SAMS GB has published the Spring Share magazine. This edition includes news from Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina. Also included are interviews with retired Bishop John Ellison and volunteers going to South America in the summer.
Four hundred and forty people squeezed into the main hall in the Jethro Centre for Friday Night Live; it was standing room only by 7:30pm. Highlights of the evening included a reunion between Edmeia Williams from Brazil and Archbishop Robin Eames. In 1998 Lord Eames visited Edmeia in the Dona Marta favela of Rio de Janerio.
Retired Bishop of Paraguay, John Ellison and his wife Judy, shared about their 30 years of work in South America. Dr Dickie Barr reported on a successful Love for Life trip, and the Trews emotionally shared how the family moved from Paraguay back to Northern Ireland.
The dynamic evangelist and church leader from Chile, Alf Cooper, gave the keynote address on the need to share the gospel, and training all members of the church to be a witness for Christ. He also introduced Samuel Lago who is spending a year in All Saints Parish in Belfast.
Titch and Cecilia reported on the excellent work carried out by SAMS volunteers in Salta and welcomed Pamela who is spending a year in Annaghmore Parish.
Bishop Ken Clarke finished the evening by praying for all those who will be going on mission over the next year, including the nationals from South America working in Northern Ireland.
It was another exciting night, encouraging to see so much interest in the work of mission in South America, Spain and Portugal. Thank you to all who helped out, and for everyone who came on such a wintry night.
We’d love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment at the form at the bottom of this page.
Alf Cooper, the keynote speaker at Friday Night Live writes:
“As we look over our calendar”, write Alf and Hilary Cooper from La Trinidad church in Santiago, “we see wonderful evangelistic opportunities before us and many new people have been arriving at church.
With the arrival of new people we follow up with a Foundations Course called ‘Building on the Rock’ and this has enabled many to grow and stick with us becoming part of us. Children and young people are welcomed into our Youth and Children’s Encounters. ??We also see a new opportunity – television. We’ve signed a contract to go on air, as we figure that Wesley would have used this powerful tool. We want to host a chat show called “Hazte Cargo” (roughly “Stand up for what you believe”) where we invite national figures to talk about their beliefs, whatever they are, and to stand up for them. We will stand up for biblical Christianity. Pray!” Talking of media, Alf is writing another book.
Pray for Alf and Hilary and we look forward to their contribution at Friday Night Live.
God’s work in Paraguay
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called to one hope when you were called-one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
Last September, I went to Paraguay to visit my friends and sisters, Claire and Raquel. It’s amazing the way God works things out. As most of you know, one of my deepest desires was to spend some time with Claire working with children, sharing our passion and love for Jesus and learning from one another. This time I was traveling with a friend from my church, who also is interested in mission, she is called Vanina.
I went there full of expectations, wishing to be used for the glory of God. I was hungry of his wisdom and hoping He could keep giving me the Passion I needed to keep doing this. He provided me with everything I needed; he looked after me as a Father can do. I didn’t need to worry about the time, money, a place to stay or even the company since I was not traveling on my own.
After many hours of traveling (32 approximately) we arrived at Concepción. There, my friend and sister in the Lord was waiting for us. Claire looked sleepy, well I think all of us, after all it was almost 4.30 a.m. when we arrived.
After resting almost the whole morning Claire came to see us and introduced to the rest of the people of the church. We could feel the welcome, the people were absolutely friendly. I just wanted to start working with Claire; I didn’t want to waste time. But she had some others things in mind, she wanted me to rest and do things little by little. I respected that, because I knew there was going to be a good result from all of this. She wanted me to have a time for myself, something that I hadn’t be able to have at home, may be because of everything I had lived with my mum’s illness or just because I never stop. I listened to her carefully because she had lived exactly the same thing as I was living, I knew in a way she could understand my pain. God gave me the opportunity to share with her my suffering, my concern about my family, about our future as a family… in few words I was able to let her know myself. “Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
We did many activities, working in the open areas, teaching the gospel to the children, sharing our time with teenagers in their classes, taking part in the prayer meeting and visiting and preaching the indigenous. We had ten wonderful days sharing the Grace of the Lord, it was a time to give and receive, a time to listen to our God and try to do what He commanded us to do, to preach and let his word be taught. I saw so many faces with the need of God in their lives, so many children who know that at least once a week they will be feed with the food of the spirit and also I saw so many adults who need the presence of our Lord in their lives because they know He is “the hope” for their lives.
As I mentioned before, God had prepared everything for us, this was the perfect time for us to travel, because as soon as we arrived we were told about the centenary of the Anglican Church. We were going to be part of that celebration; I was more than thankful to God because without knowing we lived that especial moment of the Church, the Christian Church. It was so nice to see so many people proud of the work of the Lord through so many years. I heard testimonies of people who trusted the Lord as their God and now they keep serving him and working for Him and teaching their family and friends, they have the same passion for the Lord as young kids full of life.
My time there flew, without noticing the ten days had gone and now it was time to visit my friend Raquel in Asuncion. It was a little bit sad to leave Concepción because the people had given us so much love, but we needed to keep going. Asuncion was different, (not the weather though) but life is faster than in Concepción. I spent some time with Raquel who was always running from one place to the other. It was good to see her again and be with her lovely family who opened their home for us. That was our social time, most of the days we went for a walk, visiting different places and meeting our partners from SAMS G.B.
That is how I spent my time in Paraguay, I promised the Bishop I will come back next year but may be for two weeks and with three of my kids. I pray the Lord will give us the material resources to do this, I know he will…after all we have a rich Father, don’t we?
My dear brothers thank you once again for this opportunity I had to visit the Church in Paraguay. May God keep blessing his work there, and may He keep encouraging people to have the desire of serving Him.