Rejoice with us! The Baldwins have heard God's call to be sent to the frontiers of His missions service after worshipping and serving in Massachusetts for 20 years. It was over a year ago that we heard His concrete call to go and serve with Create International at a YWAM base in Perth, Western Australia. From that strategic location we will work to reach many peoples throughout the 10/40 window.
Despite many trails and spiritual battles, including a bout of mysterious health problems this year, our confidence in God's great call to this specific mission has increased significantly over this past year. Overcoming these adversities, we have been further prepared for His work. Our doubts have diminished. Our hope has been secured. Our faith has escalated exponentially. Sometimes we have so much joy in Jesus we don't know what to do with it all.
In preparation to depart we have diminished our debts, given away almost all of our furnishings and earthly goods, and cast off nearly everything that has hindered us, including, I might add, an impressive CD collection and many beloved books. The five of us have also recently downsized into a two bedroom apartment at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. As we have done so, we have felt a great weight lift from us. God knows we are serious now. We are ready to go.
So dear friends, we will soon be leaving you. Right after Christmas on December 27th we will board a plane that will take us to our next destination, Perth Australia. While there we will receive on-field training through a YWAM (Youth with a Mission) School that involves a three month outreach trip to an impoverished, developing country. We will then remain in the field to begin our cutting-edge ministry work with Create to the most unreached peoples of the world.
The nature of missions is changing all the time and Create International is an example of a new, exciting outreach approach that is reaping a great harvest among difficult to reach cultures. Create International partners with other missions agencies and indigenous pastors and ministry groups to create, at their request, relevant evangelistic tools such as videos, books, art works and websites that are then used by these ministries extensively in their targeted outreach.
For example, if Rev. George Chavanikamannil had a burden for the Benjari tribe in India and an outreach plan for them, he could partner with Create International missionaries to create an evangelistic film in the Benjari language and culture of that people. It's basically making a foreign language film about the gospel. People respond to the gospel enthusiastically when it is described and demonstrated to them within their own culturally relevant traditions. This very process has been done throughout many of those Indian peoples already to great response.
Many of Create Internationals films have been been seen by thousands and thousands of peoples in India. Including a recent screening seen by over 12,000 at one gathering. Follow-up and discipleship are then provided by the active ministries already there in the field with whom Create partners.
Partnership in God's Economy
Partnering with our friends who are missionaries has brought us so much joy over the years. It's a real thrill to know that our hard-earned money in both tithes and sacrifices are making a substantial, everlasting difference in the lives of others here and abroad. We only want for you what we ourselves have so generously received, the joy of actively participating in God's service at the frontiers of gospel expansion. If you have never supported a missionary before, we urge you to try it. God will bless it. Experiment on us. Please prayerfully consider being one of our partners in this important and timely mission.
We've been witness to many amazing stories of God's provision, including more than a few widow's mite moments that have humbled us. Truly God's economy is contrary to the way the world works. In this time of economic uncertainty and failing world markets, God is calling many to store up their treasures where it truly makes a difference as an investment that reaps eternal dividends.
As God leads, He also provides. We trust God fully for the financial support required for this work, and we also know that traditionally and historically these required funds most often come from our nearby network of friends that know and care about us and this important work.
We're delighted to report that we are now at 63% of our long-term funding, and we only have 37% to go! We also have some equipment needs (such as a Mac laptop to edit video, access email, etc. and digital cameras for photos and video). Due to the declining dollar, our total travel expenses have also greatly increased. Any assistance you can offer in offsetting our considerable travel expenses (now estimated at $15,000 merely for airfare to Australia) will be most gratefully appreciated.
If you have been prayerfully considering joining our team, now is a good time to let us know. It's not too late to start.
If you have already joined our team, please start giving now so we can see evidence that the mechanism is in place. The process takes some time. Plus your contribution today will help us with our expenses when we arrive in Australia.
We have heard from a few folks who had some trouble receiving receipts from Ripe for Harvest. This is a function of their reduced rate bulk mailing system that saves considerable missions dollars. Should you not receive a timely receipt, please contact Shemayne @ comcast dot net and she will forward a copy of your receipt to you by first class mail.
If you need any help setting up an electronic contribution or other arrangement, let us know.
We recently sang a familiar hymn that went like this:
“Lord, you give the great commission
'heal the sick and preach the word.'
Lest the church neglect her mission
and the gospel go unheard.
Help us witness to your purpose
with renewed integrity
with the Spirit's gift empower us
for the work of ministry.” . . .
And this is what we ask you to help us to do. Partner with us, prayerfully be a part of our team. Join us in this joyful service to our Lord and Savior who seeks to bring in all of His lost sheep everywhere from every tribe, tongue and nation. Please contact us if you would like our prayer card and to get on our list of prayer warriors and financial supporters.
Thanks again for the love and encouragement so many of you have shown to us in this time of our preparation. We are grateful for you all and so glad to have you as our home team cheering us forward. May God continue to bless us, everyone, that we may be a blessing to Him to the ends of the earth.
(Updated from an earlier live presentation speech provided to FCCH on October 19, 2008.)