Dear Friends and Family,
…It is our honour and delight to introduce to you our precious son Joshua Matthew Sams.
…When Susie was 21 weeks pregnant, a routine scan showed that Joshua had a severe neural tube defect (a large occipital encephalocele – his brain had herniated through his skull into a sack). After many doctor’s appointments, tests, and ultrasounds we were told Joshua might be stillborn or else pass away soon after birth.
…He was born 7 January 2008 at 6:25pm, weighing 6 lbs., 8oz. and was 17 inches long. We brought him home that night to enjoy our time with him.
…Joshua went to be with the Lord after 67 days with us on 15 March 2008 around 3am. He died peacefully. We are so proud of him, of what he accomplished, and of how hard he fought to remain with us for over 9 weeks. His whole story is on our blog at http://mnssams.blogspot.com.
…Oceana loves him and enjoyed giving him kisses all the time. She will be two this April. She’s talking in choppy sentences and is into everything! She is such a joy to have, especially at a time like this.
… For the past 21 months we’ve been living in
…Marine Reach is the mobile mercy ministry of Youth With A Mission. Their original vision was to launch small ships into the
Marine Reach has been around for about 17 years, based from Tauranga (about an hour from us). They also have land based clinics and trucks that are equipped with small clinics in the back. Their mission is to provide practical help, as well as bring the Gospel to people. Volunteers join the ministry on (mostly) short term trips – doctors, nurses, ophthalmologists, optometrists, dentists, etc – as well as non-medical teams that help with construction, clean water projects, nutrition and hygiene education, and evangelism.
…Matt worked for Marine Reach last year as the Advance Work Coordinator, but we want to be much more involved this year. Susie has taken on the job of Events Coordinator and also will be writing and designing the quarterly “Making Waves” magazine. Matt will continue in his position, as well as begin working with Mission Reach Teams – the teams that come onboard ship.
…We love this ministry and only wish we could be working onboard the ship – the M/V Pacific Link. But with Oceana being nearly two and Joshua having been in such a precarious medical position, it’s not a good place for us. We believe strongly in the mission and vision of Marine Reach and that God is calling us to work here.
…Marine Reach’s offices are in Tauranga (an hour away from
…Because we’ll be moving out on our own, our budget literally has to double. We’ve been so blessed to live with Susie’s family for nearly 2 years, which has kept our costs incredibly low. But we really need to establish our own home now. Our costs include health insurance (TBD as we are changing companies presently), rent ($1100/month), electric ($100/month), phone ($50/month), internet ($50/month), groceries ($280/month), our car costs (flexible), and incidentals.
…Will you prayerfully consider partnering with us on a monthly basis? We are 1/3 of the way to our goal of $2000 (NZD) per month. You can send your monthly support to Fountain of Life Church in the
… It’s a bittersweet time for us because of Joshua’s passing, but we are excited about the next road. We know that God’s spoken to us, and that’s why we’ve chosen to remain in
….On a bright note, our visas have been passed through without any issues, allowing us to stay in
…Please continue to pray for us – for our family, for our marriage, for our ministry, and for our relationships with the Lord. We can’t express how much we have felt your prayers. We know those prayers have and continue to carry us through each day. Thank you so much!
Matt, Susie, and Oceana Sams
Fountain of Life Ministries
…Designate funds by using a post-it or a separate letter. If our name is on the check it is no longer tax-deductible for you.