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!

Meet SAMS-USA: Missionary Cathy Donahoe

Meet SAMS-USA: Missionary Cathy Donahoe

Cathy is from Grand Junction, Colorado, and has been sent by St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Grand Junction, Colorado. Cathy is serving in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

Her Ministry:

Cathy’s has been serving our Lord in the Dominican Republic since 2007 using her skills as a physical therapist. Her vision of this ministry has been to be working with the people of the Dominican Republic to help improve the health care offered. Health, in New Testament terms, is the capacity of individuals, families and communities to work together to transform the conditions that develop, in a sustainable way, their well-being, spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, economically and environmentally. As a physical therapist, Cathy has been facilitating this through both treating patients and training people in physical therapy skills. This has been happening at the Asociación Dominicana de Rehabilitación branch in San Pedro de Macorís as well as nationally through the ADR. Cathy has been to Haiti for brief periods as well, teaching in a program training rehabilitation techs, the first class of whom were working on the day of the quake and in its aftermath. Additionally, Cathy is doing her best to model a good Christian life.

Cathy has become involved with ministries at her local Episcopal parish in the barrio of Santa Fe. In addition to participating with the music ministry, she has been an integral part of the newly formed consolation ministry. They visit members of the community in need of assistance sharing scripture, prayer, and fellowship. This could be following the death of someone in their family, an accident or injury, or a variety of needs exacerbated by their material poverty and many times their informational void.

Her Calling:

Looking back on her life, Cathy can see God’s handiwork in preparing her for the mission field since an early age, though it took her a long time to get there. Key points along the way include serving in the US Peace Corps after college, meeting the bishop of the Dominican Republic one weekend in Colorado who has a PT clinic in his diocese with needs, hiking with friends on the Corkscrew trail in the Colorado National Monument when I heard of SAMS for the first time, and the first trip to the island of Hispaniola in 2003. That trip combined a month in Haiti and close to a month in the Dominican Republic. In Haiti her role was that of clinical PT teacher and in the DR it was as an aide to the staff at the bishop’s PT clinic. She was blessed getting to know the staff but was sure they could do much more for their patients. Ellen Snow, a missionary who coordinated short term teams and visitors, suggested Cathy return every year for a couple of weeks. Her final morning there, as she walked along the Malecon for the last time, mulling Ellen’s suggestion, her reservations about having any effect on a two-week-at-a-time basis were strong. Suddenly Cathy felt God nudging her with the question, why did it have to only be two weeks?

Being one slow to make important decisions, it took another year and a half before she tested the waters with 6 months as a Bridger with SAMS at that clinic. This confirmed God’s call to long term missions, though it was not clearly in the same location. Resuming communications with SAMS upon return they determined that partnering together in this mission journey was the right plan. After going on her placement trip to Honduras and Haiti, it became clear that San Pedro was to be her destination for now.

Pray for Cathy and the Dominican Republic:
Pray that younger members of the Dominican church will feel called to the ordained ministry, and for the leaders and resources to train and equip them.

Pray for Bishop Julio Cesar Holguin of Iglesia Episcopal Dominicana and other church and government leaders to work together to combat poverty, crime, and violence.

Pray for Cathy as she continues to teach Physical Therapy classes in the area. Pray for her students and that God will move in their lives.

If you are feeling called to support or encourage Cathy, visit her missionary page here.

Looking back on her life, Cathy can see God’s handiwork in preparing her for the mission field since an early age,