Hello to our dear friends!
Welcome to our blog! We will use this site to keep you updated on our crazy life. Keep reading to find out how it all began!
After much prayer, the Baldwin family is planning a move to the mission field. We are in the early planning stages of joining an organization called Create International which is under the umbrella of the mission board Youth With A Mission (YWAM).
“Where on earth,” you ask with surprise, “did this come from??”
Glad you asked!
Over the past couple of years Steve has had several opportunities to travel and use video to document missionaries and places in need. Last December while in Malawi on a World Vision trip, he was given a vision for a ministry - a new way to use what he does (specifically: video) to support missions around the world. Once home he moved in obedience to this call and began meeting with people in the “know” about beginning something. About three months into it, Doug Birdsall at the seminary gave him some really good advice: why reinvent the wheel - find someone who is doing this and go do it with them.
Lights flash! Bells ring! What a brilliant idea!
Very shortly after that, in a seemingly coincidental moment, the co-coordinator of our church missions board said, “Hey. My closest friends have been running a media ministry for about twenty years - you should look them up. She immediately [and by “immediately” I mean three months later] gave him the contact info for this group and we initiated a conversation.
And guess what?? They wrote back!!
“Obviously,” you say. “What’s the big deal?”
Well, I’ll tell you what the big deal is. Since Steve’s first World Vision trip several years ago we have been trying every door to see how we could be part of an organization doing
something big for God. And NONE of them opened. I am talking about PERFECT jobs that fit Steve like a glove: World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, Gordon College, George Fox University (in Portland, OR) and even teaching in Dubai (yes – in the United Arab Emirates). Nothing.
So when I tell you that we were excited to almost IMMEDIATELY hear back from Create International - it is an understatement. I think, really, we knew from the beginning that the Lord was in this for us. And so we began to pray specifically about Create. And the Lord began to move.
First, he had us wait and just pray. And then, on November 1st, God released us to begin.
About 5 minutes later (OK - 3 days) we heard from our landlord that they are selling our house. And about 3 hours after that (no hyperbole here) we were offered a place to live - a place that will so drastically cut down on our living expenses that suddenly paying off our bit of debt and disengaging from life here seems imminently possible. AND it will be the largest and nicest place we have ever lived in. AND it is in Beverly - so our kids can go to the schools in town here.
If God didn’t have our attention before, he certainly does now. As I said to Steve, I feel like we stepped onto a bullet train and we can’t stop it even if we want to! (Which we don’t - but it is a little scary and I do find myself at times strangely inclined to give it all up and pursue materialism with abandon!)
And so I am writing to you today to sort of formally declare our intention of serving God as a family with Create International.
Oh - and the last detail: it is in Perth, Australia.
You can also look up Create on the web (links on the right). It is a really exciting ministry that uses cutting edge technology for evangelism and mobilization. Video, webcasts, documentaries, music videos. It’s what we do already - but internationally and better!
So the first step for us is to decide when and where to do the preliminary YWAM training that is required for every YWAMmer for every ministry in their arsenal. The choices are as diverse as Pennsylvania and Cape Town, South Africa. This training (called Crossroads Discipleship Training) is available at different times in all the different locations. So the prayer is “when and where, Lord.” Please pray it with us.
After that training is done (it is 5-6 months), we intend to join Create International as staff in their Perth base. I say “we intend” because that is just what it is. We have made ourselves available to God and we know he may well have a different picture in mind for us. As Steve often reminds me, I think God gets a good chuckle out of our “plans.” There is support to be raised and details to work out, so we just don’t have a final timetable in mind yet. I guess, if pressed, we would say our ultimate goal is to get to Perth in January, 2009. Sooner, if possible. YWAM’s motto is “til all have heard” and we are really excited to get going with the work ahead of us.
So that is all the news from the Baldwin’s for the moment. Thanks for taking the time to read this - especially those who already have most of the story. We love you guys - you’re our “peeps” and that won’t change when we’re Down Under.