SAMS Missionary April Sylvester Seeks Your Partnership

SAMS Missionary April Sylvester Seeks Your Partnership

SAMS Missionary April Sylvester serves in Zambia with at-risk teens. Would you prayerfully consider partnering with her by becoming a Sender? Pray, encourage, and give today! From April:

Join me in helping at-risk youth in Zambia! It’s easy! CHOOSE ONE NUMBER FROM THE BOARD and begin donating that amount monthly (don’t worry it’s not forever. You can put in an automatic stopping date.). It makes a huge difference!

Give here and comment below the number you chose.

The background: I live in Zambia and mentor at-risk teens, giving them a solid foundation to thrive in university and beyond. Here I am about to head into year two and I need your help! I am looking for people to partner with me in prayer and giving! Giving is so easy and doesn’t have to be a huge thing. Just look at that $2 sign, people! Together we can make an impact on the youth of Zambia!

Bonus: when you donate, you will receive my monthly newsletter with updates and stories from the ground.
I am so excited to share the journey with you!

Update: numbers 1,20, & 30 are taken!

Called to Love

Called to Love

 


And love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10

A high percentage of the population in Zambia is under the age of 35. SAMS Missionary, April Sylvester, feels called to come alongside young adults. At GLO Zambia, April serves the Lord by mentoring young adults. The students learn about relationships, stewardship, missionary vocation, and HIV prevention. Currently, April is also teaching yoga and swimming.

God has called April to love the students at GLO. She cares for these students because she knows God first loved.  In return, these students care for April, and they are inspired to go on to treat others how they have been treated. A few students shared how they have been impacted by April and the mentoring program:

Shari: April has been a very good mentor. I already knew how to swim, but April has helped me perfect my swimming. I also used to smoke and she has helped me with my addiction, and now I don’t really want to smoke. She has been there for me when others have thought less of me. I thank her for that.

Peter: April has been my best swimming teacher. When was struggling spiritually, she was there for me. She prayed with me and continued to pray for me during my struggles.

Ana: We are GLO Students. April is our leader and she has inspired us and I have learned a lot about myself. I used to be afraid of water. Now April has taught me to be more confident and I am learning to swim. April is the kind of person has a gift of caring for others, and she really has invested in our lives.

Like April who mentors, we are called to love one another. What gift has God given you that you use to show love to others?

Names have been changed for the privacy of the students.

 

Would you prayerfully consider supporting April today? Pray, support, and give here.

 

April teaching swimming
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.

A Sweating Missionary in the Mud of Life

A Sweating Missionary in the Mud of Life

By April Sylvester

Kazangula is a small town (if it can be called that) on the watery border of Zambia and Botswana. A group of us had taken the long, hot journey for a 3 day mission trip. Within a few minutes, our group of four came across two women building a mud house. We were greeted with kind but slightly skeptical smiles and mud-caked hands.

My friend Emmanuel moved towards their house. He looked at the pile of mud they were mixing for the wall, saw that their two yellow water containers were empty, and with less than a word he picked them up and walked away.  As I watched him walk into the distance, the yellow containers [were] getting smaller and smaller.  After about 10 minutes he was coming back down to us, sweat beading on his forehead in the midday sun, water sloshing on his jeans from the containers.

In that moment, I realized that THAT is the kind of missionary I want to be. I want to be a sweating missionary.  How many times do we come across someone who is not concerned with words but is willing to get down into the mud of life with us? It means being able to really see people and their needs, which, yes, does take a certain level of cultural competency that I am still working on. But maybe I can bumble, sweat, learn and love my way towards that goal.

April is involved in an outreach ministry to Zambian youth that involves discipleship and mission training. Her home church is Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois.

In that moment, I realized that THAT is the kind of missionary I want to be. I want to be a sweating missionary

April Sylvester

SAMS Missionary to Zambia

A Nugget for the Journey

A Nugget for the Journey

Hot and cramped. That is what public transportation is here in Zambia. And the bus from town to where I live is even more hot and even more cramped than normal. So today I plopped into the bus next to a girl about the age of 20. Because of the whole hot and cramped thing, I don’t usually strike up conversations with the people I am sweating beside but today I did.
Her name was Naminga and she had the sweetest Bemba accent that accentuated her darling smile. We got to asking the normal get-to-know-you questions. Where abouts do you stay? Do you have any brothers or sisters? And particularly for me, What are you doing here?  And yes, how long are you here for. I always get this one and I am not a fan because I justdon’tknowandmaybeitisokaythatIdon’tknowalrightugh.
This time I shrugged and responded with my familiar joke “Find me a husband and I will stay here a long time!” Even though I am in no way on the market for a hubby, I have gotten some laughs out of it in the past.  
She did smile but then she looked at me more seriously.
“A man here might marry you because he thinks you are kind, because he thinks you are rich, or because you are white.” She ticked off the points on her fingers as she spoke. “And what happens then? What happens when you aren’t kind or when there is no money or when…” she paused “you are in the sun too much and get a really deep tan.” We both laughed.
“That is why we have to wait for God to send us the right one. If not, both people will be disappointed. God will give us the desires of our hearts and that includes the right man to marry.”
As the rickety bus josteled us, I was struck by the deep counter cultural wisdom this young woman had. Especially here in Zambia, women are overly pressured to find a husband, get married and have kids. You are not considered an adult until you are married. (Even if you have a job, live on your own, and provide for yourself!) But Naminga’s deep self-awareness and faith in God’s provision eschewed the desperation that this culture implants in single women and replaced it with contentment. Something all of us could use a bit more of.
A little nugget for the journey.