A New Year’s Prayer …

Dear Father

God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows.
We praise You for Your unequalled greatness.
Thank You for the year behind us and for the year ahead.
Help us in Your new year, Father, to fret less and laugh more.
To teach our children to laugh by laughing with them.
To teach others to love by loving them.
Knowing, when Love came to the stable in Bethlehem, He came for us.
So that Love could be with us, and we could know You.
That we could share Love with others.
Help us, Father, to hear Your love song in every sunrise,
in the chirping of sparrows in our gardens,
in the stories of our grandparents, and the fantasies of our children.
Help us to stop and listen to Your love songs,
so that we may know You better and better.
We rejoice in the world You loved into being.
Thank You for another new year and for new chances every day.
We pray for South America and may we in 2013 deepen our partnerships with others to share your message of hope.
Forgive us for falling short this past year.
We leave the irreparable past in your hands, and step out into the
unknown new year knowing You will go with us.
We accept Your gift of a new year and we rejoice in what’s ahead,
depending on You to help us do exactly what You want..
I say it again, we rejoice!
In Jesus name,


Beyond the Tinsel

It’s that time of year when the tinsel and sparkling lights come out and lets be honest it brightens up a time of year with low levels of light! May you have time this Christmas to stop and be reminded that following Christ touches beyond the edges of our lives. Its nothing to do with transforming the fringes. Its purpose is not simply to add some extra qualities to our lives. It has to do with the very core of our existence. Our inner life is not a quiet inner sanctuary that remains segregated from the more central and mundane aspects of our lives. Following Christ is transformative. It challenges us at the very centre of our being and seeks to permeate every facet of our existence.


Killing Time

Killing Time

How do I kill time? Let me count the ways.
By worrying about things over which I have
no control.
Like the past. Like the future.
By harbouring resentment and anger over
hurts real or imagined.
By disdaining the ordinary, or rather,
what I so mindlessly call ordinary.
By concern over what’s in it for me.
rather than what’s in me for it.
By failing to appreciate what is
because of might-have-beens,
could-have beens.
These are some of the ways I kill time.
Jesus didn’t kill time.
He gave life to it. His own.

Can you be too incarnational?

You can never be too incarnational, for properly understood that’s akin to asking whether you can be too Christ like. Towards the end of the Gospel of John, Jesus prays “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”

In others words, Jesus calls us to move within this world without being of this world, to engage with our culture and his teachings simultaneously, without distancing ourselves from either. If Jesus is truly our axis mundi, the centre of our world and our way, then we will live like him and challenge our culture from within.

But often that’s not what we find. Frequently what happens instead is we find Christians either isolating themselves or capitulating to the culture. Both ways lead to blunted witness. A worse option is even more common, that of being “of the world but not in the world,” whereby Christian compromise with culture and gloss it over with layers of ‘churchianity’ that effectively cuts of further cultural engagement.

Go on, be missional, relational and intentional today!

Lord, I Give Up

Lord, I give up
All my own plans and purposes,
All my own desires and hopes
And accept Thy will for my life.
I give myself, my life, my all,
Utterly to Thee
To be Thine forever.
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.
Use me as Thou wilt,
Send me where Thou wilt,
Work out Thy whole will in my life
At any cost,
Now and forever.

Betty Scott Stam (Martyred in the 1930s)


Claire Departing for Concepción

Concepción in Paraguay

Settled on the banks of the Rio Paraguay, the city of Concepción which has a population of roughly 50,000 inhabitants is completely unheard of by most.

Concepción is the city God has placed on Claire’s heart. The photo taken at the City Airport in Belfast on 18th July is a reminder that we are all called to participate in God’s mission. Share with Claire and pray. Claire is no stranger to Paraguay as she has already served for 14 years with the Anglican Church. Pray for Claire as she returns and keep up to date with prayer updates from SAMS.

Paraguay Overview


Paraguay is a landlocked country located in the center of South America.


Paraguay borders Bolivia and Brazil on the north, Brazil to the east, Argentina to the south, and Bolivia and Argentina to the west. It has a total land area of 157,048 square miles. It is sometimes referred to as the “Heart of America”, owing to its central location in the continent.


Paraguay is divided naturally by the river Paraguay. To the west of the river is the flat deposit of the Gran Chaco, a vast plain which extends from Paraguay into Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil. This whole region is characterized by grasslands, swamps, and sparse bush coverage. The eastern area consists mainly of plains with rainforest-like vegetation and is drained by the tributaries of the Paraguay and Paraná rivers.


Paraguay has a subtropical climate. In Asunción average temperatures range between 17°C in July and 30°C in January. In the Gran Chaco temperatures exceed 45°C on hot days. In Concepción the climate is usually between Asunción and the Gran Chaco. Generally the main rainy season lasts from December to March.


Paraguay declared its independence from Spain in 1811.


6.5 millionCapital: AsunciónArea: 157,048 sq miles (406,752 sq km)Major languages: Spanish & Guarani

Belfast City Marathon 2012

For more than three decades people have raised tens of thousands of pounds in the Belfast Marathon. This year was no exception. In driving rain, Johnny and Lynne Lockhart from Portadown and Noel Boyd from Bunbeg in Donegal pounded the 26.2 miles to reach the finish line. SAMS would like to say a massive thank-you for the funds they raised for the on going work in Concepción a city in northern Paraguay.

Feeding my Faith

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12

In this opportunity I would love to share with you a wee story that when I heard about it suddenly it starting feeding my faith in such a way that became a need to share with others.

Click here to read more

Urge to Pray?

Have you ever felt the urge to pray for someone and Then just put it on a list and said, ‘I’ll pray for them later’? Or has anyone ever called you and said, ‘I need you to pray for me, I have this need?’

Read the following story that was sent to me and May it change the way that you may think about prayer and also the way you pray. You will be blessed by this ….

A mission partner who was home visiting link churches told this true story while visiting his home parish. ‘While serving at a small field hospital, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the bush to a nearby town for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point.

On one of these journeys, I arrived in the town where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine, and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.

Upon arrival in the town, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord. I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived back without incident….

Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the town, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines.  He said, ‘Some friends and I followed you in to the bush, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and medicines, but just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards.

At this, I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone in that bush campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said, ‘No, sir, I was not the only person to see the guards, my friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.’

At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story:

‘On the night of your incident, it was morning here and I was preparing to go and  play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men from this church to meet with me and pray for you.

Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?’ The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. The missionary wasn’t concerned with whom they were, He was too busy counting how many men he saw.

There were 26.

This story is an incredible example of how the Spirit of the Lord moves in behalf of those who love Him. If you ever feel such prodding to pray, go along with it, you don’t know what it can mean to that person.

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