February 2019 Prayer Letter

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends,

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Our ministry in mainland China is going through a wave of persecution right now. We have been reporting about all the great things God is doing and how souls are being saved, and now Satan is fighting back. We are in spiritual warfare. Much has happened since our last prayer letter. I will try to sum it up below:

  • Men from our church and the landlords we were renting from were contacted by the police about the possibility of illegal activity happening in the building we rented. The attitude and type of accusations seemed to be much more serious than what we have run into in the past. Because of this information, the church moved everything out of those locations overnight and started meeting in homes and restaurants.
  • The following Sunday, there was an attempted “raid” on the church, but no one was there because they had already moved out. But the police showed up at the Chinese pastor’s house and took him in for questioning for around 9 hours about a false accusation. He was released, but later he would be summoned by another police station where they asked about me and warned him: (1) Preaching the gospel to college students is illegal. (2) Having a church not approved by the government is illegal. (3) Foreigners preaching in China is illegal. He was finally released and sent home.
  • During this same time, they were after one of our American teammates. But he and his wife were able to drive to another city and fly out of the country. They were after the husband because of some false accusation made about him and the Chinese pastor. They made it safely to America, and Lord willing, will try to get back in at a later time.
  • Finally, one of the men trained in our ministry and whose name was on the contract of the location we rented for the church was summoned by the police. After getting the problems with the contract settled, here is the series of events that I was told happened: He was handcuffed, head covered, thrown into a vehicle and taken to a dark room and handcuffed to a table. He asked for a lawyer and was hit and then they handcuffed his hands over his head. He was asked to give up information about me and others in the church. He was beaten for not knowing or not giving over information they wanted. He spent the night in jail on a hard bed in a very cold cell with no covers. He could have given over the information about us and our ministry and been released, but instead, he remained loyal and was punished for it. After 48 hours his wife paid the fine and he was released because it was coming up on Chinese New Year. The original jail sentence was 7 days.

Praises, Prayer Requests, Updates and Announcements:

  • New Support Update: We have raised an additional 1% of new support this past month which makes a total of 14% raised on furlough. We are at 84% of our new support goal, which means we only need 16% more.
  • Furlough Traveling: Sine our last prayer letter, we had meetings in: AL, GA, SC, NV. Please pray as I will be traveling more extensively over the next few months, but this semester our children are in school and only have a certain number of days they are allowed to miss, thus my wife and children will not be traveling with me to most meetings due to schooling restrictions.
  • Solar-powered Audio Devices Update: They were not able to pick up the ones that were confiscated and take them to Taiwan, although there still might be a chance in the future. Please pray.

Thank you! We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying, serving, and being a part of our “China Ministry” team. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward and keep fighting the good fight. May we strive every day to know Jesus, to be happy in the Him, and to make Him known! 

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

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