Category Archives: Prayer Letters

June 2018 Prayer Letter

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends:

Every month as I sit to write this letter, I am reminded of God’s goodness to me and the great need to do so much more. There is a spiritual battle taking place daily, but we are on the winning side. It is humbling to think of how God is working and at the same time to realize our weaknesses for the task at hand. I can do nothing but to utterly rely on Him for everything as we go forward.

A Christian Wedding in the Capital: I had the honor to go to Beijing and officiate the wedding of one of the young men that I had the privilege to help train in the Lord. It was a wonderful ceremony and witness to their lost family and friends. Please pray for them as they desire to serve the Lord in whatever capacity is necessary. The church they were attending has slowly been taken over by the government and many unacceptable changes are taking place. (Also, the wedding wasn’t allowed to be hosted at the church because I was the officiator, so it was moved to a nearby restaurant.)

10,000 John and Romans Delivered: We were able to successfully purchase and print 10,000 Chinese John and Romans in-country. We have already received this shipment and started distributing them locally and to other churches in other cities.

Another Pastor Wants Training: The Lord has opened the door for us to help train another Chinese man who wants to turn his “college fellowship” into a church. He was referred to us by one of our founding members (the one who was just married) and he has come to our city twice already to meet with me and for training. Also, we have sent a team to help him for a couple days in his city. We are excited about this new relationship and helping him to establish a local church in his city, Lord willing. Please pray for this young man whose English name is also “Mark”.

Police Visited Our Location: We had a small problem with the police this past month. They visited both of our rented locations during what seemed to be a routine check in our building. We weren’t having service at the time, nor was I present at the time, but two of the missionary wives and their teachers were there studying Chinese and one of the Chinese pastors. After asking a few questions about who was renting the location, etc., they went on their way but wanted follow up done about our business. (Thankfully, we didn’t have anything visible that would distinguish our space as a “church building” from a normal conference room or classroom.) Thus, over a few days we had to provide the business information we use to rent this office space. They seemed to be satisfied with what was presented. For the week following, we didn’t use the space during the day to study (but met at a coffee shop) and we also met in houses for our Wednesday and Sunday services because they were still checking other businesses in our building. So even though we decided to change things up for a week, the Word of God never ceased to be preached. The following week, we returned to using our original location without any more problems, so far. 

Furlough Reminder: Lord willing, we will be taking our first year-long furlough at the end of July—landing in the States on July 30th. We are looking to raise much needed new support and to inform our supporters about the work that has been accomplished. If you are interested in partnering with us, please contact me.

Thank you! We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying and being a part of our “China Ministry” team. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward so that we can know Jesus and make Him known!

In His Joyful Service,
Mark

May 2018 Prayer Letter

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends:

Thank you for praying for our family and ministry here in China. God is still on the move. All the glory to Him! We are humbled to report the following:

Salvations: Since our last prayer letter, we have seen 7 more people make professions of faith at the church. One was a Korean college student living in our city. When she visited our church, it was the first time she had ever attended a church. After her third time coming, she got saved. Another was a young man who we have been studying the Bible with for a long time. He was involved in a weekly Bible study with the assistant pastor of the church. Finally, he understood the gospel and put his faith in Jesus. Amen!

Baptisms: We had two baptismal services since our last prayer letter as well. There was a total of 8 people baptized between the two services. One of those who was baptized was our second oldest daughter! Praise the Lord! 

Membership: The church has also added 11 new members to its membership. We are excited about this as the church has been growing. (At the same time, we have been saying, “Goodbye” to many members who are moving away for work or other reasons.)

10,000 John and Romans: We put a need out on Facebook for wanting to print 10,000 Chinese John and Romans in-country. The need was met almost instantly as God’s people gave. A church contacted us and wanted to help purchase all 10,000. The Chinese scriptures are in the process of being printed. Our goals are to: (1) use these copies of John and Romans to freely given them out to anyone who wants one; (2) have a relationship with a printer that will print the Scriptures for us even as the restrictions on Bibles tighten; (3) use these copies in evangelism.

Furlough: Plane tickets are purchased for our upcoming furlough! Lord willing, we will be taking our first year-long furlough at the end of July—landing in the States on July 30th. We are looking to raise new support and inform our supporters about the work that has been accomplished. If you are interested in having us in or partnering with our ministry, please contact me.

Internship: The Francis family from our home church, who was interning here for six-months, has finished their on-the-field internship and has returned to the States to start deputation. They did a fantastic job while they were here and we are excited about them coming back to China as church-planting missionaries. They are a family worthy supporting in prayer and financially.

Thank you! We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying and being a part of our team, Project China. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward so that we can know Jesus and make Him known! 

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

April 2018 Prayer Letter

God is on the move. The gospel is going forward, people are believing, lives are being changed, and many great things are happening, even in the midst of speculation about a new wave of persecution coming in China.

Once again, thank you for praying for boldness! The Lord continues to grant your requests and gives us much boldness to preach Jesus. Here are a few more ways that your prayers are continuing to be answered:

  • In the past four weeks, we have seen 11 people make professions of faith (including the two mentioned last month). A lady brought her ex-husband and he was saved. A father came with his family and he trusted in Christ. A divorced woman with a young daughter came and placed her faith in Jesus. Hallelujah!
  • We have seen at least one person saved every Sunday for the past four weeks after the morning service. Everyone at the church is excited and anticipating who will be saved next. Church members are bringing their family members to hear the gospel.
  • One of the 11 was our second oldest daughter who after the service one Sunday morning tapped my side and sincerely said, “I am ready to believe in Jesus now.” Praising God for saving her!
  • Our Easter activities and Sunday Easter service went extremely well. We had 100 people (our highest for a service) in attendance on Sunday morning, mainly adults, and 4 people made professions that day.

Thank you! We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying and being a part of our team, Project China. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward so that we can know Jesus and make Him known!

March 2018 Prayer Letter

One of the great joys of being on the mission field is to see God radically change people’s lives and see them changed forever. Glory to the God of our salvation!

Thank you for praying for boldness! The Lord granted your requests and gave us much boldness over the Chinese New Year holiday. Here are a few ways that the prayer was answered:

  • Our American teammates were able to live with some Chinese families in the villages and did the best they could to share the gospel with others.
  • One day we purposefully went out to a random village to share the gospel. Our two teams were both invited into houses and boldly preached the gospel.
  • The assistant pastor, myself and others went visiting people’s homes to “pay a New Year call” and used this cultural visiting time to share the gospel inside of Chinese people’s homes. Jesus was made known.
  • After one of our recent services, I asked those who wanted us to pray for their salvation to raise their hands. Two ladies did and after the service one lady placed her faith in Jesus. Praise God!
  • The father of one of the young men training has been attending our church on and off for over a month. Before he was to return to his hometown upon the end of the holidays, I asked him to come to the church so I could explain the gospel face to face. During that meeting, He asked the Lord to save him.

Thank you! We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying and being a part of our team, Project China. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward so that we can know Jesus and make Him known!

February 2018 Prayer Letter

Happy Chinese New Year! We are thankful the Lord gave us another year to serve Him in China. We are happy to be spending this Chinese New year with Chinese friends who are like family to us now.

Family Update: Praise the Lord, again, for the healthy birth of our twins and my wife’s safety in the delivery. The babies are healthy and growing and my wife is slowly recovering and adjusting to being a family of seven! Praise the Lord. Our other girls are also doing well and have been great in being flexible and adjusting to our new way of life. Also, we are so thankful for the team we have here who has been a huge help and blessing to us over the past month.

Chinese New Year Outreach Update: Chinese New Year is in February this year. Every year before the holiday and before everyone returns to their hometowns we try to host a special service at the church where we make Chinese dumplings. This is a traditional thing to do at this time of year. It has been a fun activity every year, but this year was our biggest turn out with over 70 people attending our activities on Sunday. There were several first-time visitors and many unbelievers who heard a gospel message about “What makes Jesus different?”. Pray for their salvation.

Pray For Boldness: Many, if not all, of our church members, will be spending time with their families over the coming holidays. Please pray that they will have the boldness to preach the gospel to their unbelieving family members and friends. Also, our American teammates will be spending the holidays with different Chinese families (some are in the villages), so pray that they will be a bold witness as well.

Thank you! We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying and being a part of our team, Project China. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward so that we can know Jesus and make Him known!

January 2018 Prayer Letter

Happy New Year! We are excited about what this year is going to bring as we joyfully serve our Lord until He comes or until we go to be with Him!

“Twins” Update: Praise the Lord for the healthy birth of our twins. Everyone is home and we are adjusting to being a family of seven! Our little girl was first-born: weight: 2460 g (5.42 pounds); height: 48 cm (18.9 inches); birthday: 01/08/2018 11:31 PM. Our little boy was second-born: weight: 2960 g (6.53 pounds); height: 50 cm (19.69 inches); birthday: 01/08/2018 11:33 PM. Pray for us as we raise these two new additions and all our children for the glory of God!

Christmas Outreaches” Update: We had a sweet time at out members’ Christmas service. Our Sunday morning Christmas service with a special meal and kids’ program was a great success with over 80 people in attendance. Also, the young people’s Christmas party was lots of fun—we are excited to reach out to college and high-school students. Pray for those who heard the gospel through these different outreaches.

The Next Generation” Update: At the beginning of January, our team and church (while we were in the hospital with the twins) received another family from our home church who are here to learn ministry and do language school for about two years. This means we now have three American families here from our home church. Please pray for each of these families to adjust to the culture, quickly learn the language, mature in their training and grow their ministries.

Prayer Request: Continue praying for the church and ministry as we strive to make more disciples and train men for the ministry, all for the glory of God!

Thank you! We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying and being a part of our team, Project China. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward so that we can know Jesus and make Him known!

December 2017 Prayer Letter

Merry Christmas! We are in a wonderful season of ministry here in China. The church is growing, we have two Chinese families training for full-time ministry, there are American interns and other missionaries who are training and preparing for language school and our family unit is growing with twins on the way! Praise God!

Third Year Anniversary: Last month, our church celebrated its third year anniversary. Also, one the same Sunday we had our thanksgiving service and meal. We are thankful for all the Lord has done and how He has blessed the ministry and church.

Christmas Outreaches: Christmas is a great time of the year to outreach into the community. This past weekend the church has its yearly ladies Christmas party that went great. Please pray for our other activities this month: members’ Christmas service; Sunday morning Christmas service with a special meal and kids’ program; a young peoples Christmas party. This Christmas, like every day of the year, we want the Chinese people to know that Jesus is the Son of God and came to save them from their sins.

The Next Generation: The family here for their six-month missionary internship are doing a great job. They came with a learning spirit and have been a huge help as they are getting involved as much as they can. At the beginning of this month, we received another family from our home church who are here to learn ministry and do language school for about two years. We have been helping them over that past couple weeks to get set up as they start their new lives as “on the field” missionaries.

Praise and Prayer Request: A man in 30’s trusted in Jesus after one of the Bible studies in the past month! He has been coming for a long time. Praise the Lord! Also, there are 3 dad’s who have been coming for a long time but have not believed in Jesus. They are opening up. Pray for their salvation and the salvation of their families. Their English names are Michael, Richard, and Frank. Another praise is that we had some families come back to the church from our family fall party.

Twins: My wife is 34 weeks now! So our due date is next month! Please keep her and our family in your prayers as we welcome these twins into the world!

Thank you! We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying and being a part of our team, Project China. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward so that we can know Jesus and make Him known!

November 2017 Prayer Letter

It has been a busy few weeks but the Lord gives us strength through it all and blesses our efforts as we desire to give Him the maximum glory with our lives. There is no better place to be than fully surrendered to God to be used for His honor in this world.

Family Fall Party: We had a great turnout for our family fall party with over 120 people in attendance. We reached out to the two schools that our children attend and invited their classmates and families. We were blessed to have many of them come out for the event. We introduced them to the church and also shared a quick story about God creating the world. Please continue to be in prayer with us that we will see many of those families return and that we can continue to influence them with the gospel.

USA Trip: At the beginning of this month I took a quick trip (left China on Friday and arrived back on the following Tuesday) to Fresno, California to preach at Ambassador Baptist Church for their missions month. The church was a blessing and I had a wonderful time getting to know the staff and church members. I was able to preach twice on Sunday morning and present our ministry in the evening service. After the morning service, a 17-year-old young man came up to me and God used me to lead Him to Jesus. Praise the Lord for a soul saved! Pray for this young man as He starts his journey as a disciple of Christ.

Missionary Interns: The day after I arrived back from the USA we had a young family from our home church arrive in China for their six-month missionary internship. We have been busy the past few days helping them get set up (in between teaching seminary classes and the ministry at the church). We are excited about how God is going to use this family for His honor and glory. We are honored to get to work with them and to be a part of their training.

Thank you! We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying and being a part of our team, Project China. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward so that we can know Jesus and make Him known!

October 2017 Prayer Letter

To know Jesus and to make Him known. That is the reason we wake up every day. To joyfully live for the glory of Jesus’ name.

On Sunday morning, many will get on a bus and travel varying distances. Once they arrive at the destination they get off and enter a very tall building. They get on the elevator and take it too well over the 20th floor. From this high up you have an amazing view of the city. But they didn’t come here to see the view, they came here to know Jesus and to make Him known. That is our mission at Grace Baptist Church.

To accomplish this mission we set forth to love God, love others, and make disciples. Fear often cripples the well-intentioned, thus as we started this amazing journey many years ago we had to challenge the status quo through radical obedience to God’s word.

God has blessed us in planting a church and training the next generation to know Jesus and to make Him known

We thank the Lord for the work that has been accomplished, but there is so much we haven’t done yet. This amazing adventure isn’t over, it’s just beginning, will you join us? Pray, Give, Go!

Lord willing, we are taking our first year-long furlough around August of next year. We are looking to raise new support, thus if you are interested in having our family in your church to present our ministry and to consider partnering with us in this way, please contact me via email.

Thank you! We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying and being a part of our team, Project China. We are especially fond of you!

September 2017 Prayer Letter

It has been a busy end of the summer as we transition into the fall and life is getting back to a “normal” pattern being busy about the Lord’s work.

Below or the many updates, praises and prayer requests for this month:

  • Praise the Lord we were granted a work visa. It was a long and complicated process (including a trip to Hong Kong), but this should be renewable each year and be the cover that allows us to minister in China, Lord willing. We are in the final stages of applying for our residence permit. Please pray everything will go smoothly as we finish the paperwork and process for this.
  • Praise the Lord for intervening in our building situation. As we reported last time, one of the apartments we were renting was sold and we had to move out. We planned on renovating the other apartments to fit our needs, but it was going to be very tight in space, then the Lord opened up a new space for us to rent in addition to what we were already renting. Therefore, our renovation plans changed and we made the new space the kids’ room and added a nursery on to the main meeting space. This allowed us to have the amount of space that we needed. All the renovations are practically done, we just have to do some final touches in the nursery.
  • My wife has been a trooper carrying these precious twin babies. This pregnancy has been hard on her body, but she is pushing through it. We are excited to meet our sweet babies this December/January. Also, we found out that one of the babies is a boy! The other one has hidden behind his/her brother so we haven’t been able to find out.
  • Lord willing, we are taking our first year-long furlough around August of next year. We are looking to raise new support, thus if you are interested in having our family in your church to present our ministry and to consider partnering with us in this way, please contact me via email.
  • We were blessed to have missionary friends from Peru visit us, teach our students preparing for ministry and strategize how we can work together to reach more people with the gospel between our two ministries. They were a huge blessing.

Thank you! We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying and being a part of our team, Project China. We are especially fond of you!