Juan and Maria Marentes October Newsletter

Juan and Maria Marentes October Newsletter

With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

 (Mark 10: 27)

 

October 2018

 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As Maria Isabel and I were praying on Mark 10: 17-31 (The rich Young Man) we re-discovered a brief and marvelous elucidation of the Gospel: If you want to partake of eternal life, you have to risk everything on which you trust for your safety and stability, share those things with the needy… leave everything behind… and then follow Jesus. Later on, He will multiply everything you gave away (not without troubles/persecutions), and in the age to come He will give you the ‘bonus’ of eternal life.

We can tell you from the bottom of our hearts how true is the Gospel. In our long missionary career we have left ‘something’ behind, and God has already abounded in countless blessings at every level of life. However, we are currently going through a temporary trouble*. Our SAMS Missionary Account has become below zero. Nobody expects, and let alone desires that kind of hardship. We invite all of you, dear friends and supporters, to join us in giving thanks for the multiple blessings we have enjoyed in the past, and also to pray to God, so He would send us the generous and sacrificial support we urgently need to make our ends meet. God is great and good all the time. We trust Him from the bottom to the top.

With the advice and blessing of our Bishop, we are now mostly concentrated in three places: Iglesia de la Gracia, a new ministry we started on the day of Pentecost in Oceanside, CA. This is part of Grace Anglican Church. We are learning a lot through the combined efforts of some Hispanics and   ‘Anglos’ (regardless their level of Spanish) with a heart for the Latino people and our culture. We have come to understand how crucial is having a good soil for the seed. The ‘Anglos’ are the good soil for the seed -the newcomers-, who experience God’s love, grace and acceptance from the seasoned believers.

Maria Isabel continues deeply committed in a discipleship path with a bilingual group at St. Stephen’s Anglican in Tustin, CA. Both of us are still connected with Christ the King Church-plant in Ramona. CA We’re praying for opportunities to connect to the Hispanic Community there, starting especially in Advent and Christmas seasons.

*  Our current need is US$15,000.00 to bring our Missionary Account where it needs to be. You can, as always, either send a check to SAMS (with “For the Marentes” in the memo line), or go to the SAMS website. This is the new link:

 

https://give.sams-usa.org/missionary/juan-and-maria-marentes

 

The snail-mail address of SAMS is: PO Box 399, Ambridge, PA 15003.   If you need more details, please contact Denise Cox at DeniseCox@sams-usa.org, Phone (724) 266 0669. She is the SAMS’ Associate Director

We give thanks to the Lord for having you as faithful and tireless supporters over the past years. May God’s richest blessings come on you, your families and ministries.

 

Versión en Español

Al releer una porción del Evangelio de Marcos (10: 17-31) pudimos volver a entender el Evangelio en pocas palabras: “Si quieres tener Vida Eterna, tienes que arriesgar todo lo que significa seguridad y estabilidad para ti… compartir esas cosas con los necesitados… dejar todo atrás y seguir a Jesús. La promesa firme es que El multiplicará todo lo que abandonaste -aún en esta vida- y luego te dará como ‘bonificación’ la Vida Eterna.” El complemento de la promesa es que, no por ello desaparecerán mientras tanto todos los problemas y dificultades.

Hasta el día de hoy podemos dar testimonio de la certeza de la promesa de Jesús, el Señor. Lo poco que hemos dejado atrás se ha tornado en ricas bendiciones a todo nivel. Sin embargo no faltan ni faltarán las dificultades. En estos días, por primera vez en 24 años, nuestros fondos para la Misión están bajo cero. Les pedimos el favor de unirse en oración con nosotros para que el Señor, dueño de todos los recursos en el mundo, mueva a corazones generosos que puedan apoyarnos como siempre en el pasado.

Tenemos ministerio interesante en tres lugares, vinculados a Iglesias Anglicanas locales: 1) Grupo de discipulado bilingüe en Irvine, CA., 2) Iglesia de la Gracia, ministerio Hispano, en Oceanside, CA., 3) Exploración de posibilidades de acercamiento a la comunidad Hispana en Ramona, CA.

Hemos agregado arriba los enlaces para donaciones a través de SAMS, nuestra agencia misionera.

Oramos también por ustedes, amigos y socios en la Misión de llevar el Evangelio hasta los confines de la tierra.

The Rev. Juan B & Maria I Marentes

 

 

Bridging Cultures: What You Need to Know about Short-term Mission

Bridging Cultures: What You Need to Know about Short-term Mission

What if you are looking for missionary experience, but you are not ready for a year-long commitment? Or perhaps you are discerning if long-term service is where God is calling you. SAMS has a short-term missionary program that will help you discern the next steps in your vocation and explore your potential missionary call. Are you ready to become a Missionary Bridger?

What is a Bridger?

A Bridger expands the bridge of service between missionaries and churches across the world!

What’s the point?

You will meet the desire for serving longer than traditional short-term mission work of two weeks, yet shorter than missionary service of three years.  Some want to extend ministry for a longer period of time than a short-term mission offers while others want to discern further the Lord’s calling for long-term missionary service.

How does a Bridger internship work?

Missionary Bridgers are partnered with and mentored by an experienced SAMS long-term missionary.  Missionary Bridgers have served with missionaries in Africa, Europe, South America, and Central America. SAMS’ Missionary Bridgers are often assigned a “Cultural Link Person” from their host country who will help them manage ordinary life experiences like going to the bank, locating a store, or navigating transportation.  Some Missionary Bridgers will also have formal language lessons.

How old do I have to be?

SAMS sends Missionary Bridgers from many age groups—pre-career, mid-career, and post-career.  To be considered for a SAMS internship, it is necessary for the applicant to have completed high school or the equivalent of high schoolat least one year beofre beginning the program.  You must be at least 18 years old at the beginning of your internship.  Some of our applicants are college graduates, currently enrolled in college, or have no college experience at all.   We look for Christians who are seeking God’s will for their lives and we consider life experiences as indicators of the applicant’s qualification to serve as a SAMS Missionary Bridger.

What is required to be a Bridger?

Accepted Missionary Bridgers will be required to attend a Missionary Bridger Training Workshop (3-day intensive conference in Ambridge, PA).  The primary focus of this workshop is to build relationships with Missionary Bridger applicants so that we can better serve you as you serve Christ in your later determined host country.  In the workshop we will discuss individual Missionary Bridger placement, expectations for the placement, cultural adaptation and, because Missionary Bridgers raise their own financial support like our long-term missionaries, we will develop your personal intern budget and prepare you to start raising your own support.  The training will be offered periodically so that at least six months prior to your departure date, you will be prepared for your placement and to raise financial and prayer support.

What can I except to achieve?

Grow personally in all aspects, especially spiritually as you face a new environment and the challenges that accompany it.

Expand your vision of God at work in the world.

Discover and develop gifts for ministry, increasing your effectiveness for wherever God calls you.

Discern next steps in your vocation, and particularly explore potential missionary call.

Offer yourself as a living sacrifice serving others under the guidance of your missionary mentor.

Build Christ-centered relationships with those God calls you.

Encourage your sending church by being an extension of their ministry and seeking to bridge the church to the world.

So, how do I sign up?

If you are interested in pursuing a Missionary Bridger internship with SAMS, please contact Lynn, SAMS Short-term Missions Coordinator at lynnbouterse@sams-usa.org.

 

A Realization About Giving

A Realization About Giving

The other night, my thoughts about Giving were rocked.

We have been studying spiritual giftings and the one for this week was giving. Growing up in Christian subculture in America, I have a very specific view of giving. The first thing to come to mind was the love language of gift giving. Gary Chapman names it as one of the 5 love languages.

But our pastor this evening defined giving a bit differently. Giving is the ability and desire to grab onto a vision.

“Huh.” I thought. “I have never thought of it like that.” When you give, you are giving to a vision of the future. A birthday present is a vision of a happy individual with a long life. A gift to building fund is a vision for a structure that will affect the community. And a gift to (say) a missionary in Zambia, is a vision for a thriving global community.

The more I thought about it, the more I LOVE this definition of giving as a spiritual gift and discipline.

You, my wonderful partners, have ALL exercised the spiritual gift of giving my grabbing onto the vision I have been called to here in Zambia to raise up healthy and world-changing youth. Your gifts and prayers are not just gifts and prayers. They are a physical manifestation of holding onto that amazing vision.

So I wanted to thank you for grabbing ahold of the vision with me! Together, we are creating the Kingdom on earth.

By April Sylvester

By April Sylvester

SAMS Missionary to Zambia

August Happenings: Johann and Louise in South Africa

August Happenings: Johann and Louise in South Africa

It has been a while since we sent out a newsletter! Bet you would never see the day when you didn’t receive multiple emails from us!

The truth is we have really been busy moving into our new home in Villiersdorp and getting involved in the life of our new church, St Augustine’s. Johann now leads and preaches at the service every other week when we are here. We have also started a disciple-making study group in our home that meets once a week, again when we are in town. This is an exciting group as it is one of the few that is integrated, not only with regard to ethnicity but also language and denomination. Our dear brothers and sisters are hungry to learn more about Jesus and how He made disciples. The Queen tells us that people are talking about this study group…let’s hope the talk is all positive!
We have also been meeting with the leadership of J-Life with a view to revising the material we use in our training of disciple-makers. As we studied and worked with oral learners in Gambela and elsewhere, they felt we might be of assistance to them in this revision. We have also looked at the use of words and concepts that might have different meanings in different denomination or cultural contexts. It has been quite an adventure! We love the J-Life staff as they love Jesus so much…Jesus simply shines in and through them all the time.

Louise and I attended a Conference called Divine Renovation. The Holy Spirit is leading many in the Roman Catholic Church to follow the same biblical principle in disciple-making as we are…sometimes using similar language and methods. Just another confirmation that what we are doing is what He wants us to do at this time.

We also met with the Principal of the South African Theological Seminary. Their program is exclusively online and could be used by Anglicans who are, for various reasons, unable to leave their current situation to attend a regular full-time on-campus seminary. We shall see how the Lord leads us in the future.

By now I am sure many of you have heard about South Africa in the news or on social media. There are many complicated reasons for the current situation. All I know is that the only way out of the various crisis is prayer and trust in a good God Who is well able to turn things the right side up. Please join us in prayer as we continue to pray for an end to the drought crisis, the land crisis, the economic crisis, the crime, and violence crisis, and the spiritual crisis.

Thank you all once again for your love, your support, and your prayers. We are nothing without the Lord and can do nothing without Him, but He is using you as His hands and His feet and His heart…thank you.

Sending you cyber hugs and blessings.
Johann and Louise

Allen Gardiner Day: As the Father has sent me, I am sending you!

Allen Gardiner Day: As the Father has sent me, I am sending you!

Today has been established as Allen Gardiner Day. Allen Gardiner is the founder of SAMS. He felt the call to bring the Gospel to the southernmost part of South America. Ultimately, Gardiner, along with many other faithful servants, gave his life to the mission. A prayer from Gardiner’s journal before his death:

Grant, O Lord,  that we may be instrumental in commencing this great and blessed work, but shouldest Thou see fit in Thy providence to hedge up our way, and that we should even languish and die here, I beseech Thee to raise up others, and send forth labourers into this harvest.

A history of SAMS-USA:

1844: In response to God’s call, English naval officer Allen Gardiner sailed around the globe and then to the Yaghans in America. Charles Darwin said of the Yaghans, “Viewing such men, one can hardly make oneself believe they are fellow creatures and inhabitants of the same world.” In contrast, Allen saw them as fellow human beings in need of the Gospel. Six others joined him on mission to share the grace of Christ. Stranded on a barren shore with limited supplies, Allen and his crew all gave their lives for the mission. In Allen’s journal, we read that they lifted up prayers to the Lord through all of their challenges and petitioned others to bring the Gospel to that remote place. Allen Gardiner eventually became known as the founder of the South American Missionary Society (SAMS) due to this trip to the Yaghans.

The London Times called the missions to South America a foolish cause, but in the darkest moment, God raised up a young seventeen-old named Thomas Bridges. He visited the Yaghan settlements in complete weakness and vulnerability. Unthreatened by Bridges, and moved by the forgiveness he brought, the Yaghans, at last, received the Good News. Those who were baptized included several who had killed Bridges’ friends. A short while later a ship sank offshore, but the Yaghans who in the past would have killed the sailors, risked their lives to save them. Their transformation in Christ was so dramatic that even Darwin became a committed giver to SAMS.

1975: The Lord was faithful in raising up other to be sent into the harvest over the following centuries extending beyond England to many countries including the Americas.

1976: A Great Commission focused group of Episcopalians formed SAMS-USA with a purpose to send missionaries to be witnesses and to make disciples for Jesus Christ, in fellowship with the Anglican Church, endeavoring to follow the work of the South America Missionary Society in Great Britain. The first SAMS-USA missionaries were John and Susan Harvard.

1977-1986: During this time SAMS sent 68 missionaries into the field

1987: SAMS-USA office moved from Union Mills, North Carolina, to a new home in Ambridge, Pennsylvania.

1996: This year marked an increased involvement of the church in their sending role, and long-term missionaries more than tripled from the low in this decade.

2006: SAMS created collaborative partnerships, such as our sending agreement with Sharing Of Ministries Abroad (SOMA) and the formation of the Anglican Global Missions Partners.

2007: The Church Mission Society (USA) merged into SAMS-USA, extending further the Society’s relational connections with Anglicans around the world. There are more opportunities to use all types of vocational experiences and spiritual gifting to minister incarnationally in word and deed.

Today: SAMS-USA’s ministry scope, extending from the Americas to Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, is reflected in our new name: The Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders. SAMS has more than 90 missionaries serving in over 20 countries around the globe sharing the grace of Jesus Christ.