New Mission Director of SAMS

The appointment has been announced of the Rt. Rev. K H Clarke, Bishop of Kilmore Elphin and Ardagh, as the new Mission Director of SAMS Ireland. He will succeed Mr Denis Johnston who is retiring after 24 years as the General Secretary of SAMS (South American Mission Society) Ireland.

Bishop Clarke has had a long involvement with SAMS. He has served on the SAMS Ireland Council since the 1970’s. He and his wife were SAMS missionaries in Chile from 1979-1981. He has been Chairperson of SAMS Ireland since the late Dean Lockhart retired in 1993. Later this year in the Autumn he will assume his new full-time responsibilities.

Bishop Ken said, “I believe that God has called me to become more involved in SAMS Ireland and world mission. I am keen to develop and deepen links with Anglicans in South America and in other parts of the Anglican Communion. The development of leaders and the facilitation of missional opportunities will be amongst my priorities. My links with SAMS Ireland stretch over most of my 40 years in ordained ministry and I have served as Chairperson since 1993. This new Post will be an immense and exciting challenge.”

Insane Downhill Bike Race In Chile

The Valparaiso Cerro Abajo Race is a legendary urban bike race and is more extreme than skydiving. The rider must brave jumps, stray dogs, and flights of stairs along the steep downhill path. The first person perspective provided by the excellent helmet cam lets us take in every glorious and frightening detail.

Chaco visit 2011

View a video produced by James McPartland about his visit to the Chaco this year.

NOTE: You will require a Microsoft Live,  Hotmail,  Messenger, or Xbox account to be able to login and view the video.

Click here to view video.

Teaching Opportunities in Paraguay

St. Andrew’s College Asuncion Paraguay is a Christian school offering lessons in both English and Spanish to its pupils. The head of the college is Gwen Carlisle and the deputy head is Mags Southern, both SAMS mission partners. From an English-speaking kindergarten for five children in 1963, St Andrew’s has grown into one of Paraguay’s most significant educational institutions, with around 400 pupils.

Click here to read about Posts Currently available in St. Andrew’s.

Paraguay Projects for 2011

During 2011 Mission Paraguay plans to fund a range  of projects arranged in consultation with the Anglican Church in Paraguay.   While local labour is employed to undertake much of the work, during July and August, 18 volunteers from churches across Northern Ireland and England will each spend three weeks in Paraguay to assist with the projects.

Click here to view Paraguay Projects for 2011

Esperanza Update

Dear Friends

I thought it was about time I kept you up to date with events in the Esperanza Foster Home in Asuncion. Firstly, a big thank you to all those who purchased the “Present Aid” Christmas cards that we made with Paraguayan lace snowflakes. We were really encouraged at how much we raised (over £1000 ) and are planning to do the same again next Christmas so do bear us in mind as you approach the end of the year!

The funds are certainly necessary as Esperanza is back up to its full quota of 5 children following the adoption of Alexis at the end of last year. In fact, for a brief time there were 6 children in the home as a local Judge insisted that a 3 month old girl be cared for in Esperanza while she found her a foster family. Thankfully this has now been achieved which is unusual for Paraguay where it is very difficult to find foster families as there is no funding available. The child who has replaced Alexis for a longer stay is a 2 month old boy called Santiago (James). He is doing extremely well and has grown considerably in the short time he’s been there, but a child of that age is very demanding for Juana and Mariela, her niece, who now works full time in the home. Actually, I know that Juana adores babies so she is probably delighted despite the extra work.

When I last wrote to you I mentioned that little Jose Antonio had missed out on the chance to have surgery on his cleft palate. Teresa wrote a few days ago saying “Operation Smile” were in Asuncion again and she was hopeful that Jose could now be included. The State has now declared him officially “adoptable” but she is worried that no prospective parents will come forward due to his special needs.

The legal situation of the remaining children, Barbara, Victor and Sebastian has not improved since I last wrote, in fact Teresa tells me that in one case Social Services have decided to begin the entire assessment process again.

If the birth parents are in prison or struggling with addictions or in psychiatric institutions it is very difficult for decisions to be made about the children’s future, hence the need for the loving care that Esperanza offers. If you pray, we would very much appreciate your prayers for resolution of the cases of these 3 children.

Every now and again it is possible to see how valuable time spent in Esperanza can be, as some adoptive parents are keen to keep a connection with the home. Teresa wrote last month of being invited to lunch with a family who adopted 2 brothers from Esperanza. She was thrilled and moved to see them doing so well in their new family.

Murray is still hoping to go to Asuncion in July. There are plans for him to get together with short term volunteers from “Mission Paraguay” (run by the Anglican church) to do some redecorating in the home.

As always, it is a challenge to raise sufficient funds to keep the home open on an ongoing basis. If you know of anybody who might consider starting a standing order or doing a fundraising event for us, I have lots of copies of our leaflet that I could send you.

Wishing you every blessing

Penny & Murray Metcalfe



They threw down their nets

and they followed Him.

There was no time to

calculate profit or loss.

There was no time to

call home for a second opinion.

It seemed like absolute madness.

It seemed like death.

But it was a wise madness,

a necessary death.

The old faith dropped

and sank beneath waves.

The new faith walked on water,

beckoning on to Jerusalem

and the dry hills around.

Steve Turner

Broken yet Open

Broken yet Open

God of broken people & broken places
we confess to you our love of comfort,
of the known & predictable,
of the safe & secure.
We recognise that you call us into places that are ‘beyond the norm’.
To leave at times what we know & venture into places of discomfort.
We want to follow you, but it’s hard to leave the familiar,
help us to trust you, & journey in faith.

Far we have come, far we must go

God of broken people & broken places
We thank you for all the connections we have with South America.
We thank you for the space to listen, to grow, to be disappointed & to be challenged.
We recognise that you are calling us on,
to leave what we know & venture with you into new things, into engagement & participation, into creativity & risk, into new structures & opportunities.
We want to follow you, but it’s hard to leave what we know & we’re not sure where we’re going
Help us to trust you, & to continue on the journey of faith.

Far we have come, far we must go

God of rebuilt people & rebuilt places, you have plans for people like us, & plans for our brothers & sisters in South America.

God of transformation we commit our lives to your save keeping & with hope we continue on the journey of faith.

Far we have come, far we must go

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