When God Calls You

When God Calls You

Have you ever had God tell you to do something specific? Maybe he told you to serve someone, go somewhere, or give. Sacrificing your own possessions to others is not always the easiest. When we view what we possess as not our own, but God’s to use for his purpose, our perspective on giving changes.

Recently, a SAMS Sender shared their experience with sacrificial giving through correspondence to a SAMS Missionary:

Let me start by saying Zambia is not where my missionary heart is. Every New Year’s I pray and ask where I am supposed to send my gifts, and then I give as I believe the Lord is leading me. Most years my giving goes towards helping those who are in hunger, and people who live on the brink of poverty.

I don’t know why, but last year something about your appeal caught my eye and I decided to give a one-time gift. Then I saw you again in another newsletter from SAMS.

I was planning to wait until New Years and pray about your request, but this morning as I listened to “Our Daily Bread” devotional, it was about abundant giving (2 Corinthians 8:1-9). It dawned on me. I’m moving into a new home and was planning to buy a chair that costs more than the highest donation you appealed for! And in one of your newsletters, you wrote of how you built a counch out of wooden pallets!

So I prayed some more. If asked, I probably couldn’t find Zambia on a map, but India was not on my radar either and I spent several years supporting mission work there.

Here is the bottom line…I don’t think you fit into my giving plan, but God does! When he calls me to do something, what else can I do but listen to him? Young people around the world need Christian compassion, love, and discipleship. You are providing these! I pray my giving helps.

SAMS Missionaries around the globe give thanks to God for Senders who encourage, support and give to them. Thank you for your generous giving. How is God calling you this Advent Season? Pray, listen, and respond!

SAMS Short-term Mission Leaders’ Training

SAMS Short-term Mission Leaders’ Training

SAMS is hosting a Short-term Mission Leaderships’ Training. This training is designed for anyone interested in learning more about cross-cultural ministry in a local or global context. This training will equip leaders of short-term mission teams so that they can train their team!

When: February 17-18th, 2018

Registration is $99 and includes training materials and meals.

For more information click on this brochure

To register contact Lynn Bouterse at 724-266-0669 or lynnbouterse@sams-usa.org

Thanksgiving and Prayers from Your SAMS Missionaries

Thanksgiving and Prayers from Your SAMS Missionaries

So much has happened in the mission field this year! Your SAMS Missionaries want to give thanks to the Lord for all that happened in 2017 and share their prayers for the upcoming year with you.

David and Mary Beth Alenskis

2017: We give thanks our churches have been growing (the parish by 15% and the mission by 45%), new families are joining the church, and new discipleship groups are forming, especially for the youths. We are so thankful to the Lord for what he is doing, and we are so thankful to those who are supporting this ministry through prayers and gifts!

2018: We ask for prayers that the Lord would raise up new leaders. We need local lay leaders to take even more responsibility and initiative to sustain the growth that we have been experiencing.


2017: I’m thankful to witness the Lord raising up people to fill evangelism positions that are needed, especially those with a heart for the French-speaking world where we currently need ministry development.

2018: I’d like prayer for direction and an open heart to the Lord to hear how He wants me to move, particularly for the guidance of my role within the larger picture.

Cathy Donahoe

2017: I’m grateful that this year God has given me 180 physical therapy students in 9 different classes to teach, most of whom are very motivated to learn how to work with people who need rehabilitation. I am also thankful for the supporters that God has raised up to permit reaching out in my community to help some of the poorest folks have more secure housing.

2018: I pray that in 2018 God continues to guide me in improving my teaching abilities and discernment for a construction ministry and that he would send others to help.

Rusty and Tammy Firestone

2017: We are thankful to see La Trinidad transform into a mission-oriented community.  We see the growth of our church plant on the eastern side of the city (Puntiti). The youth group has been revitalized by doing weekend mission projects, and lay leaders are starting new groups and expanding leadership.

2018: Our prayer for our ministry in 2018 is for La Trinidad to become self-sustaining in terms of leadership and finances and be able to support the Puntiti church plant, as well as for an additional core group to take root as a plant. Please pray for the formation of new leaders with servant hearts and missional minds.

Chris Feuillade

2017: I give thanks to the Lord for the opportunity to serve him in Chile in 2017, especially with the Yachal children’s center and at the university. This has also been a very difficult year for me and my family in several ways, and I also give thanks to God for the many times he has shown us his faithfulness in looking after us.

2018: I pray for spiritual discernment, and for renewed love for the people of Chile, and renewed joy for my work here during the coming year.

Jessica Hughes

2017: I give thanks for the opportunity to study the Bible with my students. It is an honor to teach them how to interpret the Scriptures, and an immense joy to go through the Scriptures with them, seeking what God is saying to us through it, and how to apply it to our lives.

2018: please pray for my time in God’s word, that I would really hear God rather than just reading for academics.

David Ledwitz

2017: I am thankful for learning the importance of building relationships. Seeing God at work in me whether it is sharing coffee and sweets with someone or simply listening and learning, along with language practice. There is far greater value in the relationship and not the material projects.

2018: Join me in prayer for more meaningful relationships and more supporters for projects.ts and missional minds.

Janine LeGrand

2017: I give thanks for all the wonderful people I get to work with, the Ugandan’s, the Americans and even those from other countries including the UK. These individuals have the heart to share God’s love through their actions and sacrifices.  I am strengthened by the Ugandan clergy I work alongside, the short-term visitors and even those who send an encouraging word.

2018: For this upcoming year, join me in prayer for sustained financial support to keep this ministry possible, for good health, and for expansion of the health ministry.

Jacky Lowe

2017: I give thanks that I have three-quarters of my support for my 3-year mission to Madagascar. Support raising has taught me to be self-sufficient and I have learned perseverance. I must rely on God to do His work. I give thanks to my senders who provide prayer, emotional, and financial support.

2018: Please pray for the completion of my support raising in January, that I get my visa to go to Madagascar, and that I complete the language acquisition course. After all these steps are fone, pray for my travels to Madagascar and my ministry with the women there.

Juan and Maria Marentes

2017: Thank you, faithful supporters for the great blessing that you have been for us. 2017 has been a year of challenges and submission to God’s will, but at the same time, we see His powerful hand in every challenge. We have witnessed baptisms, home bible studies, and the growth of children’s ministry.

2018: Please join us in prayer as outreach to the Hispanic population continues and grows in the Western Anglicans Diocese. Pray for the four different congregations in the San Diego Deanery who will be reaching out to the community there.

Jack and Mary McDonald

2017: We are thankful for the international students at Virgina Tech who we have built relationships with and for Mary’s ministry, Gospel goats, which is reaching out to impoverished families in Uganda.

2018: Please continue to pray for these ministries as well as F.A.R.M. (Farm Animal Refresher for Missions training) and for mobilizing long & short terms missionaries by representing CVM & SAMS.

Todd and Patsy McGregor

2017: We are thankful for the future generations in the Diocese of Toliara who are coming to know Christ because of their parents’ new commitment. Whole villages are making commitments to Christ because one family member believes and tells the others the Good News.

2018: Plese pray for humble and Godly leadership development and integration for new Assistant Bishop  Rev Canon Samitiana and his wife, Holy. Rev Canon Samitiana will be consecrated in February 2018.

Mark and Susan P

2017: We continue to be thankful for the ministry of healing, restoration, and hope that we get to witness as pastoral care providers to other missionaries. We are ever thankful for the ways in which God draws us to Him and continues His redeeming work in our own lives and in our ministry.

2018: We are currently in a two-year program of Spiritual Direction. We would appreciate prayers in 2018 for continued funding for the tuition but more importantly that God would grow us in our ability to listen well and accompany others on their journey with Christ.

Russ and Heidi Smith

2017: We are thankful for being involved in starting up ESI-Equipping Servants International in Chile.

2018: For this upcoming year, please pray that in the middle of all the activities we do that we will be able to share the Gospel with our neighbors.

April Sylvester

2017: This past year we graduated 20 students from our gap year program. I saw them grow from teenagers in high school to young adults ready to take on the world. I am also thankful that I have been able to use my talents, gifts, and passions in this program through mentoring, teaching fitness, and leading art lessons.

2018: I pray God would be preparing the students that will come to us in January for this next gap year course. Also for unity and love within our team to lead the students well.

Johann and Louise Vanderbijl

2017: We give thanks to the many individuals we were able to teach through our discipleship training classes. They will go on to teach others to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

2018: We pray that the Lord will raise up partners who would help us get where we need to be. Pray for reliable vehicle. Pray for scholarships for those who simply cannot pay for the courses as well as personal financial support.

Gregory and Heidi Whitaker

2017: We are thankful for the many lives we have seen transformed by the Gospel coming through the Church.

2018: Please join us in pray for more Khmer leaders to be raised up to lead Cambodian young adults into a deep relationship with the Lord.

Thanksgiving for Discipleship

Thanksgiving for Discipleship

Ron and Valdomiro during their weekly Discipleship meeting.

Making Disciples who Make Disciples:

This is the theme in the book by Francis Chan “Multiply” published by David C. Cook.  In Brazil we use the version published by Editora Mundo Cristao and translated into Portuguese by Daniel Faria.  I have been meeting with Valdomiro on a weekly basis for one hour for most of the past year. This relationship is directly inspired by Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV), “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We recently finished reading together in Portuguese the book Multiply; Valdomiro does not speak English, and then we began reading Alister McGrath’s Mere Apologetics. In Portuguese the title is Apologetica pura & simples. Simply put by McGrath, “Apologetics is about persuading people there is a door to another world – a door that perhaps they never realized existed. Evangelism is about helping people to open that door and enter into the world that lies beyond.”

When Valdomiro and I meet for discipleship we spend time discussing the implications of what we are reading for God’s purpose for our lives through the lens of Scripture. We also spend time discussing how our week is going and the thanksgivings, challenges, and opportunities for growth into the likeness of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and Friend. We also catch up on the thanksgivings, challenges, and opportunities Valdomiro is experiencing in his discipleship of other men in our parish.

This is my thanksgiving for discipleship in Brazil; I consider myself to be a novice with the Portuguese language and Valdomiro does not speak English. Our conversation in Portuguese at times can be both intense and full of emotion, and sometimes Valdomiro needs to restate his thought for me using simpler words. Valdomiro also is patient with me and calmly corrects my numerous grammatical and pronunciation errors especially if I rush my delivery and, for example, I’m talking in the future tense when I should be talking in the past.

Last week Valdomiro asked me if we could increase our discipleship time from one hour per week to two hours per week due to the intensity of the content of Alister McGrath’s book so we do not miss out on the other aspects of our time together. Of course, I said yes, and praising the Lord, almost fell off my chair! I took this as a testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of two people who not too long ago could not understand a word the other was saying. Now we are both Making Disciples Who Make Disciples only for the Glory of God’s purposes for His Creation.

Ron and Debby Mckeon serve in the Anglican Diocese of Recife in Brazil. They are dedicated to helping the Anglican churches in Joao Pessoa grow spiritually, numerically and missionally. Please prayerfully consider giving to support their mission here.

Healing Hearts in Houston

Healing Hearts in Houston

“I feel that God has forgotten me,” declared Mr. G. We stood in his disrepaired living room, plastic tarps covering furniture and the walls down to the studs. It had been over six weeks since Hurricane Harvey swept through southeast Houston, Texas, destroying and breaking down homes, businesses, and hearts. Mr. G’s home was in the path of the devastation, leaving him and his 11-year-old daughter, Steph, with little left.

SAMS, Trinity School for Ministry, and Christ Church Plano all felt a calling to serve. The 12 person team arrived in Houston to Missio Dei Anglican Church, a church who has been called to serve those affected by the hurricane in the city. While we were still unsure of who we would be helping, God soon led us to Mr. G and Steph. As we drove through their neighborhood, some homes seemed perfectly fine, while others had a pile of debris several feet high. The houses reminded us of people. While someone may look fine on the outside, you may never know what struggles they are facing on the inside. Mr. G’s house and spirit had been hit hard.

On our first day, he told us about his heart surgery he recently had and his other health ailments, preventing him from doing much of the repairs, despite having the skills in construction. The look of defeat was prominent on his face as he slouched over and held his chest. Throughout the week we worked to replace drywall and to establish a functioning bath and kitchen alongside Mr. G who taught us some new skills.

When each day was over, the family joined us back at Missio Dei for dinner, and one night we set aside a time for communion. Steph was curious to explore the church, and she noticed the altar prepared for communion. This was an opportunity for me to tell her that we are all imperfect people, but someone came to save us; that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead, that he gave us the gift of communion and the Holy Spirit who is always with us, and that he promises to return one day. Mr. G and Steph took part in communion with us, and we prayed over Mr. G for his heart both physically and spiritually. As we prayed and sang, it was moving to see them both lift their hand up to God in thanks and surrender, and day after day see Mr. G’s slouching diminish.

By the end of the week, there was an obvious change in Mr. G and Steph. The Lord had encouraged them and reminded them that they were not forgotten, but that God loves them and even sent others to care for them. Their house still has a lot of work to be done, but those at Missio Dei continue to pour out their love as they work alongside Mr. G and other teams to see that they return home. I praise the Lord for taking broken things and making them new again.

Missio Dei is looking for teams to help partner with them to help people like Mr. G and Steph. If your church is feeling called to send a team to Missio Dei Anglican Church, contact Lynn Bouterse at 724-266-0669 today.

By Sarah Norris, Writer and Communications Specialist.