voice more clearly.?For Cecilia and Pamela’s work in Ireland.?For Hannah as she returns home and for missionary opportunities when she goes to Australia.? ?Thanks so much for your support, you’re all in my prayers.?Dios te bendigo
Gayle/Cati/Caterine

e-mail me at: [email protected]

Carly Mills’s reflections on Argentina

Carly Mills

Carly Mills spent three months in Argentina. Here are her reflections.

When I decided to take a gap year, I knew I wanted to spend at least part of it working within a mission setting. I was seriously considering South America as it was such a vast and unknown country, so when an opportunity to go away with SAMS appeared, I felt God was calling me to go. I was to be placed in the city of Salta, Argentina, along with a guy my own age form Lurgan, and we would be living with one of the SAMS workers, Cecilia Valdiviezo.

This all sounded lovely on paper, but I had no idea what to expect from the experience itself. I left in September 07, for a short term mission of just three months, and after two planes and a very long bus journey, we arrived in Salta.

The country itself is so…indescribable! Diverse, sunny, busy, poor, everything just seemed so DIFFERENT!!! It took us a while to get our bearings, but thanks to Cecilia we soon got used to our surroundings.

My activities in Salta were varied. On Mondays I was working in a Christian bookshop, Tuesdays and Thursdays saw me teaching English to kids in a school. At first I found this hard going but I soon discovered that kids are the best to learn Spanish from. If you didn’t catch it the first time, they say it ten times faster the second, just to make sure you’re completely lost! On Wednesdays I was looking after babies in a crèche, I loved them because they didn’t care what language I spoke! On Saturdays I worked with kids in a poor area of the city, sharing with them Bible stories and playing games. Perhaps my favourite activity however was Church on Sunday, which is odd as I rarely understood much of it! I was based in the local Church which was great as it was in easy walking distance. From my first Sunday there, everybody in the Church embraced me like I was family. The people there just seemed to radiate God’s love, they all worked together to make the Church an amazing place to worship. The young people in the Church welcomed me into their group, looking after me from day one and ever patient with my struggling Spanish, and I found wonderful friends in all of them.

My heart was torn when three months later I had to say goodbye. I had grown so accustomed to the heat of the summer sun, the food, the relaxed lifestyle, how could I return to Northern Ireland? The hardest of all was of course to say goodbye to my lovely friends, they had given me so much support while I was there, I couldn’t imagine not seeing them everyday.
I learnt so much from my time in Salta. The people there have so little so they depend on God for everything. I learnt the value of prayer, for others and indeed for myself when things were tough. I learnt to appreciate what I have, and that while language is important, actions speak a lot louder than words. I know that no one can understand my experiences just by reading about them, but for the numerous SAMS supporters who pray and give please be assured that I experienced something very significant during my time in Argentina. Be encouraged, be really encouraged.

Thank you
Carly

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