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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.

 

Allen Gardiner Day: As the Father has sent me, I am sending you!

Allen Gardiner Day: As the Father has sent me, I am sending you!

Today has been established as Allen Gardiner Day. Allen Gardiner is the founder of SAMS. He felt the call to bring the Gospel to the southernmost part of South America. Ultimately, Gardiner, along with many other faithful servants, gave his life to the mission. A prayer from Gardiner’s journal before his death:

Grant, O Lord,  that we may be instrumental in commencing this great and blessed work, but shouldest Thou see fit in Thy providence to hedge up our way, and that we should even languish and die here, I beseech Thee to raise up others, and send forth labourers into this harvest.

A history of SAMS-USA:

1844: In response to God’s call, English naval officer Allen Gardiner sailed around the globe and then to the Yaghans in America. Charles Darwin said of the Yaghans, “Viewing such men, one can hardly make oneself believe they are fellow creatures and inhabitants of the same world.” In contrast, Allen saw them as fellow human beings in need of the Gospel. Six others joined him on mission to share the grace of Christ. Stranded on a barren shore with limited supplies, Allen and his crew all gave their lives for the mission. In Allen’s journal, we read that they lifted up prayers to the Lord through all of their challenges and petitioned others to bring the Gospel to that remote place. Allen Gardiner eventually became known as the founder of the South American Missionary Society (SAMS) due to this trip to the Yaghans.

The London Times called the missions to South America a foolish cause, but in the darkest moment, God raised up a young seventeen-old named Thomas Bridges. He visited the Yaghan settlements in complete weakness and vulnerability. Unthreatened by Bridges, and moved by the forgiveness he brought, the Yaghans, at last, received the Good News. Those who were baptized included several who had killed Bridges’ friends. A short while later a ship sank offshore, but the Yaghans who in the past would have killed the sailors, risked their lives to save them. Their transformation in Christ was so dramatic that even Darwin became a committed giver to SAMS.

1975: The Lord was faithful in raising up other to be sent into the harvest over the following centuries extending beyond England to many countries including the Americas.

1976: A Great Commission focused group of Episcopalians formed SAMS-USA with a purpose to send missionaries to be witnesses and to make disciples for Jesus Christ, in fellowship with the Anglican Church, endeavoring to follow the work of the South America Missionary Society in Great Britain. The first SAMS-USA missionaries were John and Susan Harvard.

1977-1986: During this time SAMS sent 68 missionaries into the field

1987: SAMS-USA office moved from Union Mills, North Carolina, to a new home in Ambridge, Pennsylvania.

1996: This year marked an increased involvement of the church in their sending role, and long-term missionaries more than tripled from the low in this decade.

2006: SAMS created collaborative partnerships, such as our sending agreement with Sharing Of Ministries Abroad (SOMA) and the formation of the Anglican Global Missions Partners.

2007: The Church Mission Society (USA) merged into SAMS-USA, extending further the Society’s relational connections with Anglicans around the world. There are more opportunities to use all types of vocational experiences and spiritual gifting to minister incarnationally in word and deed.

Today: SAMS-USA’s ministry scope, extending from the Americas to Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, is reflected in our new name: The Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders. SAMS has more than 90 missionaries serving in over 20 countries around the globe sharing the grace of Jesus Christ.

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!