Bridging Cultures: What You Need to Know about Short-term Mission

Bridging Cultures: What You Need to Know about Short-term Mission

What if you are looking for missionary experience, but you are not ready for a year-long commitment? Or perhaps you are discerning if long-term service is where God is calling you. SAMS has a short-term missionary program that will help you discern the next steps in your vocation and explore your potential missionary call. Are you ready to become a Missionary Bridger?

What is a Bridger?

A Bridger expands the bridge of service between missionaries and churches across the world!

What’s the point?

You will meet the desire for serving longer than traditional short-term mission work of two weeks, yet shorter than missionary service of three years.  Some want to extend ministry for a longer period of time than a short-term mission offers while others want to discern further the Lord’s calling for long-term missionary service.

How does a Bridger internship work?

Missionary Bridgers are partnered with and mentored by an experienced SAMS long-term missionary.  Missionary Bridgers have served with missionaries in Africa, Europe, South America, and Central America. SAMS’ Missionary Bridgers are often assigned a “Cultural Link Person” from their host country who will help them manage ordinary life experiences like going to the bank, locating a store, or navigating transportation.  Some Missionary Bridgers will also have formal language lessons.

How old do I have to be?

SAMS sends Missionary Bridgers from many age groups—pre-career, mid-career, and post-career.  To be considered for a SAMS internship, it is necessary for the applicant to have completed high school or the equivalent of high schoolat least one year beofre beginning the program.  You must be at least 18 years old at the beginning of your internship.  Some of our applicants are college graduates, currently enrolled in college, or have no college experience at all.   We look for Christians who are seeking God’s will for their lives and we consider life experiences as indicators of the applicant’s qualification to serve as a SAMS Missionary Bridger.

What is required to be a Bridger?

Accepted Missionary Bridgers will be required to attend a Missionary Bridger Training Workshop (3-day intensive conference in Ambridge, PA).  The primary focus of this workshop is to build relationships with Missionary Bridger applicants so that we can better serve you as you serve Christ in your later determined host country.  In the workshop we will discuss individual Missionary Bridger placement, expectations for the placement, cultural adaptation and, because Missionary Bridgers raise their own financial support like our long-term missionaries, we will develop your personal intern budget and prepare you to start raising your own support.  The training will be offered periodically so that at least six months prior to your departure date, you will be prepared for your placement and to raise financial and prayer support.

What can I except to achieve?

Grow personally in all aspects, especially spiritually as you face a new environment and the challenges that accompany it.

Expand your vision of God at work in the world.

Discover and develop gifts for ministry, increasing your effectiveness for wherever God calls you.

Discern next steps in your vocation, and particularly explore potential missionary call.

Offer yourself as a living sacrifice serving others under the guidance of your missionary mentor.

Build Christ-centered relationships with those God calls you.

Encourage your sending church by being an extension of their ministry and seeking to bridge the church to the world.

So, how do I sign up?

If you are interested in pursuing a Missionary Bridger internship with SAMS, please contact Lynn, SAMS Short-term Missions Coordinator at lynnbouterse@sams-usa.org.

 

Working at Casa da Esperança: Recife, Brazil!

Working at Casa da Esperança: Recife, Brazil!

I have been here in Recife for 2.5 weeks already and I’m LOVING it!  I am grateful that Brazilians are so warm–everyone I’ve met is extremely welcoming which has made settling in easier.

Every day I go to Casa da Esperança, the day care center where I’m working. I love Casa and am so impressed with the organization as a whole. Every day, up to 60 kids come for the whole day–7:30 am-4:30 pm and are bathed, fed 5 meals, and then do different educational activities. When they’re at Casa, the kids are safe from getting dragged into the drug industry and it enables their parents to work consistently. The children are absolutely precious. It’s been special to begin developing relationships with them. I’m mostly with the 2 year olds, and when I arrive they say, “Tia Mada! Tia Mada!!” and I get many hugs and kisses.

I’ve been able to help out with English translation in the office at Casa–they want to develop English versions of a number of media documents and I’ve been able to help by editing Google Translations. Besides Casa, I’ve also had the opportunity to lead a worship song in Portuguese/English with a Brazilian girl on Sunday–it was at the small Anglican church that meets on the day center grounds to reach the surrounding community. The picture to the right is with members of the Casa da Esperança team after working a bazaar to raise money for the day care center!

Please pray for…
1: continued improvement in my facility with Portuguese–I can get around fine, I just want to keep improving

2: blessing for Casa in their current work, and provision for the improvements and expansions of their programs toward which they’re working

3: my precious host parents Xandau and Andrezza–that they would be blessed for the incredible generosity with which they are caring for me!

4: that each child that enters the day care center daily would be surrounded by the presence of Jesus and his love for them.

Thank you for your prayers, and the support that makes my time here possible! God is so good. Living and working here is an immensely beautiful gift.

Warmly,
Madeleine

P.S. Follow me on Instagram for more photos of what I’m doing! @madeleineruch

Leaving for Recife in 5 Weeks!

Leaving for Recife in 5 Weeks!

April 18, 2018

Five weeks from now, I will fly out of Chicago O’Hare Airport and enter into the two month missions adventure the Lord has laid out for me! I am so eager—to be surrounded by Portuguese again, interact with the precious Brazilian children at House of Hope, meet my host family, worship at Church of the Holy Spirit, return to a place I already love and anticipate growing to love even more.

I got to spend time with a leader from Church of the Holy Spirit over Holy Week and Easter, and memories of how much I love Brazil and Brazilians flooded over me instantly. I can’t wait to be immersed in the culture once more, and take advantage of opportunities to minister the love of Jesus to a people so open to friendship and relational connection.

It has been established that I’ll be living with one of the Directors of House of Hope—the incredible day care center in Recife that I visited two years ago. It also looks like I’ll be getting involved with worship leading at the church, and will join a small group to be immersed in the church community. I’ll be going to House of Hope daily and doing whatever they need: caring for children, helping with administration, offering whatever support I can for the crucial work they’re doing.

Please pray for…

…the presence of the Holy Spirit as I navigate the last 3 weeks of school before summer. I need the Lord’s presence so much as I try to balance RA responsibilities, class finals, time with friends, and preparation for Brazil

…the final details and planning of my trip

…the power of the Lord to direct me in my prayers and passion for Recife and the community I’ll be entering into and working with

Love,

Madeleine

Meet Your New SAMS Missionaries!

Meet Your New SAMS Missionaries!

SAMS is pleased to introduce you to new Missionary Candidates and Bridgers!

 

Hunter and Stephie Van Wagenen: Long-term Missionary Candidates to Spain

Hunter and Stephie Van Wagenen are called to minister along the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. The Camino de Santiago is a 500-mile long pilgrimage that draws over 300,000 spiritual seekers a year.  Hunter and Stephie hope to plant a hospitality ministry along the Camino so that they may proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to pilgrims.  Hunter and Stephie are currently raising their support. Visit their page here!

 

Michaela Ray: Bridger to the Dominican Republic

Michaela will serve in the San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic with SAMS Missionary Cathy Donahoe assisting Cathy in her physical therapy ministry. Her home church is Christ Church, Plano Texas. Keep an eye out for posts from Michaela on her missionary page here.

 

 

Madeleine Ruch: Bridger to Brazil

Madeleine is from Wheaton, IL where her home church is Church of the Resurrection. She has felt a strong call to mission to Brazil. Madeleine will be serving at the Casa da Esperança in the Diocese of Recife under the authority of Bishop Miguel Uchôa. Visit her page here.

 

 

 

Jessica Tetirick: Bridger to Uganda

Jessica Tetirick will serve with SAMS missionary Mary Chowenhill at Uganda Christian University in Mukono, Uganda. Jessica has a background in finance and accounting. She will serve alongside Mary through business ministry. Jessica’s home church is Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Read her recent blog post for more about her calling to mission!

Settling In: Ministry in the Solomon Islands

Settling In: Ministry in the Solomon Islands

Greetings from Trinity School for Theology and Ministry at Airahu Training Center!  I have been in the Solomon Islands about four weeks now—though so much has happened that it feels as if I have been here much longer! This is a beautiful land, with beautiful people, and I hope in my newsletters and blog posts that I will be able to convey just a glimpse of these beauties.

I have begun to settle in at Airahu, an Anglican center that hosts a monastic order, a rural training center, and a theological school.  This institution is quite unlike anything I have experienced in the United States.  Each component—the Melanesian Brotherhood, Trinity School for Theology and Ministry, and the Rural Training Center—function independently of one another. Yet, they share the land together, regularly come together for times of religious activity, social events, and occasionally meals.  There is no sense of competition among the groups, and each seems to be working toward the same goal—to tangibly apply the teachings of Jesus to life in the Solomon Islands.

Continue reading below to learn a little more about each of the three programs at Airahu

Rural Training Center

Education is a real social challenge in the Solomon Islands.  Most of the Islands have no secondary schools, so teenagers travel to the capital city of Honiara for high-school education.   There are increasingly limited and highly competitive opportunities for students the further they go in their education.  Nor does education does necessarily lead to employment—many good jobs are given to “friends and family.”

The Rural Training Center provides vocational training to students throughout the island of Malaita.  There are several different tracks available—agriculture, carpentry, homemaking, etc.

The students and staff at the Rural Training Center are eager to learn different styles of agriculture.  In the image below I am explaining a permaculture design to a few of them.  The Banana Circle (pictured below) will be a feature in a future newsletter or blog.

Melanesian Brotherhood

The Melanesian Brotherhood is a religious order that was started by Anglican Melanesians in the 1920s.  Brothers take a vow to chastity, submission, and evangelism.  They are a missionary order, regularly traveling two-by-two across the countryside providing pastoral care.  They are an asset and an aid to the parish priests who serve throughout the villages.  At Airahu, several brothers live and help teach at the Rural Training Center.  Some are students at the school for Theology.  The Brothers also host morning and Evening prayers daily, and a Eucharist service on Sundays.

In the image below, one of the Elder Brothers expresses his gratitude for those who prepared lunch for us.

Trinity School for Ministry and Theology

Not to be confused with Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA (where I just graduated from!), TSTM offers a diploma program in Theology and Ministry also located at Airahu Training Center.  Students attend for three years before graduating.  After graduation, most students are ordained to the diaconate before becoming parish priests.  Students at TSTM come from all over the Solomon Islands.  Many are from Malaita, but some students come from as far away as the Western Province, Guadalcanal and San Isabel.  In this picture, I am teaching some of the TSTM students at the Chapel of Melanesia at Airahu.  Jon and were the speakers at a campus retreat a few weeks ago, facilitating discussions about the Lord’s Prayer.