August 2022 Prayer Focus

August 1, 2022 |

Experiencing God in the Waiting

I love that in both Spanish and Portuguese, the verb “esperar” can be translated to both “to wait” and “to expect/hope.” It makes me question if we have the proper understanding of waiting within the English language.

As I reflect on this season since completing my candidate orientation and preparing for moving to the field, I would say that in many ways I experienced the all-encompassing “esperar.” While there were many times when I desired to just hop on a plane and move back to Brazil ASAP, there was this quiet voice reassuring me that He had a plan in the waiting.

Throughout the year, God was faithful to me in reminding me of the ministry He has called me to. Whether it was through conversations with my future team, making Brazilian friends in my hometown, or through a vision trip to my future neighborhood, God always timed things perfectly. In seasons where I felt stagnant, God graciously reminded me of my longing for Brazil.

With this longing before me, however, I also knew God had much planned for me to heal and prepare before my move. Through investing deeply in my sending church, God revealed to me how works-based my faith had become, and reminded me of the joy and freedom I have in serving others for Christ. I also experienced a lot of practical preparation, through online courses I completed and being able to serve alongside a community development nonprofit in my neighborhood. As I’m nearing the time for my move to Brazil, I can see the unique ways God has been at work throughout this past season, teaching me that in the waiting I can also balance this unique expectation of what is to come.

Ultimately, this year has reminded me of the lifelong “esperar” we are called to in Christ. While we are living in the here and now and actively a part of God’s work of reconciliation in the world, we hope and long for the full restoration He has promised.

 

1. Pray for the first week of classes at Ammi. Ammi Training Center in Brazil celebrated their last semester with a musical conference where students planted trees, played music, and used other forms of creativity to bring glory to God. Please pray for their new semester that began on August 1. Please pray for the beginning of classes and guest teachers that will be traveling to teach at the campus. Pray that Ammi will continue to seek creative ways to teach its students about glorifying God in all they do.

2. Pray for the kids from the Creciendo con Jesús (growing with Jesus) project. In Santa Maria, Colombia, the kids involved in the Creciendo con Jesús project just started their semester up at school again! The project is led by the 1st Presbyterian Church of Barranquilla.
Pray for the students as they transition back to school- pray for their friendships, their safety, their teachers, and them as they enter back into that environment. It can be a tough place for them in terms of safety and often challenges a lot of the values they are learning in the project.

3. Pray for the San Fernando community in eastern Bolivia. Last month, SAMAIR Bolivia flew two dentists and a doctor to serve for two days in the community of San Fernando in eastern Bolivia. Alas de Aguilas (Wings of Eagles), a ministry started by students at the school SCCLC in Santa Cruz helped sponsor this trip. Praise God for all the hands that served. Pray for the people of San Fernando to know and experience Christ’s love and care for them.

 

4. Pray for Paolo Villanueva in Pucallpa, Peru. Paolo Villanueva works as an administrative assistant at SAMAIR Peru. His job is vital for the smooth operation of the aviation ministry. He praises the Lord for his job and asks for prayer for good health for him and his family.

5. Pray for the ministry of Ammi Training Center in Brazil. One of the Bible classes at Ammi is called “Termos Chaves” or Key Terms. Most students only have portions of the Bible in their language, so a primary need for the students is to learn how to translate natural, accurate, and clear explanations of basic concepts like God, life, death, angel, or grace. One example from the Key Terms class is the word forgiveness. Most of the students’ cultures do not practice or understand the idea of forgiveness, so there is no word for it. The students shared that when someone wrongs another person in their village, it is typical for the recipient to hurt the perpetrator back in the same way that they were hurt or to ignore, isolate, leave the village, or try to forget, always seeming to carry the weight of bitterness toward the person who wronged them. The translation process requires an entirely new phrase to be developed in each language explaining the process of receiving forgiveness from God and extending forgiveness to others. Pray for the ways this class allows the students to develop new language to share the gospel in their home cultures. Pray for the ministry of Ammi and for God’s Word to reach all the tribes of Brazil.

 

6. Pray for Latidos de Esperanza in Pucallpa, Peru. Latidos de Esperanza (Heartbeats of Hope) is a pregnancy center in Pucallpa, Peru. They praise the Lord that after many months of waiting for renovations to be done and for a water issue to be fixed (after not having water for several months), they will finally be able to reopen the office for service to the public. Two young ladies, Paula and Georgyna, are being discipled by some of their volunteers. Paula is currently attending school to be a nurse tech and has the support of her parents to help care for her baby. Georgyna is a university student planning to finish her studies with a law degree in December so that she can get a job to support her child. Georgyna lives with her mother, and they are in a very difficult situation financially and emotionally due to issues with her father. Please pray for protection for them and wisdom for the center to know how to best help. They are in a safe place for now.

7. Pray for the Smiths. Dave and Katrina Smith and their three girls moved to Costa Rica yesterday to begin their language studies. After they complete their studies, they will be moving to serve at our SAMAIR Bolivia location. Please pray for their family as they settle into their new home in Costa Rica and begin studying Spanish.

8. Pray for Granito de Amor ministry in Pucallpa, Peru. Granito de Amor is an evangelistic children’s ministry in Pucallpa, Peru. Before COVID, Granito de Amor mainly ministered in the pediatric ward of the hospital. They hope to start hospital visits again soon but have done two programs for the community so far this year. Several missionary kids (MKs) have joined the ministry along with eight Peruvian youth.

 

9. Pray for Mike and Marcy Brown. Home Ministry Assignment (HMA) is a time for missionaries to return to the United States and spend time ministering to their partners, churches, or spend time furthering their training and education. Please pray for Mike and Marcy and their kids as they spend this summer on HMA. They serve at SAM Academy in Pucallpa, Peru, and the new school year starts in September.

10. Pray for the Ballew family in Barranquilla, Colombia. Joel and Angel and their girls live in Barranquilla, Colombia. With a background in business and entrepreneurship, the Ballews are reaching out to professionals as a means of developing leaders and sharing the gospel. They have hearts for mentoring and hospitality. Pray for the Ballew family as they serve in Barranquilla.

11. Pray for IBC Ciudad de Dios in Arequipa, Peru. IBC Ciudad de Dios, a young church on the outskirts of Arequipa, Peru recently celebrated its first baptism service! Jason and Sarah Sheets, missionaries with TEAM, serve with this church. Praise God for new families and for consistent attendance at the Sunday service. Please pray for the Nueva Vida en Cristo (New Life in Christ) class that will begin this month. Please pray for the group of young people and their spiritual growth.

12. Pray for the ministry of IBIENA in Peru. IBIENA, the Bible Institute for the Evangelical Native Churches, serves many ethnic groups from the jungles of eastern Peru by training pastors and their spouses how to pastor a local church, disciple others, and share the Gospel effectively in their home communities. In July, students from 12 different groups celebrated finishing the first block of studies. The theme was 1 Corinthians 15:57-58. SAMAIR Peru plays a role by bringing many couples into the city for classes.

 

13. Pray for the transitions of Tracey Culley and the Callahans. Tracey will be moving to Brazil tomorrow to serve with the Recife Redemptive Ministry. Please pray for her as she says goodbye to friends and family, for safe travels, and for her as she transitions to her new home in Brazil.

Tim and Mindy Callahan have been in Brazil for one year, studying Portuguese in the city of Cuiabá. They moved to their new home at the Ammi Training Center this week. Pray for them as they settle into their new home and begin serving in the ministry at Ammi.

June 2022 Prayer Focus

June 1, 2022 |

I Am Christ's Ambassador

I Am Christ’s Ambassador

When I read these prayer requests and see these photos each month, I stand in awe of our missionaries and team in South America. They are doing good works for Jesus and sharing the gospel in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. I think of them as ambassadors for Christ as they represent Him in a foreign land. Then I think about how I’m representing Jesus in my home country. Am I an ambassador for Christ? Are you?

When we accepted the free gift of salvation, our hearts changed for Christ. We were reconciled to God and given eternal life. We also became His representative in the world. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Paul says, “We implore you on behalf of Christ.” This is what an ambassador for Christ does. Implores people…requests in a sincere or urgent manner…on behalf of Christ. Be reconciled to God. As a follower of Christ, I am Christ’s ambassador. Scary thought! 

It’s a lot of responsibility. It’s a lot to live up to. When people see me, they are supposed to see Jesus. When people hear me speak, they are supposed to hear Jesus. When I interact with people, they are supposed to know that Jesus loves them. That He died for them. That He wants to have a personal relationship with them. That’s a tall order for someone like me who prefers to hide in the corner at social gatherings.

As I process this great responsibility, I realize that many of us may need a change in perspective. Maybe God hasn’t called us to serve in South America. Or maybe He will. But He has sent us to that city where we live. He sent us to that community, that neighborhood. He sent us to that office, that job. He sent us for a reason. Wherever we find ourselves right now, we have opportunity to implore others to trust in Jesus. 

His power and grace open the doors for us to share. We don’t need to feel scared of representing Christ. We don’t need to worry about what to say or how to say it. Or what others think about us. As we live, love, and help others for Him, we naturally build relationships with others. It’s in those relationships that we can share our faith and encourage others in their faith journey. That builds my confidence as Christ’s ambassador. Because it’s not about me. It’s about Him.

 

1. Pray for Mike and Marina Shank. Mike and Marina are settling into their first term of service in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. They are learning how God is already at work around the city as they go through orientation, meeting missionaries, pastors, leaders, and new neighbors. Pray for discernment as the Shanks find a local church family as well as for guidance as they work with the SAM Bolivia Team to see how they can serve God in Santa Cruz.

2. Pray for IBC Bustamante Church and the Malec family. Seth and Jessica live and serve with TEAM in Arequipa, Peru. Seth pastors a church plant, IBC Bustamante. God has been growing this young church and has opened doors for the church body to serve the spiritual and physical needs of two under-resourced communities. Pray for God to raise up a local pastor to lead and serve this congregation.

     

 

3. Pray for Seed Projects in Recife, Brazil. Seed Projects are small, holistic outreach projects through which churches and missions demonstrate God’s love in practical ways in their local community. South America Mission / Missão SAIM in Recife had the opportunity to collaborate with local friends and churches to build a much-needed bus stop on a neighborhood street. This bus stop is used daily by many people. The new structure will protect friends and neighbors from Recife’s blistering sun and rainy season downpours as they wait on the public buses to arrive. Praise God for all the hands who worked on this project, and pray for more opportunities to serve the community in this way.

4. Pray for children in Armenia, Colombia. It was Christmas in April! Churches in Armenia received Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes in April after a long delay due to Covid. Chris and Cristi Haylett serve with Iglesia Nueva Esperanza alongside Pastor Jorge and his wife Kristina. Their church received 80 boxes and hosted three events where they presented the gospel to children and their parents. What a joy for the children! Many children responded to the message and indicated a desire for a relationship with Jesus. They loved the gift boxes and many seemed to receive “just what they wanted.” From art supplies for a girl who loves to draw to a boy receiving a few dollars that he used to help feed his family, the kids were overwhelmed with the gifts. The church serves an impoverished community, so it was exciting to see God bless and provide spiritually and physically through the shoeboxes. The Sunday after the evangelistic events, two new families came to church. Praise God for bringing them. The church is now following up with a 12-week discipleship curriculum from Samaritan’s Purse called La Gran Aventura (The Great Adventure). 

5. Pray for the indigenous peoples of Brazil. In April, the Ammi training center in Brazil celebrated Day of the Indian. This was a great time of fellowship, dances, and a cookout celebrating the rich diversity of these cultures and peoples. Pray that God will use Ammi, the staff, and the students to glorify Himself in each tribe. 

 

6. Pray for Dalmiro and Laura Ortiz. Dalmiro and Laura live and serve in Santa Cruz, Bolivia in teaching, pastoral care, and administration. They will be in the U.S. for eight months this year on Home Ministry Assignment (HMA). HMA is a time for missionaries to connect with churches, supporters, and family. They may also use the time for training, rest, and renewal. Please pray for this time for the Ortiz family, that God would give them rest and opportunities to share their ministry. Pray that God will fill the temporary holes they leave in Bolivia while they are gone for several months.

7. Pray for Iglesia Biblica Gracia y Verdad’s mission trip. Iglesia Biblica Gracia y Verdad in Lima, Peru will be taking a mission trip to Ecuador from June 14-29. This will be a medical mission outreach to a Quichua community outside of Riobamba, Ecuador. The team of seven will be joining a team of 13 from Volunteers in Medical Missions from the U.S. Pray for these two teams as they work together to serve the Quichua people with physical and spiritual needs.

8. Pray for the Wayuu in northern Colombia. Praise God for the fruitful work of the Wayuu people and Wájaro Foundation. A picture of 6 books may not excite you, but these are all a part of the literacy program that now enables +800,000 of the Wayuu community to learn how to read and write in their own language (and very efficiently at that)! This may be the first well-done and extensive workbook created by Wayuu for literacy in their own language (Wayuunaiki). 

 

9. Pray for new baptisms. In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, due to virtual church and then restricted in-person meetings, many new believers have been waiting for an opportunity to be baptized. Praise God that in the past few months, many have been baptized, giving testimony to their faith in Christ. Pray for these believers to grow in the knowledge of God and to be witnesses to the work of Christ.

10. Pray for Oscar Sinuiri. Oscar works as the groundskeeper for SAMAIR Peru. He and his wife are raising their grandchildren. Oscar asks for prayer for wisdom, strength, and the Lord’s provision as they take care of their grandkids.

11. Pray for Kaylee and Nilton Solier in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Kaylee and Nilton met and married in Peru while Kaylee was serving in Ayacucho with SAM. They are now serving in Guatemala City for a few years while Nilton is completing a church-planting and discipleship training program. They also work with an initiative of the local church, Iglesia Reforma, called MANOS. In the impoverished neighborhood of Bethania, MANOS runs a tutoring and after-school program for kids. They provide homework help to kids who need it, but they also give them opportunities to develop their other talents and abilities with classes in geography, gardening, English and other areas of interest. 

 

12. Pray for City to City in Medellín, Colombia. In the city of Medellín, Julián Arias has been getting to know other pastors and ministry leaders through connections with SAM and City to City, a ministry that seeks to connect churches and local ministries to help reach the city with the gospel by working together. He coordinated logistics for City to City’s two day incubator meetings in Medellín with pastors from across the city. Please pray for wisdom as Julián and fellow leaders continue to seek how they can serve together with City to City in Medellín.

A Bus Ride In Peru

May 24, 2022 |

Samy's Salvation

It all began with a bus ride up the mountain to a little Peruvian town. Rick and I were on our way to hike in order to get some exercise and fresh air. Plus dropping off a New Testament to a Quechua lady that Rick prayed for after her husband broke her arm in a fuss. While on the bus, the young gal seated in front of us turned and began talking to us in very simple English! English!! We were surprised, of course, and continued to talk with her, asking her simple questions. We discovered that her name is Samy. And she is in her preparatory time to enter the University.

We all got off at the bus stop in this little town and began walking in the same direction. We continued walking and talking together. As we came near a bend in the road, I saw a surprisingly lovely house and asked her if she knew who lived there. She said, “Oh that’s my house! Would you like to come over for a coffee?”  Rick and I both thought, “Sure! What an ‘open-door’ opportunity to share with someone!” So, we went.

The house we entered was NOT the lovely house that I noticed, but rather a humble, adobe structure made with poles, dirt, and a tin roof over a dirt floor. (It was interesting to me how Samy thought that HER house was the “lovely house” of my comment.) Her shaggy dog greeted us on our way down the embankment. We met her two little nieces, 5 and 8, who appeared to be home alone. She served both of us a cup of powdered coffee. We visited and talked. Rick asked her some questions about Jesus and began to share the gospel. We had the New Testament with us, plus a spare one (Thank the Lord!). Rick read some verses and left the New Testament with her. We also shared our contact information in case she wanted to talk with us again. We left and went on our way.

Over the next several months, Samy began to text us occasionally. Rick and I asked her over to our house for some coffee and cookies and she came. We saw her in the main Plaza in town at times. We invited her to our church services. She came every now and again. She especially enjoyed our Christmas service last year (2021) when we had fellowship time and a fun “photo booth” with props to take crazy photos together! Every time we were with her, we tried to share with her about the Lord.

When Rick was sick with COVID, we were in quarantine in our apartment. Samy bought bread for us fairly regularly and dropped it off. She is a real sweetheart and very willing to help others in their time of need.

Samy is lonely, seeking friendships, and opportunities for success in life. Her parents work in a village that is a three-hour drive away. She lives in Ayacucho with her sister who works long hours. Samy is often left to herself. 

During one conversation, she mentioned that her birthday was coming up in January. She didn’t know what she was going to do. Samy was turning 21. She mentioned it several times during that visit. I told Rick, “I think she’s kind of ‘fishing’ for us to have a party for her!” We decided to plan a party for her birthday and welcomed her to invite some of her friends over too. We talked and planned the menu and time together. She only invited one friend, Edith, whom we had also met in the Plaza with Samy on one of our chance encounters. In talking with Edith at that time, she seemed to be a believer. We were glad to know of Edith’s friendship in Samy’s life.

What a fun celebration with Samy, Edith, and Edith’s two little boys. We had a great time of food, fellowship, and fiesta together as those boys were most entertaining!

A few Sundays after that birthday party, Edith and her two little boys, along with Edith’s mother, Lydia, came with Samy to our worship service. What a beautiful surprise! We were so glad to see them all.

Rick began to think of ways that he could include Samy in our worship service in order to promote more regular attendance. He asked her if she would change the PowerPoint slides for our worship singing time. She agreed.

On Palm Sunday (April 10, 2022), Samy came early to help us set up equipment for worship and to practice changing the slides for the worship songs. We practiced and she did great! We got done “early” so I (Donna) left the room to go work on my children’s Sunday School craft. When I went back into the main room, Samy was sitting down reading a tract, “How to Have Peace With God.” As we began to gather for our prayer time, Rick asked her what she thought about the tract. She said that it promoted the need for reflection and that many people tend to reject God. She said that she would have to think about it more. 

Then she asked, “How does one have peace with God?” Rick began sharing verses from another tract that he had with him. This tract had pictures depicting man’s sinful separation from God and his inability to “work” his way to God with his own attempts. It showed Jesus as the “bridge” to bring us to God. Rick shared several verses from that tract explaining the pictures as he shared. At the back of the tract was a sample “sinner’s prayer.”  He read over that prayer. Then told her that if that prayer represented what was going on in her own heart, if it was something that she wanted to say HERSELF to God, that she could. He asked her if she would like to pray that to God, and she said, “Yes.” She then prayed, aloud, that prayer to God! Afterward, she commented on how emotional it was!

How thrilling! After many, many times of sharing Christ and the gospel with Samy, she went from death to life. Praise the Lord! We told her that the angels in heaven were having a big party over her too. What a joy to have a new sister in Christ! And it all started during a “holy moment” when she turned around and started talking to us on a bus ride up the mountain.

 

Rick and Donna Martin serve as SAM missionaries in Ayacucho, Peru. Their passion for evangelism and discipleship brings great energy to the church planting team in the Ayacucho region. They desire to see beautiful churches planted that help bring God’s shalom to broken cities and lives.

May 2022 Prayer Focus

May 2, 2022 |

“If the Lord wills” James 4:15 (ESV)

Religious language and biblical concepts permeate Brazilian culture, but none quite so prevalent as the words “se Deus quiser”, the Portuguese equivalent of “if the Lord wills” from the book of James. Christians and non-Christians alike refer to the will of God as a powerful force that determines what happens or doesn’t happen in a given situation. As is often the case with a constantly repeated phrase, “if the Lord wills” has drifted quite far from its original intended meaning. Whereas James was admonishing believers not to arrogantly announce their plans or intentions as if God had no say in the matter and instead to be ever cognizant of their utter dependence upon Him for their every waking moment, the Brazilian context is quite a different one indeed.

It is quite common to hear someone utter this phrase as a sort of prayer, seeking God’s approval or blessing upon a plan or personal desire that has already been decided in one’s mind. Or perhaps a particular action or outcome is not desirable. Then a person will use this phrase as if to say “I am not inclined to work towards this outcome. It will only happen if the Lord makes it happen”. Neither of these scenarios suggests a pursuit of or contentment with the will of the Lord above the will of the individual. At most, it is a recognition of the power of God to frustrate the plans of man with no comprehension of the fact that the Lord’s will for all of humanity is infinitely better than our own.

This is one of the many challenges mission agencies face in nations where the vast majority of the population has already been “evangelized” making it difficult to introduce biblical truths that are not easily incorporated into the original understanding of the gospel. Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will open the hearts and minds of the Brazilian people to a deeper understanding of and trust in the will of God. We also pray for a shift in worldview which leads to a true manifestation of the kingdom of God as the only desirable outcome and not simply a choice among many.

 

1. Pray for Pastor Alcimar and Geiciana. Pastor Alcimar is a graduate of the Center of Formation of Leaders in Cruzeiro do Sul, Brazil. He is an effective pastor, shepherding well the two congregations with whom he has served. He is gifted in disciplining others and in communication. Pray for him and his wife, Geiciana, as they juggle work, school, and ministry. They would appreciate prayer for the building of a more adequate church in their new location.

2. Pray for the Ammi Training Center. The Ammi training center provides indigenous pastoral training to the many tribes scattered throughout Brazil’s Amazon region. Students come to the Ammi campus where they live, study, and serve for eight months of the year. The Ammi staff is multi-ethnic and participates in all aspects of the students’ training. Students train in scripture knowledge and practical life skills such as agriculture, health, and sanitation.

  • Pray for missionary Vera Bergson who coordinates classes and academic activities. 
  • Pray for first-year students who endure the challenge of traveling and adjusting to the training center, while also often learning Portuguese in the process. 
  • Pray for one young lady in particular who decided to repeat the first year to better understand Portuguese. 
  • Pray for second-year students as they continue studying and learning to engage with different cultures. 
  • Pray for third-year students who will be graduating this year. Pray that God will guide their next steps as they seek opportunities to apply what they learned during their time at Ammi.
  • Pray for the other missionaries and Brazilian staff serving at Ammi.

 

3. Pray for Village Visits. The students at Ammi have been practicing sharing the gospel through oral stories using visual images to accompany their descriptions, rather than reading off a script or including a literacy component since oral communication is frequently how information is shared in many indigenous communities. 

“You bring the culture of God, not of your village, or of Ammi.”  – Ammi Staff

This challenge was shared by one of the teaching missionaries during a week of training for the indigenous students at Ammi to prepare for their missions trips to other indigenous communities during the last week of April.

Praise God for this opportunity the students had to share the gospel and the kingdom culture of God. Please pray for continued wisdom and discernment as they try to adapt to sharing the good news with an indigenous community that is unlike their own culture. Pray for continued opportunities for them to grow in sharing their faith.

4. Pray for Women’s Fellowship at Ammi. Every Thursday the student and staff women meet to have a devotional and to learn a skill like cooking or crafts. This is a sweet time of fellowship for these women. Pray for deep friendships and community.

 

5. Pray for the Callahans. Tim and Mindy Callahan arrived in Brazil last fall. Pray for them as they are finishing their language learning in Cuiaba and preparing to move and begin ministry at the Ammi Center. 

6. Pray for Callahans and their church relationship. Tim and Mindy are building a home at Ammi for their future ministry. Their church, Crossriver, in Cuiaba has a ministry that serves their community on weekends and holidays with a home-repair ministry. In April, their church sent 35 people to help plaster the interior of their house. This partnership is a great example of SAM’s desire for generous collaboration as the Brazilian church supports the work of Ammi. Pray for Crossriver Church and this service ministry and continued partnership with Ammi.

7. Pray for the Sengs. Retired missionaries Wes and Trudy Seng continue to serve Semirata, an indigenous training center in Iranduba. 

“We are both teaching and loving the classes. The students are eager and have finally lost their timidity so they ask pertinent questions and seeing the light come on in their eyes is priceless.

Both of us continue to be involved in the community around us. Wes has discipleship Bible study times with different truth-seekers; I am teaching the book of John in the local church to the ladies and that has been a joy. One former prostitute confessed, “I just don’t know if I am saved!” Another one tearfully admitted to a drinking problem. I am thrilled that they have come to the place of acknowledging weakness instead of posturing pious religiosity because this is when Jesus can step in!”

Pray for Wes and Trudy to finish well, teaching the Bible with love and clarity. Pray that God will give them His strength, wisdom, and thoughts.

8. Pray for Paul serving with the Recife soccer ministry. Paul is a ministry partner from Latin Link who has served off and on in Recife for 15 years. He is currently serving with the Vale do Senhor soccer ministry in Recife. On May 21 and 22, he will be taking a group of 16-17 year old boys to our SAM Center as a time of rest away from training. Please pray as they spend time in the Word and in sharing with one another. Pray that Paul will be able to continue to walk alongside them and encourage them as they press deeper into their faith.

9. Pray for the rainy season in Recife. Rainy season is coming up. And whether you live at the top or the bottom of a hill, heavy rain stirs up some trouble.

The homes in the altos (heights):

Communities up at the top really struggle against land erosion, including damage to their homes and foundations. You’ll see slabs of concrete or thin black tarps against the widening dirt ledges. Houses even occasionally fall off the edge of hillsides, and often there are casualties when that occurs.

The families below:

Communities at the base of hills often get flooded by two things: water and waste. Trash pileup in the altos flows down with each first heavy rainfall. Streets, fields, and many houses fill up with water. I’m sure you can imagine the complications that can cause for a family. Transportation, jobs, food, safety, property and possessions, electricity, and ironically water supplies can be negatively impacted. 

There have already been some fatalities within these communities this year due to heavy rain. Please pray that rain brings its blessings while keeping these communities from more harm or loss. Pray for missionaries and ministry programs as they serve and respond to the needs around them. 

 

10. Pray for Craig and Mary DeLilleCraig and Mary will be on HMA (Home Ministry Assignment) from mid-May to mid-August. Please pray that during this short period of time, their HMA will be productive and provide time to rest and opportunities to visit with family, friends, churches, and supporters. Pray for the logistics of their travel, car, and transportation needs, and a schedule that works well for everyone, especially during the summer months. 

It’s hard to be away from hands-on mission work. They are very grateful for missionaries and leaders who serve alongside them. Please pray for their colleagues and all of the mission work that continues in their absence. 

Praise God for their new grandson, Asher Sebastian Hindes. “We are looking forward to some family time and soaking up every minute with him. He is a precious bundle of joy.“

11. Pray for Emily LayneKevin and Emily Laynes’ kids started school at a local Christian school in Recife. The school has a heart for ministry and a strong English program. Emily has had the opportunity to lead the devotion in English on Wednesday mornings. 

She usually focuses on one verse where she walks through it word by word and helps the class define each individual word. Then they talk about the application of the passage.

This has been an opportunity to share her faith with the class, challenge students that are believers, and instill valuable Bible study habits when reading scripture.

Pray for more opportunities to partner and support the ministry and families of the school.

 

12. Pray for Aguazinha. Joel Kearney has been involved in starting a new soccer ministry in an adjacent neighborhood called Aguazinha. Pray for this new ministry as they build relationships with the boys in the neighborhood and seek to use soccer as a form of building discipleship relationships.

Pray for the health of the community, located adjacent to the region’s largest landfill.

April 2022 Prayer Focus

April 1, 2022 |

Fear > Love

Love Is Greater Than Fear

A missionary passing through South America Mission’s home office recently shared this verse, one that had been an encouragement as he and his family are going through transition: There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18

I have been dwelling on the phrase “perfect love casts out fear” as we head toward Easter. It is a truth my heart needs to hear. I am not going through any significant transitions, but I am tempted to fear when I face the various uncertainties in my relationships and responsibilities. When I look out at the greater world and see the brokenness that brings so much suffering, it can be hard to experience the truth of the verse.

This verse is grounded in the cross. In his perfect love, Jesus took the punishment I deserved so that I might live reconciled to God, full of hope. If he has taken care of this greatest need of mine and removed the fear of punishment, I do not need to fear that he will take care of all of my smaller needs. Moreover, the cross reminds me that God cares for this broken and suffering world by taking on the ultimate suffering for us.

In John 12:47 Jesus says that he did not come to judge the world but to save the world. I need to remember this when I look at the world around me and fear begins to rise up. He came to show us the way. As I stay centered in God’s word, I pray that I can share that hope and perfect love with others.

 

1. Pray for Miguel Laich in Pucallpa, Peru. Miguel Laich is the administrative assistant for the Peru field. He has worked for SAM Peru for 1 1/2 years. Among other tasks, Miguel helps process all of the paperwork for the accountant which includes payroll, legal processes for mission properties, and inscriptions in public records. The Peru field is grateful for his attention to detail and hard work. He is a man of deep faith, and serves in his local church in Pucallpa, Peru.

2. Pray for Torre Fuerte in eastern Bolivia. Praise God that the paperwork for the purchase of land for the Torre Fuerte Indigenous Discipleship Center is complete. An initiative of FRALIC (Indigenous Christian Leaders Fraternity), the center provides culturally relevant training to equip indigenous leaders. Now that the land is purchased, they can begin to build facilities to support this vision. Pray for Cesar and Mirtha Surubi, leaders of this ministry. Pray that God would use Torre Fuerte to reach the 30+ indigenous communities of Bolivia.

Cesar & Mirtha Torre Fuerte Cesar

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Pray for Kat Guild in Barranquilla, Colombia. God has opened doors for Kat to participate in an after-school program through  her church, First Presbyterian Church of Barranquilla, Colombia. The program “Creciendo con Jesus” (Growing with Jesus) serves kids in a lower-income neighborhood called Santa María, primarily made up of Venezuelan migrants, and many of the kids grow up in tough situations that compromise their ability to experience a healthy and secure childhood. The goal of the program is to provide a safe environment for the kids after school while also connecting them with a church family in the city. Please pray for the leaders in this community and ask that the Lord would bring more Godly adult examples and advocates into the lives of the kids in Santa María.

4. Pray for Ricardo and Emiliana in Brazil. Ricardo and Emiliana are graduates of Ami in Brazil. They have been living and ministering in their home village. Ricardo has been chosen to be the next chief of his people, a position of great respect and honor. He will be able to make a great difference in his community and impact the lives of his people by leading them by example to walk with God. Their village only has the books of Ruth and Jonah in their own language. Ricardo and Emiliana spent three years at Ami and have 74 stories memorized from the Old and New Testaments. Emiliana does a lot of ministry to young children in the village. Please pray for Ricardo and Emiliana as they serve their village. Pray for Ricardo to have wisdom to lead well and to give him peace when he is faced with difficult decisions. 

5. Pray for Mercy Ministries in Lima, Peru. Iglesia de la Ciudad in Lima, Peru has been developing partnerships with mercy ministries in the city including Brazos Abiertos and MISIUR. A member of the church, Soleil, will be taking over as coordinator, organizing projects and collaborating with these other gospel-centered ministries. Soleil has been an active member of the church with a servant’s heart. Pray for Soleil as she begins this new position and for the fruit of this ministry.

 

6. Pray for SAMAir Bolivia. SAMAIR Bolivia is planning another trip in May to the northern region of Bolivia called the Beni to help local believers bring the gospel to the remote people of the region via boat. Pray for Micah Bittner and Greg Dahl as they prepare and coordinate the details for this trip. 

7. Pray for the Hayletts in Armenia, Colombia. Chris and Cristi Haylett lead a youth discipleship group on Friday evenings with their church, Iglesia Nueva Esperanza. They are encouraged to see many youths coming each week. Pray that the youth stay engaged in Bible study and learn how to live a life dedicated to God.

 

8. Pray for the Laynes in Recife, Brazil. Education for missionary kids (MKs) looks different for every family depending on the family and where they live. Homeschooling, boarding school, English-speaking schools, and local-language schools are some of the options for missionaries. The Layne kids in Recife, Brazil are attending a local Christian Brazilian school. The realities of moving to a new country and transitioning into a new school, especially in a second language, can be challenging for both kids and parents. Pray for Kevin and Emily as they navigate the challenges of learning a new culture, serving in their ministries, and parenting throughout this transition. Please pray for wisdom as their kids navigate the good and hard of school–classwork, teachers, making friends, and bullying. Pray for their kids as school is all in Portuguese and for the Laynes to be a blessing to the school community.

9. Pray for the Senior Citizen Ministry in Pucallpa, Peru. Covid restrictions were particularly hard on the elderly in Pucallpa, Peru. Ministerio Impacto (a ministry of Iglesia Divino Redentor) has been reaching out to this isolated community in the city. Partnering with SAM Academy students in December, they hosted a special Christmas program for the “abuelitos” with games, songs, and a traditional chocolatada. In February, Ministerio Impacto, including two SAM Academy high school students, hosted a VBS for the same senior citizen group. Vacation Bible School isn’t just for kids! Pray for the senior citizen ministry of Ministerio Impacto.

 

10. Pray for the Wayuu People in Colombia. The Wayuu live in La Guajira, a desert region in the northeast of Colombia. Pray for the flourishing of the Wayuu and that God will use the Wayuu church to bring glory to His name. To learn more about the Wayuu and how SAM missionaries are serving them, check out the Wajaro Foundation on social media.

March 2022 Prayer Focus

March 2, 2022 |

Lent

Stay With Jesus

In the chaos of today, in the midst of the pandemic, in the sufferings of war, the season of Lent begins – the 40 day period leading up to Easter. I want to prepare for the coming, death, and resurrection of Jesus. I want to take the journey to hope; but some days, I am struggling. This Ash Wednesday Devotional by Alicia Britt Chole captured my heart and challenged me to stay with Jesus. I hope it does the same for you. 

WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE ALL BEGINNING? A SOJOURN.
Yes, I too like the word. And its meaning is, well, meaningful. A sojourn is a temporary stay. 

HERE, BETWEEN THE FULL MANGER AND THE EMPTY TOMB, WE WILL STAY WITH JESUS AS HE JOURNEYS CROSS-WARD…

and hear Him weep over stubborn hearts and turn over temple tables. (Luke 19:41, Luke 19:45-46)
and see the crowds shout “Hosanna!” and “Crucify him!” (Luke 19:37-38, Luke 23:21)
and witness the disciples pledge sincere faithfulness and deliver fear-filled abandonment. (Matthew 26:35, Matthew 26:56)

DURING LENT, WE WILL STAY WITH JESUS AND REMEMBER…

that we are the stubborn hearts
and the temple tables.
We are the fickle crowds
and the fearful disciples.
And He is our Savior.

SO WE WILL STAY WITH JESUS

and feel His grief when He calls Judas, “friend.” (Matthew 26:50)
and believe His voice when He tells Peter, “And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:32)
and love His mercy when He cries, “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

WE WILL STAY WITH JESUS THESE FORTY DAYS OF LENT

to hear,
to see,
to witness,
to feel,
to believe,
to love.
TO REMEMBER.

And on that morning, when the silent tomb gives way to an earth-shaking shout, and together we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, our hope is that these forty days prepare us to continue to stay with Jesus…until we see Him face to face.

“WHAT A DAY, GLORIOUS DAY, THAT WILL BE”


1. Pray for Ciudad Corazón in Bogotá, Colombia.
The house church movement, Ciudad Corazón, in Bogotá launched its High Season for 2022 (a nine-month season of intense rhythms of studying and gathering) with the first five Sundays all together for groundwork on the Gospel of John.  This groundwork provides a toolbox for the house churches to meet the rest of the year and study this amazing gospel narrative in deep ways. Please pray for the words of Jesus to take a foothold in the lives of the church community and transform them in unimagined ways.

2. Pray for Marshall and Becca Kitron in Pucallpa Peru. Marshall teaches high school students at SAM academy. He teaches Bible, history, and PE. This year’s Bible class is Doctrines, and the history class is US History. Marshall also has a heart for discipleship. Often missionary kids are faced with the world in a different way when they return to their home countries for college. Please pray for him as he serves these students as a teacher and also a mentor. Please pray for the students that as they grow, they grow most in their faith in the Lord.

 

3. Pray for Dana Wilson and Proclama in Bolivia. Proclama exists to mobilize local Bolivian churches for world missions. This ministry informs, equips, and accompanies local churches in order that they may become actively and strategically involved in evangelizing the least reached peoples around the world. Proclama also orients, trains, and accompanies Bolivian missionary candidates in their journey to serve the Lord cross-culturally. 

Pray for Dana and local leaders as they continue to expand this ministry. They desire to have a viable business model that could serve as a training ground and/or as a model for missionary candidates going to creative access countries. They are seeking ways to make Proclama self-sustainable and less dependent on foreign donations. They are also trying to think outside the box about how to register Proclama in Bolivia.  Pray for wisdom and guidance from the Lord.  

4. Pray for the Therefore Alliance LatAm Leaders Gathering. Ministry leaders from SAM, TEAM, and Crossworld will gather March 13-17 in Medellin, Colombia to discuss needs and opportunities for Latin America as the world emerges from the pandemic. Pray for their time together as they pursue new harvest fields and look to be and work better together for the Kingdom.  

5. Pray for Henrique Terena in Brazil. Henrique is the director of CONPLEI, the Council of Indigenous Evangelical Pastors and Leaders in Brazil.  He and his wife Corina are looking forward to a full year of traveling for conferences, teaching, and fellowship. Please pray for good health for their family while they travel. 

They will be participating in the CONPLEI Youth conference on March 17-20 in Boa Vista, Roraima State.  Pray for the youth of the indigenous church to experience deep fellowship with God and each other. 

Henrique Terena

 

6. Pray for Comunidad Viva Youth in Bogotá, Colombia. Over the next 22 weeks, the Comunidad Viva team (including SAM missionaries Jorge and Ginny Enciso) will be investing in the lives of young people who have grown up as orphans in institutions and are about to exit.  Viva Youth’s mission is to “jumpstart young people’s life projects by plugging them into faith-based communities where sonship with God is restored and kingdom connections are strengthened.” Please pray for the Comunidad Viva team and youth.

7. Pray for Pablo Scetti and La Casa Azul in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Pastor Pablo Scetti leads a children’s ministry called La Casa Azul (The Blue House) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Using puppets, La Casa Azul engages children and teaches them gospel truths. The AIEO, a local church association, has also asked Pastor Pablo to form a children’s ministry committee. Pray that this committee and this ministry will reach children with God’s Word. Pray for Pablo, SAM missionary Jeff HAuse, and other local church members who serve with La Casa Azul and in children’s ministry that they would be rooted in God’s love and truth.

 

8. Pray for the Peru Field Conference. The Peru field missionaries will gather together March 21-25 for worship, teaching, and fellowship.  Pray that God would deepen their collective identity as an abiding, loving, redemptive, suffering, and growing community to the praise of His glory.

9. Pray for the Ami Training Center in Brazil. Classes for the new year begin this March.  Pray for the multicultural staff (pictured) as they teach, disciple, and serve the students. The students are multicultural as well, coming from different indigenous tribes.  Pray for grace, unity, and love to cover this school year to the praise and glory of God. 

10. Pray for the outreach of Iglesia Biblica y Verdad in Lima, Peru. The church has begun an outreach to children and their families in Luces de Villa Maria, a district on the outskirts of the city. The children have been learning about the Attributes of God, and the mothers have been studying the Gospel of Mark.  Pray that this ministry would bear much fruit in the lives of these children and their families as well as in the lives of the church members as they serve together. SAM missionaries Larry and Bonnie Secrest serve and minister with this church.

25IBGVOutreach

 

11. Pray for the river ministry in the Beni, Bolivia. SAMAIR and a Bolivian pastor, Enoel, recently helped to repair and restock a boat in the small community of La Soga.  This boat will be used by a local pastor-missionary to evangelize and establish churches along the river in the Beni, a logistically hard area to reach in Bolivia. 

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