Bolivian Consecration

Archdeacon Raphael Samuel was formally consecrated as the Diocesan Bishop of Bolivia at a Sunday morning service at Cristo Luz Del Mundo (Light of the World). The Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone of the Americas, the Rt Rev Hector  “Tito” together with the Bishops from Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay led in the consecration of the new Bishop of Bolivia.

The election of Archdeacon Raphael Samuel as the Bishop of Bolivia represents a landmark in church missions in that he is the first Asian missionary to be consecrated Bishop in the Spanish speaking Anglican world. Bishop Raphael Samuel, is a Singapore clergyman sent by the Diocese of Singapore to serve in Bolivia. He and his wife, Michelle, are the longest-serving missionaries in the Bolivian Anglican Church.

Raphael, a Singaporean Tamil, was born in January 16th 1957. He was raised in a traditional Anglican parish and received Christ when he was a teenager. He hails from several generations of Anglicans and was educated in a Methodist school. After formal studies, he joined the Singapore Navy in 1974, after which he responded to the Lord’s call to serve in the Anglican Church in 1980.  At this juncture, a life-changing experience of the Holy Spirit, left a deep and lasting impression on his life.  As part of his preparation for full-time ministry, he studied theology for 4 years at Trinity Theological College, where he and Michelle met. The communal setting at St Peter’s Hall, an Anglican institute for ministerial training in the campus at Trinity, served as an integral part of his formation as a priest in the Anglican Church.

In 1991, the national director of Bolivian Church, Rev Greg Blaxland, visited Singapore with a view to raise missionary candidates for the work in Bolivia. At a meeting with the Singaporean clergy, he shared the need for ordained pastors to serve as missionaries in Bolivia.

Raphael, a pastor of a congregation, had already considered the possibility of serving in Latin America prior to Greg’s visit to Singapore.  A few years earlier, SAMS Australia’s General Secretary, Rev Ted Newing had counseled him to pray and wait for the Lord’s timing. The invitation from Bolivia came as a confirmation of God´s calling to serve in Latin America. Bishop Moses Tay, the former bishop of Singapore, played an active role in forging links between the diocese of Singapore and the work in Bolivia.

Raphael, Michelle and their 3-year old son, Elijah, arrived in Bolivia in January 4th 1993. He and Michelle spent 6 months studying Spanish and the intricacies of cross cultural work at the Maryknoll Language Institute in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Since then, Raphael, has worked actively in the Bolivian diocese on several levels. He served as pastor of a congregation in Santa Cruz, and as Archdeacon of the diocese; has helped the Bolivian church acquire diocesan status, started new works; raised leaders, and assisted local clergy to assume the leadership of the congregations. Raphael completed his Masters in Theology in Spanish in 2010 and is working on further post graduate studies in the area of family counseling. His wife, Michelle, is actively involved in various ministries in the church, especially in the area of worship and the creative arts. Their son, Elijah, is due to graduate from a university in Singapore this year.

SAMS is excited about  Raphael’s appointment and we encourage all SAMS prayer supporters to pray daily for Raphael and Michelle within this new phase of ministry


Pray for encouragement and refreshment for Bishop Frank and Shawnee Lyons in their pastoral oversight and leadership in the diocese and in La Trinidad, Cochabamba together with pastor Walter Toro. Pray for the churches in La Paz and Tarija to grow and impact their communities, and for their leaders, Carla and Martín Flores and Sandra and Walter Barrientos.


Uphold Latin partners Lico and Rosa Bascuñán in Santa Cruz. Pray for the community they serve who are poor economically, that the Lord may enable them to discover his riches, love and salvation.


Pray for Bishop Frank and Shawnee Lyons (SAMS USA) in leadership and pastoral oversight of the diocese and in La Trinidad church, Cochabamba with Pastor Walter Toro. Pray for spiritual growth and missionary outreach in all the churches in Bolivia.


Ask the Lord to bless the church of Cristo Salvador, La Paz, and to guide and equip Martín and Carla Flores and Pedro Villareal in ministry. Pray for the Light of the World and Bread of Life churches in Santa Cruz and for encouragement and refreshment in ministry for Lico and Rosa Bascuñán.


Uphold Walter and Sandra Barrientos and assistant pastor Julio César who studied at CEP in Chile. Pray for Jesús el Buen Pastor Church in Tarija to continue growing in love and service to one another and to the community. Remember the regular visits to the shanty town Santa Cruz Mission for worship and teaching.


Pray for Bishop Frank & Shawnee Lyons for God’s vision in meeting the challenges faced by the diocese. Praise God for the return of Raphael & Michelle Samuel to Bolivia after two years back in Singapore.

Pray for Lico & Rosa Bascuñán pastoring the two congregations in Santa Cruz and seeking to bring practical help in a poor area. Pray for Pastor Walter Toro and the ministry and outreach of La Trinidad

Church in Cochabamba. Ask the Lord to guide Martín & Carla Flores and Pedro Villareal in their leadership of the church of Cristo Salvador, La Paz, so that every member is encouraged and equipped to serve God in that city.


Pray for Bishop Frank & Shawnee Lyons in pastoral oversight of the diocese and in ministry at La Trinidad church in Cochabamba alongside Pastor Walter Toro. Pray for the leadership of Cristo Salvador church in La Paz, especially Pedro Villarreal and Martín & Carla Flores.


Pray for Bishop Frank & Shawnee Lyons in pastoral oversight of the diocese and in their ministry at La Trinidad church in Cochabamba. Pray also for Pastor Walter Toro who works in La Trinidad.

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