May 5, 2011

As We Pray on this National Day of Prayer---An Update From SWIM Ministries

Hopefully you are enjoying this beautiful spring weather...if you live in the U.S. upper Midwest you know what I mean. Here at SWIM we are sprinting with Kingdom undertakings as always. Early Spring I travelled with Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to Liberia for the All Liberia Life Festival. It was a beautiful experience; especially seeing thousands upon thousands of Liberian Children give their lives to Jesus Christ at the Children Festival. It was definitely my highlight moment of the trip.

Several hundred members of Kenyan Community in MN
gather for prayer in Minneapolis over Easter Weekend.
SWIM ministries was a co-sponsor of the outreach event.

Upon return, I managed to take a short time away with my family to rest and recuperate. Then two Saturdays ago during Easter Weekend, we worked with other local ministries to host a prayer gathering for the Twin Cities African Community, specifically from Kenya. Around 500 people were in attendance at the high energy prayer meeting for which we are grateful to God.

Teaching evangelism, church planting and intercultural leadership courses at Crown College has kept me very busy as well.  Each week I am giving instruction, reading, and grading around 80 papers from students as I fan them to become vessels that God can use for His honorable service.

With the summer months approaching, we are excited for what God has in store. Apart from our on-going ministry around the USA, we are conducting a Festival of Hope in the Rwandan city of Rubavu on the Rwanda/DRC border in the month of July. We anticipate that as many as one hundred thousand people in Rwanda and the DRC will be impacted by the gospel of Jesus Christ through the week-long Festival of Hope.

Rev. Blair Carlson (far right) pictured here with Rev. Doug Badsal at the
Lausanne Congress where they were co-directors of the Congress in Cape
Town, SA. Dr. Carlson will be presenting our SWIM conference on
leadership and evangelism in Rubavu, Rwanda this Summer . 

We will also conduct three seperate leadership conferences that will equip pastors and evangelists, women leaders, and younger leaders respectively. I will also be speaking at a special forum for political and business leaders hosted by the governors of Rubavu Province of Rwanda and Kivu Province of the DRC.

 As we are preparing, God has brought an impeccable team of leaders and speakers to travel with me as part of the SWIM team. This year I will be joined by Rev. Blair Carlson, a long-time director of international evangelism at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Last year, Blair served as the Director of the Lausanne World Congress on Evangelization- Cape Town 2010, that brought together four thousand Christian leaders from nearly two hundred countries to pray and strategize for world Evangelism. I am honored that Dr. Carlson will serve with me to help equip church and community leaders at our Evangelism and Pastoral leadership conference in Rwanda.

Other great leaders travelling with me include Kimberly Wolf and Judy Chase, outstanding women Bible teachers at Westwood Community Church, Chanhassen, MN, our home church, and Rev. Richard Munala, Senior Pastor of Mzizi Church International here in the Twin Cities.

Sammy enjoying a beautiful sunset moment with Jr. in Tampa Florida during
a short family vacation uponreturn from Liberia in Mid-April.  Suzanne and
I areexpecting a new addition to our family in early September.
 Come early fall and Suzanne, Sammy Jr., and I will be welcoming a new member into our family, Jr's little sister.  We are so thrilled for this blessing from God. 

Additionally during fall, we will be conducting two days of outreach in Mankato, Minnesota on the Minnesota State University Campus (MSU). MSU also happens to be my wife's alma matter and we are thrilled at the opportunity to present Christ to this special community.  A couple weeks ago I met with thirteen pastors of leading congregations in Mankato and they are very energized for this outreach. Pray with our team as we put together the logistics, especially for the right artists, funding, and for great response to the gospel.

Sammy met with this team of lead pastors in Mankato, MN
to pray with them and to share the vision for helping reach
their community later this Fall

Pray for a great harvest in all these undertakings over the next four months. Pray for many to come to Christ. Pray for open doors for finances. Pray for anointing as we minister the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for me and for my wife Suzanne as we enter this busy season for God's renewing power and presence. Pray as we stir up our generation to be a people of power and a Kingdom of praise.  Pray for our family as we welcome a new addition this fall that all will go very smoothly.

Finally, pray for our staggering nationa and our world that are in desperate need for hope, healing, and reconciliation from all the wounds left behind by natural and manmade conflicts. Jesus Christ is the solution and we need to proclaim that without ceasing. May His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven!