Malawi 2017 Mission Team

The 2017 Malawi Mission Team is safely off the ground.  They will soon be arriving in Lilongwe, Malawi to begin their work.  Please continue to pray intentionally.

Pray specifically for:

  • Safe travel
  • Safety in the mission field
  • Strength, stamina, and good health
  • God’s protection and provision
  • Planting and dedication of new churches
  • Training and new ministry opportunities
  • Lives to be changed
  • Families of missionaries

Join with us as we pray and anticipate how God will use them to change the world!

Ten Necessary Characteristics of People Called to Mission Work

By Karen Polich

Sunday was a time of worship and commissioning for those headed abroad this summer for mission work. Pastor Kevin Linthicum shared ten characteristics necessary in mission work. Acts 13:1

  1. Be called by God. A decision to embark on a mission trip must be driven by the Holy Spirit.
  2. Be willing to set the financial component aside; it is the least of your worries. God is faithful. He will provide for those He calls. Preparations are critical, but the money side should never take priority.
  3. Be led by the Holy Spirit. An individual needs to be mature enough as a follower of Christ to be led by the Holy Spirit.
  4. Be able to learn what it means to empty themselves. You must be willing to let God lead in all areas of the mission work being done. You should be set aside and He should be the messenger.
  5. Be bold. Speak the Gospel with tenacity. He has called you to proclaim the Gospel. It is not a time for timidity.
  6. Be a team player. No matter the size of the group, work together. Build each other up and help one another.
  7. Be singularly focused. Let the Gospel message be the sole purpose of your efforts.
  8. Be able to deny yourself. It’s not about you, but about Him and His Kingdom.
  9. Be a problem solver not a problem causer. Distractions will come, but stay focused on the goal.
  10. Glorify and honor God through the proclamation of the Gospel. This should be the sole focus of every effort.

This summer, pray for the mission work being done throughout the world. God has called many to go, beginning with our Malawi missions team who are leaving this week. Those He calls, He equips. We can each be a part of the work He is doing throughout the world with prayer. Pray for those away on missions. Those prayers will make a difference. Also, remember we are all in the mission field, regardless of location. Ask God to help you see those around you in your mission field today.


By Karen Polich

The gift of salvation is God’s grace in full display. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Baptism is the outward act of a heart that has accepted Christ. It demonstrates the life-altering change and is an act of obedience. Seeing hundreds of people in Malawi rejoice as they are baptized is an inspiring event.



In the Presence of the Almighty

By Kevin Linthicum

When you place people in the presence of the Almighty, the outcome is always life changing.

The 2016 Malawi team witnessed more than 9,000 people come to know Christ. The team’s journey began in November 2015 and peaked in Malawi May 26th – June 8th. The impact continues today.

Preparing for this journey, there were far more unknown factors than known. We knew for certain God had called and set our team aside for this time. Often the greatest work is done in the lives of the individual team members. This team was no exception.

In a dramatic turn, the Good Shepherd sought out two of our team members and through His mercy and grace brought these two lost sheep into His fellowship. For these two individuals God began working in their lives well before our journey began, in ways almost undetectable.

For Ryan, it may have been when God placed him before 1,000+ students at a school to communicate the gospel message. Maybe in those moments, he realized he was not in fellowship with the Father. It could have been that God spoke to Libby’s heart as many believers were being baptized, revealing the true power and authority of His Word.

It might have been during one of the cold nights of the Jesus film events when God began to communicate with Libby and Ryan the significance of a personal relationship with Jesus and the false sense of security they had based their lives on. Maybe it was as the film ended and the gospel was being proclaimed with the Holy Spirit drawing hundreds into fellowship with Christ that the hearts of Libby and Ryan changed.

I suppose it could have been during our day at the prison. Our team had the opportunity to deliver the gospel message to thousands of inmates. Everyone listened intently to Nicole speak about how God has rejuvenated her life. Nicole related her personal journey and struggle with drug abuse, and how these circumstances destroyed her life. Every person in the room focused on Nicole and the impact of the decisions we make in life. She completed her story by communicating how God has restored her life. As our group prayed for these women, the Holy Spirit was moving. When the gospel message was delivered by Gai Gai, God brought more lost sheep home.
It could have been during the Sunday morning worship hour that Libby and Ryan recognized a significant difference in the church services in the United States and what they were experiencing in Malawi. Ryan and Libby were experiencing for the first time what it means to worship “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

All in all I believe the total journey impacted the lives of Ryan and Libby in a life changing way. I am very concerned about anyone that can walk away from this experience and say they have not been changed forever. We serve an awesome God, and our team was reminded of that fact during our time in Malawi.


Taking God’s Truth Across the Globe

By Stewart Linthicum

In October of 2015, God began assembling a team of 21 individuals who were called to take His message of salvation to the small country of Malawi. For over eight months, these men and women prayed, studied, and worked to prepare for the trip. On May 26, the group left the Land of Enchantment and quickly found themselves at work in the Warm Heart of Africa.

For ten days the 2016 Malawi Mission Team partnered with local pastors and church leaders to take the gospel to the uttermost parts or the world. Knowing this was the largest team AFBC had sent to Malawi since 2006, expectations were high, but no one was prepared for the incredible results God had in store.

This year’s team was able to reach nearly 14,000 people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Groups took part in school evangelism, hut to hut evangelism, prison ministry, church planting, leadership and skill training, baptism and more.

The week began with a visit to the new well site at the Kamwendo Village. Last fall, AFBC was able to fund the digging of a new deep-water will for this community. The team took time to pray for the people and hold a dedication service for the new well. The week concluded with the drilling of an additional deep-water-well near a brand new church plant.

The Jesus Film was shown to three different villages throughout the week. This included preaching and testimony from six of the team members. For many Malawians, this was the first film they had ever seen and it was the first time they had heard the Gospel message. It is no exaggeration to say that hundreds came to know Christ each night.

Our last day included a visit to a prison in the capitol city of Lilongwe. It is shocking to see poverty and desperation when you visit a Malawian village, but it is nothing compared to the desperation you see in the eyes of the men and women living in the prisons of Malawi. God was able to use the testimonies of our team members and the sharing if His Word to reach many people who have been living hopeless lives.

Throughout the ten days spent in Malawi God was able to touch the lives of thousands of people. It is overwhelming to know that more than 9,000 people received Christ as their personal Savior.

God is moving in Malawi in way that is indescribable. There is truth to His Word, power in His Name and He continues to change lives every day.

For more information about the Malawi Mission Project, or to sign up for our 2017 trip, visit fbcabq.com/malawimissionproject.

The Greatest Gift of All!

By Becky Cook

Eighteen years ago my dad, Dr. Ben Rogers, traveled to Africa with a group of pastors to preach the gospel throughout the villages of Malawi. Upon their arrival they were greeted by a young man who would be in charge of their transportation for the week. His name was Gift and he was a bus driver for a company in Malawi. His smile was infectious and he had an obvious deep love for his homeland.

As the week went on my dad struck up quite a relationship with him as they journeyed together from village to village. He listened intently to the gospel being preached day in and day out. By the end of the week God opened the door of Gift’s heart and my Dad was able to lead him to Christ. His life changed forever! My dad’s life changed forever! Our family’s life changed forever.

As my dad’s evangelistic ministry continued to flourish in that country, each year Gift and Dad tracked thousands of miles on foot and by bus to the unknown parts of the area. God blessed Gift with the opportunity to own that bus company and continue to make a better life for his young family. His love for my mom and dad ran deep. Some may wonder why, but he saw my dad as being the reason he had received the greatest gift of all…SALVATION!

Today as I looked through posted pictures of the Malawi 2016 Mission team, I saw the infectious smile of Gift alongside the sweet smile and dimples of my daughter, Amber. Almost two decades later, the mission of sharing that gift is still going on. As my dad is no longer able to physically travel and continue to minister to a people and country he loves, Gift continues to make sure that the gift offered to him years ago, is still offered to the lost and dying of his homeland. I am grateful that men and family members who have traveled with my dad in the past continue the great work in this country. AFBC is blessed to have men and women living out the great commission in this country each year. To all who have given financially and to those who have prayed daily, you too have lived out this great commission!

As this year’s trip comes to an end and we anticipate hearing the great stories from our team, should we not consider the lives here in New Mexico that need the greatest gift of all, Salvation! How long has it been since you or I have listened to the prayer of someone receiving the greatest gift of all? Maybe there needs to be a new hashtag… #greatestgiftofall

John 4:35-36 says, “Lift your eyes and see that the fields are ripe for harvest.” Whatever your “field” may be… You have a gift to share! It’s the greatest gift of all!

Water Changes Everything

By Karen Polich

Imagine drinking clean water for the first time, cool, clear and refreshing. Everything becomes different. It seems so simple. It’s just water, but it changes everything.

What is it about this change that opens up life altering possibilities?

You and I have an opportunity to create massive change. Change that matters. We can impact lives. We can bring good to a place where it can’t be missed, delivering immediate improvement.

Remote villages in Malawi, Africa struggle to gain access to clean water. Life expectancy is low, 38 – 45 years depending on the source of data. Regardless of the exact number, the glaring truth is one filled with disease. Bad water sources bring disease.

Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church is committed to mission work in Malawi. Lives have been transformed through the Gospel. In 2015 a village was also transformed by a well. Clean water means changed lives.  Access to clean water means less disease and a chance for better health. Without clean water limits are set and barriers can’t be overcome.

In the coming year we have an opportunity to help drill another well in a remote Malawi village.  Doing so will provide access to safe, clean water for people who desperately need it. Lives will be transformed.

In May, 2016 a group from AFBC will be on the ground in Malawi teaching God’s Word. They will visit a prison. They will walk along miles of dirt roads, sharing with those in remote villages. They will see God at work.  You and I might not be able to make the trip, but we can make a difference through the gift of water. With our financial support they will be able to drill a new well.

Sunday night, October 25th, AFBC will raise the monies to dig the new well by using our coins (and dollars), to vote for the best chili during the annual Chili Cook Off. It will be a night of worship through music and fellowship through food and conversation. Our goal is to raise money to drill a well in Malawi. Will you join me in making this effort?

Bring your “Change for Chili” and help us raise the needed funds to change lives.

Can’t join us? Click here for more information on how you can be involved in changing lives in Malawi, Africa by contributing to the drilling of a new well. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Five Ways to Be Missional On Halloween

By AFBC Staff

Each Halloween, many families take to the streets of their neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat, attend holiday parties, or participate in community festivals. This is a great time to connect with people in your community whom you have lost touch with, or to meet new people and begin new relationships.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

It is also an excellent time to reach out to those in your community you wouldn’t normally interact with. Don’t miss out on the great opportunities God places in your life. We’ve put together a short list of ways you can be intentional and engaging this season.

1. Give Out Awesome Candy

Let’s be honest on October 31 kids are only focused on one thing and that is getting the best candy around. This is not the time to pass out tracks, dental floss, or coupons. Imagine if you were the child visiting houses; would you be more excited about the house that gave you canned food, or the one that had the best candy?

2. Have Something for the Parents

Make your entry way inviting and warm so they fell comfortable chatting for a bit. Offer the adults who are out with their kids some hot chocolate or pumpkin bread.

3. Be Encouraging and Engaging

When you see them, tell the kids how great their costumes are. Consider hosting a pre-trick-or-treating party for everyone to spend some time together before heading out to get those treats.

Spend time with the families in your community; get to know their stories. Ask questions and learn about what’s going on in their lives. Look for ways you can connect with or serve them.

4. Participate In Community Events

Look for festivals or parties that involve the whole community. Ask your friends and neighbors to go with you. Spend time getting to know them along the way.

Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church is hosting its annual Harvest Festival on October 30, or take your friends to a pumpkin patch for a day of family fun.
5. Pray For Open Doors

Become aware of the needs of those around you. Ask Him to show you how you can connect and engage with others.
Let us know how things go in the comments. We hope that you and your family have an amazing time this fall.



 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, 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

The scripture is very clear in charging us with the responsibility to bring others into the Kingdom of God. For many this is a challenge. Sharing our faith with clarity and conviction, especially when that faith is such a personal thing, can be hard. But the scripture also tells us, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”(John 14:15) Loving God and obeying God often takes us out of our comfort zone.

During the month of October our church focus will be on evangelism. The theme is Time for One. Our pastoral leadership is asking that we do three things to fulfill the biblical mandate placed before us in Matthew 28.

First, we should identify and invite One person to become involved in our fellowship. A great way to start is with prayer. Who would God have you invite? Your neighbor? A co-worker? The mechanic that works on your car? Ask the Lord’s guidance, listen to what He tells you and then follow through with the invitation.

Next we want to engage our One into the activities of our church. What does that look like? You could bring them to your life group or small group. Our 10:31 Bible Study on Wednesdays is an excellent place to integrate people into our fellowship. October 25th is our Night of Praise and Chili Cook-Off. What a great opportunity to bring your One to a uplifting evening of music, fellowship and food.

Finally, on November 1st we will celebrate our One in our Sunday morning worship services. Hopefully, by this time you will have established a relationship that allows you to invite your One to join in our Sunday morning worship where they will hear the Word of God and be surrounded by the love of the family of God.

However, we do not want the relationship to stop there. Our goal is to draw our One into the Body of Christ, thus fulfilling the scriptural command of Matthew 28.

So, have you identified your One? Are you praying, asking God to show you who to invite?

Luke 10:2 (NIV) tells us “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” It’s time for the people of God to take His commands seriously and show Him how much we love Him by reaching out to those who are lost and helping them to find a God that loves them and a church that will care for them.

Malawi Missions 2015 – Happening Now

Our 2015 Malawi Team is in the midst of their work. God is accomplishing many things through their efforts.

 Fresh, clean water is flowing from the new well.

Work at the church building site continues with excitement. Materials are in short supply at times, impacting the work. The first day, that meant stopping early after running out of nails. Currently, villagers meet in a straw hut of about 450 square feet. Children gather at the site to see what is happening. There is great anticipation for the building dedication on Sunday.

Surrounding villages welcome the team, eager to hear God’s Word. A showing of the Jesus film brought crowds that grew as the night went on. Countless decisions were made to follow Christ.

The team continues to share the Gospel each day, reaching many people. The days are full of God’s blessings as the work continues.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. Psalm 145:3