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!

A Pichi Pellahuen Christmas Story

Russ and Heidi Smith Mission in Chile Russ and Heidi Smith Theological and Children’s Ministries in Chile Russ and Heidi have served since 1985 in the Diocese of Chile. Currently, Russ is involved in the Rural Bible Institute providing theological education. Read more…

It was December 8th when my cellphone rang. Yanett Toro from the Pichi Pellahuen church—a sleepy, little congregation 2 ½ hours up into the mountains from where we live in Temuco, Chile. A number of years ago, they had had a vibrant congregation and a strong Sunday school of about 40. Now there were around 10 adults in the congregation—about 1/3 of them members of the Toro family—and no children. But when Katia, my Evangelism Explosion (EE) for Kids colleague, Russ and I went up there to do a workshop to train people in reaching out to children and provide them with a method and materials to do it effectively, seven adults participated. That is 70% of the tiny congregation! Not bad for a sleepy, little church. When EE got off the ground in early November, 17 neighborhood children attended the Saturday afternoon kick-off. And they asked if they could come to church Sunday mornings as well! Now, by early December, 26 children were coming each week.

Yanett spoke softly and with concern. “Sister Heidi,” she addressed me in the common evangelical fashion, “we have a problem. We want to do something special for these children for Christmas. They are all from low-income families, you know. They most likely won’t receive presents in their homes. We want to get each child a present but we need help. If we had known we would end 2016 with 26 children, the congregation would have been setting aside money each month for this purpose, but until a month ago,” she explained, “we had no children. Now we have 26. Could you find brothers and sisters to help us? Just this once? Next year we will do it on our own.”

 What should I say? I wanted to help but Christmas was just two weeks away! How could I go to the churches in Temuco just two weeks before Christmas and ask for help? All the churches were already committed to helping somewhere, I was sure: a home for the elderly, a children’s hospital, etc. Where could I find help for the children in Pichi Pellahuen—children who six weeks ago didn’t even attend church!

  “Let your love not be only in word but in deed and in action,” admonishes the apostle John (1 John 3:18) I told Yanett we would pray and see what we could do. How much did they need?

  “Whatever,” was her answer, “whatever people can help with.” We worked out that she would send us a list of the names of the children and their ages, and then she would come down with a van to pick up whatever we could come up with—in 13 days!

  Russ and I prayed. We didn’t have a lot of money available. Suddenly I thought of Rosmarie. Rosmarie is a beautiful woman with a very generous spirit. She owns an exclusive, little clothing boutique in town and she loves Jesus with all her heart. She hosts a weekly prayer group at her dining room table, mostly for women who are just coming to faith, who are not yet part of a church. She invited me to be part of this group when it began in early 2016. Those women are coming into a relationship with Jesus as they experience Him and His answers to their prayers. I called Rosmarie and shared Yanet’s dilemma. Rosmarie was immediately on board. She volunteered not only to talk to the ladies in the Monday night prayer group, but also to make the need known among the customers who frequent her clothing shop. 

Rosmarie was on the move—and the Holy Spirit was too! Within five days gifts—beautiful gifts—began arriving. I shared the need with a few more people as well. A recently separated mom I visit and her little daughter chose some special things to give. I shared it on our EE group chat, and a gal out in the country whom I’d only met once donated $30. By Monday, December 19th, Rosmarie informed me that more than 30 gifts had come in. Now we needed to get together to wrap them and, armed with the list of names and ages of the children, our Monday night prayer group met to play Santa Claus! We were overwhelmed by the variety and quality of the gifts—the thought and money that had gone into each one. But how were we to decide which gift would be for which child? We didn’t know these children. We had never even met them. How could we possibly know…? “We need to pray,” I told them. So before we began wrapping and placing gift cards on the packages, we just prayed a simple prayer that the Holy Spirit would guide us in deciding which gift should go to which child. The Lord knows those precious ones even though we don’t. Then we began wrapping and labeling: remote control cars, trains with tracks, beautiful dolls, purses, backpacks…lovely gifts! And the extra money donated served in part to buy the needed batteries for some of the toys as well as a goodie bag for each child, and food for a special Christmas tea for the children and their parents. “Santa’s workshop” closed around midnight! Two days later Yanett came for the gifts. Everything was in readiness and we were thrilled with how it had all come together. We had done our part, but we didn’t know the end of the story; we didn’t know all that God had been doing and would do behind the scenes—until after Christmas. Yanett sent pictures after the celebration and when it was all over called me a couple of days later to share this story. It seems that a few days before Christmas two of the boys, Carlos and Pablo, had confided in her that what each most wanted for Christmas was a remote-control car. And little Maritza said that her Christmas wish was a backpack. Yanett listened but told the children that she had no idea whether they would receive those gifts. Of course they didn’t even know that gifts were coming!

 

But the Lord knows the hearts of His children—and He knew that these little ones, so recently coming to know Jesus, needed a touch from Him—a special reassurance that He knows them intimately. We had prayed about which child would receive which gift; that the Holy Spirit would guide us as we put the names on the gift cards. Can you guess the rest? It “just happened” that the gifts we had put Carlos’ and Pablo’s names on were the two remote-control cars that had been given! And on the beautiful Peppo Pig backpack we had put the name “Maritza.” If even the hairs of our head are numbered, our loving Lord knows the heart’s desire of each of His little lambs. This Christmas He had done what only He could do. May those precious little ones come to know Him as Savior and Lord in this new year. I think they are already well on the way!

by Russ and Heidi Smith. The Smiths are long-term Missionaries in Temuco, Chile. Support them here. 

But the Lord knows the hearts of His children—and He knew that these little ones, so recently coming to know Jesus, needed a touch from Him—a special reassurance that He knows them intimately.

Russ and Heidi Smith

SAMS Missionaries to Chile

Welcome to the New SAMS-USA Website: What to Explore

Welcome to the New SAMS-USA Website: What to Explore

SAMS (Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders) is pleased to announce the re-launching of our website. As part of Anglican Global Mission Partners, SAMS’ mission is to raise up, send, and support Episcopal/Anglican missionaries to be witnesses and make disciples for Jesus Christ in fellowship with the global Anglican Church.

This new website will be a tool for you to get more fully involved in what is happening around the world through our Missionaries and Senders. Once solely serving in South America, SAMS-USA now supports and sends over 95 missionaries to over 25 countries around the globe including Europe, Africa, South East Asia, and the Solomon Islands.

Explore the new website and new ways to get involved, whether you are discerning the call to serve as a missionary, or have a heart for sending missionaries.

SAMS News Blog: Keep up with the latest with what is happening in the SAMS community with news blogs about SAMS Missionaries, the ministries they are connected with, and news from where they serve.

Interactive Map: Are you looking to get connected to a particular country, but want to know more? Maybe you have a heart for a certain place in the world. By using the SAMS interactive map you can learn more about the missionaries, the particular country they serve in, and how you may be able to get connected as a Sender or a Missionary.

Send Prayer Requests:  The SAMS Home Office Staff prays every day for our Missionaries and Senders. If you have a prayer need or praise, please feel free to share with us so that we can partner with you in prayer. Send a prayer request with this new online feature.

Watch this video tutorial to discover more!

5 Ways to Celebrate World Mission Sunday

5 Ways to Celebrate World Mission Sunday

Partner with SAMS this World Mission Sunday. Discover the different ways you can celebrate mission and raise awareness in your own community.

World Mission Sunday is a day for churches to come together to reflect on the importance of global mission and how they can get involved as a congregation. It is tradition in the Episcopal and Anglican Church to celebrate around Epiphany, which is February 27th this year. As an Anglican Global Mission Partner, SAMS-USA seeks to raise awareness of the importance of global missions and the support of missionaries. In Acts 1:8 Jesus calls us to participate in world-wide mission, “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.” Here are five ways you and your church or diocese can participate in World Mission Sunday this year:

  1. Hold a dedicated service: Celebrate and raise awareness as a church by using this Litany for World Mission. Here are some resources for you to use.
  2. Educate: Invite a missionary to speak during or after church, and educate your congregation about what is happening overseas. Want to learn more about missions, Five Talentshas listed their favorite mission books here.
  3. Be stewards of mission: Mission does not just have to be overseas. Encourage your congregation to participate in mission right where they live. Organize a mission day by serving a ministry that your church has a heart for.
  4. Take up a special offering: On the day you celebrate World Mission Sunday, consider collecting a special gift for the missionaries or ministries you support.
  5. Pray: Pray for how God is calling your congregation to participate in global mission. Pray for the missionaries in your church. Pray for those who are discerning the call as a missionary.

We encourage you to be a witness of mission this year. Observe World Mission Sunday right where you are by sharing testimony, prayer, stewardship, and education about missions in your church.

If you are interested in receiving printed material to promote missions in congregation, contact the SAMS-USA office today at 724-266-0669.

Prayerfully consider partnering with SAMS this year for World Mission Sunday by giving to the Great Commission Fund through this Virtual Care Package that will raise up, support, and send missionaries in the name of Jesus Christ:

$100 provides a retreat for a missionary

$50 equips 5 missionaries with a day of cross-cultural training

$25 provides a home staff member with a one-day staff retreat

Discovering “uncommon grace” at the Uncommon Grounds Cafe

Date: 
2017-01-06 00:00:00

 

Uncommon Grounds is a café in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. In the heart of the former steel town, the café is a place of sanctuary and Christian outreach and care. People come in to find a warm meal and a listening ear and sometimes, hope and a fresh start.

One day a man came into Uncommon Grounds looking for someone to listen, and to understand “his side” of the story.  Frustrated with his ex-girlfriend, he had chosen to be more forceful than he knew was right and had been put on probation. Part of his probation was to go to 12 step meetings and anger management classes, some of which are hosted at Uncommon Grounds Cafe.  In talking to me, he seemed at first to be agitated, but then eventually calmed down. We are all sinners, I assured him. I thought of Romans 3:23. I didn’t quote the scripture, but it did begin to play in the back of my mind, as I fought the desire to judge him unworthy.

The more I listened to him, the more I heard his true heart. He had a deep love for his children. He wanted to be a good father. He didn’t have a great role model growing up, but he wanted to do better for them.

He and I met weekly for a couple of months, and at one point, he asked if he could borrow some money to keep his lights from being turned off.  It is my policy not to give out money to people, but to refer them to other agencies in the city that. This time it was different. I heard the Lord say “Yes”. So I said, “Yes”.

What happened next shocked me, too.  He offered to pay me back! Instead, I asked him to do a service project for the neighbor with his kids on Saturday and send me a picture. That would be payment enough.

A month later, I was driving down the street and I saw my friend, sharply dressed, working for the local funeral home, with a huge smile on his face.  He is now taking his children to church, spending time with them, and showing them the value of an honest career. He offered his life to the Lord, and offered his children what he had received by God’s grace: hope. 

Impacting peoples’ lives in this way through Christ is what the ministry of the Uncommon Grounds Café and Church Army USA is all about.  To God be the glory!

Uncommon Grounds Café is part of the Matthew 25 Ministry initiative of The Anglican Church in North America.

By Herb Bailey, Ministry Directory of Uncommon Grounds Café

Original post from Anglican Church in North America.