June 2021 Prayer Letter

Church Plant Update | Pandemic: Level 3 – Ban on Religious Activities

  • Last month, as I was writing our prayer letter, there was news that the epidemic situation in Taiwan had entered community transmission. Up to that point, Taiwan had been blessed during this pandemic, with the virus almost being none existent on the island. Unfortunately, that news was true, and a semi-lockdown soon followed with restrictions on churches, schools closing, no in-person dining, and a limit on how many people can meet together inside and out, etc. In fact, it was announced that “Persons who violate the ban on large gatherings and religious activities, or enter venues that are supposed to be closed, will face fines of between NT$60,000 ($2,166) and NT$300,000 ($10,832).”
  • This semi-lockdown slowed down hosting more events and doing more evangelism this month. Before the semi-lockdown: we had a successful mother’s day service with serval visitors and a family event afterward; we had just launched a new English corner event for young people; we had a guest preacher from our teammate’s, John Walz, ministry; also, we had just started and seen results from an advertising campaign in the housing complex behind the church. But then everything had to be stopped or moved online, which hasn’t proved to be very fruitful thus far for outreach ministry.
  • The church plant quickly pivoted to online for our Sunday morning services. We are thankful that all of our regular attendees have been able to stay connected through this means as we worship, give, pray, preach and fellowship online. Also, my wife and another Sunday school teacher from the church have made Sunday school available to the children by recording a video for them to watch online. On Sunday afternoon, our family took craft supplies and goodies to their apartments for them to do and enjoy. The families then took pictures of their kids doing Sunday school “at home,” which was a huge encouragement. Even though it is not the ideal situation, we are thankful we can still make an impact.
  • We know many of our supporters have been through similar situations over that past year, so you understand our situation. Please pray for us as we do what we can to keep ministering to our people during such a hard time. We are trying to be creative and use the resources at hand to make an impact during “today.” And when “tomorrow” comes, we will decide what to do then! We desire to adapt for a season cautiously, yet longing to physically assemble again and take action when ready.

Victory Building Fund Update  | Thank You, Over 12% Raised

We are continuing to raise funds for a church building. We have raised a little more than 12% of the projected cost. If this is a project you would like to give towards, 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.”

We labor abundantly by the grace of God and for the glory of God—the One who loves us more than we ever dreamed, even though we are more sinful than we ever imagined. Furthermore, we don’t travel on this amazing journey without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying, following, serving, and being a part of our “China Ministry” team. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward toward the mark and keep fighting the good fight. May we strive every day to know Jesus, be happy in Him, and make Him known!

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

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