It’s been over a year since we joined in our very first Assemblies of God Missionary Prayer Fellowship, and over a year and a half since we first began our journey in an informal partnership with AG Missionaries on the field. Our hearts have been encouraged by the comradery we have felt among other missionaries, and we have seen first-hand how our ministry has benefited from the reservoir of wisdom, experience, training opportunities, and teaching resources that have opened up to us through this partnership. Our desire since the beginning of planting the church in Map Ammarit has been that the church would be able to thrive and we have found a covering that will help us, and thereby, the church to do so.
For the last two months, we have been focused on completing some of the steps necessary to empower ministry success through our becoming career missionaries with AGWM. Matt just went through the process of applying for ministerial credentials with Assemblies of God and we have received word that he has received initial approved at the district level, but are still awaiting the final, national-level approval. Next week, Matt is completing a degree that he has been working on for five years.
Amy is preparing to give birth to our new baby boy in two months. Amy and Baby B are both doing well, though these final couple of months of pregnancy can be a bit tiring physically.
In the months ahead, we will be working on completing the application process to become AG missionaries and will be returning to the States in the Fall to keep moving forward in that process and of course, visit our family, friends, and partners. This visit will be a longer home visit — at least nine months, if not a year — so we are definitely looking forward to seeing as many of you face-to-face as we can!
We are encouraged by how God is continuing to work in the lives of new believers and drawing new people to worship with us weekly.
For the church to thrive as we seek to reach the lost, raise up disciples, plant the church, and develop leaders, it is vital to have other laborers join us in this harvest field. This is especially true since we are gearing up for the birth of our new baby and then an extended home visit! The major focus in our time remaining before we go is to prepare the church to carry on successful ministry when we are in America for furlough.
We have been seeking to raise up Thais to do the work of ministry. Unfortunately, finding leaders from within who are ready to take on the task of discipling and pastoring the church has been challenging. The individuals who are most receptive to being developed as leaders are newer believers. We are currently sending two church members through a leadership development course and working closely with them to develop their leadership abilities. But it will be quite some time before they are ready to take on key roles in the church.
Committing to take the step of faith to help support a Thai minister’s monthly salary is not one that we take lightly. We ask that you please pray for us as we take this step of faith. We need the Lord to provide for this need of an additional $700 per month.
Additionally, we are anticipating additional costs with the labor and delivery of our Baby B, and with our upcoming furlough to America this fall. Overall, with all of these additional costs, we need to expand our support base. This will set us and the church up for success as we journey together toward what God has for us.
If you would like to join with us in a one-time gift or a monthly gift, be it with a large contribution of $100 or even a small contribution of $10 or $30 per month, we would be grateful.
We have been blessed by the Lord to find a qualified and skilled Thai pastor who is beginning to partner with us in Chumphon. His name is Max. We hope to have him lead the church and carry on the ministry when we step away for a couple of weeks for the birth and then when we come to America this coming Fall. This also frees us to pursue other ministry opportunities.
Since bringing Max on part-time to help, the ministry has started to be even more fruitful. We are able to strategize with him while also seeking to organize areas which have been lacking order. He is good at leading worship, developing the worship team, organizing, preaching, and teaching
We will be bringing Max on full-time to help further the ministry. We believe in the importance of the local church being able to support its own ministers and ministry. However, our church is still not yet able financially support its pastor fully.
As such, we are committing to partner with the church for 2-3 years while the church gains the ability to be self-supporting. During this time, the church will pay a partial salary for the pastor, and we will cover the remainder. We are committing to cover $700 per month of the pastor’s salary for 2-3 years to empower ministry while the church grows and gains financial strength.
We thank everyone for your partnership in every way! Over the past couple of months your generosity has helped us to:
Pay for Jedi and Alizah’s schooling
Replace the roof of the house of one of the widows in the church whose house was being flooded every time it rained.
Purchase a computer, speaker, and guitar for church ministry.
Go to the AG prayer fellowship in Bangkok.
Support our previous church assistant, Jade, in pursuing his Master’s of Divinity.
As well as helping with the day-to-day expenses of our life and ministry on the field.
Truly, your support empowers us to do what we do! Our hearts resonate with the words of the Apostle Paul, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:3-8 NKJV)
Thank you for joining with us in seeing the gospel go forth, people discipled, and leaders raised up so that the church here can thrive.
Blessings and so much love,
Matt, Amy, Jedi, Alizah & Baby Baldwin