Author: fbcabq

A Journey to The Warm Heart of Africa

 

Sign-up for our 2016 Malawi Mission Trip Today!

By Karen Polich

What moves you, stirring the depths of your heart?

We serve a God who does immeasurable things. When we say “yes” to Him, we find honor in being tools in His hands and our hearts are never the same.

Just back from Malawi, Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church’s 2015 Malawi Team shared their stories on Sunday. They described moment after moment of God moving in mighty ways. It gave us a glimpse into what their days in Malawi were like. Clearly, God stirred their hearts.

Villagers in far remote locations heard God’s Word for the first time from the team and their interpreters. They began to understand. Pastor Noah reported 3618 adults made decisions to follow Christ. Voices spoke prayers with conviction; hearts were changed, lives transformed. Lake Malawi hosted baptisms. God’s hand was evident in every detail. Many rejoiced over the gift of a bible giving them the ability to read God’s Word.

Clean water now pours from a new well. While waiting hours for building materials, team members shared the Gospel with children playing soccer. All accepted Christ and then the materials arrived.

Opportunities to serve God wait for you. Where is God sending you? Start by praying, asking for God’s discernment and wisdom to respond to His call.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. John 10:27

 

Pray for our Malawi Mission Team

On Friday May 22nd, Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church Outreach & Evangelism Pastor, Kevin Linthicum, will be leading a mission team to Malawi. The team will return to the US on Friday June 5th. This team consists of:

Evan Anderson, Gai Gai Anderson, Titus Anderson, Nathan Bruch, Jason Deshayes, Matt Dobson, Wayne Fowler, Matthew Gonzalez, Raymundo Gonzalez, Arlene Lewis, Kevin Linthicum, Stewart Linthicum, Robin Lowry, Michelle McFadden, Jim Moyers, Jeff Tode, Danny Whatley

While not all of us can travel to Africa, we can participate in this mission opportunity by praying for our missionaries. As a congregation we want to be intentional about how we pray. Please pray specifically for:

  • Safe travel
  • Safety in the mission field
  • Strength, stamina, and good health
  • God’s protection and provision
  • The completion and dedication of a new church
  • Open doors to share the Gospel
  • Lives to be changed
  • Families of our missionaries

We invite you to join with us as we pray for this team and how God will use them to change the world!

For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.
1 Corinthians 3:9-10
prayer

Taking the Word to Malawi

By Gerry Wakeland

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19 – 20 NIV

Malawi is a small, land locked country in southeast Africa with a population of just over 16 million. The entire country would easily fit into the state of Pennsylvania. Among the world’s least developed countries, Malawi has a low life expectancy and a high mortality rate. While considered a predominantly Christian country, the major religion is Roman Catholic.

The people of Malawi are hungry, physically and spiritually. Since 2006 Pastor Kevin Linthicum has traveled to Malawi to feed the people of by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Kevin has prepared and led teams comprised of men, women, and teens from our church to this faraway place with but one purpose – introducing the Malawians to Jesus.

When our AFBC mission team leaves for Malawi later this month they will carry the Word of God with them.  Pastor Kevin has trained them well to share God’s Word. But they will do more than just carry the Word and speak the Word. This year they have an added purpose. They will live out the Word with tools and toil as they continue the work that has begun on a new church building. Before they leave they plan to put the finishing touches on the new church and dedicate it to the glory of God.

Then they will follow in the path of the disciples and baptize new believers, welcoming them into the family of God. Into the hands of these new believers they will place a Bible, a Bible that will be treasured as if it were gold, a Bible that will never be taken for granted.

Robert Thomas made the trip to Malawi last year. He saw first-hand the excited faces of the new believers when he placed that Bible in their hands. “The value of God’s Word is unimaginable, which you can see clearly in Malawi. Having access to a copy of God’s Word is absolutely vital to the Malawian believer’s spiritual growth and to the spreading of the Gospel in this area.”

Owning a Bible is a privilege, even a luxury, one that we often take for granted. Most Christians in Malawi do not have this luxury.

They struggle to put food on the table and to care for their families. There are no extra funds for Bibles. A Bible in Malawi costs $13.00, less than what I paid for lunch with my friends recently.  To us it may seem like such a trivial amount but in Malawi it must seem like a fortune.

Many of us would love to be able to make a trip like this, to share our love for Christ with others. Unfortunately, we can’t all travel to Malawi. But we can share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with these new believers by helping to place a Bible into their hands. If you would like to help provide Bibles for the believers in Malawi, visit BeyondFirst.org and click on the Malawi Mission Project tab.

Do Real Men Bake Cakes?

A great time was had by all! This would certainly be said of AFBC’s annual Men’s Cake Bake on Sunday March 1st. The best part, by far, was the moment we surpassed the $8,000 goal that was needed for the 2015 camp programs and cheers erupted throughout the worship center.

Over 200 people enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs followed by ample slices of cake baked by the men and youth of our church. Then auctioneer, Bill Larson,  took the stage urging the audience to be generous in their bidding, and they were.

This year we had 54 entries in four divisions, including Adult, Father/Child and Youth. New this year was the Tasting category. Jeff Tode took the top award in this category for his Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake.

There were a number of amazing entries which made the judging exceptionally tough. We are grateful to judges Geneva Nixon, Amy Powell and Kendall Harris, owner of Albuquerque’s Cake Fetish.

Grand Champion in the Adult Division went to JD Williams for his “Pasta Cake.” JD’s cake brought in over $1,600 in the live auction. Baking champion cakes must run in the Williams family because JD’s son Trenton won Grand Champion in the Youth Division with a bright pink confetti monster cake purchased by Janet Saiers. Winners of the Father/Child Division were the George Burnell family whose beautiful cross cake sold multiple times.

As always our seniors rose to the occasion with many of the senior men submitting entries. Ed Perdue and Dale Danielson won the award for the Best Non-Cake with their caterpillar made from cereal, chocolate, marshmallows and candies. Frank Gilmer had the only gluten-free entry- a fruitcake complete with a whole apple, banana, orange and nuts – still in their shells. Very creative, Frank!

Not to be outdone, our pastors did their share. Pastor Cook’s Italian Cream Cake was sold and then divided and sold again. Pastor Kevin entered a four layer Butter Pecan Cake that brought in more than peanuts. Pastor Trey’s Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake, which he insists should have won the prize for the best tasting cake, was popular with the Starbucks crowd.

The event drew to a close as we saw winners, arms laden with cake and faces smiling with the knowledge that they had just helped a whole bunch of happy campers. Our question was answered; yes, real men bake cakes especially when they have a really good reason!

Get Out of Bed and Connect With a Small Group

By: Sarah Battle

We all know how wild and crazy our weekly schedules get with family responsibilities and jobs. Weekends are filled with travel, sports, television and big screen box office movies. The bed on Sunday mornings pulls us in as if we are getting our best sleep. This is all part of life’s journey but so is growing alongside other believers.

We should think about each other to see how we can encourage each other to show love and do good works. We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing. No, we need to keep on encouraging each other. This becomes more and more important as you see the Day getting closer. Hebrews 10:24-25

Small groups are important to both a mature believer and a new believer. As you become engaged you find time to pray together, celebrate the joys in life, and help one another in our everyday journey. In a large setting you simply do not have time to get to know others on this intimate level.

Everyone needs personal touches and relationships to grow spiritually.

Growing up in church, we often used the term Sunday School for what we now know as Life Groups or Small Groups. The setting is still the same. Ample time is set aside to dive into the Word to gain a deeper knowledge of how to apply Biblical truths to everyday life. One reason we may use the catchy name “Life Groups” may be because we are not just setting aside time Sunday morning to gather but choosing to share life throughout the week.

Planned events from game time or dinner to serving at an event bring small group participants together. We share personal defeats and losses, seeking the power of prayer and direction. We also spend time celebrating life’s victories, thus spending time giving praise to the One who deserves the glory. A small group becomes part of your family. But note the key is TIME. Are you willing to give time to grow spiritually and become part of a small family?

Our Small Group meets during the 11 a.m. hour in Room 106. The class is geared towards married couples whether married less than a year or over ten. If your spouse is serving in other areas during this hour feel free to join us and have your spouse join when possible. We are excited about our next study beginning in a few weeks, This Changes Everything by Ben Stuart. The study will focus on how the world desperately needs Christians whose actions match their convictions. A young generation is rising up, and they need to see the power of the Gospel working its way out into our everyday lives. We have the potential for our outside to match our inside, our activity to match our God-given identity. When the Gospel lands in the human heart, we cannot stay the same.

Join us on Sunday to experience more. God is calling. Where is He calling you?

Click here to connect with this group

EUREKA! I Found It!

“Are you excited? I’m excited!” Pastor Kevin’s voice echoed throughout the sanctuary of the Cherry Street Baptist Church in Clarksville, AR.

Thirty-one men, women, and children had traveled from Albuquerque to Clarksville to partner with the members of Cherry Street in community missions. We had two assignments: help the church members provide a neighborhood carnival and movie night and conduct Vacation Bible School for the church using the same material that we had used at Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church a few weeks prior.

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See pictures from this year’s trip.

“On Monday we passed out flyers like we did at Seville Park,” said Libby Edwards, one of the five students that made the trip. While many of the AFBC team circulated flyers throughout the residential neighborhoods and nearby business district, others like Kevin and Ryan Cook set up games and bounce houses for the kids to enjoy.

Teri Butler, VBS Coordinator for Cherry Street Baptist said, “It was exciting to see the many families who stopped throughout the day to find out what was happening at the church.” Many returned later that evening to enjoy carnival games, hot dogs, snow cones and cotton candy, followed by a viewing of the popular Disney film, Frozen. Pastor Trey sang along with most of the songs.

One of the primary purposes of movie night was to promote Vacation Bible School and throughout the evening we could see the excitement for VBS building.

Tuesday night arrived and we waited with anticipation to see how many kids would show up. Slowly they trickled in and then suddenly the sanctuary was filled with shouts of excitement as Pastor Trey took his place on stage. Eureka had begun.

Each night brought new boys and girls, each one looking forward to a fun-filled evening of music, games and Bible lessons. Church secretary and Cherry Street member, Margie Yarbrough said. “I love it! We had several saved and that’s the point. It shows that the church is trying to reach people for Christ.”

As the final session grew to close, Pastor Trey encouraged the children to stay involved in church. “Tell your parents to bring you on Sunday mornings.” Ronnie Butler, youth leader at Cherry Street loved Pastor Trey’s enthusiasm and excitedly jumped in inviting the kids to be part of Pastor’s Pals at Cherry Street.
Ice cream sandwiches and goodie bags in the Fellowship Hall capped off the evening.

“Our whole mission was to help this church,” said Robyn Savage. Our mission was accomplished. Children found the Lord. Two churches located hundreds of miles apart discovered that by working together they could accomplish something exciting in the community. With a renewed enthusiasm and vision, the folks at Cherry Street Baptist Church will continue to make a difference in their community and thirty-one men, women and children from AFBC return home knowing that they made a difference for the Kingdom of God.

Eureka! We found it!

Gaining A New Perspective

By: Stewart Linthicum

“Have I been viewing the Bible all wrong?”

This thought has plagued my mind continually for the past few months. I have been wrestling with the idea that the way I have grown up viewing the Bible is skewed.

Part of my job focuses on marketing and communication, and that means I spend a fair amount of time trying to understand how other people will react to what I write, create, and distribute. I am always trying to figure out how the world is viewed through the eyes of other people, so it seems normal that I would question the way I view the Bible.

I recently read an article by Brian Zahnd titled, My Problem With The Bible. In this article, Zahnd discussed how the Bible was written. If you look back through God’s Word, you clearly see that it is written from the perspective of the oppressed, the enslaved, and the defeated. This is unique, because as most of you can figure out, history is written by the conquerors. As Americans, we are citizens of a superpower. We have been the conquerors. This puts us in the same group as the Egyptians, the Babylonians, and the Romans. This is not a bad thing, it just means we have to shift the way we view the Bible.

Think about it, Jesus taught that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. To some Americans this might be a bit unnerving.

In a podcast interview Pastor Oscar Muriu of the Nairobi Chapel in Kenya spoke about Easter and Holy Week from the perspective of the African people. Pastor Muriu said that when the African people read the Easter story they see injustice, oppression, suffering, misrepresentation, and power. He says “It is easy for us to empathize with the suffering Christ.”

Muriu went on to describe how Easter in the west has become a domesticated story.

“The power of the story has been compromised and they can’t see the wonder, power, and statement of Easter.”

As I listened, I couldn’t help but be convicted. I am grateful that I have not experienced much injustice, oppression or suffering in my life. Does that mean it is harder for me to connect with God’s Word?

These thoughts continue to flood my mind. At the end of May, I will be traveling with Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church to Lilongwe, Malawi on a mission trip. I have wrestled with choosing what stories and scriptures to share with the people of Malawi. After all, their view of the Bible is likely much different than mine. The stories and scriptures that speak to me may not have the same impact on the starving men and women living in the villages. However, those people can understand and relate to a Savior who spent forty days fasting in the wilderness. They can have hope because their Savior has suffered hunger just like them.

Brian Zahnd said it best:

“I have a problem with the Bible, but all is not lost. I just need to read it standing on my head. I need to change my perspective. If I can accept that the Bible is trying to lift up those who are unlike me, then perhaps I can read the Bible right.”

Pray for our Malawi Mission Team

On Monday May 26th, Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church Outreach Pastor, Kevin Linthicum, will be leading a mission team to Malawi. The team will return to the US on Friday June 6th. This team consists of:

Gai Gai Anderson, Dalton Battle, Matthew Gonzales, Raymundo Gonzales, Arlene Lewis, David Leatherman, Kevin Linthicum, Stewart Linthicum, Robert Thomas, Amber Walker, and Randy Walker

While not all of us can travel to Africa, we can participate in this mission opportunity by praying for our “missionaries.” As a congregation we want to be intentional about how we pray. Please pray specifically for:

  • Safe travels
  • Safety while in the mission field
  • Physical strength and stamina
  • Good health
  • God’s protection and provision
  • Many open doors to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His love
  • Lives to be changed
  • Families of our “missionaries”

We invite you to join with us as we pray for this team and how God will use them to change the world!

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:13-14