International Ministries

The Times, They Are A Changin'

June 7, 2012 Journal
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For the last couple of years we have been in a process of discernment.  What follows are the first steps on a new path that has come out of that process; a process in which we have felt God’s leading.  Through prayer, faith and trust we are excited to embark on this new path.
During our time in Costa Rica, Mylinda has become acutely aware of children and women’s issues throughout Latin America.  Specifically, she has seen how vulnerable they are to abuse, poverty, and human trafficking.  What she has learned from committed friends here has inspired her to focus her ministry on these issues in Costa Rica and beyond, in all of the Americas.
Later this year, she will transition into a new role with International Ministries, working as a Regional Missionary with a special focus on ministries that mentor, empower and connect women in the prevention and eradication of human trafficking.  Her language skills, cultural awareness, and international contacts make this new opportunity a great fit for her gifts and passion.   Most importantly, this position will allow her to be more fully involved with the ways God is already at work among the women in these ministries. She will also be serving, on behalf of International Ministries, as a representative to international organizations collaborating on issues of human trafficking. While her ministry focus will be Latin America, Mylinda will be living in the United States and traveling as needed.  Using current technology, she will create virtual support networks that facilitate and strengthen life-changing ministry. 
So what does the future hold for me, Gary?  I’m glad you asked. I am planning to teach in the Olympia/Tacoma, WA area, a calling I’ve wanted to pursue for a while.  I’m convinced that the skills and perspectives I have learned in Costa Rica make me a better teacher.  I also hope to walk alongside Latinos in the northwest and use my Spanish and cross cultural experience to help them make their way in a foreign land or as my Costa Rican friends would say, “vivir en solidaridad.” With regret and support from my colleagues and supervisors, International Ministries has received my resignation, effective September 1st.  
We are so grateful for our 12 years in Costa Rica; the time that the four of us have spent here has changed us forever, and for good.   It may well be the best decision we’ve ever made.  We will miss our ministry partners, who have become our friends and have taught us to receive and give hospitality.  Though we will miss the daily interactions of teaching at the seminary, dreaming with church leaders, and hosting and working alongside work groups, Mylinda plans on strengthening these relationships in new yet different ways.
While this has not been an easy decision and is the result of a long process of discernment, I am fortunate to have this opportunity and I remain on good terms with Jesus, with Mylinda, with International Ministries, and with our Costa Ricans friends.  It is simply time to pursue another call in a new land. 
Because of this transition, we will be residing in Northern Washington State. Please pray for us as we pack, sell non-essential things, and make arrangements to move to a new country, while trying to say good “goodbyes.” Mylinda will be doing deputation and mission education until January 2013 or until her full support can be raised.
Words cannot describe how grateful we are for your ongoing support.  The churches and individuals who donate towards our ministry allow us to continue to serve.  My resignation will have some impact on the monthly amount required, but the need is still significant.  Although we have had an encouraging response to the Matching 3 Campaign that we mentioned in our previous update, we still have some ground to make up to reach our percentage goal.  Also, I will be working right up until Sept. 1.  Please pray and continue to support us, giving Mylinda a great start in her new ministry.
The good news is that matching gifts continue through July 31, 2012 so there is still time to take advantage of doubling the value of your gift.  If you are interested in this opportunity, follow the Matching 3 link to give online. 
While change can be stressful, it also opens up new possibilities and can help us to grow in our faith.  We are walking a new path, but with the same Jesus as our guide. We are excited to see what God does in and through us down the road.  We thank God for each of you and we ask for your ongoing prayer support. 

Yours on the Way,

Gary (and Mylinda) Baits