The Bowers in Peru

The Bowers in Peru

Marvin Bowers, SAMS Missionary Bridger, has been serving in Peru. Read his latest update:

Dear Friends and Family,

Last week I made a trip from Lima to Juliaca.  This industrial, trading city is located in the Andres at about 14,000 feet not far from Lake Titicaca.  I arrived on a Monday and spent all day Tuesday with Padre Luis visiting members of the community.  Padre Luis was one of my students when I was teaching courses at the seminary in Arequipa.  Since his ordination four years ago he has served in Juliaca and he is doing a wonderful job.

 

Naty and Bianca last week in Juliaca

Some of you may recall that two years ago a thirteen-year girl named Naty was violated and became pregnant.  With the love and support of her family and her church, she gave birth to a daughter, Bianca.  Naty had some life-threatening complications after Bianca’s birth.  Some of you, especially members of St John’s Anglican Church, Petaluma, made generous gifts to help pay for life-saving surgery.  The photo below fills my heart with joy and gratitude to God and to all who helped.

 

Hugs at Jardîn Peruana Español

We also visited a K-8 school, Peruana Español.  The owner, Eloi, is a community leader who has a radio program and is thinking about running for mayor.  He told Padre Luis that one of the biggest issues is sanitation.  There are open piles of garbage all over the city.  May God bless and guide him if he decides to run.
Padre Luis’ friend and a community leader, Eloi
Hugs at Jardîn Peruana Español

 

On Tuesday night Padre Luis and his wife Alisia (they were married in December) and I went out to dinner at about 9:30 p.m., and I got to bed a little after 11:00 p.m.  On Wednesday I was so exhausted I didn’t make it to 7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer with Padre Luis.  I ended up spending twenty-four hours in bed–no headache, no upset stomach, just exhausted.  As on previous visits, I had taken altitude medicine but this time it didn’t work.  Could it be that I’m getting old?

There was a 6:00 p.m. service on Wednesday at Santa Marîa Magdalena in which I had planned to participate but I just couldn’t do it.  At about 8:00 p.m. there came a knock on my door.  I awoke from sleep and said, Come in.  It was the youth choir, El Coro San Benito.  They filed quietly into the room, sang two songs and then joined hand around my bed and prayed for me.  What a blessing.  I felt overwhelmed by their love and the healing presence of God.

El Coro San Benito in my bedroom. My toes are under the covers. Abimael, far right, is the leader of the choir and it was his idea to sing and pray for me.

El Coro San Benito in my bedroom.  My toes are under the covers.  Abimael, far right, is the leader of the choir and it was his idea to sing and pray for me.

I felt better on Thursday but it took all my breath and strength to climb up the stairs into the plane for the return flight to Lima.  Back at sea level, I was OK but I wouldn’t have missed the trip to Juliaca for anything.

God bless you all,

Marvin

Meet SAMS-USA

Meet SAMS-USA

Welcome to the SAMS-USA blog! Here you will find the latest news about SAMS Missionaries, information and updates from SAMS as an organization, and happenings in the Anglican community. We are kicking off a new blog series, Meet SAMS-USA, where you will learn about us as a missionary sending community and the missionaries we send around the globe.

SAMS sees itself as a missionary sending community supporting the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Our mission is to raise up, send, and support missionaries to be witnesses and make disciples for Jesus Christ in fellowship with the global Anglican Church. SAMS seeks to fulfill this mission because we are commissioned by Jesus to do so.  SAMS exists to be a bridge of support between sending churches here in the U.S. and the Anglican Church internationally. SAMS exists to lift up Anglican Churches and missionaries as they seek to fulfill the Great Commission.

One of the earliest Crossroads Training for long-term missionaries.

In 1844, Allen Gardiner, an English naval officer, felt a call to share the Gospel with the Yagans, an indigenous people group in South America. Gardiner along with six other missionaries died of starvation in the hopes of sharing the Gospel with those who had never heard of Jesus Christ. Gardiner’s death inspired many to continue his mission, and thus the South American Missionary Society was founded. Others committed to the mission reinitiated the work in South America, and when they arrived on the shores of Argentina and began a Eucharist service, all except the ship’s cook were attacked and killed by the Yagans. Six years later, a 17-year-old named Thomas Bridges continued the mission. Bridges was able to bring the love of Christ to the Yagans, and even those who had killed his friends were moved by the forgiveness Bridges embodied. Bridges baptized many of the same people who speared his friends to death, and the Lord transformed these lives.

Missionary Heidi Smith (left) has been a SAMS Missionary for over 30 years.

Jumping ahead to the 20th century, SAMS-USA was founded by Great Commission Episcopalians in 1976 to address the major decline of missionaries being sent around the globe by the church. At a time when many thought missions to be unnecessary, the founders of SAMS-USA wanted to bring awareness to the importance to make disciples of all nations and revive missionary sending to South America.

SAMS-USA is now known a Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders. SAMS Missionaries serve around the globe, bringing the Good News to those they serve.

Today, God has called SAMS to branch out globally. Reaching not only South America, SAMS spreads the Gospel to Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceana, and North America. SAMS is now known as the Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders with over 90 Missionaries, Bridgers, and Teams of all ages.

For more information about SAMS-USA, what we do, and how we serve, visit the about page!

The Twichells and Agape Year

We are pleased to introduce to you Nate and Erika Twichell, new SAMS-USA Missionaries and the directors for the Anglican Global Missions Partners (AGMP) Agape Year program, a gap year program for recent high school graduates. Learn more about them:

From Nate:

God doesn’t always take the most direct route. The past three years have proven this fact to our family. Shortly after meeting, we both shared our desire to partner with God’s mission in reaching every tribe, nation, and tongue. We hoped God would lead us to do this together, but we weren’t sure what it would look like. We’re two different people with different gifts. How could God use us together to do infinitely more than we could ask for or imagine? God took an interesting route in bringing us to this next step we’d like to share with you. Through seminary, unemployment, a gnarly job search, rewarding work found, God led the way. It was hard at times to trust He had us in His good hands. And, then His hand led us even further along, further into that vision He gave us early on and has been our heart’s prayer.

From Erika:

For both Nate and me, Agape Year has been a great teacher for hopeful anticipation. Five years ago, Nate and I met on St. Nicholas Day and shared a call to mission. One year ago, we accepted the call to start and direct Agape Year from the Anglican Global Mission Partners. Often we stand in wonder of how God has heard our prayers. Often we are caught in dismay, knowing it is only through His grace we are sustained. His grace has kept us while we are developing partners and the program and living our daily life of full-time work and child rearing. This year we’ve seen God bring His vision into greater formation and anticipate seeing it more fully fleshed out this year. So, we enter this season undergirded with grace and walking in faith.

In faith, we are accepting applications for Fall of 2017 to be our first cohort. Please pass along this application to 18-21 year olds you think God may be leading to participate.

Nate will be leaving his job at Trader Joe’s so we can give our full attention to this program. We currently have 45% of monthly support raised, but are still in need of $3000 per month in support. Would you join us? Would you help us connect to others who God may be calling to be a part of Agape Year? Praise be to God, He has provided what we need for our start up costs. We stand amazed.

Original content by Nate and Erika Twichell. Follow their blog posts here

How you can get involved:

Prayer! Tons of peace and wisdom as we seek to bring Agape Year to reality

Financial support! We’re in need of $3000 of monthly support to continue to be sustainable as full-time directors of Agape Year

Participants! We’ll be in the D.C. area mid March and South Carolina early April with the hopes of recruiting both participants and supporting churches. We’d love to meet up with you or appreciate any connections you think would be helpful!

Nate and Erkia Twichell

SAMS Missionaries and Agape Year Directors

Things are Falling into Place: Grant Recipient Thanks You

Things are Falling into Place: Grant Recipient Thanks You

SAMS provides educational grants for children who are a part of the SAMS community. A number of individuals have been impacted by the Undergraduate Educational Grant Fund, including Alyssa Fountain, a missionary kid who served with her parents in Uganda. In the following letter Alyssa expresses her thanks to those who have donated to this fund:

Dear SAMS Education Grant donors,

I’m writing to say a massive thank you. It feels like only fitting that I should update all of you on where I am given that you all had to read my applications for 3 years talking about my life plans and goals and everything!

You have watched me run through different career ideas with every new application. Last year, I finally decided on pursuing Social Work. It seemed to fit so well for me given my interests in counseling, working with kids, and making the world a better place. The pieces all fell into place in my decision to go this route during several nights of lying awake and staring at the ceiling until three in the morning. I applied, was admitted to, and accepted a place at the University of Denver to pursue a Masters in Social Work.

This past year (2016) I took a short leave of absence from school to do some personal healing and soul searching, but now I am about to resume classes on top of a full time job with clearer career goals in mind. I plan to work as a consultant to international schools and potentially mission boards on protection of expatriate kids, based on my own experiences. Things are falling into place quite nicely.

Thank you for the prayer, the support, and of course the finances! The grant that you all gave me helped me to pay for so many things, from living expenses, books for school, to fixing my car! I worked many hours and depended on this grant to help make life just a little easier.

So, to wrap this letter up with my favorite Ugandan blessing (from one of the Epistles, though I can’t remember which): “May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all, now and forever.”

Sincerely,

Alyssa Fountain

 

If you have a passion for the importance of education, prayerfully consider giving to the Undergraduate Education Grant Fund, and make a difference in an individual’s life.

I cannot express how grateful I am for this grant. I have been able to not stress constantly about paying for my tuition; I have been able to focus on school, cultural adjustment, and health.

Alyssa Fountain

Grant recipient and SAMS Missionary Kid

I was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me

I was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me

How are we displaying Christ’s love to others, especially those who are new to our community? By opening our arms to others, we gain the opportunity to share the Good News of Christ. As the number of displaced people increases, churches around the world can be a positive influence in their community. We give thanks for ministries and churches, like Growing the Church, where Wayne and Nicole Curtis serve as missionaries, and where they experienced first-hand being welcomed into the community. Nicole writes:

Yesterday in chapel, staff members of Growing the Church shared some of their favorite stories about GtC. When it was my turn to share, I broke down in tears, surprised by my emotion. I talked about my first encounters with the GtC staff and my earliest days there, and how everyone had welcomed me with opened arms.
You see, I know what it feels like to leave one’s beloved family, country, and culture and move half away across the world. I know what it feels like to quit a good job and head into the unknown of financial security. I know what it’s like to completely uproot, to sell one’s possessions and to arrive in a new country, carrying only three suitcases and two carry-on bags.
I am a foreigner. I know what it’s like to learn how to grocery shop again, learning new foods, how to read labels, new terminology, a new system of weight and volume. I know what it’s like to learn to drive on the left side of the road and to learn different rules of the road, to struggle to communicate, and to feel so homesick at times that the feeling feels almost like physical pain.
Despite these struggles, I know what it feels like to be welcomed with opened arms and with love, for people to be happy that I am here, for people to have me over for dinners and braais and to take me for walks on the beach. I know what it feels like to receive guidance about bank accounts, clothing, and cooking. I know what it’s like for people to be patient with me, as I struggle to communicate in their language. I know what it’s like for people to live out Leviticus 19:34a, “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself.”
This has been my experience in South Africa, and I can never thank my friends, family, colleagues, parish family, and all the countless churches, parishioners, priests, bishops, students and other individuals who have welcomed and loved me as one of their own.

You can be an ambassador of Christ by welcoming others who are foreign to your country, city, or neighborhood. Discover this resource and learn more about how you can come alongside those in your community.

 

Original story by Nicole Curtis Corlew. Wayne and Nicole work with Growing the Church a church growth institute that serves the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. They are concentrating on helping churches disciple and mentor youth. Discover more about them here.

 

Within a month of my arrival in Cape Town, I was in George, helping out with a Rooted in Jesus training. We were in an Afrikaans-speaking community, and all the parishioners, including the ones in this group, welcomed me with opened arms.

Nicole Curtis Corlew

SAMS Missionary to South Africa