An update for our friends; thank you for praying for us!
Transition – Cambodia
As we prepare to leave Cambodia we’ve been focusing our preaching and teaching on the things most needed by the people here, helping them to understand the purpose of the church, the value of reading and studying the Bible and the need for all Christians to lead godly lives.
Touch (pronounced To-It) Am, my student and helper, continues to study full time in seminary and work with us in the countryside. He has really stepped up and is doing a great job. He will be ready to continue the work without us and should be ready for ordination once he graduates in a few more years.
Transition – Family
Wiwin’s immigration visa application is on file with the State Department and “in the queue” to get processed. It can take six months or even a year before they actually work on it. Once they process our request and are satisfied with the paperwork (or have received satisfactory replies to any requests for additional information), we will be called in for an interview (at the embassy in Thailand). Before that we need to get background checks done by the authorities in Singapore (We’re appealing their refusal.) and Cambodia. We will also need to see what vaccines they will require Wiwin to get since her childhood family doctor who did all her vaccinations 30 years ago has died, and his records are no more.
We’ve also been explaining to the children that we will move to America this year. Zachary, who has friends in a local foreigners’ play group, has been struggling with the idea. He announced at lunch the day I was writing this prayer letter that he wants to stay in “his” country. He doesn’t want to go to America. (We’d been talking about it since I was writing about it.) It’s scary and unsettling for a four year old to think of leaving the life he knows and loves for a new one. It’s difficult, and even painful, for Wiwin and me as well. Please pray for our comfort and confidence in Christ.
“Everyone keeps asking, Where are you going to live in America?’”
Transition – Calling
Everyone keeps asking, “Where are you going to live in America?” We have no answer for that yet. We’re hoping and praying that God isn’t finished with us, and we’ll be called to a pastoral ministry in the US somewhere. Our denomination is small, and we have few contacts outside of the BPC, so nothing may open before our return. If we haven’t received a call by the time Wiwin is approved to move to the US, I will need to find secular work while I continue to look for a ministry call somewhere. We’ve been encouraged to go to Idaho and attend Dr. Pine’s church where we would have a caring church family to look after us, and I could do some volunteer teaching. Unfortunately paying work is hard to come by in that area, and we’ll need to earn our living. My family lives in Florida and is relocating north to the Palm Bay – Melbourne area this year. As a result we are also considering that area, so the kids can be near Grandma. Nearby Orlando also has one of the best job markets in the US. Even so secular work may be hard to find for a 50-something engineer who hasn’t worked in the field for 13 years. Do pray for the Lord to open doors for us in the ministry as we earnestly desire to continue to serve our gracious God.
Our major prayer requests remain the same but hopefully you have a current picture on how to pray for these things:
¨ Touch’s studies and preparation to pastor our mission and ministries.
¨ Wiwin’s visa to live in the US with the rest of our family.
¨ That a call for our future ministry in the US would come in due season.
¨ Our family as we prepare to make the difficult transition to the US.
—Rev. Mark and Wiwin Baldwin