Africa

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!

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

Things We Take for Granted

By Kevin Linthicum

As our group prepares to travel to Lilongwe, Malawi (Southeastern Africa), I am reminded of the exceptional life God has blessed us with. In my lifetime, I have never been concerned where my next meal would come from. I have never been worried about becoming ill from drinking water that was not clean. I have always had access to adequate medical care.

On May 22, 2015, our team of four women and thirteen men will depart on the trip of a lifetime. This will be the kind of adventure that will have a long lasting impact on each individual. Our team met recently for a time of fellowship and preparation. As the group was asking questions, I was reminded of my first trip to Malawi. At the time, I had no idea the impact this trip would have on my life. I was a new believer, and I was eager to follow God’s leading.

I was overwhelmed the first time I witnessed women drawing water from a shallow well. The water in the bucket was so dirty you could not see the bottom of the bucket. I still have vivid images of under nourished children running around playing. These children were not even aware of their own condition. On a recent trip to Malawi, our group had the opportunity to visit a local hospital. I remember as we walked through the hospital, I was so thankful to live in a place with exceptional medical care.

This year our team will be participating in the construction of a new church in a remote village in Malawi. God has also blessed our group with the resources necessary to drill and install a deep water well at the church site. Our team will be engaged in village to village evangelism.  This investment will have a lasting impact for the people in the area.

Our team would be grateful for your prayer support. We will leave Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 22, 2015, and we will return to Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 5, 2015. We are thankful in advance for your commitment to pray for our team.

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.

Overwhelming Abundance

By Karen Polich

Malawi brings me thoughts of abundance. While lacking needed resources, there is an abundance of many things; smiles, joy, voices singing, hospitality, passion, and friends. Malawi is a place of simple abundance surrounding things that touch hearts.

It’s the rainy season in Africa. It is a time to watch crops grow after the labors of preparing fields and planting. It is a time of planning for the harvest that will provide food in the coming months. But this rainy season is different. Malawi has seen record flooding in recent days. The abundance of rain is overwhelming. Lives have been lost in Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar, while there are those still missing. Thousands and thousands are displaced from their homes. Crops are ruined. Now and in the coming months, where will the needed food come from? How will lives be restored after such devastation?

This abundance is not welcome. It brings with it destruction and pain. It brings the abundance of difficulties now and in the time to come.

What is there to do to help from so far away? Please join me in becoming a prayer partner for the people of Malawi and the mission work that Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church is a part of. Together we can do something with great abundance. We can pray. We can pray for:

  • safe water and food
  • restoration of homes and schools.
  • for immediate relief and for God to heal and restore lives
  • for events such as the upcoming Valentine’s banquet that will raise funds to send laborers into the mission field
  • the work our Malawi mission team will be doing when they arrive there in May

We can do something regardless of our location. We can pray!

Will you join me? Click here for information on becoming a Malawi Prayer Partner.

 

 

 

Where is God Sending You?

 

By: Robert Thomas

I think my favorite aspect of Malawian culture is how simple everything is.  Were I to go and share the Gospel in Albuquerque, say on the campus of the university for example, I would be worried about holding people’s attention, and afraid that I’m either bothering someone or that they’ll leave because they’re busy.  It wasn’t like that in Malawi; people were continually willing to stop what they were doing and listen to the Gospel.

Out in the African countryside, the villages are distraction-minimal.  (I’ll qualify that only by saying I was preoccupied by all the animals such as goats and roosters walking around, but they were distracting only to us, the foreigners.)  In America, the culture we live in shouts for our attention.  A simple drive across town while listening to the radio features several companies using visual and audio advertisements to lure us in.  To live here is to be surrounded by a flurry of lights, images, and sounds, all calling you to spend vital pieces of your life on them.

If America is a cacophony, Malawi felt more like darkness.  The people are influenced by ancestor worship and small divisions of other religions, but all those do is contribute to the feeling of darkness.  There is so, so much need in Malawi, and this need can be met by simple people who have taken the time to travel halfway across the world, far from their homes, to share about the Light of the World, and what He’s done in their lives.  The people there are receptive to this.  They want for clean water, enough food, and a livable wage.  They also want to be taught about God, and they want bibles, but more than anything, their souls are thirsty for, and ready for, the Living Water Jesus provides.

In this case, it doesn’t take a career missionary, or one trained by a seminary.  As a 22 year old college graduate with a history of shyness, a healthy dose of introversion, and a degree in film, I would never have picked myself out to be one who could go and share my faith in a foreign country.  But I do know this without a doubt: God wanted me to go to Malawi, and to ignore that mission would have been objectively wrong.  I’ve learned not to count myself out of something I feel unqualified for, because my God is enough to fill my inadequacy.

My question is this: since there is so much need in this world, and Christians are ones who can meet these needs, where is God sending YOU?

Interested in more information? Contact us via email: info@fbcabq.com

The Simplicity of Contentment

The Simplicity of Contentment

By: Kristi Sullins

 “Everything is amazing and nobody is happy.”

These are words that hang on the wall right above my desk.  I am a lover of the written word so instead of art I cover my wall in quotes, phrases and verses that speak to me.  The above quote above hangs front and center.  I remember clearly when I found it.

In 2013 I had the amazing opportunity to go to Malawi, Africa.  This was a mission opportunity I never dreamed to have, and to be honest was considering a Jonah approach to the trip as time grew close.  My first day out in the villages changed me forever.  Each small house and poorly clothed villager brought new questions to my heart.  Why were they so happy?  Why did they operate with such a spirit of contentment?  Do they know what they are missing, and how much more life has available?

My first interaction with children brought the desire to haul them all to America so they would have what they needed.  Surely children need more than old tires to play with and balls made of string and trash.  Of course, they need more than mashed corn and sugar cane to thrive.  It was clear to my American eyes that there were things that needed to be changed.

Thankfully God refused to let me look through my American eyes very long.  He allowed me to see the reality of their contentment.  It was present in the laughter of the women as they worked together to shuck the corn.  They had friendship.  It was present in the smiles of the children as they played and worked.  In spite of their lack of things they had joy.  You could hear it so clearly in their worship songs.  They would not limit the music to just one day a week.  They sang as they worked.  They sang as they rode the bus.  They worshiped throughout their day.

By my standards, they did not have many reasons to sing.  There was hunger, disease and poverty.  What is there to sing or smile about?  The answer was they were content with where they were and what they had.

After the second day my prayer changed from “Please Lord do not let me make a fool of myself” to “Please Lord help me understand the source of their joy”.  God graciously answered that prayer.  He led me to a young mother holding her little girl sick with malaria.  Praying over this little one left me feeling stressed over how God would answer.  It left her mom with peace that God had heard her prayer and He would handle it in His way.  He led me to a school that was full of children, but greatly lacking the supplies they needed.  I was full of regret for all they were missing.  They were full of joy that we cared enough to bring them the message of a God who loved them, and left them with real soccer balls.  The clearest understanding came from my interpreter who day in and day out displayed God’s love for those around us.  Her passion for the lost pushed her to walk miles with me even though she battled pain from surgery.  With no pain medicine available and no complaints ever voiced, she taught me that there was never an excuse to lose joy.  Her joy came from God and was not altered by her current reality.  These were flesh and blood examples of Paul’s words in Philippians 4 “I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content”.

There in the fields of Africa I was reminded that the simplicity of contentment in life is found in letting God be God.  It is not in what you have or what you can get.  Happiness is not found in the ease of your life, but in the source of your joy.

“Everything is amazing, and nobody is happy” hangs on my wall now to remind me of the lessons from Africa.  It helps strip away what stains my view of contentment, and takes me back to reality.  Oh to be happy when life is not amazing!

What is Prayer Worth?

By: Kevin Linthicum

I still remember sitting in the airport in Shreveport, Louisiana, waiting on a flight that would begin my first journey to Malawi, Africa. I had many questions and to be honest I was a little fearful of what the journey would include.

I recall praying and specifically asking God to protect our group. The only person I knew in the group was Dr. Ben Rogers. Dr. Ben had a wealth of experience in Malawi; I knew his experience was valuable. Therefore, I stayed close to him. I had also been praying for peace and direction for this trip. There were many unknowns and I was anxious about the unknown.

My first day on the ground in Malawi, I learned the value of prayer.

We were sitting in a small village and a family brought out a small child. The family asked if I would be willing to pray for the child. The little boy, no older than five, was being abused by the witch doctor. This single event brought my prayer life to a new place. For the first time in my life, I realized the significance of praying on behalf of others.

This lesson will continue to have tremendous impact on my life. Each time someone asks me to intercede on their behalf, I am reminded of that little boy in Malawi and the value that family placed on prayer. The lesson for us today is to never underestimate the value of praying for others.

John 16:23-24

In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.