Garden Project update recently received into the SAMS office:
SAMS would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended our anual Friday Night Live gathering at Craigavon Civic Centre. It proved to be another humbling evening due to the love and support shared by hundreds of faithful supporters. To God be the glory! It has been encouraging listening to the feedback and we have been blessed by the generous offering of over £6,000 which will be going to Leadership Development.
We look forward to a continuing partnership in mission with you.
Again THANK YOU.
Spanish Worship Night
The next Spanish Worship night will be on Tuesday 4th February at 7.30pm for tea and coffee, starting at 8pm and will be held in The Hub (22 Elmwood Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6AY). Pray for those who organise the Spanish Worship Night and a real sense of fellowship with those who share a passion for South America and/or Spain.
Friday Night Live
Pray for Friday Night Live (FNL) preparations and also the FNL gathering which will be held in Craigavon Civic Centre on Friday 7th February at 7.30pm. FNL be an evening to be informed challenged and encouraged on missional developments in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru. There are exciting stories of God at work, so pray with us and for us. Refreshments afterwards will create an opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones!
Gwen Carlisle and Mags Southern
Pray for Gwen and Mags who travelled back to Paraguay on 28th January. Pray for them as they settle back in to Paraguayan life and for St Andrew’s School as they prepare to start back after the holidays. Give thanks for the time they were able to spend in the UK and for each of the churches they visited.
Pray for all the ministries in Concepción. Give thanks for the children and youth who have recently been involved in summer camps and pray that they will be spiritually strengthened from the camps. Pray too for Claire, for the work she is involved in and for her to have time for rest in between all the work she does.
Student Ministry, Chile
Pray for Max Díaz, who has recently started his student ministry work in Chile and for God’s wisdom throughout this project. Pray that God will open the doors for the gospel in the universities and for boldness for Max to proclaim the message. Pray also for Cristóbal Cerón, that God will give him strength, guidance and vision as he is finishing up the third year of church planting.
The Tester Family
Paul, Sarah and Sophia arrived safely back in Peru at the end of December. Pray for the family as they are entering camp season starting with Arequipa 7th – 9th Feb and Students / Young Adults in Lima 21st-23rd February. Please pray for the young people attending, for God’s will to be done in their lives and for the team of leaders and speakers preparing for the camps. Please also pray for safety and to work well together. Pray intentionally for the Tester family as they speak, help, pray and give input into the summer ministries.
Pray for Daniela Alvarez from Santiago, Chile who is preparing to participate on the SAMS FUSION programme later this month. Pray for Daniela’s safe arrival and for her year based in Northern Ireland that it will be a blessing both for Daniela and those who she will be working with.
I am auctioning this piece of art for my dad’s work with SAMS (South American Mission Society). Feel free to bid on this original acrylic of Bendy Amsterdam
Bidding starts at £50. Auction closes midday 31st January let me know if you want to bid!
Tanya Mai Johnston
If you have a heart for Latin-American and/or Spain and like speaking the language, don’t miss this opportunity of worshipping our Lord and sharing between each other in Spanish.
Save the date: Tuesday 4th of February, 7:30pm for tea & coffee (starting at 8pm) at The Hub (22 Elmwood Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6AY).
See you there! Blessings!
ARGENTINA: Please pray for president Cristina Kirchner and her government. Pray for SAMS Red Box Project coordinator Cecilia Valdiviezo and her time in Northern Ireland this month. Pray for Cecilia as she shares with supporting churches – in the midst of a busy programme pray that Cecilia will be refreshed as she catches up with friends.
PARAGUAY: Esperanza Foster Home: Give thanks for the past year, the children who have stayed in the home and the growth they felt through their stay there. Pray for the future of the home, for Inocencia, who is currently the main foster mum, and pray too for the children who will stay at the home over the next year. That it will be a place full of love and hope for them.
CHILE: SAMS are happy to let you know that from this month, we will be supporting a new project with Santiago Apóstol Church in Chile. The goal of this project is to support a full time worker to share the message of Jesus amongst the many students there. Santiago is home to at least 50% of the students in the country, but there is not a single local evangelical church in downtown Santiago that works throughout the week, full-time, to serve the thousands of students there. Pray for Rev. Cristóbal Cerón of Santiago Apóstol Church and the project leader Max Díaz.
GENERAL COUNCIL: Pray for the SAMS General Council meeting on 16th January and for all the council members. Pray that God will lead and guide them and that they will be open to hearing God’s voice as they plan for future developments.
TRANSIT: Give thanks for the Christmas visit of Jonny and Lynn Lockhart to Claire in Concepcion, pray for safety in travel as they return to the UK on 14th January. Pray for Chris and Alison Hawksbee as they return to Paraguay on 21st January. Give thanks for the encouraging time Chris and Alison had with Annaghmore Parish. Pray for Gwen and Mags as they return to Asuncion on 28th January.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE: Pray for Friday Night Live (FNL) preparations. FNL will be held in Craigavon Civic Centre on Friday 7th February at 7.30pm. FNL be an evening to be informed challenged and encouraged on missional developments in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru. There are exciting stories of God at work, so pray with us and for us. Refreshments afterwards will create an opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones!
“To know the Word of God, to live the Word of God, to preach the Word, to teach the Word, is the sum of all wisdom, the heart of all Christian service.”
“40 years married…would you lead us in the renewing of our marriage vows?”
This was the request I received recently from two very good friends. Both are keen and active supporters of SAMS and it was a pleasure to lead them in a short service of renewing vows. As I thought about them, their lives together, and how the Lord has used them I thought of seeds and service. These two words sum up their lives together. In the Lord’s service, both in South America and here in Ireland, they have been used to plant seeds which are bearing much fruit and everyone who knows them sees their servant hearts. Mission is about sowing seeds and reaping a harvest. Neither sowing nor reaping will happen without humble Christ-like selfless sacrificial service. Recently when I was in Lima Peru I had the joy of meeting a remarkable Christian couple called Julio and Norma. In 1980 Julio was the first Peruvian to be ordained in the Anglican Church in Peru. I asked both of them if they knew an Irish missionary called Raymundo Mills who had worked in Lima with his wife Beth some years ago. Their faces lit up and her eyes filled up. Norma said to me “El es mi padre espiritual!” (He is my spiritual father). Julio and Norma’s home is now a school in a poor area of Lima. They had a vision for reaching the children of the area for Christ and giving them the opportunity of a good education. Now 128 children and 10 teachers occupy their home. As the school expands their living space contracts! As money comes in more classrooms are added by building up. I was deeply moved when I saw the quality of their work and ministry. Their daughter Isabella is the Headmistress and is doing a superb job. This has all come about by seeds planted many years ago through a missionary family from Ireland. The Mills family knew the Lord had called them to serve in South America and they did. Julio’s family have that same heart for service and they are making a difference in the lives of many children and families.
I wonder is the Lord calling some of us to new adventures of obedience in 2014. Are we being called to new steps of faith? Are we being prompted to new waves of generosity? Are we passionate about service or have we lapsed into lethargy? Jesus, the Servant King calls us to serve! Some of us will sow and others will reap but the Lord Himself will give the growth. May seeds and service be marks of our lives and churches!
As I finish, and in case you were wondering who I was referring to…Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary to Gordon and Beryl Whitehead! The seeds they planted continue to bear much fruit in Santiago Chile. They are still planting seeds here in Ireland. May they, and we, keep going!
Spanish Worship Night Pray for the volunteers who organise the Spanish Worship Night which seeks to connect people who have a heart for South America and/or Spain. The next gathering will be on Tuesday 17th December at 19:30 for tea & coffee (starting at 8pm) in The Hub (22 Elmwood Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6AY). Everyone is welcome!
Claire Holmes Pray for the various ministries in Concepcion. Give thanks for all the children and young people who meet regularly and have a growing hunger for God’s word. Pray for the Christmas Nativity plays and other events led by the children and young people. These will all have an evangelistic emphasis as Claire and the team aim to reach out to more families with the gospel.
Gwen Carlisle & Mags Southern Pray for Gwen and Mags this month as they conclude another school year. Their ministry is so significant but its also extremely demanding so pray that this Christmas will be a restful and affirming time. We are looking forward to seeing them in late December as they will be in the UK & Ireland for a visit.
The Chaco Pray for Chris Hawksbee as he works with a contact in the government planning department for projects directed to reducing poverty in the Chaco communities. Pray specifically for help and advice on project ideas which will be presented within and outside of Paraguay.
Red Box Project Give thanks for the ministry of Cecilia Valdiviezo. Pray for Cecilia as she arrives into Dublin on 27th December. Pray for rest, refreshment and a real sense of Gods anointing as Cecilia will share with us for several weeks.
World Cup As we enter 2014 be prepared for complete saturation on all things linked to the World Cup in Brazil. As a mission agency we have a natural interest in Brazil, but we are also committed to helping churches here at home to reach out locally. A really useful resource for such outreach is the SAMS World Cup Weekender. Pray for this resource that it will be used widely and wisely and may many people come to faith during the 2104 World Cup.
Tester Family Paul, Sarah and little Sophia travel back to Peru on 29 December. Pray for them as they depart from the UK and pray also that they will settle quickly back into life and ministry in Peru.
Garden Project Give thanks for the ministry of Alejandro Deane. Pray for Macio Rojas, due to malnutrition at birth Macio is deaf and he can’t speak. Give thanks for this young Christian man who is growing in confidence and developing new skills through the Garden Project.
FUSION Give thanks for the ministry of Monica Almeida from city of Belo Horizonte, in the south-east of Brazil. Monica is serving for a second year in the parish of Magheralin. Pray for Monica and also pray for Monica’s family back in Brazil especially at this Christmas time of year. Pray for Daniela Alvarez from Santiago in Chile who is preparing to participate on the SAMS FUSION programme in late January. SAMS is working closely with the UK Border Agency so pray for the documentation process.
“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.”