Prayer Line

News from the SAMS GB prayer line:

This weekend the Diocese of Argentina holds its Synod in Buenos Aires, with visitors from its link Diocese of Sheffield. Pray for Bishop Greg Venables in the chair and for the worship, Bible study and discussions on future planning in the light of a severe shortage of clergy.

Far to the north in the midst of the Argentine Chaco Pastor Tuqui Ayala will baptise on Saturday seven new believers among the settlers of the small town of Laguna Yema. Pray God will bless this event and encourage them in their new life with Christ.

Over this weekend the young people of Espirito Santo church in Recife, Brazil, are going away to pray and study the Bible together. Pray for them and for their pastor, SAMS Latin Partner Josias de Souza and his wife Danielle.

From Monday to Thursday (14th-17th) the ‘Gospel in Spain’ conference is held at the SEUT seminary in El Escorial to highlight the vital work of its staff, in particular SAMS mission partners Jonathan & Hilary Rowe. Pray for this event and for its coordinator Tim Greenhalgh.

On Tuesday (15th) Tim Curtis returns to Paraguay after his UK ministry. Pray for his travel, his reunion with the Enxet Bible translation team and the continuing project.

Finally, Tuesday also sees the long-awaited conference on revival held in Santiago, Chile. Alf Cooper hopes for a turnout of 5000 pastors and leaders. Pray for this gathering.

News from Gayle Stevenson in Salta

Gayle StevensonOk I’m sorry I’m a few days late but Cecilia has only just got back and so everything has been quite busy. Where to start – the last month has been mostly filled with travelling, I’ve seen some absolutely breathtaking views and as well as that I’ve been becoming a bit of a Tour Guide in my spare time. So as most of you know I have to leave the country every 3 months/90 days to renew my Argentine Visa so off I went with Guada, Cecilia´s wee sis, to Puerto Iguazu on the borders of Brazil and Paraguay. Mode of transport – Bus (3 of them). Total Travelling Time – 30 hrs. There are three main things you notice when you arrive in Puerto Iguazu – heat,humidity and bright red soil! As if that wasn’t exciting enough Puerto Iguazu is also home to one of Argentina’s most impressive sites, a set of waterfalls which separate Argentina and Brazil. We spent a whole day walking around the trail which was set up to show off these massive waterfalls, in awe of their beauty and size. If that wasn’t enough we went on a boat up the river and were so close to the Falls that you couldn’t breathe never mind keep your eyes open as the force was so great. We crossed the border of Brazil and Paraguay and spent a day just walking about their border cities to get the passport all stamped up ready for my last 3 months in Argentina. As we were only there for a short period of time I can’t tell you a whole lot about the places other than Brazil was much more built up with a few sky scrapers and I even spied a Pizza Hut – couldn´t believe it. Paraguay was really like Bolivia only bigger with a lot more buildings. On our last day in Puerto Iguazu we went on a big boat trip up the river that separates the 3 countries as the sun was setting. Meanwhile a few men performed folklore music on the boat to accompany the beautiful views and even got Guada and I up to dance in front of everyone. Ha, let’s just say I was fairly confident I would never see any of them again! I really loved my time there as it was great to be surrounded by so much water. I’ve really missed the sea as its a couple of days drive from Salta and so most of the people I know have never seen it. The next day we were back on the bus and on our way home exhausted, looking forward to Mum and Dad arriving a few days later. Unfortunately Mum and Dad missed their connecting flight from Buenos Aires to Salta and so we had to wait in suspense for yet another day. Anyways Mum and Dad arrived safe and sound-ish (you can ask them about that) and the next day we were up early to go for a day trip up into the Andes along the path of the Train to the Clouds, if anyone has heard about that. On the way we visited some villages, the Argentine Salt Flats and the Mountain of 7 colours. I somehow got roped into translating the whole thing for both Mum, Dad and an English couple who were also on the tour that day and so we all arrived home absolutely wrecked!! The following day was spent seeing the sites and sounds of my second home Salta City. We went up one of the “cerros”(we would call it a mountain but here it’s a hill) by cable car, dandered around the city and went to the famous Sunday markets. Up early again the next day and off to Buenos Aires only to be amazed yet again, only this time not by another one of God’s beautiful creations but by the size of the hotel room I was staying in. I suppose mentally I’ve down sized a bit and so to find my room was bigger than the house I’ve been living in for the past 7 months came as a bit of a surprise! The following few days were filled with delicious food ( Argentine Steaks and fish which I haven’t had seen I left home), site seeing and a tango show, after which we parted ways again as we flew home- Mum and Dad to Ireland and I to Salta. Some days later Cecilia arrived home from Ireland and so now the real work begins again. I can’t believe I’ll be home soon and so I’m determined to really make the most of my time left.

Prayer points
For my time left that God will make the most of it and I will be open to him doing so. For a girl from my church who has been kicked out of her house by her family for being a Christian, she has no job as she is studying and is now staying with a family who already have a full house and little money as it is.?For the team coming out in July. For all next years volunteers. Thanks again for all your support and sorry that this email has arrived a bit late.

Hasta Luego y Dios Te Bendiga. Tu Hermana En Cristo. Cati ( Gayle Stevenson)

Short term mission trips 2008

During the coming months several SAMS Ireland teams are heading to South America. Each of them will be doing a variety of work to server the Anglican church in their outreach and ministries. The teams are:

  • Lisburn Cathederal – Salta; Red Box Project, from 28th June to 19th July. Team leader – Jonny Best.
  • Down & DromoreLa Caldera 2008, Northern Argentina; from 4th July to 25th July. Team leader – Stephen Trew.
  • Dungannon / Fivemiletown – Salta; Red Box Project, from 24th July to 15th August. Team Leader Jo Hamilton
  • Love For Life – Paraguay; From 1st August to 17th August. Team Leader Hannah Collins. Following up the Love for Life Paraguay 2007 trip (report).
  • Eglinton / AhoghillMission Paraguay 2008; From 1st August to 23rd August. Team Leader David Orritt.

Prayer news

From the SAMS GB Prayer line:

Retired Bishop David and Rachel Leake travel to Argentina tomorrow for a 3-month visit. They will be based in Salta in the northern diocese with son Andrew, his wife María and their family. Pray for their journey and adjustment, their ministry of encouragement to Andrew and María in their work on environmental issues, and for David’s main work of assisting Michael Browne in the Toba New Testament translation project.

Next Monday (7th) in the same diocese a regional conference of Indian pastors and lay leaders is held in Saucelito in the Chaco area. Please pray for this gathering.

Two events in northeast Spain this weekend also merit our prayers. St George’s Church, Barcelona, hold their weekend away in a nearby rural area, under the title ‘Play and Pray’. And the Church of Christ in Sabadell has a special outreach event on Saturday. Pray for these events and continue to remember the churches’ leaders Peter & Barbara Jordan and Sue Woodcock.

Finally, Ruth Hollingdale and husband Efraim in Brazil ask prayer for an event in the favela (or slum) in Recife where they work. A group of young people from Espirito Santo church nearby are starting a special youth evangelistic impact in the favela community with monthly Saturday night events; the first one is held this Saturday, 5th.

Items for prayer

From the SAMS prayer line:

Alf Cooper, who arrived back today in Chile, has asked us to pray for preparations for a major event on 15 April. This is a Conference on Revival to be held in the main Methodist Pentecostal Cathedral in Santiago and Alf hopes that as many as 5000 pastors and leaders will attend.  He writes: ‘Chilean pastors need great refreshment in their experience of revival and church.  Chile’s 20% of [evangelical] Christians [in the population] needs to become 30%.’ Let’s pray with Alf and the church in Chile for all the work for this event.

Though a Bank Holiday here in the UK, Monday is a normal working day in South America. It’s a big day at FEISA, the Anglican Early Years Teacher Training College in Asunción, Paraguay: not only do the new First Years begin their course but the long-planned degree course also starts. Please pray for the students as they embark on these ventures, and for the staff in teaching and administration.

Easter weekend services and outreach events are wonderful opportunities for evangelism and churches across South America, Spain and Portugal will be holding these. At Living Waters in Olinda, Brazil, for example, Maundy Thursday will see a service of the washing of feet, Good Friday a film, Saturday a picnic, and Easter Sunday worship from sunrise through the day. Let’s pray for the events in Olinda and similar ones elsewhere, that many people will be transformed by an encounter with the Living God.

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