Breakfast on the Beach – a new book about Simon Peter by Missionary Johannes van der Bijl

Breakfast on the Beach – a new book about Simon Peter by Missionary Johannes van der Bijl

One of the outcomes of pandemic quarantine was the publishing of a new book by Missionary Johannes van der Bijl in June 2021! The book is the fruit of much research and meditations on the scriptures about Simon Peter and his relationship with Jesus. It is also reflects Johann and Louise’s approach to ministry for many years in Southern Africa. They follow Jesus’ footsteps in disciple-making. – Kate Ulrich, Communications Coordinator

SAMS-USA President and Mission Director Stewart Wicker is pleased to offer an endorsement of Breakfast on the Beach

“Join in the journey of Simon Peter–with all his doubts and failings—in encountering Jesus. As Jesus draws Peter with restorative love, you will be attracted, too, through the power of this fresh, Biblically-grounded narrative.

Through meticulous and sound Biblical research, the Rev. Dr. Johann Vanderbijl fleshes out the story of Simon Peter. As his walk comes alive on these pages, the reader encounters Jesus anew in a profound, heart-changing manner.

With inviting ease, Johann tells the story of the discipleship of Simon Peter. In crossing cultures and centuries, accessing Jesus is simple, yet expansive. The love of Jesus permeates Simon’s personal journey of life transformation.  The call to cross all boundaries with this Good News reverberates throughout the pages.

Johann  tells Simon Peter’s story with passion and affability. As Peter’s life slowly changes through his time with Jesus, may others also partake in this transformative promise of love and extreme forgiveness.

Drawing from the whole Biblical narrative, Johann introduces the reader to Jesus through the eyes of the simple fisherman Simon Peter. In this journey of questioning and discovery as well as failure and restoration all may witness the deep, deep love of Jesus.

Brought me to tears and laughter—occasionally concurrently! Jesus comes alive through Simon Peter’s eyes!”

You may purchase Breakfast on the Beach: The Development of Simon Peter at various booksellers, including Amazon and Langham Publishing. 

Belong in Christ at Uganda Christian University

Belong in Christ at Uganda Christian University

Above: SAMS Missionary Jessica Hughes and her theological student Lovincer Katana at GAFCON 2018 in Jerusalem. Jessica teaches at Uganda Christian University (UCU), and Lovincer serves in the UCU Chaplaincy while continuing her education to serve Christ’s kingdom. Lovincer shares below the impact that UCU has had on her. – Kate Ulrich, SAMS Communications Coordinator

My name is Lovincer Katana, a first-born-child of six children. I was born and raised in Kalerwe, one of the slums on the outskirts of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. My parents loved God and served in the church as wardens, and I came to faith while in Sunday School because our parents faithfully raised us in church.

I grew up and started serving in the youth ministry. Having graduated from university by God’s grace, I was placed as a teacher in one of the best girls’ schools in the country, Gayaza High School. The Lord used me to minister to the girls as I taught and engaged with them through various activities.

I received a call from the Lord to join full-time ministry, which I must confess I wrestled with for two years. I was inspired to study for my Masters of Divinity at Uganda Christian University (UCU) by my priest at St. Nicholas Church, the retired Rev. Kisitu Frederick. He used to talk fondly about Bishop Tucker Theological College, the College from which UCU was launched. I was particularly inspired by the way he taught and engaged the Scripture, and I was certain that I wanted to study where he had.

Having said yes to the Lord’s call, I joined the Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology at UCU in 2015. I found the University’s atmosphere calm and enabling in that both students and staff were able, on a daily basis, to know Christ, to grow in faith, and to make Christ known in their different fields of specialty. I don’t remember a single day that any of my lecturers came to class to teach and we did not say an opening prayer, closing prayer, or share in the grace (2 Corinthians 13:14) at the end of class. Of course, even during the lectures themselves one would vividly see faith integrated in whatever we were learning, something which blessed my heart since I got my undergraduate degree from a government university.

There were two days in the week I always looked forward to: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-1pm. On these days, all students and faculty members pause whatever they are doing (including classes) and come together at Nkoyoyo Hall for Community Worship, where we are fed on God’s Word. I felt a unique sense of belonging in Christ during this time that transcended class, age, expertise, and our distinct backgrounds. This is the community’s way of paying attention to what God is doing in our lives, and it is an opportunity to study His Word.

The University setting itself makes anyone grow closer to God if only they pay attention to their surroundings. Apart from the time set aside for community worship on Tuesdays and Thursdays, UCU has a beautiful compound which is always green and clean. If you are walking around, you notice Scriptures mounted on almost every building. I remember a time I was feeling so low and discouraged, and as I walked through the compound, I stumbled on this Scripture on a building, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25). I had always passed this spot, and I had probably seen the passage many times, but this time I read the Scripture and it came afresh to me and I was encouraged.

I graduated in 2018 with my Masters of Divinity, and in 2019 my bishop placed me in the UCU Chaplaincy to serve. This was a beautiful homecoming for me. The Lord placed on my heart a passion for biblical languages, especially Hebrew, and a desire to help other students through sharing knowledge with them. I enrolled to study at Bishop Tucker again in 2020, this time in the Master of Arts in Theology (Biblical Track). The Bishop Tucker faculty has great men and women (my favourite being a SAMS Missionary, the Rev. Jessica Hughes) who pass on their knowledge of God’s Word, helping us grow in immense ways. I am enjoying my work and my studies tremendously, and I am always looking for ways on how to pour myself out into the lives of students so that we journey and grow together. I am grateful for each day that passes in this community.

God the Alpha and Omega, to Him alone be the Glory!
Rev. Lovincer Katana Kanyike

Help two Melanesian priests receive further leadership training for their Gospel work in the Solomon Islands

Help two Melanesian priests receive further leadership training for their Gospel work in the Solomon Islands

Above: Father Alister (front, with mic) and Father Jack (back) pray and preach at Auki market in the Solomon Islands. SAMS Missionaries Jon and Tess Hicks are raising money for these church leaders to receive further education at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Wisconsin, USA, in order that they may train more clergy in the Solomon Islands.

Theological education, when it is done well, keeps the Church rooted in the Holy Trinity amid the perils of her pilgrimage in the world. The Solomon Islands, like so many nations, is in need of theological educators and priests who will help their people to go deeper in the Bible, grounded in the love of God and the love of his people.

Fr Alister and Fr Jack were students of mine (Jonathan) at Trinity School for Theology and Ministry on the island Malaita. They have been partners in Gospel mission since their graduation, and have caught the eye of their bishops, who would like for them to take up senior positions teaching theology at seminaries within the Anglican Church of Melanesia. Nashotah House has granted them both admission and full tuition scholarships into their MDiv program!

Alister and Jack are both married. Their wives, Phylisca and Selina, will be coming with them to the USA – their first time out of their home country. Phylisca and Selina are both very supportive of their husbands’ ministries. They are looking forward to this opportunity for further enrichment in their own ministry roles as priests’ wives among Melanesian women. Seminaries in the Solomon Islands depend a great deal on the work of the priest’s wife. Phylisca and Selina will be able to model this role well to seminary student families in the Solomons.

These two families have already been an incredible blessing to many people in the Solomon Islands. With his love of music and his gift of preaching, Fr Jack has been leading the Diocese of Malaita’s youth ministry for the past three years. Fr Alister is among the most “full of faith” men I have ever met. His attunement to the voice of his Lord has brought blessing to the two parishes where he has served. They all bring their warm Melanesian hospitality to (a physically cold) Wisconsin. Their presence at Nashotah House will doubtless enrich the community there.

In total, these two families will need $32,000 per year to support their food, housing, and travel in the USA. The total goal is $96,000 for three years at Nashotah House. Thank you for your support!

SAMS Missionary mobilizes Spanish-speakers for world mission through Trinity School for Ministry

SAMS Missionary mobilizes Spanish-speakers for world mission through Trinity School for Ministry

In Ambridge, Pa., SAMS has long enjoyed a warm partnership with Trinity School for Ministry (TSM). TSM’s academic buildings are just across and up the street from the SAMS office. SAMS and TSM share an interest in reaching the world with the Gospel through the Anglican church. Recently SAMS Missionary Russ Smith, in Chile, became an adjunct professor of Missions for TSM’s online Spanish Academic Program. Over the summer he taught the class World Mission to eight students from Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. Biblical training helps empower Spanish-speaking church leaders for ministry. As the Lord leads, the Gospel inspires them to share the good news globally. Read more about Russ’s ministry training church leaders on page 19 of TSM’s Seed & Harvest magazine.

In conversation, Russ explains that due to history and culture, Latin Americans are uniquely positioned to bring the Gospel to areas of the globe that are difficult for U.S. citizens to enter. 

Mobilizing Latin Americans for mission has been a conviction on Russ’s heart for 41 years. His leadership at the Rural Bible Institute in Chile and now his teaching for TSM help fulfill this calling on his life. 

Pictured above: A graduation ceremony of Rural Bible Institute students in Chile. Russ Smith is in the top row on the left. 

If you find this topic interesting, you may wish to learn more about the Latin American mission movement here.