Anglican International Student Ministry Network (AISMN) Holds Historic 1st Gathering

Anglican International Student Ministry Network (AISMN) Holds Historic 1st Gathering

Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your day that you would not believe, even if you were told. Hab.  1:9

The recently launched Anglican International Student Ministry Network (AISMN) held its first conference to connect Anglicans seeking to reach the 1.6 million international students currently in North America. Led by co-directors Lisa and Leiton Chinn, your SAMS Missionary Rev. Dr. Mary McDonald, and assisted by New Wineskins Director Jenny Noyes.

“I speak for the network founders, we were utterly amazed at the Lord bringing twenty-two participants to the conference from Canada, China, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina to Eastern University outside of Philadelphia, PA on May 31. Many stayed the weekend for additional training at the Association of Christians Ministering among Internationals (ACMI) conference, McDonald stated.

AISMN is a group of Anglicans involved in international student ministry around the world. They are committed to offering hospitality to students and scholars who study and work in a country not their own. When there is interest and trust, we share our Christian faith.

The true value of networking was experienced as people from different churches shared their ideas. TIPS, Truro International Program Services, founders Lisa and Leiton Chinn as well as Linda Sellevaag, Karen Kirk, Rev. David Jones, and recent TIPS intern Julie Meadows told fabulous success stories of the program’s 33-year ministry.  Jose Garrigo the current leader of TIPS was teleconferenced in to give his valuable insights on making the Anglican churches more welcoming to outsiders including having more multi-ethnic staff and involving internationals in the planning and running of the programs early on so it is truly “their” program.

Lisa Oelerich, Alpha USA/New England was also Zoomed in to share about the Alpha for internationals materials and encouraged people to use it as an excellent resource to bring internationals to Christ.

SAMS Bridger Deb Carr and her husband Chuck Carr along with Bo and Lilly Ubbens spoke of befriending and “parenting” international students at Trinity Seminary in Ambridge, PA.

Jean and Steve Louie, at William and Mary University in Virginia said their, “International Student ministry is organic and grew from nothing. They just help students adjust to American culture. The ministry is eat, eat, eat, plus professional mentoring.”  They have a Meet & Greet in Fall, a winery outing, football, Lunar New Year, and celebrate holidays with the students. The couple was thrilled to network with other Anglican ministering among internationals and we are thrilled to have them in the network!

Mary and Jack McDonald shared of their ministry at Va Tech in Blacksburg, Va and suggested a possible regional conference for international students.

ASIMN was blessed by the attendance of internationals, Syncia Yin Chan, with ISMC National Team Communications and Nicole Schlicther the city-director from Quebec Canada. We even had 2 guests from China sharing about ISM in China.  Additionally, we had a guest share about the Southern Baptist denomination’s experience with ISM.

The ASIMN was “A mountaintop experience!” according to Dr. Mike Medley, former Director of Intensive English Program at Eastern Mennonite Univ. and now Parish Administrator at Church of the Incarnation. He brought Ross Gulliver, back from 10 months ESL teaching in China, who shared about Conversation Corners at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA and listed ideas for connecting with other ministries.

The conference time concluded with prayer for each other’s outreach to internationals and plans for the continued ministry of AISMN which hopes to include tracks at various Synod gatherings, the Provincial Assembly and New Wineskins in 2019.

If you would like to be involved with the network or to have a copy of the notes from this historic conference, please write marymcdonald@sams-usa.org.

Anglican Youth Fellowship Band – Mission Trip to Bukedea

Anglican Youth Fellowship Band – Mission Trip to Bukedea

Last weekend, I had the honor of being part of an Anglican Youth Fellowship Band mission trip to Bukedea District in eastern Uganda. AYF Band is a group over 30 years old with a passion for proclaiming the Gospel and bringing people to Christ through music ministry.

We left Mukono on Thursday afternoon, stopping about an hour down the road for chicken on a stick! As we stopped, 3 or 4 men with 15 skewers of chicken ran alongside our costa (bus) hoping to sell to us. Cue Joke #1 of many!: “See it’s fast food, it chases after you!” Two of our team members did a great job of finding fresh pieces that had more time on the fire to ensure they did not make us sick. It was delicious!

About 7 hours later down a long dirt road with maize growing on each side, we arrived at our destination in a village in the Bukedea District. We were blessed to stay at an AYF member’s home, close to 25 of us!

After taking some tea and dinner of traditional food, we all turned in for the night to be ready for an early start the next morning.

Friday, we began our mission at Bukedea Primary School. The children were very excited to see the costa pull up and even more excited to see the instruments and sound equipment be unloaded! The team set up the “stage” area under a tree in the middle of the school, while children poured out of every building, carrying wooden desks to sit in to watch the performance. The Band is full of so much musical talent which the kids and adults very much enjoyed. Between songs, the team members shared powerful testimonies and the gospel. Later in the program, one member told the story of the prodigal son while the rest of the team acted out different roles for the kids. My favorite part was watching the kids enthusiastically take on the role of pigs in the part of the story when the prodigal son has to take a job keeping pigs. At the end of each program, there is an explanation of the gospel and a team member will lead those who want to accept Christ in a prayer to do so.

The day continued with a Kyondong Primary School then Seed Secondary School. At the Secondary Schools, the program is adjusted to suit their age group and includes an altar call at the end. How encouraging to see so many students come forward wanting to accept Christ! The group of new Christians is then brought outside and given a booklet called “Welcome to God’s Family” which explains the gospel and next steps for new Christians. Each student also completes a contact information card that is passed on to a school chaplain or other appropriate local person so that they can follow up in discipling these new Christians.

Saturday was spent visiting Bukedea Boarding Secondary School, the Kidongole Health Centre, and Bukedea Local Government Prison. Our team of 15 doctors saw 540 patients in 2 days at the Kidongole Health Centre while AYF performed in the various locations. Then on Sunday, we were invited to a village church and enjoyed being in that community as we ended our trip.

 

Overall, I was so blessed to get to know some amazing people with bold faith and powerful testimonies of the ways that Jesus has transformed their lives. We will continue to pray that the seeds sown last weekend will continue to grow and flourish in Bukedea District!

“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  Isaiah 55:11

We’re Going to Belize!

We’re Going to Belize!

Annabelle is always up for an adventure!

Hi! We are Missy, Evan, and Annabelle Hansen. We currently live in Charlottesville, VA. From December 2018 to December 2019 we will be working with SAMS’ missionaries David and Mary Beth Alenskis in Belize. This is Evan writing. I’ll tell you a bit about us.

Both Missy and I have been full time ministers in the course of our lives. We moved to Charlottesville 10 years ago to help start a church, All Souls Charlottesville, where I am an elder.

Missy was born to missionary parents in Zambia, has worked in women’s ministry, and is currently working as a Licensed Professional Counselor. I think she’s brilliant. She will be doing some counseling through the local church in Belize. There are no therapists in the region where we will be living and we are told the need is great. Please pray we will find a way for Missy to best use her time to help people well without being overwhelmed by the need.

I am a minister ordained in the Baptist tradition through All Souls. I studied theology at Gordon-Conwell and worked in College ministry at the University of Virginia. I currently work as a Realtor, but mentoring young leaders is something that has remained important to me. In Belize I will be mentoring, discipling, and equipping lay leaders in the local parishes. I’m a jack of all trades kind of guy and hope to put my mechanical, carpentry, and musical skills to use as well. Please pray for me to learn to slow my pace and let the Spirit guide my interactions. 

Annabelle is 5. She just finished Kindergarten and is currently taking swimming lessons. She loves all things science. She has a great imagination and is already planning archeological digs at local sites. She also saw a video where kids ate termites in Belize and she can’t wait to try that out. We’re all excited that she’ll have school uniforms so we don’t fight about what she’ll wear every morning. Please pray for her to form rich friendships. 

How You Can Participate – PRAY

Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.  – Mother Teresa

We know many things will be in flux and are anticipating challenges and adventures.Our preparations have already been going on for over six months but as our departure draws closer, they are escalating. Our lists already seem too long to possibly be accomplished. Please pray for our many preparations and especially for Evan’s visit in November to find a suitable house to rent.

We will blog here with general ministry updates. If you would like a photo card for your refrigerator, or if you would like to get regular emails with more detailed life and ministry updates, let me know at c.evanhansen@gmail.com.

How You Can Participate – GIVE

Our church, All Souls Charlottesville, generously supports us in this endeavor with their prayers and financial support. We too, are making financial contributions towards this mission, but we also need your prayers and gifts. We need to raise $30,000 in order to provide for our costs for one year including transportation there and back. We can share our budget with you if you so desire.

We look forward to sharing God’s love with the people we are going to serve and thank you very much for your support. We will keep you informed about your investment in our ministry and we look forward to sharing more about our experiences with you when we return.

With all our love,

Evan, Missy, and Annabelle Bright Hansen

Adventures in Kampala

Adventures in Kampala

Over the last few weeks, I’ve made more trips into Kampala. Although it’s just about 14 miles from Mukono (where Uganda Christian University is located) to Kampala, because of the large amount of traffic on few main roads between the two places, it takes at least an hour, if not more, to get there. For those who don’t have a car, the standard transportation method is by taxi.

Taxis are 14 person vans that work a little like a bus route (point A to point B and back with ability to get off at a few places along the way). There is a driver and usually a conductor who manages the sliding door on one side and collects the fee from passengers as they get off, as well as, calling for more passengers whenever there is room (and at times, when there is not room!)

My first trip to Kampala other than just passing through, I was accompanied by a UCU friend, another lecturer at UCU. About 15 minutes into our ride after setting off from Mukono, we were pulled over by the traffic police who do random stops on major roads to check for brake lights, licenses, etc. Our driver handed his license to the police woman who had him get out, look at the tires…then we notice that as she turns to talk to another officer, our driver walks across the road and keeps walking away from our taxi! Apparently, he did not have the right credentials for that taxi so to avoid getting arrested, just walked away! All 14 passengers piled out and hopped in other taxis within a few minutes. That’s one way to do it!

 

Once in Kampala and along the way, there is often “jam” (or traffic), but while you putt along in the taxi, there are many people selling snacks and drinks along the road. The one I have enjoyed are the bunches of small bananas. They are sweeter than the larger bananas and a delicious snack for the journey. A more exotic option is cooked grasshoppers sold in large plastic buckets. I asked my friend if she liked them. She said, “Yes, but it’s better if you cook them yourself.” Who knows? Maybe one day I will try…

The “point B” of the journey to Kampala on the trips I have taken has been the old taxi park. It is an overwhelming place, but the system works! (I am borrowing the photos of the traffic and the old taxi park because having your phone out in town is not advisable.)

Namibia Trip Report 2018

Namibia Trip Report 2018

Why did you take you so long to get here?” Fr Lazarus Ngube looked at me enquiringly.

It had taken us longer than usual to get to Windhoek as we had wanted to first visit Fr Martin Kauna in the isolated coastal town of Luderitz…so we had taken a long way round through Sendelingsdrif (Missionary’s Fjord) where we were floated across the Orange (or Gariep) River from South Africa to Namibia. This is a harsh and rugged landscape, but because of the generosity of our partners in the US, we had what we fondly call “The Godmobile” (thanks Jim Bannister for the name!), a Mahindra Scorpio 4 wheel drive SUV…and she was at her best on the most challenging roads, whether rocks and boulders or really thick sand. One of the things I like best about the Godmobile is that she “purrs” when in 4 wheel drive.

So, it had taken us four days to get to Windhoek instead of two…plus I was presiding over a wedding in the stunning Kalahari dunes. My cousin’s daughter had asked if I would consider officiating when we saw them at her grandmother, my aunt’s funeral last December. What an honour! Anib Lodge was the location…very close to where my cousin and I grew up…so while we made new memories we also remembered old ones.

Four days later, we started the training at St Michael’s Anglican Church in Katatura…

But I knew that travel time was not what Fr Lazarus was talking about. He was talking about the disciple-making training we call Strategy. The small group of four, Fr Lazarus, Fr Immanuel, Fr Paulus, and sister Eunice (we also had a pre-med student the first day by the name of Fillemon) all agreed that this material was what they had been waiting for a long time.

Following Bishop Martin Breytenbach’s lead, we took three days to complete the training instead of two. It is such a huge paradigm shift from the maintenance method (or attractional model) to the missional method (or disciple-making model) that one has to allow time for questions, discussions, and reflection. At the end of three wonderful days, we decided we needed to start making plans to return next year, but not only for three days in Windhoek!

Because of the vast distance and the great expense of getting folks together in one place for training, we thought it best if we travelled throughout the length and breadth of the country, training in as many areas as possible. Such a feat would take about three months…but it would be well worth the effort!

We also visited the smallest Anglican Cathedral in the world…St George the Martyr in Windhoek…that also happens to be the church where I was baptised back in 1962! Apparently, the font had been donated to St Michael’s a few years ago…but we didn’t know that until we had gone. Sigh…next time.

We spent two more days with my dear cousin and her husband at their lovely retreat close to Rehoboth. It was a good time for us to rest and for Louise to recover from a very nasty tummy ailment.

We returned to South Africa to find that our Lord was answering our many prayers for rain! The level of one dam went from 4% to 40% overnight! We have yet to see our Theewaterkloof dam, but we have heard that it is significantly fuller than when we last saw it two weeks ago! Praise the Lord with us for His grace and mercy!

God willing, Louise and I will leave for Ethiopia and Egypt this Friday. We will be attending the first graduation of the College we started four years ago where I will deliver the main speech. We will also be training students, local priests, and staff in both Strategy and Foundations while there. And I will also be presiding over the blessing of the marriage of one of our former students! We will then move on to Cairo where we will meet up with so many dear friends, and also train folks in Strategy.

Please keep us in your prayers…we really need our Lord to bless this trip with His amazing life-changing Presence! Then again…we always need Him, don’t we? We really can’t do anything without Him and we really can’t do without you all either! God has given us an amazing body of people with all sorts of different talents and skills – we need each one of you if we are to function in a healthy manner.

Thank you again and again for your love, support, encouragement, and partnership in the Gospel!

Many blessings
Johann and Louise