January 2022 Prayer Focus

January 2022 Prayer Focus

Redeemed Lives | Beautiful Churches | Transformed Communities

Since joining the SAM family, I have seen God using our vision to open my eyes and invite me into a richer understanding of the gospel.  

For the past two years, I served as a missionary overseas with a different organization. This organization was structured more as individuals sending individuals, without a huge emphasis on the church. When I returned to the states and was commissioned as a SAM missionary, I became heavily involved in my church and began studying the book of Acts to gain a deeper understanding of the original church and how God called us to be in community.

Acts 1- the vision and mission of the early church

     v. 3b He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

     v. 6 “So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

     v. 7-8 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or the dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

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God has significantly shaped my understanding of what it means to live redeemed. Before, my perspective was more salvation-focused; however, after reflecting on these verses and through my involvement with SAM and my church, God has shown me that to live redeemed is to embody the kingdom of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. In order to be united as the church and further the kingdom of God, we must first allow the kingdom of God to rule in our own hearts.

I think a beautiful church is one that embraces its brokenness and humanity while recognizing that it is only through Jesus that we can experience unity and oneness of the Spirit.

I have been so blessed to come alongside the ministries of my home church and experience their investment in me as I prepare to serve overseas. However, it has not been without trials. 

My church has been through a lot this year. We have lost almost half of our members over the COVID season, resulting in my mission’s director being let go due to underfunding. This had a heavy effect on me since our director was personally mentoring me in my preparation to serve in Brazil. I wrestled with questioning why so many people were walking away from the church, and even experienced people walking away from my community group. However, through these trials, I experienced a deepening commitment to the church. God continues to remind me that the church is his bride, and worth fighting for. There is beauty in people uniting despite imperfections, reminding each other of our perfect God.

How does the church transform communities?

Last August, I moved into a house that is a partnership between my church and a nonprofit they began called Cultivate. Cultivate’s mission is to engage in community development in my neighborhood through fostering local leadership. Through being a part of this work in my neighborhood, I have seen God deepen and enrich my understanding of the church’s role in community transformation. I see my community group praying with neighbors, planting community gardens, serving in programs for youth, helping the elderly and disabled repair their homes, and embodying the Kingdom of God in the pursuit to bring redemption and restoration to the area. 

As we step into 2022, my prayer is to continue to press into the church and allow the gospel to move us toward transforming and redeeming communities- the kingdom of God here and now.

 

1. Pray for Women’s Ministry.  Pray for the women at a church in western Brazil: that they would be drawn to Christ, growing in faith and discipleship.  Pray for the strengthening of their marriages and for several women whose husbands are not believers, that they will be strengthened to live with a gentle and quiet spirit.

 

2. Pray for the Misak community and the Wájaro Foundation.  The Kansuy Women’s Cooperative from the Misak community is able to bring their artisan goods to market thanks to the sustainable projects for wool production that Wájaro supports.  These women have the resources to create and sell woven bags to support their families which brings dignity and recognition to their people group.

3. Pray for Sam Fiala. Sam starts language school this month in Costa Rica.  He will study for a year as a step towards joining the SAMAIR team in Peru.  Please pray that Sam becomes fluent in Spanish over the next year as he immerses himself in the Latin culture. 

4. Pray for the Araona tribe. SAMAIR had the privilege of flying missionaries and radio transmitter equipment to the remote Araona tribe. Pray that many in this tribe would hear the Good News and believe. 

   

 

5. Pray for Taboni Surui. Taboni teaches the Word of God in the Surui churches. Praise God that he and his wife were able to buy a new motorcycle thanks to donors, enabling them to continue teaching and evangelizing throughout the Surui.

6. Pray for Jorge and Ginny Enciso and the staff at Comunidad Viva. Working with at-risk youth in Bogota is a rewarding ministry but also emotionally taxing.  Please pray for spiritual, emotional, and physical refreshment for the staff, that they will be filled with the love of Christ so they can care and advocate for these young adults.

7. Pray for Misión TEC and Kyle and Cristina Thomas. The mission statement of Misión TEC is “forming lives for eternity through Biblical teaching and life training.” Pray for the Thomases as they partner with local pastors and leaders to accomplish God’s work in Pucallpa and the surrounding areas by hosting churches, retreats, teaching, and training at the TEC property.

8. Pray for Dalmiro Ortiz. Dalmiro continues to train, mentor, and equip pastors in Bolivia.  Please pray for Dalmiro to persevere in this ministry, that he would abide in Christ and lead others to do the same. 

9. Pray for the Brazil Field Conference.  From January 31-February 4, the SAM missionaries will gather for teaching and fellowship.  Pray for God to encourage and grow this team in faith and unity.  Ellen Adkins, the new onboarding manager at the home office, will be attending the conference.  In her role of supporting the mobilization of new missionaries, pray that she gains a richer understanding of God’s work in Brazil.

10. Pray for Mobilization.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-38. Pray that in 2022 God brings new missionaries to serve with us in South America.

11. Pray for Church Outreach in Arequipa.  The new church plant IBC Bustamante in Arequipa has started outreaches to two different communities on the outskirts of the city.  Please pray that many will respond to the Gospel through teaching, friendship, and kids’ programs. Pray for missionaries Seth and Jessica Malec and Ally Lee as they partner with the church.

 

12. Pray for the Bolivian Evangelical University. The university in Santa Cruz is over 40 years old and recently remodeled the chapel center among other renovations and improvements. Students can study a wide variety of majors including medicine, agriculture, theology, and communication. Pray that this school would bring God glory with its focus on Biblical truth and values.  SAM missionary Jeff HAuse is on the board of this institution.

 

December 2021 Prayer Focus

The Weary World Rejoices

The Weary World Rejoices

The contrasting language used in this phrase moves me. A world weary from its brokenness and sin, weighed down, burdened, grieving… suddenly rejoicing. And the rejoicing doesn’t take away the weariness, but it shines through in the midst of it. It is in this space that our rejoicing is deeper and more beautiful, because it is marked by pain but also defiant of its hold on us.

The realities of the past two years are heavy. The world pandemic has caused loss of life, isolation, division. Political unrest, social division, even church division. Sometimes it feels overwhelming, like the brokenness around us is bursting through the seams and reaching an all-time high. However, I reflect on the first Christmas and am reminded of the worldly realities when Jesus was born. I think we often paint a cozy picture of our Savior’s birth without understanding the full weight of the social and political climate during the time of his birth.

  • Political oppression, Cesar ordered a census taken of the entire Roman world, possibly for tax purposes
  • Herod rose to power with the support of Rome and was known for holding a military dictatorship over Judea.
  • About 10% of the population was born into nobility and lived lavishly; the remaining 90% worked in the fields. It’s safe to say that by our standards, injustice was built into this system–10% at the top controlled virtually everything.
  • After Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph were forced to flee and live as foreigners in Egypt, isolated and outcast.

Yet, in the midst of this messiness, Christ willingly entered the world in a humble and lowly way… and the world rejoiced. The king who will redeem all things has arrived!

The oppression and isolation didn’t end with Jesus’s birth, but worship entered into its midst. A deeper reality began that would reach its full realization on the cross. God’s heavenly kingdom was coming down to earth.

As we enter into this Christmas season, what does it look like for us to pursue worship and rejoice?

The afflicted also will increase their gladness in the Lord,
And the needy of mankind will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.  Isaiah 29:19

 

1. Pray for Julián and Serina Arias.  Julián and Serina are working with a church plant in the town of Peñol, outside of Medellín.  Every two weeks, Julián leads worship, preaches, and provides counsel for this community of believers. Pray for those attending to be affirmed in their faith in Christ Jesus and that the Lord would bring new people to not only attend services but to come to faith.

Penol Church Plant 2021

 

2. Pray for PARAKALEO ministry. SAM missionary Olga Chiang is a catalyzer for PARAKALEO which trains, supports, and values women involved in church planting in Latin America. Five Peruvian women joined other women from across Latin America for training. Pray that the women will be equipped and encouraged for fruitful ministry.

3. Pray for the Bolivia Taskforce.  Missionaries and local partners will be meeting December 10-13 to pray together and discern how best SAM can support kingdom work in Bolivia.  Please pray that God gives them vision for the work in the midst of recent political and social upheaval in the country.

4. Pray for Tim and Mindy Callahan. Tim and Mindy are new missionaries in Brazil. After language learning in Cuiaba, they will be serving at Ammi, using their gifts in agricultural training and linguistics to serve the ministry. Pray for Tim and Mindy during their transition to the field, language acquisition, and cultural immersion.

Callahans at Ammi 2021

 

5. Pray for Kat Guild.  Kat recently finished language school in Barranquilla and is officially joining the ministry team there. Pray for the Lord’s discernment and wisdom on how and where to serve. As her Spanish improves, please pray that God would both bring about meaningful relationships and that He would also show her how to be a better friend to those He puts in her path.

6. Pray for Mike Mahon and SAMAIR Peru.  Praise God for His provision of a new plane in Peru! With its arrival, pray for Mike as he handles the details of customs, other paperwork, and end-of-year parts shipments.  

7. Pray for Jenna Weigner. Jenna is a midwife and serves the indigenous and rural groups in eastern Bolivia. Jenna also networks with maternity hospitals and breastfeeding groups across Bolivia to offer education and instruction to medical staff and new mothers. Pray that God would use Jenna to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the mothers and their children.

Jenna Weigner 2021

 

8. Pray for the Center of Formation of Leaders. Many students are struggling to make it each night to this bible institute in western Brazil, several driving one hour by motorcycle. Pray for endurance and dedication for these future church leaders. Pray for the ministry worker who is teaching Doctrine of Sin and Christian Leadership this semester.

9. Pray for Joel and Angel Ballew.  Joel and Angel are mentoring Alfredo, Natalia, and Steffin, three young adult musicians that are starting a foundation for children who would be otherwise unable to learn classical music. Pray that the foundation is a blessing to the community.  Pray as well that God would give the Ballews opportunities to disciple these young leaders and deepen their relationships.

10. Pray for missionaries over Christmas.  As we celebrate the Lord’s birth, please pray for opportunities to share the hope and joy of Jesus’ incarnation with friends and neighbors.

11. Pray for Jeff HAuse.  Jeff recently celebrated 30 years of service in Bolivia.  His church recognized his years of service, and he enjoyed a reception with friends and coworkers.  Praise God for Jeff’s life and ministry in Bolivia and pray that He gives Jeff many more fruitful years of ministry there.

12. Pray for Ammi graduates.  Seven students, representing five different indigenous groups, completed the 3-year course at Ammi.  Pray for God to give them joy and purpose as they follow Christ and return to their villages equipped with the Word and ministry training.

Ammi Graduates 2021

 

13. Pray for Tracey Culley and Drew Warrick.  Tracey will be joining the ministry team in Recife, Brazil. Drew will be joining the ministry team in Armenia, Colombia after a year of training in La Paz, Mexico. Pray for these appointees as they raise funds and prepare for ministry.