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

July Prayer Focus: Churches & Church Networks

July 1, 2018 |

Redeemed Lives. Beautiful Churches. Transformed Communities.

Why do we long to see “beautiful” churches? Kirk Ogden says the following about the word “beautiful” as a descriptor for churches: “Beautiful offers a richer, more robust vision for the church. We are not discarding words like ‘vibrant’ and ‘dynamic’. They tell us a lot about what we hope for and work towards. But beautiful moves us to consider more than size, quantity or activity. Beautiful beckons us to consider what Jesus desires and is himself creating in his bride, the church.”

Our vision for church planting and for the establishment of church networks goes beyond the physical buildings and the detailed strategic plans. It is not enough for a church building to be constructed and for a church body to gather; we long to see bodies of believers living in God’s magnificent glory here on Earth so that others see these churches and say “let us go with you for we have heard that God is with you.” – Zechariah 8:23

This month we pray over the churches and church networks in South America that are working as one body to offer the hope of Christ to their local communities. We see God’s presence in the gatherings of believers in the lowlands of Bolivia as well as in the growing church plants in Lima and Bogotá. We also grieve for the division and heartache that many churches face in their ministries. In all things, we have hope that these local manifestations of the body of Christ can pursue righteousness and unity as Paul charged the church at Ephesus: “… to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each on of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” – Ephesians 4:22-25

CHURCHES & CHURCH NETWORKS PRAYERS

1. Pray for Iglesia de la Ciudad in Lima, PeruAs the church plant has continued to grow in La Molina, Lima, they are looking to establish a second location. The team has identified 5 key sectors in the city of Lima for church site multiplication: La Molina, San Isidro, Miraflores, San Borja, and Barranco. Pray for Iglesia de la Ciudad, that God would lead them and direct them to the location of their next church site. Ask God for an executive pastor to join their team, as this need is key to enabling their expansion.

Executive Pastor

2. Pray for Ciudad Corazón in Bogotá, Colombia This vibrant group of house churches is a tight-knit community actively working to bring peace and redemption to the city of Bogotá. Ask God for more house church leaders and for the expansion of his church in this city. Pray for the Ciudad Corazon team as they discern new pockets of the city for the movement to grow into.

3. Pray for the body of believers within the Ayoré people group in eastern Bolivia. The gatherings of believers within this community reflects a hunger for God’s word. Pray for the development of a church body within this people group, that they would continue to represent the grace and truth of the gospel to each other as they establish church leadership. Ask God to use their involvement in helping to build the discipleship center (Chochis, Bolivia) to inspire their believers and raise up the right people from their community to participate in theological training once the center is established

4. Pray for the Ayacucho Church Planting Team in Ayacucho, Peru. The Ayacucho team is still in the research and networking stage of church planting. Pray for their outreach efforts, particularly in cooking classes, ESL, and kids’ ministry as they continue to get to know families in the city. Ask God to create the necessary strategic avenues for the team to be introduced to influential people in Ayacucho as they look to establish a church body. Pray also for Club Exploradores, the kids’ outreach effort, as they rent out a meeting space and minister to children in the community each week, that God would bless these efforts and use this ministry to create relationships with the families in the community.

5. Pray for Las Misiones church in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Pastor Felix Pedraza has been a longtime friend and partner with SAM in Santa Cruz. Pray for Pastor Felix’s ministry as he leads the congregation of Las Misiones, and for their ministry of hosting and nurturing a primary school within the church. Las Misiones is a member of the Asociación de las Iglesias Evangélicas del Oriente (AIEO), an association of churches founded by local church leaders and SAM back in the 70s which continues to connect church bodies and pastors in the eastern lowlands of Bolivia.

6. Pray for the Lima Initiative in Lima, Peru. The Lima Initiative participates with City to City Latin America in gathering and training church planters for urban church outreach. Pray for the current pastors participating in Lima in the “Incubator”, a church-planter training program facilitated jointly by City to City and the Lima Initiative, with pastors traveling to Lima from all over the country of Peru. Ask God to raise up new church planters for the next Incubator program beginning in Lima next year.

7. Pray for INDIEWACOL, an association of Wayuu churches in La Guajira, Colombia. Pray for the current group of Wayuu indigenous pastors participating in INDIEWACOL’s pastoral training program. Ask God to raise up the future leaders of the Wayuu church to be trained and equipped through these efforts. Pray also for the current church leaders as they begin to make preparations for the association’s annual worship gathering and business meeting in December.

Wájaro Foundation

8. Pray for the indigenous church leaders trained at Ammi in Brazil. The Ammi Training Center’s vision is for there to be a flourishing church in every tribal group in Brazil. For 2018, Ami has seen 18 enrolled pastoral students representing 8 people groups. Praise God for the new believers who have come to faith during their time at Ammi! Pray for the current students at Ammi, as they train in their second language (Portuguese) and continue to develop pastoral skills. Ask God to protect the recent Ammi graduates who have returned to their villages and begun to share the gospel with their tribes.

9. Pray for the church plant in Gaira, Colombia. Ask God to bless their current process of applying for legal status and registration with the government. Praise God for their recent VBS in La Paz, Colombia and for the participation of so many families! Pray that God would raise up committed servants from within the church to come alongside Frank, Luz, and Fernando who currently lead this body of believers.

10. Pray for City to City Latin America’s Intensive. The first Intensive ever in Latin America will be held in Monterrey, Mexico in September 2018. The “Intensive”, a training program developed by City to City, prepares church planters to establish and multiply churches in urban centers. Pray for the 25 urban church planters from across Latin America invited to attend. Ask God to develop long lasting relationships between the attendees which will enhance church planting strategies across Latin America.

11. Pray for Dalmiro & Laura Ortiz as they have recently returned to Bolivia. Pray for Dalmiro’s service of shepherding pastors in eastern and rural Bolivia, as he continues to develop and implement theology and discipleship programs. Ask God to continue to provide resources and partners to Dalmiro’s ministry, that the churches and pastors would be blessed with an abundance of support for their growth.

12. Pray for Marcelo Robles, a friend of SAM and pastor in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a member of City to City Latin America’s network of pastors, Marcelo is a key partner in the plans to start an Incubator church planting training program in Buenos Aires in 2019. Pray for Marcelo and his church, La Mision, as they operate in a key sector of Buenos Aires. Pray that God would sustain Marcelo as he is a bivocational pastor, and that God would use his work at the university to continue to grow the church and draw university students into relationship with Christ.

13. Pray for the church plant, El Camino, in Arequipa, Peru. TEAM missionaries Craig and Sue Querfeld began this church alongside two other couples back in 2001, and for the past four years the church has been run under Peruvian leadership, with Pastor Arcadio Vilchez as their Senior Pastor today. Pray for Craig and Sue as they continue to minister alongside this church body. Pray also for the next two church plants currently at work through El Camino with two other missionary couples: Jason and Sarah Sheets, working to see a church body established in an under-resourced neighborhood, and Seth and Jessica Malec, starting a church plant in a middle class neighborhood alongside their missionary partners Eward and Esme Zarate. Ask God to bless these efforts, that His Word would be proclaimed in Arequipa through these church plants and that the city would be transformed by the redeeming hope of the gospel.

You can download this month’s prayer guide as a PDF: July Prayer Focus

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