March 2021 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | Church Planting During a Pandemic—God Can!

Last year, on Sunday, March 1st, by the grace of the Lord, we hosted the first service of our new church plant in Taiwan, Victory Baptist Church. Within the next three weeks, the USA would declare COVID-19 a national emergency, and Taiwan would bar foreign nationals from entering the country to mitigate the pandemic’s spread to the island. It was an unusual time in our world. We were unfamiliar with pandemics and uncertain about what was going to happen. Everyone dealt with unexpected situations, especially as governments started taking unprecedented actions, and the future was unknown. It was in this environment the Lord called us to plant a new church. As many church doors were closing around the world, ours was opening, and we haven’t had to close it since. The next year would be a wild ride! We would end up moving church locations after launching in a particular area and were forced to take a two-month “visa furlough” to the States when the church plant was only five months old. But amid the chaos, Jesus started building His church; people visited the services, Bible Studies were initiated, souls were saved and discipled, and believers are growing in the Lord. As I look back over the past year, I am in awe of what the Lord has done. I can understand a little more clearly now what the Lord was doing when it was too dim for me to understand it all. As the pandemic is still raging around the world and there are hopeful whispers of change this year, whatever the outcome, I will continue taking small steps of obedience, following God’s leading on this amazing journey.

Victory Building Fund Update | Over 10% Of Needed Funds Raised

We are excited about all God is doing and will do through this church, especially with the opportunity to purchase a building. The Lord has already provided $25,236 for the Victory Building Fund. As we go forward with this, we’ve been reminded our trust isn’t in man, but we trust God every step of the way. Will you pray with us about this? If the Lord leads you to give towards this church building fund, you can give online, www.TaiwanMinistry.org, or by sending a check to Vision Baptist Missions, PO Box 442, Alpharetta, GA 30009, with a note in the memo: “Tolson – Victory Building Fund.”

Ministry In China Update | Weekly Blessings From the Mainland

  • Although some are still making online services available, the situations where our team’s churches are in China has improved, and they are meeting in-person again. I am encouraged to see them making these wise decisions on their own as they seek the Lord and His guidance.
  • Every week I have the opportunity to teach our small team of Chinese pastors on the mainland over the internet. Currently, I am teaching them verse-by-verse through Proverbs, and my teammate, Austin, is teaching them Soteriology—the study of the doctrine of salvation.
  • One of my favorite times with them each week is to hear the “reports from Sunday” and everything that has happened since the last time we talked. I hear of their struggles in ministry and family and get to rejoice with them over the stories of God blessing them. In our last online meetup, they told of being able to meet again in-person; one of them was excited about a new visitor at church; another was recounting a story from that week of taking a group of church members out to the village to minister to some who don’t have a church near them and how someone was saved during that trip. Thank you to all who pray for and give to support and encourage these works in China!

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 Him, and to make Him known!

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

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