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.



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.

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

When Purpose Finds Opportunity

By Karen Polich

What would you do if you could let go of everything in life for two weeks and focus on a single purpose?

The Malawi 2015 team from Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church will arrive in Lilongwe, Malawi in the wee hours Sunday morning after thirty six plus hours of travel. Their purpose? Share God’s Word, pouring into eager hearts. It is a singular purpose filled with opportunity. A gift allowing them to see what God will do and how He has already prepared the way.

They will experience the opportunity to build a church. One that was started with great anticipation months before. Along with a place to hear the Living Word, the generous gift of a well will bring clean, safe water. Shelter to gather together and clean water! Villagers from all around will be impacted. There will be opportunity to share God’s Word in many villages.

To many of us, it may seem small. But in a place where clean water can stop disease and understanding the Gospel can transform a soul, it is life altering. The average life span in a Malawi village is thirty eight years. There is no time for later. Poverty ravages Malawi. Yet smiles are contagious and the hunger for God’s Word is overwhelming.

Sunday is the beginning of lives being transformed. Villagers, translators, pastors and the team from FBC will not be the same.

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

There is opportunity in Malawi because each individual said yes to pursuing a purpose. What is God’s purpose for you?








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 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?

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