How Gospel Goats is Impacting Gulu, Uganda

How Gospel Goats is Impacting Gulu, Uganda


Mary McDonald
is a SAMS Associate Missionary and a veterinarian. Recently, SAMS caught up with Mary after her recent mission to Uganda.

SAMS: Tell us about Gospel Goats and the need you saw in Uganda.

Mary: In Uganda, there are families who have been affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Men grew up as boy soldiers and women were abducted to be wives of officers. The majority have received little education about health and nutrition and many are living with HIV. I had a call to equip and empower this marginalized group in Uganda. Gospel Goats is a revolving goat loan program that does that. We teach health, nutrition, and care for the goats which helps these marginalized families on the path to financial and food security. They are able to breed the goats and sell the offspring. With each training, we teach the Gospel and love of Christ. The first goat that is born to those who went through the training is donated back to the program. They learn that they are blessed to be a blessing.

How has Gospel Goats and an education program impacted the region?

When we surveyed the area to start Gospel Goats, there was a school across from an Islamic institute. This school hardly had pencils to work with. I went to the Bishop of N. Uganda and asked about starting a Compassion International sponsorship program at this school. So we prayed that children would be sponsored, and in the first year, we had 200 students sponsored by our church in Virginia. When I returned this year, there were 115 more students sponsored. I discovered that people were taking their children out of the Islamic institute and bringing them to the school. The pastor and volunteers said that Compassion International paired with Gospel Goats has helped stop the spread of radical Islam in the area.

How have you seen God at work through the people in Uganda?

With each Gospel Goat training, we do a clear sharing of the Gospel story. At the end, we ask if anyone would like to receive Christ. At the last training, 15 people prayed to accept Christ. 150 people between the two projects have received Christ, including 5 Muslims. One individual told me that they have felt like the poorest in the community, but because of the gift of a goat they feel like God cares about them and that God is a living and tangible God who cares for both their physical and spiritual needs.

How can people who want to help get involved?

There are already many refugees in Uganda streaming in from the civil war in South Sudan. Now this region is facing an extreme drought and famine. In Uganda, families are losing their crops and livestock. This week, I received a letter from Bishop Johnson writing:

A humanitarian crisis is at our doors. We are trying to share the little we can but both the refugees and the host communities are facing starvation due to prolonged drought and the leading to a shortage of food. As a diocese, we are appealing to whoever can help us to support the refugees to do so now. Thank you for making the appeal on our behalf.

Please pray for the people in Uganda and all of Africa. Please give so others may live. Go to donate go to the SAMS-USA World Relief Fund and designate the country of Uganda in the comment box
or by check to P.O. Box 399 Ambridge, PA 15003.

Mission Opportunity in Tanzania

The Diocese of Victoria Nyanza is located in Mwanza, Tanzania. Villages in the region are without a church and the opportunity to hear the Gospel. There is a need for congregational development in this diocese where Islam is spreading. Bishop Boniface Kwangu is praying for missionaries to come to Tanzania to serve through the diocese. Missionaries are also needed for theological training and to teach at the international school. Are you being called to share the Gospel in this area? Contact info@sams-usa.org oto learn more about these opportunities in Tanzania.

Meet SAMS-USA: Missionaries Ron and Debby McKeon

Meet SAMS-USA: Missionaries Ron and Debby McKeon

After serving as missionaries previously, God has called Ron and  Debby back to Brazil to continue his work.

Ron and Debby are based out of the city of João Pessoa the state capital of Paraíba, in the Anglican Church – Diocese of Recife. Their ministry is one of encouragement to support lay leadership and clergy in parish ministry, especially in small mission parishes in the Diocese of Recife. Ron’s ministry is preaching, teaching, and pastoral care. Debby’s ministry is the writing of Bible curriculum for children, and teacher training in areas where children are most at risk.

God’s Call:

After graduation from seminary, Ron made an initial six-month commitment to working for what was then the Anglican Communion Network. The six months turned into a full-time job and four years working for what became the Anglican Church in North America provincial office. Ron and Debby became SAMS associate missionaries, returning to their Brazil ministry every year. The ministry has become more defined over the years, but first and foremost has been a ministry of encouragement to those serving in northeast Brazil.

Many times God has spoken through the Brazilian people. Ron and Debby answer the question asked of them, “Can you help us with this?” And God always has prepared their hearts and minds beforehand so that they can answer “Yes”. Then through times of prayer, they are guided in the details of how, and what their role is as part of the solution.

From Debby:

I have been coming to northeast Brazil for over 6 years, and am always intrigued by the methods used for housework and cooking. They are so simple and very different from methods used in the USA. I had observed people ironing everything including tee shirts, sheets, and towels. Even at a women’s retreat, someone was ironing their casual clothes. I silently concluded that Brazilians liked everything to look very good. Then recently I was sharing about cultural differences with the family we were staying with. To my surprise, the wife responded that ironing killed germs on clothing and especially bedding and towels, as they have no hot water for washing laundry, and everything is air dried Of course! What a good example of a cultural difference, and my erroneous conclusion I thought.

How you can pray for Ron and Debby:

  • Pray for continued close relationships with their children and grandchildren.
  • Pray for those in ministry in Brazil and their families, for strength and refreshment in times of weariness.
  • Pray for a lasting impact of the Gospel and changed lives through Jesus in the communities in northeast Brazil.
  • Pray for continued financial support.

How you can pray for Brazil:

 

Are you feeling called to send? Support Ron and Debby McKeon.

 

Our ministry has become more defined over the years, but first and foremost has been a ministry of encouragement to those in ministry in northeast Brazil.

Debby McKeon

SAMS Missionary to Brazil

Using Your Talents

Using Your Talents

In the parable of the talents (Matt 24:14-30), each servant is given a certain number of talents, or currency. Some used those talents to increase the number, and one hid it away, not producing anything. When we think about the resources, gifts, and talents God gives us today, how are we using them to produce fruit and bring about the Kingdom?

April Sylvester is a SAMS missionary serving in Zambia through a Gap Year Program. She disciples and ministers to students. Recently, she gathered materials to make a couch. She was able to get some free pallets, which she sanded and varnished. Then bought some foam to create the cushions. Her neighbors and students were happy to help.  One of her students reacted to her project:

“You know we learn a lot from you, April,” said her student.

“How is that?” she asked.

“Well, for one, we see you working over there on your couch. It shows us that we don’t have to wait for other people or money to do things. We can do it ourselves.”

April’s student is right. We don’t need to wait for others or money, but we can use what God has given us in order to create something good.

April’s finished couch.

Instead of hiding it away for herself, April shares her skills, knowledge, and talents with others.  April teaches yoga and swimming to the students that she disciples. By using her skills that are instilled in her by God, she is able to connect with her students and share the love of Christ.

What gifts has God given you and how are you using them to further his kingdom?

 

April Sylvester is involved in an outreach ministry to Zambian youth that involves discipleship and mission training.

We see you working over there on your couch. It shows us that we don’t have to wait for other people or money to do things. We can do it ourselves.

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