First of All, Pray
The phrase, “First of All, Pray!”, inspired by 1 Timothy 2:1, is the name of our prayer ministry. It reflects the prominence of prayer within our community. It’s been a mark of our Mission for more than 100 years. The mark remains. First of all, pray—deliberately, intentionally, and in faith, with praise and thanksgiving.
As we serve On Mission Together, please join us in praying for these requests in March 2023:
1. Pray for the Peru team. Last month, the Peru team gathered for their annual conference. Conference is a time of rest, refreshment, and fellowship. John and Shari Thomas from City to City spoke on Luke 15 and the theme, “What is the Gospel?” Pray for SAM’s gospel witness as the Peru team deepen their identity in God and commitment to one another in ministry.
2. Pray for Ammi Training Center. The Great Commission is at the heart of Ammi Training Center as indigenous leaders are trained to take the Gospel into the many tribes of Brazil. Praise the Lord for the first worship service of the school year! This year there are eight different ethnic groups represented in the first-year class.
3. Pray for Natalie Suff. Natalie lives in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and reaches out to college students through mentoring and English classes. She also hosted an Afternoon Tea with a short presentation on British culture. Please pray for the flourishing of this new ministry. Pray also for strength and wisdom as she cares for the SAM Bolivia missionary team.
4. Pray for Ministerio Impacto. Ministerio Impacto, a ministry of Iglesia Divino Redentor in Pucallpa, Peru, serves senior citizens. This year’s motto is “For Who You Are, We Worship You Lord,” studying the names of God. Pray for fruit in the lives of the senior community of Pucallpa!
5. Pray for the Sertão region of Brazil. The Sertão is a semi-arid region in northeastern Brazil. There are several communities in the Sertão of indigenous peoples and Quilombola: Afro-Brazilians who live in settlements first established by escaped slaves in Brazil. Many of these communities are isolated, experience food and water insecurity, and lack access to resources and opportunities. A team of Brazilians and SAM missionaries traveled to visit a Brazilian missionary couple that the Recife ministry supports. Pray for the Brazilian couple who has been serving in this region for the last ten years, seeking to establish churches and reach these communities with the Gospel.
6. Pray for Larry and Bonnie Secrest. Praise God for the lives and ministry of Larry and Bonnie who will be retiring this summer. Starting in the mid-1970s, Larry and Bonnie have ministered in Peru, Pennsylvania, Florida, and again in Peru. They served with SAM for the past eight years in Lima, Peru. In Lima they invested their time serving several churches, focusing on leadership development and teaching. They also supported VASE (Volunteers in Social Aide and Evangelism). This is a Peruvian not-for-profit organization that provides mercy ministries–especially through foreign and Peruvian medical teams– to serve remote populations. The Secrests will stay involved with the leadership of VASE in their retirement.
7. Pray for SAM Academy. Once a month the teachers of SAM Academy host a special lunch for the students. Last month they prepared an Asian meal. After lunch they played a swap game. Every five minutes, the bell rang, sending each grade to a different classroom and to experience a new grade level. For example, the 1st and 2nd graders learned about Romeo and Juliet while the high schoolers got to hear the Three Little Ninja Pigs. It was fun to mix things up a little bit and create more community among the staff and students. Please pray for SAM Academy!
8. Pray for Board of Directors meetings. SAM’s Board of Directors is on a week-long prayer, care, and oversight trip across Colombia. A lot of ground will be covered, including stops in Bogota, Medellin, and the north coast. Pray that board members will be used by God as they visit indigenous rural ministries as well as churches and training centers in mega-cities. Pray for SAM’s continued obedience to the Lord in Colombia.
9. Pray for the church in Nicaragua. Pray for pastors in Nicaragua as they try to faithfully communicate truth in an environment where censorship and imprisonment are a part of the national dynamic. SAM missionary Alex C. was able to visit Nicaragua and train pastors through a study of Philippians with special attention to the theme of heavenly citizenship. Pray for faithfulness and growth of the church in one of the most challenging contexts in Latin America.
10. Pray for Urban church planting in Latin America. Church planting in an urban context can be challenging and lonely. Pray for leaders from across Latin America who were recently trained in Buenos Aires, Argentina to be church-planter coaches. They help provide important support in strategy, gospel communication, and perseverance for many local pastors.