Creativity and Courage

April 8, 2020 |

The featured image in this post is of Venezuelan currency, transformed and crafted into a figurine whose decorative value as a star is worth more than the collective value of the individual paper bills. The strange reality of this valuation is, in many ways, a sign of the times. Globally, our reality has shifted so drastically in a short period of time and what was once reliable, safe and useful has become sporadic or inaccessible in an instant.

Even so, God has called each of us to a specific and unique place today. It is no accident that any of us are “sheltering in place” wherever we are. For South America Mission’s missionary team, we have been urged to not only shelter in place but also to “serve in place”.

In these moments, we have an unprecedented opportunity to tangibly bring peace and hope to others who need it. Whether it’s through virtual encouragement, praying with people who never would have turned to prayer before or being generous with what we have toward those who are in need, we have opportunities everywhere to be the hands and feet of Christ to our world today.

This is the hour for creativity, not fear. While our feelings of uncertainty are valid, we have faith that God is who He says He is and will do what He has promised and as Paul wrote to Timothy “… God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim 2:7).

Let us pray in these days that God’s Spirit would guide each of us to think creatively with the resources, influence and time we have available to us. Pray for our missionaries also as many live in full lockdown and have needed to meet needs and love others in new ways. If you are able, prayerfully join us in our Crisis Response to help our missionaries move in new ways this month to love their neighbors and serve those in need.

Hope in a time of Crisis

March 27, 2020 |

Hope in Crisis COVID-19

Dear South America Mission friends and co-laborers,

We hold unswervingly to hope despite the chaos of the times we are living. God kindles our hope through the prophetic voices of Israel’s exile. Zechariah proclaimed that God would “come and dwell in [our] midst” (Zech 2:10). I understand if those who heard his prophecy were doubtful or weary; God’s promise to “dwell among Israel and not forsake [his] people” when the temple was first built 400 years before (1 Kings 6:13) was likely unimaginable at the time of exile.

And we yet have hope today—we see in the life of Christ a fulfillment of those promises and can know for certain that God is among us.

He dwells among us now and we wait with eager anticipation for the day we dwell in His presence. It is in this promise and His faithfulness that we anchor ourselves. This is my message to our missionary team and what I most want you to hear from me today.

I am grateful for each of you supporting the work of SAM missionaries and ministries. Even as these hectic times shift our daily routines and roles, we stand in solidarity with you. It would be our honor to hear from you, to know how you are doing and how we can pray for you specifically in these circumstances.

Our missionary team is developing a “new normal” for being on-mission in these times and in the geography where God has called us.

We’re in countries where the borders have closed and where country-wide quarantines are in effect. The health infrastructure in many places does not have the capacity to manage critical cases. The informal economies in several countries mean that a substantial portion of the population receives their income through public interaction. Please be in prayer for the millions in Latin America who will face these realities. And pray for wisdom for our team, for eyes to see redemptive possibilities that offer peace and hope to neighbors in despair.


Crisis Response Fund

I’ve established a Crisis Response fund at South America Mission to equip and care for missionaries in the coming months. Donations to this fund will be distributed to our missionary team for their use as the gospel compels. They will have freedom to respond to needs that arise, whether within missionary families or in the communities where they serve. Know that your gifts to this effort will directly benefit our missionary team and moreover, mobilize them to be agents of mercy and peace. We realize economic hardship has reached many of you, so we make this ask with great sensitivity. Please give only as you are able and as the Lord leads.

To mobilize Crisis Response funds quickly, the best way to give is online at www.southamericamission.org/crisisresponse.

I encourage you to visit and bookmark this web page even if you decide not to give, because there we will update the content regularly as news and prayer needs develop from our fields of ministry. You can also mail in a check made out to South America Mission with “Crisis Response” written in the memo line (1021 Maxwell Mill Rd, Ste B, Fort Mill, SC 29708).

The directness about the reality before us is paired with our unswerving holding to the hope we profess in the confidence that He who promised is faithful. God is at work as He shakes the nations.

By Grace,

Kirk Ogden, Executive Director, South America Mission

SAM Response to COVID-19

March 17, 2020 |

FORT MILL, SC, March 17, 2020—First, we’re responding to the spread of COVID-19 by mobilizing people to pray: pray for the health and well-being of the communities in the countries where we serve; pray for God’s intent for good through this crisis to be seen and known; and pray for protection for those whom you support but, moreover, pray they will have eyes to see and wills to seize the redemptive possibility that comes in the midst of this chaos.


South America Mission is being careful to prevent the spread of the virus and to protect our staff, members and partners.

  1. We’re monitoring daily the developing situation in countries where SAM members are serving. In Latin America, SAM members are adhering to the controls and safeguards implemented by their local and national authorities. We’re also following recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control.
  2. We have arranged for US office staff to work from home if necessary. All SAM business is being conducted virtually when possible and all outside in-person meetings are limited. Field conferences scheduled for March-April have been postponed.
  3. Donations Processing will continue, but check processing may be delayed during social distancing. If you have questions, call our Donor Relations department at 803-802-8580. Also, this is an ideal time to give via EFT through our website, instead of by check.

Contact: Ken Massey, ken.massey@southamericamission.org

We’re Hiring! Accountant for our Finance/Operations team.

March 4, 2020 |

We’re hiring! South America Mission (SAM) is a cross-cultural ministry focused on the planting and nurturing of churches for the good of the world and the glory of God.

The responsibilities of the Accountant for South America Mission include maintaining the accuracy of general ledger accounts and managing the monthly closing process. The Accountant will combine analytical skills with proficient knowledge of accounting principles to analyze financial transactions and assist in generating financial reports.

Full job description HERE.

You may also send inquiries and resumes to finance@southamericamission.org.

September Prayer Focus: Organizational Excellence

September 1, 2018 |

In all things, we seek to submit our actions, intentions and resources unto the Lord for his glory and the establishment of his kingdom on Earth. This is the focus of our strategic goal of “organizational excellence”; not that we in human efforts can become perfect, but in our submission as we release our human desire for control, as well as our prideful tendencies, Christ meets us in our inadequacies and strengthens us in our weakness.

We continually hope to improve, by God’s grace, our internal communications, leadership, administrative efforts, organizational systems and processes, as well as our partnerships, so that in all things it is Christ who is glorified and his ministry enabled to the fullest. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Pray with us this month, that in our efforts to grow and enhance our organization God would guide us in each change and grant us wisdom in each step. Pray for our leaders, staff members, personnel and partners as we seek to surrender ourselves daily unto the Lord.

ORGANIZATIONAL EXCELLENCE PRAYERS

1. Pray for Eric Schultz, who is the newest member to join our Home Office staff. Eric’s arrival completes our Senior Leadership Team and as he steps into the role of International Staff Director, we look forward to seeing his impact on our missionary community. Pray for the Schultz family as they continue their transition to Fort Mill, SC from Arizona. Pray that their children transition well in their new school environments and that the family finds a good church community to support them. Ask God to guide Eric’s integration into the Home Office team and that God would provide full financial support for their family’s needs.

2. Pray for Melissa Weissenberger, our new Mobilization Director. Pray for her transition into this role as she releases her responsibilities in communications and begins to set mobilization goals for the remainder of 2018. Pray that God would grant her wisdom in strategy and that he would use Melissa to continue to mobilize a new mission force for the gospel. Pray also for the Personnel team as Melissa serves with our Member Care and International Staff directors, that God would unite them in their effort to serve our missionary community and cast vision for growth and wellness.

3. Pray for SAM’s goal to see our Vision embraced across our fields. Ask God to continue to provide guidance for strategy and vision in each ministry context. As we gather new missionaries, pray that they would effectively carry our Mission and Vision to God’s glory. Pray also that God would inspire our missionary community and leadership to seek the most effective ways to build towards our Vision.

4. Pray for the sale of a SAM-owned property in Peru. Ask God for his guidance over the division of assets and investment with the proceeds from the sale of this property. Pray that God would guide this sale to its close and that their would be unity amongst our team in how to invest the proceeds.

5. Pray for new opportunities for ministry in Latin America. As we continue to integrate our ministries with TEAM and through partnerships with City to City Latin America, God is taking us to new geographic regions in Latin America, expanding our influence into these places. Pray for the possibility to partner with key ministries and regional leaders in Trinidad & Tobago and in Argentina. Ask God to bless these initiatives and grant wisdom to those overseeing and evaluating ministry integration.

6. Pray for our Proven Leader Partnership program which provides further education for proven leaders through church partnerships. Partnership with key churches allows SAM to invest in further education which enhances our Latin American partners’ effectiveness in ministry. PLP funds help provide grants to key Latin American partners to study and grow in their ministry area. Ask God to provide funding for the training for leaders in the South American church.

7. Pray for financial generosity to ministry throughout the final months of this fiscal year. Ask God to provide for and fully fund our missionaries and ministries. Pray also for SAM’s Vision Fund which enables SAM to invest in new ministry endeavors, mobilization of more missionaries and the shepherding of our team. Pray that God would provide financial resources to the Vision Fund to allow our team to continue to grow and serve our missionary community well.

8. Pray for the upcoming November Leadership Meetings. This year SAM and TEAM will be participating in strategic leadership meetings together once more, collaborating effectively on strategy for Latin America. Pray for our leaders as they plan and prepare for these meetings, that they would have a common vision for their time together. Ask God to bless the partnership of SAM and TEAM as we seek to grow his kingdom in one accord. Pray that this gathering of Latin American missional leadership would be a fruitful time of prayer and vision for God’s glory.

9. Pray for SAM, TEAM, SEND, and Crossworld as they officially form a new association this month. September marks the founding of this association wherein we hope to see more effective strategies developed, leveraging our organizational strengths across our entities to continue to improve systems and visions between our like-minded gospel-centered initiatives. Pray for the wise design of the structure of this association, that it would promote kingdom-mindedness and not just create another entity to maintain. Pray that the communication of this collaboration to supporters would encourage their joy in the gospel and cultivate joy in Jesus and not in individual organizations.

10. Pray for our field administrators and our need for more missionaries gifted with administration. Ask God to provide leadership and gospel-workers gifted in accounting to bring necessary and much-needed support to our fields and the overall integrity of our field finances and strategy. Pray that God would sustain the work of our current field administrators as they balance ministry, administration and their own families.

Download this month’s prayer guide: September Prayer Guide.

August Prayer Focus: Training Godly Leaders

August 1, 2018 |

We see transformation in communities across South America when leaders are equipped to meet the needs of their people and to lead their people through spiritual revival and growth. Whether it’s parents tirelessly submitting their homes unto the Lord, pastors diligently preaching and serving their congregation or even young adults looking to create gospel-centered change in their community, we long to see all believers equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to share their faith and disciple others.

This month, we pray over our leadership training programs, educational initiatives and the community leaders whom God continues to raise up. We know that by his grace and power the communities in South America can be transformed to become beacons of hope and places of refuge. It is our prayer that in all of our ministries and partnerships, God would comfort and strengthen these leaders as described in Isaiah:

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youth shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

LEADERSHIP TRAINING PRAYERS

1. Pray for the Ashaninka Bible Institute (IBA) in Mazamari, Peru, as this year’s session begins in August. Pray that God prepares the hearts of the men and women who will be studying, that they will be ready to not only receive biblical knowledge, but also be willing to let the Holy Spirit build godly character in their lives. Pray for the teachers who will be instructing during this IBA session, that their teaching will be biblical and they can make it relevant to the Ashaninka people and the Ashaninka Church. Pray for Mesías, the director of IBA, that he will be able to lead well and separate sufficient time for IBA in the midst of his responsibilities as president of the Ashaninka Church Association.

2. Pray for the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center (SCCLC) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The SCCLC begins their new school year this month. Pray for the teachers as they prepare their classrooms and curriculum, that God would guide and sustain them. Pray for Maribel Ayos as she has transitioned to Santa Cruz and starts her first year as the SCCLC’s new director. Ask God to strengthen Maribel as she leads the faculty and staff. Pray also that God would provide for the remaining teaching needs for the 2018-2019 school year.

3. Pray for The Wájaro Foundation as they continue to partner with ASPEWA, the association of Wayuu Evangelical Pastors in the Guajira, Colombia. One of ASPEWA’s main strategies to unify and strengthen the church is to equip their pastors and leaders throughout the Guajira on a wholistic level. Praise God for the successful launch of an alphabetization program amongst 55 isolated rancherías, allowing 200 leaders within these church communities to learn to read and write in Spanish. Thank God for providing some of the funding for the educational program, currently equipping over 300 pastors and leaders, from the most practical courses to seminary classes. Ask God for wisdom and funding to build a Wayuu school for teaching literacy in their own language, as a further branch of the educational program. Pray for additional funding and guidance as the program looks to expand the coming year into Venezuela, and that if He wills, ASPEWA will expand, especially into the more remote regions of the “Alta Guajira” where fewer know the sound of His voice.

4. Pray for the Centro de Capacitación Bíblica (CCB) Leadership Team in Pucallpa, Peru. CCB leaders are visiting many of the students and graduates between cycles of studies, encouraging them and helping them with Bible studies and seminars in the churches and counseling. Continuity of studies is a tough situation for CCB students due to political parties pulling the villages in different directions, travel problems due to the many changes in the political scene in Peru, and other ongoing cultural shifts. Pray for the CCB students who will return to CCB, that God protects and guides them during their break. Ask God to encourage these leaders as they travel, and pray that he uses the relationships formed at CCB to further the gospel in Peru.

5Pray for the Bolivian Evangelical University (Universidad Evangélica Boliviana, UEB). The UEB will celebrate its 38th anniversary and also dedicate their new administration building this year. The UEB was the first private university in Bolivia and the first Evangelical university in South America, and SAM, as one of the founding members, maintains a representative on the board of directors as part of our commitment to preparing God’s people to transform society. Praise God that the first semester of this year, the UEB had 2,403 students! Pray for the recent graduates as they go out to not only do the work of the church, but are involved in government, communications and media, medicine and other walks of life, that God would use them to influence their communities for his glory.

6. Pray for the Shipibo-Conibo Evangelical Church Association (AIESHC). AIESHC leaders are in mid-year meetings and planning sessions with other church associations in July & August. Pray for the leaders as they visit many AIESHC churches that are struggling with the same type of divisions and problems that any church has. Ask God to sustain these leaders and grant them wisdom as they the confront cultural norms that are not Biblical. Pray also that these visits would further the redemptive work of the gospel in these communities, and that God would protect these leaders in their travels.

7. Pray for the discipleship center in Eastern Bolivia. Since breaking ground last year, Raphá and key SAM missionaries continue to build initial structures on the land. Praise God for the many ways he has blessed this project, particularly with the ongoing involvement, sacrifice and service of local Bolivian pastors and church leaders! Ask God to continue to provide the necessary funding and resources to fully equip the discipleship center. Pray for SAM missionaries and Raphá leadership as they continue to make strategic plans for the programs the center will offer once it is fully functional.

8. Pray for Colegio la Esperanza in Santa Marta, Colombia. La Esperanza has begun its second semester for 2018, continuing to strive for academic excellence and to form Christian leaders of integrity who transform the world for God’s glory. Ask God to provide necessary resources for the families of students who struggle academically. Pray for the teachers as they aim daily to live and share truth and love with their students. Pray that the devotional times at the school would be impactful in the lives of the students.

9. Pray for SAM Academy in Pucallpa, Peru. SAM Academy begins their 2018-2019 school year this month, continuing to serve the missionary children of the greater Pucallpa region. Pray for the teachers as they prepare their classrooms and lay the foundations for this school year. Ask God to bless the relationships between teachers and students, as many teachers become close mentors to the students at SAM Academy. Pray that God would provide for remaining teaching needs, that the academy would be fully staffed and able to serve these students well this school year.

10. Pray for the Ammi Training Center in Brazil. Praise God for the production and release of a ministry video that helps Ammi tell the story of God’s incredible work at the center! Ask God to continue to sustain the hard work of the many teachers, mentors and staff members of Ammi who continue to model the grace and truth of the gospel in their daily lives. Pray that God would work mightily in the lives of Ammi students, that each would be transformed by his presence and empowered to spread his love to their villages throughout Brazil.

 

Download the prayer guide as a PDF here: August Prayer Guide

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