SAMS prayer line 22nd May 2008

As you may have learned through the media, Rosimeiri Boxall, the adopted 19-year-old Brazilian daughter of ex-SAMS mission partners Simon & Rachel Boxall, died in suspicious circumstances after falling from a window at a house in London on Saturday. Please uphold Simon, Rachel and their sons in their shock and grief.

Two other deaths have made this a sad week. Wichi Bible translator Juan Toribio passed on in northern Argentina after a short illness, and the grandfather of SAMS Latin Volunteer Bárbara Pino has also died in Chile. Pray for Juan’s widow, Carmen, and their family; and for Bárbara, now feeling very far from home in her Blackpool placement, and her family in Chile.

In Bárbara’s home parish in Santiago, Alf & Hilary Cooper have asked us to pray with them about larger premises for their church of La Trinidad, and especially the possibility of renting a large gym in the nearby German School. Please pray for this urgent need for a growing church.
Looking ahead to next Wednesday (28th) the clergy of the Diocese of Peru begin a 3-day retreat, and the leaders of FEISA, the Early Years Teacher Training College in Asunción, Paraguay, spend the first of two days together on a strategic plan for FEISA’s future, notably in regard to funding its expanding ministry. Pray for these two events, that God would be the director and would develop his work accordingly.

SAMS Prayer line

SAMS GB Chairman Patrick Coghlan returns tomorrow from the consultations in Buenos Aires with the bishops of the Southern Cone. In his absence his wife Gill has suffered a broken pelvis in a fall and his father is suffering from laboured breathing. Both are in hospital. Please remember them in your prayers, and Patrick as he returns.

Also unwell is Pancha Barratt, wife of Terry, who has had chest and arm pains during and after a visit to the Pehuenche churches of southern Chile. No heart problem has been diagnosed, but please keep Pancha in prayer.

John Sutton of SAMS GB has been at the meetings in Buenos Aires and tomorrow (15th) he moves to Salta in Northern Argentina to meet with mission and Latin partners. Pray for these days to be rewarding for them and for John prior to his return to the UK next week.

John arrives next Wednesday (21st) and goes straight to a meeting of the SAMS Trustees at which the issue of a possible merger with CMS will be discussed in the light of responses from UK supporters and folk working in South America. Please pray for this very important meeting.

On Friday (16th) Chris Somervell returns to Asunción to be reunited with her children and begin preparations for the family’s final return to the UK in July. Tony joins them next month. Pray for Chris’s travel, and for them all as they face huge change after nearly 20 years in Paraguay.

Update from Pamela Gomez

Pamela GomezPamela Gomez is a Latin Partner working in Annaghmore Parish for the last six months. Here are a few of her impressions of her time so far.

What have you been doing in the Parish?
I have been working especially with children in the Parish, helping with the Sunday School and youth activities during the week. Recently I joined the worship team and for Pentecost Sunday sang for them in Spanish. I’ve also been giving Spanish lessons for those going out on BTN teams this coming year.

What has been the best thing of the last six months?
The best thing has been working for God over the last six months. Working with the people in the Parish has been very special and I have grown as a Christian as a result. I have learnt that I can spend a lot of time working, even in Christian work, but my priority has to be my relationship with God. Spending time reading the Bible and praying has really helped me.

What do you think of us Northern Irish?
The people are lovely. They are always asking me if everything is ok. The people of Annaghmore are really my big family. I have so many friends there, and Dorothy, the Rector, is a real support and absolutely lovely.

It’s very important to me that SAMS is working in my home town in Argentina, it is a real honour that people here want to help the church grow in Salta. I really appreciate that.

Pamela is here until 13th of July, please pray for her as she prepares to return to Argentina.

SAMS Prayer Line

The SAMS Prayer Line for the week commencing Tuesday 6 May.

Pentecost weekend sees a number of special events:

In Asunción, Paraguay, another Marriage Encounter takes place coordinated by Pastor Jorge & Rebeca Arévalos. Please pray for God to work through them and the team of leaders to strengthen, heal and renew marriages.

In Spain, the Diocesan Women’s retreat is held in Zaragoza, organised by the ladies of Sue Woodcock’s church in Sabadell under the theme of Living Water. Pray for God to refresh and encourage all who attend.

The congregations of the indigenous Toba people of Northern Argentina gather for a conference, with retired bishop David Leake one of the speakers. Pray this event will strengthen the Toba churches in discipleship.

On Friday (9th) Latin Partner Josias de Souza and a colleague begin a ten-day visit to the USA to attend a ‘Purpose Driven Church’ conference in Virginia. Pray for their travel, the impact of the event on them and subsequently on their church in Recife, Brazil.

Last but by no means least, key meetings take place next Tuesday and Wednesday (13-14) in Buenos Aires between the bishops of the Southern Cone and representatives of SAMS and CMS. The SAMS representatives are John Sutton, already in South America, and Chairman Patrick Coghlan who flies out on Thursday (8th). Pray for these highly significant talks which will consider the future direction of SAMS.

SAMS Prayer line 30th April

Please remember in prayer the Irene family, Latin Partners in La Paz, Bolivia. Ronny is concerned for the safety of Nicky and the children in the area where they live, especially in the unstable political climate. He has asked us to pray for God to help them find a new home, bearing in mind the high cost of renting in other parts of the city. A further cause of tension in Bolivia is a referendum on regional autonomy called by the prosperous Santa Cruz region on Sunday (4th).

On Monday (5th) John Sutton of SAMS flies to South America for a two-week visit to Paraguay and Northern Argentina. Pray for John’s travel, his meetings with mission and Latin partners, and his preparations for key meetings in Buenos Aires on 12th and 13th May with bishops of the Southern Cone and representatives of CMS.

A former primate of the Southern Cone, retired bishop David Leake, continues his 3-month spell in Northern Argentina helping in the closing phase of the Toba New Testament translation project. Pray for that work, and also keep David and Rachel in prayer in all the travelling they are doing.

Finally, a huge change has taken place at government level in Paraguay with the departure from power of the Colorado Party after 61 years and the election as president of the independent Fernando Lugo, a former Roman Catholic bishop. Pray for him and the elected government in the huge challenges afforded by poverty, corruption, land reform, unemployment, health and educational needs.

News from René and Marina Pereira in Northern Argentina

René and Marina PereiraDear brothers and sisters,

With these lines I want to send you some news regarding the work of the Anglican Church in Northern Argentina…
 
This year we have had a lot of rain in this region and unfortunately, as has happened in the past, it caused the rivers Pilcomayo and Bermejo to flood. As a result of this, various communities suffered from flooding, some even having to leave their homes so as to move to other places. The communities that were flooded in the Province of Formosa are: el Quebracho, Pescado Negro, Las Lagunitas, Pocitos and Pozo Yacaré (in the Bermejo region); our brethren in El Churcal are isolated, they can only be reached by canoe (this is in the Pilcomayo area). While in the Province of Salta the affected communities were Bajo Grande, Las Vertientes, Las Juntas, Pozo Mulato, Alto de la Sierra and Pozo las Chivas (in the Pilcomayo area).

Pilcomayo RiverIn these last months the rains have not stopped; even last night it rained all night and it’s still raining this morning; this has made the situation even worse as those who left their villages are living very precariously and the roads have become unusable so that it’s almost impossible to reach them. We ask for your prayers for these brethren who are in great need; thanks be to God that the government has been helping them (by air) with food and some shelter. But as has happened previously, I think that when the waters recede and the people establish themselves in their new places they are most likely going to need a new church and they will certainly ask for help from the Diocese for this.

Because of all I’ve mentioned above, we had to cancel the youth meeting which was due to take place during Holy Week in Juarez, as it was impossible for many to travel out from their villages. We also had to postpone a zonal conference in Sauzalito (Chaco Province) for the same reason; this was due to take place on April 5th and 6th but has been postponed till August.
 
As regards ministry in the criollo (“white”) church, in February we had a Young People’s camp in La Caldera (Salta), with about 70 young people taking part, including 35 from Juarez, Laguna Yema and Chiriguanos [towns in the Chaco]. There we had workshops to learn about theatre, music, puppets, clowns and plastic arts, in order to offer the young folk tools to use in evangelism. The young people returned home from the camp both challenged and encouraged, to such a point that in Juarez we organised an open-air event in the little town square where they put into practice what they had learned. This happened on Good Friday: there was a massive crowd, whole families came to the place, lots of children along with their parents; it was a really great opportunity to present the Gospel; as a result of this the numbers coming to the church meetings have grown, especially in the Youth Group and the Sunday School. We ask for your prayers for the central criollo church in Juarez and especially for the two young pastors who lead it: one is Narciso Sanchez (unmarried) and the other is Juan Maldonado (married with 7 children).

In July the youth of the Criollo church in Juarez want to organise their First Youth Camp; after taking part in the Camp at La Caldera they came home with that expectation. It will be a great blessing for them to be able to carry it out; there would be participants from the nearby towns and including some from the capital city of Salta. We don’t have the infrastructure required to do this, but in faith we believe it’s possible. Please pray
for this too.

Also in July, as is our custom we shall have our Youth Camp in Misión Chaqueña which will embrace all the youth from the rural ministry; usually there are about 100-120 young people from different congregations in the region. We are counting on your prayers for this.
 
As for family news, we give thanks to God for Marina’s recovery although it is not yet complete; she is still physically quite poorly, she has to take care not to get a cold or flu, and she still has to continue the treatment to improve her natural immunity. She is still very susceptible to anything which concerns the respiratory system or the lungs. Many thanks for your prayers; we are sure that you are still supporting us in prayer for Marina. On the other hand, Marcos and Sarai have begun their school year really well. Sarai who is 13 is in the 3rd year of secondary while Marcos (only 11) is doing 7th grade (last year of primary school). They are both very healthy and growing taller than their parents, I think very soon they will be looking down on us!
  
Well, that’s all the news that I have to tell you for now, hoping and praying that our Almighty God will continue to bless you richly, both physically as well as spiritually.

Your brother in Christ,

Rene Pereira.

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