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Monday, January 16, 2012

January 2012 Newsletter

Moving Forward in Mission.

“Where will the Lord take you, this time?”

As I write this, Julie and I are in the last few weeks of a countdown to our site visit in East Africa, specifically to Uganda and Kenya.

"What is a site-visit?"

A "site-visit" is an exploratory visit. The search for a long-term mission site is like the search process for a new Rector of a parish, in this way. We have already narrowed down our current options to the sites that we will visit. Now, We will visit different sites, as potential long-term mission sites, in response to discussions with the interested parties in Uganda and Kenya.

"How long will you be going on the site-visit?"

We plan to be visiting three sites, for a week each: in Gulu and Mityana (in Uganda), and in Nairobi (in Kenya). Then, we return and make a final decision.

"What do you look for in a site visit?"

We look at the ministry that needs to be done in a particular location. Not all ministry situations are the same. We look at the living conditions, and the neighborhood. We look at the ministry resources. We get an idea of what it is to live day to day in a potential area. We participate a bit in the life of the community and the Church. We try to imagine what it would be like to live there, and how much it would cost.

For instance: I have heard that all the water coming from Ugandan taps is contaminated. Can we live with the adjustments that are needed, to compensate for that?

Another example: Malaria is a problem in Uganda. Can we live with the fact that every night we would need to be sleeping under an insecticide-treated mosquito net?

A third example: How do the team members get along together, and with the local bishop? This question is probably the most challenging issue for all missionaries, in every Episcopal/Anglican missionary society, around the world.

A final example. What is the best way to keep in touch with family and supporters? Is there a good (and hopefully inexpensive) Internet connection? Would we use cell phones and/or an Internet cafe?

As a result of the discussions and visits, the site leadership and ourselves prayerfully discern about our working at a potential site. It is all in Jesus' hands, really. The ultimate question is: what does the Holy Spirit want, for everyone involved? God is allocating His resources and connecting the parts of the body of Christ. Acts 16:6-10, Paul's Macedonian call, seems to be applying.

"What can we do, to help Shaw and Julie?"

We would appreciate your on-going prayers and financial support. Some people help us out with logistical or maintenance matters. We would love to hear from you, just to talk or by letter. Touch base with us on Facebook, via Skype, or by email. You become valuable members of our team when you do these things. Thank you all very much.

Please make checks out to: "SAMS", and put "Mudge" in the memo space. The mailing address is: SAMS,
P. O. Box 399, Ambridge, PA 15003-0399.

You may also arrange for automatic deductions from your bank account by calling SAMS at: 724-266-0669.

"Will you be visiting our parish or group?"

We have been lining up visits to parishes and groups for late March, April, and May. We hope to have a booth at Diocesan Convention, unless we need to depart before then. As possible, and with your leadership's approval, we would customize a visit for your circumstances, augmenting Jesus' mission goals for your parish or group. To arrange visits: or

Shaw+ and Julie+

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