It is hard to believe that Samuel House is finally becoming a reality in Latin America. It was just an idea and a dream that began germinating a couple of years ago when God pulled together a number of Alliance people with a common vision. This resulted in a partnership between Chile and Canada and the initiation of the first Samuel House planted in a multicultural city in Latin America, a cross-cultural training centre for international workers of Latin-America.
As directors of Samuel House, we were invited to Chile at the end of January to be speakers and workshop presenters at their annual summer mission’s camp. We arrived in time to be introduced to the pastor and delegates of the Chilean Annual National Assembly on its last evening together. Pastor Jorge Barra, the Missions Director of Chile, presented us and the vision and partnership of the project we call Samuel House. There was an expressed sense of excitement and gratefulness to Canada for our willingness to partner with them in helping Chile to further their vision of sending well-prepared workers into the ‘Sixth Region’ of the world.
We spent a weekend with a couple and their seven year old son who will be participating in the 10 month training program of Samuel House starting at the beginning of March. We were able to speak at their church and meet with their extended family, who all expressed to us how relieved they were that their loved ones would be with us to prepare for the call that God has put on their lives to serve bi-vocationally overseas. It was also a huge blessing to us to inspire and encourage this couple, as well as their community in Chile who will be supporting them during this time of preparation and into the future. Two other single individuals will also be joining us from Chile for this ‘pilot’ year of training.
While at the camp we were able to build friendships with many potential future international workers, share our journey with them, and coach them as they seek God’s direction for their future in cross-cultural ministry. While in Chile, we also collaborated with a key USA couple and the director of the seminary in Chile to finalize plans for the academic part of the program – 10 modules to be taught by qualified professors, the completion of which will give each candidate a credited diploma.
Our week ended by speaking at the Third Alliance Church of Villarica and receiving the hospitality of a couple from the church who are also preparing to be bi-vocational international workers as a doctor and journalist.
The saying “better together” could not be more relevant. Canada and Chile are leading the way, with the other countries of Latin-America (CLA) and the USA partnering in this project as well. God is doing something wonderful as we join forces with our Alliance family in other parts of the globe to respond to the call to ‘go into all the world’.