Partnering with Trinity School for Ministry: Houston Relief Effort Mission

Partnering with Trinity School for Ministry: Houston Relief Effort Mission

Dear Friends in Christ,

Sometimes I get discouraged watching the news. Recent events can make it difficult to want to face what is happening in this broken world, but God calls us to go into the dark places in order to be a light to those in the midst of turmoil.

This upcoming week I will be heading to Houston alongside our short-term ministries coordinator to serve alongside Trinity School for Ministry students. We will be heading to the southeastern part of the city to do relief effort from Hurricane Harvey. Houston is the 4th largest city in America, with a population of over 2 million. In the southeastern part alone there are over 15,000 people. These people have lost everything. Their homes destroyed, and their belongings swept away with the water. SAMS has helped with the training to prepare for this mission. We will be partnering with Christ Church Plano and Missio Dei Anglican Church in Houston to help restore the homes of those in the neighborhood. The training consisted of team building, logistics, team roles, and spiritual development. While at the training, the team had a surprise visit from Archbishop Foley Beach from the Anglican Church in North America. He prayed with us and for all the people we will serve.

One thing that kept coming to me and the rest of the team was the word “presence.” Will you join me in praying for this mission? How might we be encouraged to bring God’s presence no matter where we go? I pray His presence will be overflowing and those who have felt nothing but loss soon feel the comfort and hope of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Your Partner in Christ,

Sarah Norris

Writer and Communications Specialist

Called to Community

Called to Community

Today there are billions of people on earth, so why do some of us still feel lonely? We pack our schedules with bible studies, community group, church, and volunteer projects, but we still can feel a void.

God didn’t intend for us to be alone. We were created to crave community with others. Whether single or married, we are all in need of community, but what does community look like?

The Nicene Creed summarizes the Trinity this way:

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father…. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified.

The Trinity means that God is in a community; and because God is three in one, this means God is community. So, even before the creation of man, there was a perfect community. If Genesis 1:26 says that God made us in his image, then he must want us to be acommunity as well.

What prevents us from this is that we are a fallen people. We tend to want to meet our own needs first, and when they aren’t met, we move on to the next thing that comes our way. We live in a broken world consisting of broken relationships. Our sinful nature keeps us separated from God—true community. Think about when Eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She was tempted to have unbelief about God and his true intentions for us.

There is good news, though, and redemption for community which can bring us into a relationship with God and others. When we repent and acknowledge our sinfulness, we can turn to God who sent his son to die on the cross for our debts. Jesus has redeemed us from our sin and unbelief and has called us for a life everlasting with him. When we acknowledge this, we experience the transforming love of Christ. Community grounded in Him fosters love and encouragement that can then be shared with all nations.

It can be difficult to grow in community, but it is God’s desire for us. When we grow in community, we are growing in him!

SAMS would like to build community with you. Every day, we pray for our missionaries and senders. We want to pray for you too. Send us your prayer requests here.

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?