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Front Page JANUARY 2016

In some ways, Luana Velarde, a member of the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center (SCCLC) class of 2016, is your average teenager. She loves to laugh with her friends, spends her free time drawing and designing graphic art, and is always busy with her studies.

Inside: 2 | SCCLC cont’d 3 | PROCLAMA 5 | Centennial Celebration Panama 2015, Snapshots

Mission Emphasis


A closer look into her past and how God has brought her to where she is now reveals the unique circumstances and experiences the SCCLC has to offer its students. Born in Brazil, Luana moved to Santa Cruz de la Sierra as an infant. Raised by a Masonic father and a Catholic mother, her experiences at cont’d

the SCCLC dramatically set

her life on a path toward a relationship with Christ. “The SCCLC gave me the foundation on which my faith could grow. When I left the SCCLC at one point to attend another school, I realized that they had enabled me to know God and love the Lord despite my surroundings,” Luana reflects. A short time in two of the other international schools in Santa Cruz opened her eyes to her need for a personal relationship with Christ and a committed time of prayer each day. While reflecting on her years at the school, Luana sees how her relationship with God has transformed over the years. “I was insecure before I knew Christ,” she says. “I never knew which path to take and rarely spoke up for myself… since making my faith my own, I am confident, I know who I am.” Though grateful for her friendships with other students, Luana attributes most of her growth to her teachers: “They’re more than teachers; they’re mentors. They support us as much as plenty of our parents do and they know what’s going on at home or

outside of school. Teachers open up to students more because we go on retreats throughout the year. We get to see each other outside of the classroom. We depend on our teachers as fellow believers.” Luana sees the value and impact the SCCLC has on its students and community. She knows that though the school is farther out from the center of the city, local taxi drivers prefer to service the SCCLC because they find the students to be more respectful and kind. In regard to the SCCLC’s reputation she says, “Students at the other international schools call us ‘the saints’. They sometimes mean it negatively, but when they get to know us, they defend us because they know that we are a genuine people who love this city.” But being polite is not what impacts her community the most. “We do service projects every year. We paint, do construction, help teach kids, clean the city, take care of animals at the zoo; honestly, we do whatever we can on our service days to help anyone in need,” she states. As a senior, having completed six different service projects through the school, she


be more than

a teacher!

be a mentor. The SCCLC is a k-12, ACSI-accredited Christian school

providing international and local diplomas to prepare the emerging generation for global engagement. Join Us! Visit to learn more about 2016-17 academic year service opportunities. 2 |

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Though grateful for her friendships with other students, Luana attributes most of her growth to her teachers: “They’re more than teachers; they’re mentors...” believes that the SCCLC has made an impact in the community and believes it will always be a resource to local Bolivian schools in need. Luana has no doubt that the SCCLC provides the best education in the city. “The SCCLC will continue to grow in its academic achievement, and, as it continues to seek out how to meet the needs of its students, it will rise above the other schools as the premier international school in Santa Cruz. This year alone we had four students transfer to the SCCLC because they believed they would get a better education.” Luana’s senior class represents six different countries and three regions of the US. Most of the seniors plan to travel and study outside of Bolivia after graduating, but plenty choose to stay in Santa Cruz each year. When asked about her future, Luana states with certainty: “I plan on attending college in the United States, hopefully to study art or graphic design. When I return to Santa Cruz, I want to express my ideas and my faith through art in order to engage my community. I think I have a solid foundation for my faith from the SCCLC and I want to share it with the world.”

Dear Friends,

Mission Emphasis

Welcome to SAM Front Page! The name makes you think of newspaper headlines, stories that capture the significant “goings-on” in a community. There’s also that daily or weekly frequency to front-page news; it keeps you informed and provides regular “touch-points” that are crucial to mission and brand awareness. Keeping you well informed and regularly telling the stories of God’s work through SAM is the aim of Front Page. It will not take the place of our other communication pieces, but rather complement them, like dispatched envoys carrying pertinent and timely news because your awareness of it all is mission critical. You’ll engage our story here but you’ll also be invited to go deeper to places online or in the social media universe where our story expands and you can choose to respond by giving, sharing, promoting, or receiving. I hope you’ll take time to go deeper with us; it’ll be worth it. 2015 was a banner year for South America Mission. New ministry initiatives, our missionary and support team growing, our reach expanding, and the celebration of SAM’s Centennial in Panama combined to create great momentum that we’re riding now at the launch of our 102nd year. You, too, have been momentum builders in our community; thank you for getting behind God’s work through SAM. Ken Massey, Jr. Director of Development 3 |

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“I’d like to tell you about Sandra. She is a dear friend and a member of my church in Santa Cruz. God placed a burden on Sandra’s heart for unreached peoples when she was 15, and that burden has developed into a calling to serve Him to reach the people of the Middle East.” – Dana Wilson


n 1969, missionaries from South America Mission planted the Christian Missionary Church (Iglesia Cristiana Misionera or ICM) in the heart of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The faith community of ICM still stands today, and they are sending Sandra to serve in cross-cultural ministry in the Middle East. Though it does not have sufficient funds to provide all of her financial support, this local church has recognized God’s call on Sandra’s life for ministry and God’s call for the church to help. When Dana Wilson arrived to Bolivia in 1998, she attended ICM, not knowing what would come

Leadership Development

of her service there. She began working as an English teacher at the church’s school, eventually transitioning out of teaching into missionary mobilization. In her second year, Dana helped the church complete its first mission trip to share the gospel in a neighboring town, and by her fourth year in country, she joined the SAM Bolivia Missions Team. The Centro de Entrenamiento Transcultural or CET, based in Cochabamba, Bolivia, invited Dana to receive mobilization training in order to help local Bolivian churches develop a vision for their participation in God’s global mission. Though this encounter with CET felt like an accident at the time, 14 years later, it has become the resource and responsibility of PROCLAMA (derived from Psalm 96:3, which in Spanish reads, “Proclamad entre las naciones su gloria...’), an entity newly formed in 2015 (under Dana Wilson’s leadership) with a vision to see a missionary movement catalyzed from within the South American church to reach the Nations for God’s glory. Simply stated, PROCLAMA is a ministry that seeks to meet the needs of South Americans, like Sandra, who desire to be a part of the Great Commission enterprise. Sandra came to ICM after being

initially discouraged from pursuing missions. With the encouragement and support structure of PROCLAMA behind her, Sandra is currently in South Asia for two years, after which she hopes to finally serve as a missionary in the Middle East. There are many obstacles that South Americans face as they pursue their desire to proclaim the gospel to the Nations. The first is language; most missions organizations require a proficiency in English in order to serve on a cross-cultural team. The second is experience; organizations like to see candidates have ministry backgrounds and training before going to serve. Now that PROCLAMA exists, it is strategizing to overcome these obstacles. PROCLAMA is also working with a young woman named Ceci. Like Sandra, Ceci hopes to serve in the Middle East. Dana has known Ceci since her first year on the field when Ceci was in the 6th grade. She came to know Christ through the school at ICM, and as she grew in her faith she experienced a growing desire to serve on the mission field. Ceci had grown up without a father, and when she was

a teenager her mother moved to Spain, leaving Ceci to care for her younger sibling. Despite all the obstacles, Ceci persevered, finishing high school and completing a university degree in Sociology. She also completed the discipleship training school through Youth With A Mission (YWAM) where she began to feel a burden on her heart for Muslim women and refugees. Through a partnership with COMIBAM (Cooperación Misionera Iberoamericana), PROCLAMA has connected Ceci with a like-minded missions organization. She is currently raising support to serve an initial term in the Middle East where she will learn Arabic, begin cultural acquisition, and make short-term trips to countries with high populations of refugees. “We have a plan for moving forward,” Dana says, when considering what’s next for PROCLAMA. “We’ve spoken with several missions organizations to assess their requirements and recommendations for missionaries. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.” Before 2013, Dana often worked alone as a mobilizer for missions in

Bolivia, but since the arrival of SAM missionaries Shari Swanson and Rael Gore, PROCLAMA has grown into a full-time ministry enterprise. As they look forward collectively, they see the need for a training center strategically located in South America where missionary candidates can go to learn English, acquire skills for cultural adaptation, and receive training in evangelism and discipleship. In the words of team member Shari Swanson, “PROCLAMA seeks to represent and meet the needs of South Americans. We are hopeful that we can be a bridge between the South American church and God’s global harvest fields.” Give to enable Proclama to supplement the local churches’ support of sent missionaries like Sandra and Ceci. You can also give to PROCLAMA’s general ministry fund in order to sustain its organizational needs as it expands its reach in 2016. make it happen Go to proclama PRAY

Planned Giving

a Legacy of Generosity

Ask us about donating appreciated assets, making end-of-life bequests or investing in gifts such as Charitable Annuities or Remainder Trusts that return funds to the donor while providing long-term financial stability to South America Mission. 4 |

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To learn more about the benefits of making a planned gift, email or call: | 803.802.8580

Mission Emphasis

Missionary Corps

SAM Centennial Celebration

September 21-26, 2015, Panama

Readying the Sails for God’s Movement

hear the audio Visit our website to hear the conference’s teaching on “Rest” by Dr. Worth Carson and talks by world-class speakers from North and South America.

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South America Mission 1021 Maxwell Mill Rd, Ste B Fort Mill, SC 29708 803-802-8580










*2013 Expenses



*2014 Expenses


* From audited financial statements. 2015 report pending completion of 2015 audit.



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South America Mission—FrontPage January 2016  

Quarterly pertinent ministry news from South America Mission.

South America Mission—FrontPage January 2016  

Quarterly pertinent ministry news from South America Mission.