April Showers Bring May Flowers

April Showers Bring May Flowers. That is what we say in America anyway, but here in Thailand it is our HOT season. We’ve heard it said that in Thailand there are only three seasons: Hot, Hotter and Hottest. This would be HOTTEST. We are grateful though, that our week started with a bit of cool, refreshing rain. This April we celebrate 4 years of being in Thailand. This month also marks the beginning of a new season in our life and hopefully it will be a month of refreshing rain so that we can experience the flowers to follow.

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God makes a way to return home

We have recently had a new church member join us to worship. Ba Ae has been a believer for about six months now and is originally from Map Ammarit but she had moved away to Kho Samui and had been working at a hotel until the COVID situation devastated the island’s economy. After her husband left her and a season of not having work, she decided that she needed to move back to Map Ammarit. We really love how the Lord connected her to us as we see how only He could have done it. 

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Our New Home…

As we mentioned in our Christmas newsletter, in January we were unexpectedly preparing to move house and moving across town. We believe that the story of how we came upon our new home is truly a wonderful God story and so we wanted to share it with you! 

In the fall, we started talking with a missionary family with nine children (yes, you read that right, 9 children) who were trying to come into Thailand. Because of the current state of lockdowns in Thailand due to COVID they felt unsure of how they would get here, but knew that God was still leading them to continue taking steps to prepare such as selling their house, their car and most of their belongings to downsize for the big move. They had joined a group for Protestant missionaries we are a part of and heard that while many people cannot get into the country that teachers are able to get in. And of course, our school was looking for teachers at that point. After a series of conversations, the school extended an offer that would let Bill, the husband, teach part time and still allow him time to learn Thai language and culture.

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Happy Thanksgiving, Friend!

Each year in November, I like to take time aside to remember just what I’m grateful for. Even when things are challenging, it’s good to remember and count the many blessings which God has given us. But to be quite honest, sometimes, finding the things to be thankful for takes a little extra effort. 2020 has been for many a challenging year. Chances are, it has been for you too. Even right now, America is facing a challenging time between COVID, the restrictions, and the current political situation. We are praying for America for peace during this challenging political season.

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I have decided…

“Chan datsinjai laew dit dam Phra Yesu. Chan datsinjai laew dit dam Phra Yesu. Chan datsinjai laew dit dam Phra Yesu. Mai han glab laew. Mai han glab leaw.” 
Partaking in communion at our first baptism service this month.

The familiar chorus of “I have decided to follow Jesus,” sung with Thai words stirs a deep place in my heart. It is a song I have seldom heard sung outside of a baptism service in Thailand, which deepens its meaning to me. At our little, but growing, church plant we have had the joy of singing this chorus two Sundays in the past month as a total of 8 believers, including Uncle Biak (who we have shared about previously), have chosen to follow Jesus through the waters of baptism.

Five of the eight new believers we have had the joy of baptizing this past month. 
Though the church is small, we are seeing many encouraging signs of growth. In the beginning, we had just two families seeking the Lord together, but this past Sunday we had roughly 30 people in attendance. Many of those who joined with us are new believers. Some have been Christians for a bit longer but have never had anyone disciple them and truly are hungry for the Word of God. They want to know how to read and understand the Bible. Many of these believers are eager to share the gospel with friends and family. We are seeking to steward this growth well. We’ve been blessed to have Ajan Barnabas, a Thai believer, join us and he frequently goes with Matt to do evangelism and discipleship. We are seeking the Lord how to do small groups to disciple these new believers effectively and praying for the Spirit to move, transforming their lives and opening the door to share the gospel with their family and friends. We believe we are in a field ripe for harvest.   
Thank you for continuing to stand with us in prayer and financial partnership so we can see the Kingdom advance here in Chumphon province.

We love you,
Matt and Amy Baldwin

Tr. Amy, Is the Bible Real?

“Teacher Amy, is the Bible real?” AimAem’s question came through my LINE messaging app one evening a few hours after school had let out for the day. This wasn’t the first time she had asked this question and since I had already sent her some videos explaining the Bible in detail and why we can trust it, I decided on a different approach and encouraged her to ask God to show her if the Bible was real. “How?” Came the reply. “Pray and ask God. Remember how we were talking about at the Bible Adventure (Children’s Church) on Sunday? Ask Him to show you and speak to you in your heart if the Bible is real. I will pray for you too, that God will show you. But is there one thing specifically you are not sure about that I can help with?” 

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God on the Move at the School

We hope you are doing well. Our hearts have been deeply touched and grieved as we think of the events happening in America. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Amy has just finished the 7th week of what will be a full quarter of online schooling. There have been different challenges that accompany online learning than Amy typically sees in the classroom, but there have also been different blessings and opportunities for impact with the students. One of the dynamics of the online classroom that Amy has really enjoyed has been that her already typically small class is even smaller. This online term, she is the “homeroom” teacher for ten 1st through 3rd graders, who keep her constantly hopping with requests for help. With the even more intimate class size she has not only had the opportunity to get to know her “Conquerors” even better than she would in the classroom, but also has had the opportunity to minister to them in deeper ways. 

Jane, a 1st grader who lives with her Buddhist grandparents, has recently been wanting to pray every time there is an opportunity. In an oral report about “What Makes Me Happy”, Jane shared that she likes to pray because “I know God loves us.” 

Amy has also recently had a student who is asking a lot of great questions about God. Check out our video for the full story.  
A few of Amy’s students at a scout camp before the COVID crisis. Jane (second in line) and Maekaning are the two girls in the front. 
New Life Church – Children’s Ministry
Today was the first day of New Life International Church’s Children’s Ministry. Being that the school is connected closely to the church, we felt it appropriate to begin a children’s outreach ministry. Had it not been for the whole COVID-19 crisis, we would have begun weeks ago, but we are so happy that as restrictions have been lightening we are now able to meet in groups up to 250 people and so today we began what will be many weeks of a “Bible Adventure” with students from the school and we hope children from the community. 

With today being the first day, we were happy with our small group of about ten children who joined us. We we will be handing out fliers in the community in the days to come and hope more children will join us. 

Thank you for standing with us through your faithful prayers and support. We would love to hear from you with how you are doing and how we can be specifically praying for you. 

We love you, 

Matt and Amy Baldwin

April Baldwin Update

Hello Friends! We hope you are doing well. We are continuing to pray for you regularly as we are going through this global crisis. Please send us an email letting us know how you are doing and how we can pray for you! 

Join us around our kitchen table as we share how we are feeling the Lord leading us and what’s going on with the school, the church, our community and our family during this time.

Our April Ministry Update
Jed & Alizah
Jed and Alizah are growing so much. Jed loves everything superhero and fighter guys. Jed’s favorite bedtime story right now is called The New Earth: You’re Gonna Love It. Alizah loves everything frilly and “tutu” and princess. Her favorite bedtime story right now is Snowmen at Night or The Best Mouse Cookie.

Hello from Map Ammarit!

We hope you are doing well and we pray that your hearts are filled with peace even in the midst of this crazy season we are in globally. We thought in this time of social distancing it might be nice to take a small step closer than we normally do and do a video update for you.

Six of these wonderful 6th Graders have been in Amy’s class this term. 6th Grade graduation is a big deal in Thailand, as it’s the end of Elementary School and the beginning of Junior High. Some of these students will be continuing on with the school in the new term and others will move on to other schools. 
 Prayers and Praises
Praises: Praise God with us that all of us are doing well and are healthy. February was a challenging month for our family in terms of health, but we came through it victorious and are remaining healthy in the midst of this COVID-19 scare. Praise God with us that we are seeing hearts still open to the gospel in spite of the fear many are experiencing. 

Prayers: Pray with us for continued wisdom and divine strategies for the school both administratively as Amy works to set up policies and put employee handbooks in place. Pray for insight in terms of how the school is to respond to this crisis, particularly if the school is to remain shut down after this long break is scheduled to end. At present, the new term is set to open April 20. 

Pray for wisdom for us in all the matters concerning the church, beginning a church focused on children’s ministry, and disciple-making in our region.

Pray for grace for us to find our rhythm as we continue to put down roots in our new town. 
Thank you for standing with us through your faithful prayers and support. We truly couldn’t be here doing what God’s called us to without you. Thank you for helping us reach our community with the love of Jesus!

We love you, 

Matt and Amy Baldwin