Chaco Update from Alec recently received into the SAMS office:
Lord, I give up
All my own plans and purposes,
All my own desires and hopes
And accept Thy will for my life.
I give myself, my life, my all,
Utterly to Thee
To be Thine forever.
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.
Use me as Thou wilt,
Send me where Thou wilt,
Work out Thy whole will in my life
At any cost,
Now and forever.
Betty Scott Stam (Martyred in the 1930s)
Concepción in Paraguay
Settled on the banks of the Rio Paraguay, the city of Concepción which has a population of roughly 50,000 inhabitants is completely unheard of by most.
Concepción is the city God has placed on Claire’s heart. The photo taken at the City Airport in Belfast on 18th July is a reminder that we are all called to participate in God’s mission. Share with Claire and pray. Claire is no stranger to Paraguay as she has already served for 14 years with the Anglican Church. Pray for Claire as she returns and keep up to date with prayer updates from SAMS.
Paraguay is a landlocked country located in the center of South America.
Paraguay borders Bolivia and Brazil on the north, Brazil to the east, Argentina to the south, and Bolivia and Argentina to the west. It has a total land area of 157,048 square miles. It is sometimes referred to as the “Heart of America”, owing to its central location in the continent.
Paraguay is divided naturally by the river Paraguay. To the west of the river is the flat deposit of the Gran Chaco, a vast plain which extends from Paraguay into Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil. This whole region is characterized by grasslands, swamps, and sparse bush coverage. The eastern area consists mainly of plains with rainforest-like vegetation and is drained by the tributaries of the Paraguay and Paraná rivers.
Paraguay has a subtropical climate. In Asunción average temperatures range between 17°C in July and 30°C in January. In the Gran Chaco temperatures exceed 45°C on hot days. In Concepción the climate is usually between Asunción and the Gran Chaco. Generally the main rainy season lasts from December to March.
Paraguay declared its independence from Spain in 1811.
6.5 millionCapital: AsunciónArea: 157,048 sq miles (406,752 sq km)Major languages: Spanish & Guarani
For more than three decades people have raised tens of thousands of pounds in the Belfast Marathon. This year was no exception. In driving rain, Johnny and Lynne Lockhart from Portadown and Noel Boyd from Bunbeg in Donegal pounded the 26.2 miles to reach the finish line. SAMS would like to say a massive thank-you for the funds they raised for the on going work in Concepción a city in northern Paraguay.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12
In this opportunity I would love to share with you a wee story that when I heard about it suddenly it starting feeding my faith in such a way that became a need to share with others.
Have you ever felt the urge to pray for someone and Then just put it on a list and said, ‘I’ll pray for them later’? Or has anyone ever called you and said, ‘I need you to pray for me, I have this need?’
Read the following story that was sent to me and May it change the way that you may think about prayer and also the way you pray. You will be blessed by this ….
A mission partner who was home visiting link churches told this true story while visiting his home parish. ‘While serving at a small field hospital, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the bush to a nearby town for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point.
On one of these journeys, I arrived in the town where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine, and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.
Upon arrival in the town, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord. I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived back without incident….
Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the town, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, ‘Some friends and I followed you in to the bush, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and medicines, but just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards.
At this, I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone in that bush campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said, ‘No, sir, I was not the only person to see the guards, my friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.’
At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story:
‘On the night of your incident, it was morning here and I was preparing to go and play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men from this church to meet with me and pray for you.
Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?’ The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. The missionary wasn’t concerned with whom they were, He was too busy counting how many men he saw.
There were 26.
This story is an incredible example of how the Spirit of the Lord moves in behalf of those who love Him. If you ever feel such prodding to pray, go along with it, you don’t know what it can mean to that person.
The appointment has been announced of the Rt. Rev. K H Clarke, Bishop of Kilmore Elphin and Ardagh, as the new Mission Director of SAMS Ireland. He will succeed Mr Denis Johnston who is retiring after 24 years as the General Secretary of SAMS (South American Mission Society) Ireland.
Bishop Clarke has had a long involvement with SAMS. He has served on the SAMS Ireland Council since the 1970’s. He and his wife were SAMS missionaries in Chile from 1979-1981. He has been Chairperson of SAMS Ireland since the late Dean Lockhart retired in 1993. Later this year in the Autumn he will assume his new full-time responsibilities.
Bishop Ken said, “I believe that God has called me to become more involved in SAMS Ireland and world mission. I am keen to develop and deepen links with Anglicans in South America and in other parts of the Anglican Communion. The development of leaders and the facilitation of missional opportunities will be amongst my priorities. My links with SAMS Ireland stretch over most of my 40 years in ordained ministry and I have served as Chairperson since 1993. This new Post will be an immense and exciting challenge.”
The Valparaiso Cerro Abajo Race is a legendary urban bike race and is more extreme than skydiving. The rider must brave jumps, stray dogs, and flights of stairs along the steep downhill path. The first person perspective provided by the excellent helmet cam lets us take in every glorious and frightening detail.
View a video produced by James McPartland about his visit to the Chaco this year.
NOTE: You will require a Microsoft Live, Hotmail, Messenger, or Xbox account to be able to login and view the video.
St. Andrew’s College Asuncion Paraguay is a Christian school offering lessons in both English and Spanish to its pupils. The head of the college is Gwen Carlisle and the deputy head is Mags Southern, both SAMS mission partners. From an English-speaking kindergarten for five children in 1963, St Andrew’s has grown into one of Paraguay’s most significant educational institutions, with around 400 pupils.