Welcome to the Neighborhood

Welcome to the Neighborhood

On Saturday afternoon, Mary and I arrived home to UCU campus in Mukono after spending 2 nights near the airport in Entebbe. We were greeted by smiling faces and hugs from our neighbors and friends who came by to greet us.

I have enjoyed getting to familiarize myself with the campus and had the opportunity to meet several of the faculty and staff the last few days. Warm and welcoming are the trademark characteristics of the people here in Uganda.

We also have some four-legged neighbors who like to avail themselves of the fruits in our garden and also the fruit in the nearby trees (mangos are everywhere right now). While more exotic (to me), people talk about the monkeys like we do the squirrels in Texas, a little perturbed that they are eating our fruit or in the squirrels’ case, hiding nuts in our flower pots. At a barbeque with the Entrepreneurship faculty last night, my favorite quote of the evening was “We can’t sit outside because the monkeys may throw mangos at us.” These monkey friends like to pick mangos, take a bite, and if they are not yet ripe, throw them down to the ground below.

This is a picture borrowed from Wikipedia because I haven’t gotten a close-up photo of one of these guys yet! They’re always on the move!

Yesterday, I woke up to a rooster crowing on our neighbor’s patio. A few hours later, this neighbor kindly brought over some homemade chicken in a tasty broth and matoke (a traditional Ugandan dish of steamed bananas that tastes a little like mashed potatoes) to share.

Our back patio is one of my favorite places at this new home. It’s surrounded by a garden full of herbs and fruit (thyme, basil, parsley, strawberries, gooseberries, leeks, eggplant, cucumber, green onions, and more). It will be fun to cook with such a fresh assortment just outside the kitchen. It’s also a lovely location for quiet time with the Lord and for our group prayer and bible study each morning.

Different Service, Same Lord

Different Service, Same Lord

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-5

As members of the body of Christ, God has uniquely gifted us to play an important role in the work of the Church (1 Corinthians 12-14). The gifts God has given us should contribute to the fulfillment of the responsibilities of the church – including missions. Even if only 5% of the people in the church have a calling to cross-cultural service, the spiritual gifts of the other 95% still have as much a bearing on missions as they have at home.

For instance, if you are gifted in helping other people, you can not only help friends and fellow believers but also non-believers and missionaries.

Are you an encourager? Missionaries love to receive letters and emails with words of encouragement.

Are you musically talented? Musicians are quite helpful on the mission field and in motivating other Christians to a commitment to missions.

Do you have a knack for making money? Consider financing people to take the Gospel to cultures which have never had a witness or a Bible!

Are you a teacher? Part of teaching and educating the body of Christ is to equip them for spreading the knowledge of God to others.

Do you have the resource of time? Budget that time to get serious about regular prayer for missionaries and people in need of Christ.

The list goes on. We must remember that Jesus would not have commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations unless He knew we were capable of completing the task. He gave us the tools to do so. Are we responding? There is a great need for participation in mission, either right at home or across the world.

Do you see the big picture? God gave us a glimpse into the future to John in Revelation:

 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

Consider your own spiritual gifting and calling; how can you work in partnership with the body of Christ to participate in mission around the globe to see the task finished? Maybe you are being called to participate in mission with SAMS. Discover how SAMS Missionaries are using their gifts around the world here.

SAMS’ New Prayer Page

SAMS’ New Prayer Page

A part of SAMS’ values is submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of scripture. 1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

Because of the power of prayer, we have decided to make it a tab on the SAMS website. We want to partner with you in prayer, as your Society is committed to praying for missionaries as well as for those who support and send.  Now with the new prayer page, you can be more informed how we can pray as a Society. Discover the new prayer tab at the top of the SAMS Website. There you will find the following:

The SAMS Prayer Calendar in digital format: Now you can set reminders to pray for your missionaries. Simply search your missionary’s last name, expand their pray, and select how you want to be reminded. Reminders to pray can be sent straight to your email, or you can add it to your outlook or google calendar.

A PDF version of The Messenger: Some Senders like to keep the SAMS Prayer Calendar in their Bible as a reminder to read. If you rather have a physical copy, you can print it here. You can also sign up to have The Messenger sent to your email here!

Send your prayer requests: We want to pray for those who Send! Submit your prayer requests to SAMS. As a Society, we pray daily for both Missionaries and Senders.

All of this can be found on the new Praying with You page! Your SAMS Missionaries covet your prayers and thank you for joining alongside them in their calling. Explore now and join SAMS in prayer for mission around the globe!

Lent, Fasting, and Praying for Your Missionaries

Lent, Fasting, and Praying for Your Missionaries

Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, a 40-day period, concluding the day before Easter. This is a time for us to draw closer to the Lord through prayer, repentance, self-denial, and honoring Jesus’ suffering and death. In a world where material and personal wants can be quickly satisfied, Lent is a time to focus more on Jesus Christ and what he has done for us, rather than ourselves.

People will often fast during Lent. What exactly is fasting, though? The dictionary says it is “abstinence from food and/or drink as an element of private or public religious devotion.”

The Bible gives several reasons why we should fast:

To become Christ-like: In Luke, Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights while being tempted.

To repent of our sins: Samuel urges the Israelites to turn back to God (1 Samuel 7:3-6).

To seek God’s wisdom: Paul and Barnabas prayed and fasted for the elders of the churches before committing them to the Lord for His service (Acts 14:23).

To strengthen time of prayer: Luke 2 tells the story of a prophetess named Anna, “She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.”

The Bible also teaches us how we fast. Types of fasting include:

Regular fast: A regular fast usually means refraining from eating all food. People may still drink water or juice.

Partial fast: A partial fast means refraining from certain foods and drink or a particular meal. Daniel 1:12 says they restricted their diet to vegetables and water: “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.”

Full fast: A full fast means abstaining from all food and drink. Acts 9:9 describes when Paul went on a full fast for three days following his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus: “For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.” This type of fast is usually done with caution and not done for a long period of time.

What did Jesus say about fasting?

During the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said:

Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your father who is in the secret place; and your father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Matthew 6:16-28

Fasting is a time to focus and rely on the Lord for strength, provision, and wisdom you need. It is not something to boast about, and it doesn’t mean that God will answer your prayers the way you want him to. God only promises to fulfill our prayers if they are according to his will.  1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” Having a dedicated time of prayer and fasting, especially during the 40 days of Lent, helps us take our eyes off ourselves and puts them on Jesus Christ, the one who suffered, died for our sins, and rose again so that we too may have eternal life.

Fasting and Praying for Mission

This year, would you consider fasting and praying for missions around the globe? Perhaps there is a particular SAMS Missionary on your heart. You can sign up for the SAMS E-Messenger to receive prayer requests from your SAMS Missionaries. Maybe there is a particular region or country God is calling you to pray for. Operation World has facts, figures, and prayers for every country.

Matthew 9:37 says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Would you pray in the morning and/or evening at 9:37 for missionaries to be called into the field? May the Lord draw you close to him during this Holy Season.

World Mission Sunday

World Mission Sunday

World Mission Sunday is February 4th, but your church can observe it any Sunday. How is God calling you and your church to get involved in this year’s World Mission Sunday?
SAMS is a part of Anglican Global Mission Partners. AGMP unites the needs in the mission field with people in the pews. Many from AGMP have joined together to provide you and your church with several resources for World Mission Sunday. Explore these various resources below:

RESOURCES

Ways to Pray

Pray for your SAMS Missionaries with this Prayer Calendar, and signup for the SAMS Newsletter to receive monthly prayers to your email inbox.

Prayer Litany

Use this AGMP Litany to lead your parish in praying for world mission.

Ways to Give

Consider taking up a special offering during World Mission Sunday to support a SAMS Missionary or another SAMS Fund. Click here to support.

VIDEO

Discover even more resources on the New Wineskins World Mission Sunday page.