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Ogden, Bill & Lennie
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Bill and Lennie traveled to the Peruvian Amazon in 1969 with hearts for discipleship and a vision to see the Indigenous people of the jungle grow under strong Indigenous leadership. After initially filling in as house parents and teachers at SAM Academy (missionary children’s school) in Pucallpa, they transitioned to Indigenous ministry. They joined the staff at the Contamana Bible Institute in 1972 training Indigenous leaders. In addition to teaching, Bill managed the Institute farm and Lennie oversaw the dining hall and student clinic.
In 1975, they returned to the US where Bill worked on college campuses recruiting and preparing new missionaries. Then seven years later, the Ogdens returned to South America to lead a church-planting team in Santa Marta, Colombia. The ministry team’s vision and the seeds they planted resulted in the birth of La Esperanza church. Bill continues to work with the leadership of La Esperanza and several church plants as outreaches of La Esperanza.
With their next return to North America, Bill served in missionary recruitment and managed short-term mission teams before taking on the role of Associate Director for the Fields. This involved regular trips to the five countries where SAM serves. The trips gave him the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of ministries as supervisor, encourager, and counselor. In 1993, Bill was named the Executive Director of South America Mission and served in this role until 2010.
The Ogdens moved with the mission’s Home Office from South Florida to the Fort Mill area in 2007. Though officially retired in 2014, Bill and Lennie remain actively engaged in advocating for church planting and leadership development across SAM’s ministry contexts, with a specific focus on church planting on the north coast of Colombia where they previously served. Bill also helps the finance team in accounting, especially training and supervising SAM’s field country finance personnel.
Both Bill and Lennie actively participate in their local church with a focus on teaching and counseling in Spanish.
Ministry: Vision Fund (Core Support)
At the heart of God’s strategy for fulfilling the Great Commission is the multiplication of the church. “Going” and “making disciples” and “church” are all fundamentally about people, God’s redemptive agents.