Why Church Planting and Education?

“Are you sure you’re going to get a lot of people coming to your church?” 

This was the question posed to Matt when he was sharing with someone we met while we were out one day and sharing about what we will be doing in Thailand. And it’s a good question when you take into consideration that Thailand is only 0.6% Christian. Yes, you read that right. Thailand is not even 1% Christian. Many folks have an idea of what church planting looks like that comes from the way things are done here in the US. When someone is wanting to plant a church in the US, they might gather a team of other believers who will help lead the church, work to develop their mission and values, secure a building, set a target launch date, and send out invitations to the entire community announcing the new church. And while nothing is wrong with that model and in fact it works well for many churches here in the US, it doesn’t work the same way in countries where there isn’t a Christian background or heritage. 

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Confidence in the Will of God

We have been in Thailand almost 2 months! I’d be lying if I said that adjusting to a new culture is easy, but we know the Lord has led us here and He continues to confirm that are in the will of God. Reminding ourselves of this gives us great confidence and encouragement when challenging times or questions of why are we here come. It also helps us to stay focused on what He has called us to. I want to share with you four practical ways in which we have discovered the will of God for our own lives and principles of how the Holy Spirit loves to direct and lead people into the will of God.


The number one way the Holy Spirit leads me into the will of God is through His word. As we were preparing to come to Thailand, the Lord spoke to me through a few passages of scripture (Matthew 24:14, Psalm 2:8, and Ephesians 5:15-19) that tell of His promise of receiving an inheritance from the nations and our calling to partner with Him in the power of the Holy Spirit to present that inheritance to Him. These verses confirmed for me that stepping into missions was the will of God for us. At various times while reading or studying Holy Spirit will emphasize a scripture, making it stand out or come alive to me and I know God is speaking. Holy Spirit loves to open the scripture to us as His perfect will is revealed in the scriptures. If we are doing something contrary to what the word of God teaches we should repent right away, ask for forgiveness, press delete, and move forward in confidence in His mercy. Continue reading

Cheyenne Vineyard & Partnering with Jesus

We recently had the great privilege and joy of sharing our hearts with the Cheyenne Vineyard. We’re so thankful to Amy’s parents and Pastors Jay and Joy Meyer for inviting us to share with their church. You can listen to the message on the Cheyenne Vineyard’s Podcast. Our portion of the message begins at about 10 minutes in. Enjoy! 

By the way, it’s a very similar message to what we shared a few weeks prior at Fusion Ministries International in Greeley – many thanks to Pastor Doug Burroughs for that honor!


Big News from the Baldwins

God has been fashioning something beautiful in our lives that we would love to share with you. We have a passion for the Great Commission and seeing the LGTB community encounter God’s power and love, leading to transformation of lives. These passions joined together for Amy in 2010, when she spent six months working among ladyboy (transgendered male to female individuals) and gay prostitutes in Pattaya, Thailand. The last month of her time in Thailand was spent primarily in Bangkok, volunteering with Dton Naam Ministries. Dton Naam is the only ministry of its kind in Thailand as they specifically reach out to marginalized transgender and boy prostitutes. Dton Naam Ministries offers these young men the opportunity to leave prostitution and helps them to rebuild their lives by providing discipleship, counseling, education and healthcare assistance, and vocational skills training. 


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In His Image

Quick Update: I am in need of 63% of my support to come in over the next two weeks. If this does not happen, I will not meet my goal of joining my team in Thailand by February 17. If you’ve been considering giving, but haven’t yet, please do so today and let me know that you have.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. ~ Genesis 1:26-27

In Thailand, there is not just male and female. There is a culturally recognized third gender: the transgendered or “ladyboys.” These men feel they were born with the heart of a woman, either because they were told from childhood that they were or because they feel they are too “feminine.” A young boy who is perceived as having a “feminine spirit” is often pressured or encouraged to dress like a girl, take hormones, and eventually many of these ones begin having operations to appear more feminine with the culmination being a sex change operation. Whether through apparent choice or victimization, the end result is the same: these young men’s true identities are lost.

Bi, one of Pattaya’s estimated 2,000 ladyboys, still needs to encounter God’s love.

The ladyboys are one of the the most broken people in Thailand. Their parents often put unrealistic expectations on them to bring in all the financial support they need in their old age. It’s difficult for these ones to get a well-paying, legitimate job, which puts them at risk for being prostituted. Those whose families economic structures don’t force them into the trade are often at risk of being trafficked, as Thai ladyboys are known internationally for their beauty. In red light districts in at least nineteen countries spanning four continents there is at least one bar or brothel set aside specifically for Thai ladyboys (Benji Nolot, Nefarious Documentary project).

God, the Architect of the Universe, is deeply grieved over this. “God set in order the universe by saying first of all that God created man and woman in His image. Male and female He created them. From the foundation of the world, marriage between a man and a woman was a foundational law of creation that cannot be tampered with” (Lou Engle, Onething 2009). Transgender tampers with His intention for men and women to each express a distinct part of His image. Prostitution interferes with God’s ideal for marriage.

God has led me to contend for the deliverance and redemption of the ladyboys, believing that those who have been forgiven much will surely love much (Luke 7:47). Out of this community will arise extravagant lovers of God who will worship Him with creative expression and devotion. As God works in their hearts He will reestablish His image in their lives, restoring them to their true identity and role as men. He will enable them to express the distinct part of His image He intended for them to carry as they begin walking in their callings. Much is at stake: the image of God, the redemption of souls, the establishment of justice in Pattaya and Thailand.

During my first year in Pattaya, Thailand I will be partnering with Bridges to the Nations to disciple those who have been impacted by God’s love, raising a standard of righteousness and contending for their complete restoration. Here’s what that looks like:

  • On Dongtan Beach, we will work with gays and ladyboys providing a weekly fellowship time where we will help provide a meal, worship, teaching, and ministry time. I, along with my teammate Lai, will follow up with them to disciple them while meeting practical needs like taking them to their doctors’ appointments. We will help facilitate and fund transitions to rehab, as appropriate Many are HIV positive and need referrals to programs.. Many are looking for alternative jobs, which we will network and help with.
  • I will be teaching English classes at our office in a bar area populated with many girls and ladyboys. I will invite them into our office for classes as a means of building relationships trust, deeper discipleship and ministry, and referral to other helping programs.
  • I will help lead True Friends Fellowship, which is a safe place for ladyboys and others who come out of the bars to fellowship and be welcomed and loved where they are at in their journey of learning about the Lord’s love for them.

I cannot do this without an army behind me. Will you join in this army, fighting with finances and prayer for the complete restoration of these ones? I need $1128 more monthly in order to reach my goal of $1800 monthly. If you’re one who will fall in behind me with finances, whether it be at $100, $75, $50, $25 or even $5 a month, please let me know today. You can give online at http://www.bridgestothenations.com (I have my own donation button). You can also send checks payable to Bridges to the Nations with a note indicating it’s for me to PO Box 40187, Pasadena, CA 91114-7187.

Please also continue lifting a battle cry in prayer for me, for Bridges, for Pattaya, and for the restoration of the image of God on the earth.
Bless you!
Amy Strayer