Faith & Family: Natchez native answers call to mission

Published 12:08 am Saturday, November 8, 2014

By Morgan Mizell

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — A call to the mission field is one Amy Samson says should always be heard.

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Samson moved from her Natchez home in 2006 to California to join a mission group called Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI).

In her time there, Samson met her husband, Edwin, who was working as an outreach pastor. From there, the couple joined World Team and then relocated to the Philippines.

“We live in a small village called Catanduanes,” Samson said. “We are in an area that previously did not allow missionaries.”

Both Amy and Edwin believe that their current location was pre-selected.

The difficulty that previous missionaries faced in the area was not felt when they arrived in 2010.

“We showed up in the village with our guide, and we were looking for a place to stay and we knew other missionaries were not allowed,” Edwin said. “We were asking questions about a place to stay and not aware that we had asked, in their language, ‘Take me to your leader,’ so they did. He welcomed us in and became our friend.”

The couple, along with their team, has created Bible studies, computer classes and even dive classes for the locals in the village. In their time, they have seen all of the programs grow.

“Basically, the Philippine government wanted the locals to learn computer skills as they still used typewriters from the 60s,” Edwin said. “We were able to come in and teach the locals and do other ministries. Our classes started with 20, and the last class we graduated was around 150.”

The Samson’s life is a humble one.

“We don’t have any possessions or property,” Samson said. “We rely on the kindness of people, partners, who see the value in what we do. That is what we are doing now while we are home — networking.”

Missionaries who have worked in the field for a while earn time home to be with family and friends.

During their time away from the field, they speak at various venues, network and host fundraisers.

“We have done some events since we have been home in May,” Samson said.

The couple will host a fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Crosspoint Church called “Brunch and Bling for the Philippines.”

The couple has seen the joy and sadness that comes with the choice to become a missionary. They worry most about their children, Josiah and Amalie.

“We often feel like we miss out on time with our family and friends and that we do not have those close connections with others,” Edwin said. “People go on with their lives, and we worry that our children are missing things, but I think they, our kids, are very blessed. Josiah makes friends quickly, but he also knows that not all of the connections he makes will be lasting.”

The joy of their work far outweighs any discomfort or uncertainty about their work.

“I think we question ourselves regularly,” Edwin said. “Most of the time the circumstances of life are more of a test than anything, but when we hear stories like that of a 65-year-old woman who had met missionaries 60 years prior, who taught her a song, and was so happy when we explained the meaning of the song in our Bible study… that makes it all worth the time.”

The Samsons will be in town and available to speak to church and civic groups for another few weeks.

For more information about their mission or to make a donation, visit the World Team site, and list The Samsons on the donation form.