Thank You!

Thank You!

It is less than three weeks until I depart for Thailand. Thank you so much to all of you who have supported me financially and in prayer. I have less than $500 to raise before being fully funded, and I am amazed by God’s provision and the generosity of my family, friends, and church community.

The purpose of this mission goes beyond my 9-10 month internship, and it is a gift to see God’s people coming together to help the church in Thailand make an impact on the community. You are each a part of this ministry and I would not be where I am without your support and involvement in this process.

Please continue to pray for me as my departure approaches, especially for preparations to continue smoothly and for safety as I travel. Please also pray for the ministry in Thailand and for the university students that I will be working with. I am praying that we are able to overcome language and cultural barriers to build genuine friendships, and that the love of Christ will be evident to them through the work that I do.

Thank you for your love, encouragement, and prayers as I step out into the [somewhat] unknown and follow God’s call. I am continually grateful for the people in my life, without whom I might never have taken this step and who have played a huge role in the discernment and preparation process.

I plan to keep up with blog posts pretty frequently during the course of my internship to keep you all in the loop. Stay tuned to hear more about my ministry in Thailand!

Facing a Task Unfinished

Facing a Task Unfinished

In June, I attended the ACNA (Anglican Church in North America) Provincial Assembly in Wheaton, IL along with several other SAMS missionaries and 1400 Anglicans!  While it made for some very long days, I have to say that I was so encouraged in so many ways.  The theme of “Mission on our Doorstep” addressed needs and opportunities both locally and globally.
That’s a lot of Anglicans!
I’m not sure about you, but sometimes I find the state of the world–and even the church–to be demoralizing.  There are so many people with so many real needs–addicted, broken (relationships/families), persecuted, refugees, hungry, poor, marginalized/outcast, forgotten, sick, dying, confused, foreigner…the list goes on.  Sometimes the needs are so overwhelming, the temptation is to throw up our hands and do nothing because will our small efforts really make a difference?

But what is so beautiful and ingenious about God’s design of His Church is that it is a Body, made of many members.  I was reminded of that and the strength that we have when we are surrounded by and connected to a body of believers under Christ’s lordship.  As I sat in on workshops and plenary sessions and met people at meals, I was so encouraged to see different ministries that are addressing these needs and making a difference.  So, maybe I can’t meet every need that exists, but I’m a part of a larger Body who is!

This takes some pressure off, but equally begs the questions, “What’s my role?”  Until Jesus returns, there will always be unfinished tasks and unmet needs.  May we seek Him to know how we can join what He is doing through the Church to meet these needs.  May we always share His heart to know Him and make Him known, for Him to be exalted in the nations and on the earth.

One of my favorite hymn remakes is Facing a Task Unfinished.

Are You a Sender?

Are You a Sender?

SAMS is made up of short-term and long-term missionaries. A huge part of SAMS are those who send them! What is a sender and are you one?

Familiar words given to us by the physician Luke:

“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” (Acts 2:44,45)

These words give a sentimental idealism to our idea of the early church. Yet, in this era of local to global, these words are more prophetic than nostalgic. Today, Senders, those who respond to God’s call to mission through prayers and donations, sell property and give sacrificially just like those early believers.

Throughout history of the church, those who journeyed out cross-culturally always had need of spiritual, moral, and physical support. Today’s cross-cultural workers are the same. Are you one of those who gives so that others might go? Maybe you never realized that you are a member of the Acts 2:44,45 club!

This week at Assembly 2017, join SAMS in prayer about how you are called to mission. Perhaps your calling is to send! Make sure to meet us at the Exhibit Hall in the Beamer Center.

 

SAMS Family Member Serves in Her Own Community

SAMS Family Member Serves in Her Own Community

This year’s Assembly is all about mission on our doorstep. SAMS will be in attendance, and there will be plenty of opportunities to connect with members of the SAMS community to inquire about serving through mission. A member of the SAMS community shares how she got involved in mission right where she lives. 

Crossing the doors of my church this year people came from Central Asia, Latin America, Europe, Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. My church is not in some exotic location but in the heart of Rust Belt America. It has been my privilege to be involved in teaching English as a Foreign Language at my church.

I have been able to sit in on Bible studies where several of these students have come to inquire about Jesus and the Christian faith. God provides many of us who live in North America with wonderful opportunities to establish friendship and share His love with people from around the globe. Local can be global.

If you are interested in a ministry like this, inquire with your local literacy groups if there are refugees who need conversation practice, contact the international student department of your local college or university and find out if you can host students for Thanksgiving or other special events. Or you can volunteer with a refugee resettlement agency. As individuals and as churches, many avenues are open to welcoming the world to our own doorsteps.

Are you attending Provincial Assembly 2017: Mission on our Doorstep? 

Mission on your Doorstep: SAMS Missionary Serves in her Hometown

Assembly 2017 will draw Anglicans together from North America and across the globe. SAMS will be attending and looks forward to meeting you and your interest in missions on your own doorstep.

Recently, SAMS Missionary, Mary McDonald, put her mission experience and enthusiasm into an outreach ministry near her home in Blacksburg, Virginia. Mary regularly mentors veterinarian students at Virginia Tech and asked a couple of her mentees to help her start an Alpha course for some of the international students at Virginia Tech.

Students from Muslim, Atheistic, and other non-Christian backgrounds came together with Mary and her helpers each week for 10 weeks to explore basic tenets of the Christian faith, eat a meal together and form a community. Mary opened up her house and farm to host the group for a special weekend of friendship and learning about the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps you are wondering how you could befriend someone from another culture from right where you live. Ask a SAMS Missionary for help. Many of your SAMS Missionaries know that the people they work with on a daily basis have friends or relatives living in the U.S. who would welcome a U.S. friend. Your missionary can also give you cultural advice and help you as you make connections.

Let your church know that your SAMS missionaries would love to come talk to your congregation about their ministry and ways you can get involved in your community. There will be plenty of opportunities to talk to SAMS Missionaries at the 2017 Provincial Assembly. Come by the Beamer Center Exhibit Hall to chat with Mary and other missionaries. We would love to pray for your calling in missions at your own doorstep.

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!