News from the SAMS Prayer line

Please continue to uphold the Venables family: Bishop Greg arrives on Friday to join Sylvia and mourners at the funeral of her mother that day. Greg and Sylvia will then spend most of March in the UK on a pre-planned visit.

This Friday the Pastoral Committee of the Diocese of Northern Argentina holds an important meeting in La Caldera, near Salta. They seek the way forward to break the stagnation in the diocese in recent years. Pray that God will direct the pastors and lay leaders and renew their vision and motivation.

Archdeacon Hugo Vergara will lead this meeting. Pray for him and his wife Techy who have been suffering cardiovascular problems caused by stress.

Also on Friday the team from the FEISA Teacher Training College make their second training visit to Yatnata in the Paraguayan Chaco helping mothers set up a nursery for the youngest children. Pray for their travel and for the impact of this two-day visit.

Finally, a reminder that the BBC2 programme ‘Tropic of Capricorn’ this Sunday at 8pm includes a visit to the Argentine Chaco with a short feature on the Wichi people and deforestation.

New Term in Paraguay

The new academic year begins in Paraguay.

St. Andrew's SchoolToday in Asunción, Paraguay, Patrick Butler will speak at the opening service of St. Andrew’s School; please pray for Patrick and the challenge and encouragement of his message for students and staff as they embark on this new journey.

FEISA, the Early Years Teacher Training College in Asunción, is also back in action and this weekend a team will make the first 2008 visit to the indigenous community of Yatnata to start a training programme with the mothers to enable them to set up their own nursery for the youngest children. Please pray for the FEISA team as they prepare the training and for the right mothers to attend and be committed to the programme.

Also in the Paraguayan Chaco this weekend a youth conference is being held under the leadership of Pastor Elvio. A group of 30 young people accompanied by 10 adults will share with other young people and leaders in El Estribo community. Called “Sowing well for good results”, the conference will challenge young people to develop daily Bible reading habits.

Jo Hamilton reflects

Jo HamiltonJo Hamilton a 22 year old from Lurgan has just returned from working for a three month period as a volunteer with the Red Box Project.

Argentina has impacted me in a way that I pray I never forget. I only hope that I can pass on the lessons and blessings that I have received. I came from Northern Ireland to serve through the Red Box Project and in return I was served by others in ways which went beyond my imagination.

Salta in the North of Argentina is beautiful and it’s rich with Gods amazing creation. The weather is changeable during the winter, one day you have multiple layers of clothes due to the cold, to wearing a light top the next day. The food is delicious, especially Dulce de Leche and Milanesa. But the thing I found most beautiful was the openness of the people. They are amazing and as westerners we have a lot to learn. The hearts of the people in the church are hearts of kindness, generosity, love, devotion and complete trust in God. I want to share a few experiences I have had here to demonstrate how special my friends are here.

From my first day in the church I was warmly welcomed with a loudly sang Bienvenido (welcome) alongside hugs and kisses. The warmness of everyone was amazing and the time when the youth just came up and wanted to give hugs was in abundance and it was a pleasure to return these embraces. On a couple of occasions when I mentioned that I liked something that they had they immediately wanted to give it to me as a gift. These gifts will remain special – special gifts of love and unselfishness.

I have certainly learnt so much here about materialism. In this country money may be a struggle for people but when I see my friends here they are rich in ways that I want in my life. God is at the centre of everything here and most importantly in the centre of the hearts of the people. Everything is completely surrounded in prayer and Gods provision has been evident. Life is not about striving to be in the best career, with the best clothes or the best house etc.

In Salta and through working with the Red Box Project I have learnt the meaning of life. It is about unity and support for one another in hard times. It is about showing love and generosity to the unloved. It is about serving others even if you are not being served. It is about having a passion at all times to follow the will of God even if it may not be what you desire. But most of all it is placing your life in the hands of God with a heart of dependency, dedication, trust, faith and love. We have a lot to learn from the people here in Salta and if you come to work with the Red Box Project you will have your eyes opened to another way of being.

Mission Paraguay 2008

EmboscadaAs the summer approaches SAMS Ireland launches many mission trips under the Beyond the Norm banner.

Mission Paraguay is an on-going initiative where teams work for a few weeks on practical projects in Asuncion, Concepcion and remote parts of Paraguay. Details of this years projects are below.

Project for July 2008, one group
Fly out: Friday, 11th July. Return: Saturday, 2nd August.

  • Development of a retreat centre in Emboscada, near Asuncion.

Projects for August, two Groups
Fly out: Friday, 1st August. Return: Saturday, 23rd August

  • Concepción – building a small church in Yvapovo, redoraction of the main church building in Concepción.
  • The Chaco – improve the collection and storage of rainwater, improvements to the church buildings at Dos Palmos and Alegre, the first phase of a new church building at Rio Verde.

Cost: £1,350 approx.

Please read the information sheet for more details.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss going on a trip.

1 94 95 96 97 98 100