The history of SAM Ministries is actually the history of individuals who responded to the call to take the good news of God’s love to destitute and needy people in countries and places far from the comforts and safety of North America. This includes not only those who were willing to leave their friends and family and move, but also those who were involved to support, pray for, and send them.
Although SAM Ministries started as a mission outreach under the direction of Edmonton Gospel Temple, now known as Richfield Christian Fellowship, it was registered in 2001 as an independent Christian charitable organization with Charities Canada and a board of directors was installed to serve this new mission.
Initially, SAM Ministries designated the mission work of Dwight and Lynn Lagore who were serving in Southern Africa. As a result, SAM Ministries stood for Southern Africa Mission Ministries. When the charity was registered however, the work of Earl and Ruth Trekofski in Brazil was included. This was due primarily to two factors. The first factor being that the work in Brazil was also a mission outreach under the same local church. The second was that Brazil is an old Portuguese colony as is Mozambique, and as a result they share the same official language.
The result was the registration of S.A.M. Ministries Inc. to include both South America and Southern Africa.
The work in both Brazil and Mozambique has focused on practically serving the needs of people in a holistic way with a fundamental conviction that the physical, economic and social needs of people are ultimately and inseparably tied to the spiritual need and condition of people. In Brazil, the work was established as a result of Earl and Ruth staying and serving abandoned street children through many difficult experiences. They faced house arrest, lost their 17 year old son Luke to appendicitis, and in 1999 endured the hardship of losing the mission buildings to corruption. Today the mission owns a new beautiful 3-building complex along with other properties and infrastructure, and more importantly is instrumental in the ongoing transformational development of thousands in Itaperuçu, Brazil.
Dwight and Lynn Lagore started the work in Mozambique in 1993. This immediately followed the signing of a peace accord ending 26 years of civil war in that country. Although life was harsh and difficult with malaria as a constant threat, Dwight and Lynn survived a year living in tents in the central Mozambican bush, raised and educated their two children and established what is now called Amor Moçambique. Amor Moçambique is SAM Ministries’ agent in Mozambique and through this effort a grade school, two clinics, orphan care, leadership training, church planting, agricultural training and a women’s literacy program have been developed.
SAM Ministries now designates Strategic Action Mission Ministries which focuses attention on what SAM Ministries is doing rather than on the where it is done.