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.

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.

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.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

By Trason Sullins as told to Gerry Wakeland

When I decided to go with my grandparents on a mission trip to Haiti I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pretty sure that it would be very hot and there would be lots of kids. I knew it would be a different culture from New Mexico.

As my departure date grew closer we discovered that my Grandpa, Mike Campbell, would not be able to go with us. So I went with my Nana, Marie Campbell and members from her church, Long Hollow Baptist Church in Gallatin, TN. There were 23 altogether.

We flew from Nashville to Miami and then on to Port-au-Prince. From there we drove 12 hours and finally arrived in Jeremie. We stayed at the guest house and were pretty lucky because it was solar powered. We even had internet at the pastor’s house.

The first day we met our interpreter. His name was Dou Dou and he is 40 years old. He is married and has two kids.

The Haitians speak the Creole language which is a mixture of French and Spanish. It helped that I had taken Spanish in school. Some of the words I remember are allo, which means hi. Merci means thank you. And Jesu means Jesus.

In Haiti we served in three different villages. At Guest House Village there were about 26 people. In the village of Emmanuel there were about 50 people and in Londun there were approximately 200. In each of these villages we held Vacation Bible School for the children. In Emmanuel I got to tell the Bible story. I told the story of the unfaithful servant. We acted it out as a drama and it was amazing. I loved being able to share.

One of the local restaurants provided our meals. The grilled goat was amazing. It was chopped up and mixed with seasonings. They had the best rice. And coke.

We played games with the kids. Soccer was the favorite. There is so much more freedom in Haiti. We just hung out with the kids and we felt safe.

Haiti is a very poor country. Most people have only two meals a day and children have no shoes. Many of the children were making things like bracelets and selling them to make money. I felt bad because there was so much competition.

Church in Haiti is very different. First of all, it was two hours long. The preaching and singing were loud and energetic. The kids started out separate but we all ended up together.

What would I tell people that are interested in going on a mission trip?

  • Go somewhere that people don’t have as much stuff
  • Go on a mission trip not just a vacation
  • Go somewhere that’s not a travel destination
  • Go to share the love of Jesus

What would I tell youth who want to go on a mission trip?

Just go!

I learned a lot on this trip. I learned not to complain about what I don’t have. I learned how to share the gospel with the kids. Probably the most important thing I learned was to be grateful for what I have. I can’t wait to go back.



By: Kristin Overman

My grandfather passed away this past spring. As I stood by his coffin all I could think of was that he was not there. I was just looking at a vessel. That’s all we are, vessels. I thought of 2 Corinthians 4: 7-10 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves …always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body”. I like to know exactly what words mean. So I looked up the word vessel. People of the time had different types of vessels for different uses. This vessel was probably a clay pot of the cheapest kind. It was used for collecting trash, or excrement and used to transport and dispose of waste. Wow, Paul basically compares us to a trash can or a toilet! But, this cheap vessel with the most menial use holds a great treasure, the surpassing greatness of the power of God. In our weak and insignificant state God can use us. He uses us to hold the treasure of His power, and manifest the life of Jesus. That is incredible!

I am amazed sometimes that God would even consider using us to complete His work. He could do it by Himself. We mess up and sin so much. But yet He gives us the privilege of working with Him to accomplish His plans. There is such a privilege to serving on a mission trip. Yes, you can witness and serve others right where you are. But there is something about being out of your environment, routine, and comfort zone that brings you closer to God. My youth pastor always had this quote up,

“Be transformed by the uncomfortable or conformed by the comfortable”.

There is a special exercise of faith, a special reliance on Him, and an awesome awareness of His work in you and around you. You are aware that you are that weak vessel carrying the treasure of Christ.

That is why I decided to go on the Arkansas trip. I want to live my life as a vessel. I want to be of use to Him and carry the treasure of who He is to others. I especially want my children to know that we are vessels. We can be of no use, little use, or a lot of use to our Savior. I am thankful for the opportunity our church gave me to allow a family of three young boys on a mission trip. I mean, how helpful can a family with a four, three, and two year old be? I really wasn’t sure about us going.

Then in the car the other day my four year old tells his grandma, “We‘re going on a trip to Arkansas. It‘s a mission trip. We‘re going to swim but not a lot because we‘re going to help do VBS, so the kids can do VBS like I did. I‘m going to help daddy do snack and games.” He stopped for a second to think and then asked, “Am I going to be the teacher?” Well no he’s not going to be in charge and teach from the front of the room. But my four year old does understand that God is Holy, that he is not, and he is separated from God. He knows Jesus died on the cross to pay for his sins so that he can know God. He knows that God’s desire for his life is that he obey Him. So, yes, in his range of ability he can be a teacher. He can be a vessel and useful to His Master. God taught me that maybe a family of three boys all under five can be vessels for Him.

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!