Author Archives: Mark

Sunday Morning Prayer Requests

Sunday morning is often a humbling and exciting time because we get to preach the Word of God, but at the same time, it is an enormous responsibility. Our Sunday morning is Saturday evening in the States. (We are 12 or more hours ahead of most of our prayer supporters.) I put together this list of prayer requests for me to use on Sunday morning in my devotional time but I also wanted to share them with you and ask you to join me in prayer. Use them to pray for your pastor, but also, please pray for us as we serve here on the field. We are grateful for your prayers!

The speaking of the preacher

to speak God’s Word in the Spirit – Ephesians 6:18–20 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

to speak God’s Word faithfully – Jeremiah 23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.

to speak God’s Word with clarity (manifest) – Colossians 4:2–4 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

to speak only for the approval of God – Galatians 1:9–10 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

to speak only out of sincerity and not as peddlers – 2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

to speak truth – Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

to speak truth with love – 1 Corinthians 13:1–3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

to speak truth with boldness – Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

to speak truth with authority – Matthew 7:28–29 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

The scripture of the preacher

for the scripture to be rightly explained and applied – 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

for the scripture to be used properly and profitably – 2 Timothy 3:16–17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

for the scripture to be without private interpretation 2 Peter 1:20–21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The success of the preacher 

to labour and trust God for the increase – 1 Corinthians 3:5–8 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

to preach the gospel and trust God for souls to be saved – Romans 10:14–15 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

to strive for and trust God for the spiritual maturity of the saved – Colossians 1:28–29 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

The sentiment of the preacher

that Christ will be preeminent – Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

that God will be glorified – 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

November 2020 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | Reaching into Mainland China via the Internet

In 2017, when we were still living in China, we started a website, www.GraceResources.info, that hosted the text of all of my Chinese sermons for the local church there. Eventually, the website became a resource website with more content for believers in the Chinese language, including the Chinese Bible. That first year we had over 5,000 visitors and 16,000 thousand views. Every year since then, the statistics have grown. Already in 2020, we have had over 30,000 visitors and 63,000 views. The country with the most views is China! The country with the second-most views is Malaysia. Thus, in the midst of everything that is going on and the “rearrangements” that the last year has brought, God is still working behind the scenes. Praise God for using this “means” of spreading His Word!

Active Duty | Resumed Church Planting & Souls Being Revived

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! We are back on the mission field (Taiwan), completed our mandatory quarantine without any complications, received our missionary resident certificates, and have resumed our positions in the church plant, Victory Baptist Church. We were excited to be greeted with old and new faces at the church. Since being back on the field, my wife and I have led three souls to the Lord! Please pray for them as each has mentioned possible family backlash for following Jesus.

Fellowlabourers | Relieved: “He is Profitable to Me for the Ministry”

This November, I am thankful to the Lord for Kanon and Nancy Bloom. This missionary family is selfless, sacrificial, and willing servants of Jesus. Kanon has been such an encouragement, help, and a true “fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ.” Not only did he take on the challenge of leading the church for part of the time while we were gone, but he and his wife have spent countless hours passing out tracts, actively making contacts, sharing the gospel, hosting Bible studies, bringing people to church and doing whatever they can to build God’s kingdom—no matter who gets the credit. And, praise the Lord, Kanon recently was able to lead a 39-year-old man to the Lord! Will you pray for this family?

Special Giving Opportunity  | Taiwan Building Fund for Victory Baptist Church

In Taiwan, God has given us the opportunity to purchase a building for our church plant, and we want to take advantage of this opportunity. After surveying our area, we need to raise around $250,000 to purchase what we need for a church building. The local church here is a giving church, and they are saving money every month—they have already given $2,000! The cost might seem high, but we are committed to reaching into these Asian megacities that might seem unreachable. We are reminded our trust isn’t in man, but we trust God every step of the way. Will you join us? Will you be willing to give a one-time love offering of however much the Lord leads towards this church building fund? All gifts and love offerings of any amount can be given online, www.TaiwanMinistry.org, or sent to Vision Baptist Missions, PO Box 442, Alpharetta, GA 30009, with a note in the memo: “Tolson – Victory Building Fund.” Of course, a gift of any amount is greatly appreciated. I pray that you will prayerfully consider partnering with us to see the need for this new church building funded.

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

DOWNLOAD THIS PRAYER LETTER AS A PRINTABLE PDF

Mind Dump: Hospital, Blessings, Fundraising, Blog Series

  • Hospital – Natasha got sick a few days ago, and it wasn’t getting better. So we finally came to the hospital, and after some tests, they diagnosed her with colitis. The doctor said she would have to stay here for a few days to get the medicine through IV. Please pray for a quick recovery.
  • God has been good to us! The church has seen 4 Taiwanese make professions of faith recently. Two were from my wife’s Bible study, another was from Kanon studying the Bible with a man who contacted our church, and the fourth was a 14-year-old boy I led to the Lord; he had started coming around the church after Kanon met him passing out tracts.
  • Kevin’s Story: A 14-year-old boy came by the church a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday night. We preached the gospel to him and gave him a Bible. He asked if he could keep it at the church because his parents would get upset that he had a Bible. So instead, I gave him an audio player that had the Bible and some preaching on it so that he could keep learning. He said he was listening to it. The following week he came back for our youth night, and we continued to study the Bible. That night he got saved. He even took the Bible and material home with him. He continues to come to our youth night and also came this Sunday. Pray for Kevin.
  • China Pastor’s Fund | A Different Approach – UPDATE: We are at 75.5% of our goal for the China Pastors Fund! Excited as more church plants are taking place in mainland China! For more info, click here.
  • Taiwan Building Fund | Special Giving Opportunity – UPDATE: This month, we just launched a fundraising campaign for purchasing a building for the church plant here in Taoyuan, Taiwan. Will you prayerfully consider getting involved? Click Here for More Info & Church Plant Updates
  • I normally don’t write about different current events that are going on, but I felt compelled to earlier this year, and it helped me think through them. Here is a 3-part SERIES from the blog that you might have missed: Live In The Light: Condemning Racism & Engaging Culture
  • As the pandemic took over 2020, I had a unique perspective, leading ministries in more than one country. Naturally, as I answered questions about how to respond for myself and think through these issues, another SERIES on the blog came forth: COVID-19 Related.

Taiwan Building Fund | *Special Giving Opportunity*

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends,

If you have been following our prayer letters, then you know God has been blessing the church plant in Taiwan, Victory Baptist Church, that we started this past March. It is still a very young but growing church. We are excited about all God is doing and will do through this church, and Lord willing, many more to come!

One of the unique differences between ministry in China and Taiwan is not only that I have been granted a missionary visa but we also have the opportunity to purchase a church building. God has now given us the opportunity to purchase a building/land for our church plant, and we want to take advantage of this opportunity.

With this open door before us, we want to boldly walk through it. Our desire is to reach the Taiwanese people and leave a lasting church to preach the gospel. In preparing for this, we are raising funds for the cost of a church building. We are thankful for our partners who support us on a monthly basis and our praying friends, but now we are asking for you to consider a one-time love offering of any amount ($100, $250, $500, $1,000, or more) to help us purchase a church building.

After surveying our area, we are needing to raise around $250,000 to purchase what we need for a church building. The local church here is a giving church and they are saving money every month. The cost might seem high, but we are committed to reaching into these Asian megacities that might seem unreachable. We are reminded our trust isn’t in man, but we are trusting God every step of the way.

If every church on our prayer letter list gave at least $100,
we would have all the funds needed to purchase a building.

The one-time love offering will help go towards purchasing a building for Victory Baptist Church. Will you be willing to give a one-time love offering of however much the Lord leads towards this church building fund? Your one-time gift will help us, Lord willing, secure land and a building for Victory Baptist Church as it is busy evangelizing the lost and discipling believers. Of course, a gift of any amount is greatly appreciated. I pray that you will prayerfully consider partnering with us to see the need for this new church building funded. Will you be an extra blessing to this church with a one-time love offering?

We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. All gifts and love offerings of any amount can be given online, ChinaMinistry.org, or sent to Vision Baptist Missions, PO Box 442, Alpharetta, GA 30009 with a note in the memo: “Tolson – Victory Building Fund“. Thank you for giving, praying, serving, and being a part of our 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


For more information and to follow our updates click here:

China Pastor’s Fund – A Different Approach

WE NEED YOUR HELP! We need to raise around $600 more of monthly support for the China Pastor’s Fund. The Lord has already provided 70% of what we need for this initiative. Will you read below and consider giving directly to help the ministry in mainland China? Currently, many missionaries can’t enter China, but we can help the Chinese pastors who have boots on the ground to further the gospel in China by giving and praying!

70% Raised | 30% Needed

What is the China Pastor’s Fund? The China pastor’s fund is an opportunity to directly support Chinese pastors (or pastors in training) by helping them rent a building for their church location. This allows the local church pastor in China to have a rent-free location as if they had a paid-for building. Our goal is to help these pastors be successful in their church-planting endeavors.

How will this help? If you were going to teach someone to fish, would you buy him fish or would you buy him a fishing pole? Of course, you would buy him a fishing pole and then teach him how to use it. Once he learns how to use it, he can catch fish and feed himself and more.

In this illustration, the church building is the fishing pole, and with continued training, we pray they will be able to gather a group of believers who consistently gather together in one place for the common purpose of carrying out the will and work of God and to grow in the grace and knowledge of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

What is the goal of this fund? Our main goal for this fund is to help these pastors by paying the rent of there church building locations so that they can establish churches and have a full-time salary that comes from the local congregation. Over time, as the church grows and matures, the goal would be to have the local congregation not only support their pastor fulltime but also pay for their own rent/church building. With the current situation in China, we know this could be a long way off, thus we want to be a bridge of help and hope. Also, a secondary goal is to help these pastors with any other church planting expenses that might be needed.

Why is this fund needed? China is a communist country. Pastoring in China is especially hard because of persecution against the church from the State. The churches themselves are illegal. These pastors are serving in underground church capacities which makes it hard for these local churches to fully support their pastor, rent a building, and pay their other bills on a consistent basis. This is where the China Pastor’s Fund can be a help and encouragement to these men of God and their families as they serve on the frontlines in their home country.

Who are these Chinese Pastors? This fund supports Chinese pastors (or pastors in training) who are being influenced and trained by missionaries with Vision Baptist Missions. Each of these Chinese men are part of our China Pastoral team; planting Baptist churches; participate in our training classes (currently online); are tithing in their local churches.

Things to know about your giving:

  • 100% of your financial gifts are used for the ministry in China. Vision Baptist Missions nor the missionaries use any of the financial gifts given to this fund for any other reason that helping pastors in mainland China.
  • 100% of your financial gifts are tax-deductible if given through Vision Baptist Missions.
  • Your giving helps alleviate the financial stress of being a pastor in Communist China.
  • Your giving encourages those who have faced or will possibly face persecution.

Will you get involved? If so, contact me, get more info, or give online/by check!

October 2020 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | The Joy of a New Church Plant

In August, I asked for you to pray for “one of the Chinese pastors” as he was “looking to start a new church plant, Joy Baptist Church.” God heard our prayers and is blessing this new work in mainland China! I received reports of over 30 participating. The birth of a local New Testament church amid COVID-19 restrictions and the ongoing persecution is genuinely a work of God. Currently, we are helping them rent their building (which has a business on the first floor as their cover). Jesus’ words ring true, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Visa Furlough Over | We are Back on the Field

Praise the Lord—we have safely returned to the mission field of Taiwan! We had a blessed time in the States and returned ready to do more than ever! Last month we mentioned needing a negative COVID-19 test before we could return, but we met the visa requirements not to get the test. We are still required to do our mandatory 14-day quarantine in our house. Currently, we are still in the midst of this quarantine period, which should end on October 9th (my birthday), if there are no complications or sickness. Once we are permitted to leave our house, we will be getting busy about our Father’s business!

Exciting Announcement  | Asia Field Director for Vision Baptist Missions

In January 2009, Natasha and I started deputation as the first missionary family serving with Vision Baptist Missions. Since then, we have been serving as church planting missionaries to China and now Taiwan. Not only has our ministry grown since then, but God has blessed the growth of our mission board, adding dozens of families. It is with great honor, privilege, and humility to announce that I have been asked to serve as the “Asia Field Director” for Vision Baptist Missions. I have humbly accepted this role of service, which will allow me to encourage and equip other missionary families with our board in Asia. Lord willing, we will also be able to enlist others in Asia missions and world evangelism.

We will still be living on the field and serving as church-planting missionaries, so little will change in this aspect of our current ministry. Nevertheless, this new responsibility will allow our scope of influence and ministry to expand from the island of Taiwan to all of Asia.

Please pray that God will (1) give me the wisdom to fulfill this new role; (2) give me the strength to be a faithful steward of these new responsibilities; (3) give me open doors for new recruitment opportunities to raise laborers for Asia.

Church Plant Update | The Church Plant Is Seven Months Old

Praise the Lord, since we left, it seems beside the many visitors, there has been one new family who has been attending faithfully. We are excited to be able to meet them this month.  I am thankful for all the missionaries, national pastors, and pastors in training that were able to preach at the church in our absence. Our three ongoing prayer requests: (1) the salvation of the lost; (2) the discipleship of the saved; (3) a band of young men to train for ministry!

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

DOWNLOAD THIS PRAYER LETTER AS A PRINTABLE PDF

Quarantine Mind Dump: Together In Unity

  • We have been back in Taiwan for five/six days or so now. We are on day 5 of our 14-day quarantine. We feel great, with no sickness, praise the Lord. We are just required to do this quarantine as a precaution coming back in.
  • I am thankful for my missionary friends. Two missionaries who live in our current city, Charlie San Juan and John Flowers, have been a huge encouragement and blessing to me. Charlie led the church for the first month while we were gone. John also filled in preaching several times and helped with so many “practical” things such as paying bills, airport runs, and helping with the house. All 3 of us serve with different mission boards, but we serve the same Lord Jesus and the unity of the brethren has been sweet. (Psalm 133:1)
  • Two other missionaries that have also been a particular blessing have been John Walz and Kanon Bloom. We serve with the same mission board. Kanon was able to lead the church the second month we were gone and now while we are in quarantine. He has also been able to help with the many errands that we have, bills to be paid, etc. John also was able to send several of the men he has trained to preach at different times over the past two months. What a blessing!
  • If we can keep this true brotherhood where we really care and help one another without care about who gets the credit, then I believe we are going to see God do great things here in Taiwan, and not just here, but its effects will ripple around the world.
  • I am excited to get back to work. I would say over the past year I experienced some sort of “burn out”. I knew something was up, but couldn’t put my finger on it. The Lord has been giving me the “rest” that I needed and the “refocused” attention back on Him. In Him there is Victory. This is a spiritual battle and I am on the right side, the winning side. God has never left me, nor is he done with me, I am being molded into His image. May I be a reflector of His grace.
  • Some things in the “dream” stage right now are starting a second church and buying a piece of property for the ministry here i.e. church building. Once we are able to go out of our house, we will be looking into these two dreams more in-depth.
  • Pray request: Once we are out of quarantine, we are planning to look for a new house and move. Pray, we can find a reasonably sized and priced house. We want to be closer to the church plant(s) and save money on our monthly expenses. Pray for an easy transition out of our current contract and a smooth transition into our new contract.
  • Pray for Taiwan, China, Asia. Check out the new “Our Field” page.
  • Pray for the pastors in China who are dealing with persecution. Check out the new “Persecution Timeline” page. We need more men to surrender and go to China. The more missionaries they kick out or intimidate to leave, the more we need to go in. We call this the pipeline. Will you surrender your life and go to China even if you will endure some persecution?
  • A blog is great for writing new content, but not so much for finding old content. Recently, I discovered how to list out all blog posts organized by category. You can check out the selected blog posts or all blog post in an easy to glance format.

Upcoming “China Missions” Event:

Underground Jiaohui Conference | October 16-17, 2020 | The Underground Jiaohui Conference is exclusively for those who would consider how they can orient their lives to make an impact in China for the gospel. Lead by Vision For China missionaries with Vision Baptist Missions, the conference will encompass both preaching and practical teaching on China, the underground church, and the immense need for gospel laborers. Topics will include praying for China, boldness amid persecution, language and culture acquisition, and strategy for mission. The most exciting aspect of the conference is sure to be the time between sessions to get to know missionaries to China, ask them your questions, hear their stories, and discover their heart for making Jesus known in the most populous country on earth!
More Info | Register Now

September 2020 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | “Soul Saving Business”

Even amid a pandemic and persecution, God is still in the soul-saving business! Two of the pastors in China have reported four souls saved this past month! In one Chinese city, there were three saved: a young lady who is a university teacher, the husband of a lady who comes to the church, and a father. In another Chinese city, there was a lady in her fifties saved! Pray for these two pastors as they disciple these new believers and pray for the new believers as they are baptized, discipled, and growing in Christ.

Visa Furlough Ending | Visas Approved, Returning to the Field

Praise the Lord—our missionary visas were quickly approved, and we have them in hand! The day we received our visas in the mail, we also purchased tickets to return to the field. Lord willing, we will be boarding a plane to return to Taiwan on September 22nd. Praise the Lord for answering our prayers for a smooth, efficient, quick, and successful process. Please be in prayer over the following as we go forward:

  • Pray for our final weeks in the States to be productive—there is much to do as we prepare to return and say our goodbyes to family, friends, and supporters once again.
  • Pray for our health and safety—according to current regulations, we have to test negative for COVID-19 within three business days of our flight to be able to board the plane.
  • Pray for our reentry—according to current regulations, once we land in Taiwan, we will be required to do a mandatory 14-day quarantine in our house. After that time period is up and we don’t have any symptoms of the coronavirus, we will be able to return to life and ministry as normal.

Church Plant Update | The Church Plant Is Six Months Old

In our absence, the Lord is continuing to bless Victory Baptist Church in Taoyuan City, Taiwan. Attendance has held steady, and there have been many new visitors over the past month. Over the past six months, the church has had about 105 visitors. Please continue praying for the salvation of the lost and the discipleship of the saved! Also, we are praying for God to give us a band of young men to train for ministry to take the gospel to the world!

Moreover, in our absence, we are thankful for the Taiwanese believers who have stepped up and taken responsibilities to lead their church. We are also incredibly grateful for the missionary family who graciously lead the church over the past month. For this month, they turned over their responsibilities to our teammates, who were able to get out of quarantine after arriving in Taiwan. We are also thankful for the many preachers (missionaries and nationals) who have gone and preached at the church on Sunday mornings.

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

DOWNLOAD THIS PRAYER LETTER AS A PRINTABLE PDF

August 2020 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | Victory Summer Camp

Several months ago, another missionary in Taiwan gave us the idea of running a summer day camp. We learned from how they did things and then made our plans. We started promoting the camp and getting some interest. By the time camp was ready, 20 kids had signed up (almost all from the new location)! Over the next five days, from 9-3, we hosted those kids at the church and taught them the truths of God’s Word! Of course, they made some crafts, learned some English, and played outside, but the essential time throughout each day was communicating God’s Word to them, some whom I imagine had never heard before. The following Sunday, we had “Camp Sunday,” and there was 49 in attendance with 24 of those being first-time visitors. Thus, not only did the campers have an opportunity to hear the gospel, many of their parents were able to hear it as well!

Visa Furlough | In The USA, Waiting For Visas

Praise the Lord—we were able to turn in everything needed, thus far, for our visa applications, and our entire family has safely returned to the USA. They told us the application process takes 6-8 weeks. Once our visas are approved, Lord willing, we will return to the field as soon as possible. Please pray for a smooth, efficient, quick, and successful process. Also, thank you to everyone who has made our unexpected return to the States much more comfortable with taking/picking us up from the airport, providing a place for us to stay, loaning us a vehicle to use, and so much more. May the Lord bless you greatly for serving His servant.

Church Plant Update | Our Church Plant Is Five Months Old

Last month, we successfully moved Victory Baptist Church to Luzhu District in Taoyuan City. The Lord blessed as we took this step of faith, and our average attendance was higher in our new location than any of the previous months—averaging around 22 on Sunday mornings (including our family) in July. Also, over the past five months, we have had a total of 79 visitors. Pray for the salvation of the lost!

After having such a great month of growth and ministry, we were saddened to have to leave because of our current visa situation and the COVID-19 restrictions. Another missionary family has graciously agreed to lead the church in our absence, and many preachers are lined up to go and challenge this young church plant. We are also excited about those attending, taking on more responsibilities. Please keep praying for continued growth and edification—all for the glory of God!

Prayer Requests & Praises | New Church Plant, Vision For China

  • Please continue to pray for the churches in mainland China. One of the Chinese pastors is looking to start a new church plant, Joy Baptist Church. Pray for wisdom as he goes forward with the church plant amid COVID-19 restrictions and the ongoing persecution.
  • Pray for our Vision For China team. Over the last year, we have lost some missionary families (for various reasons) but also have recently gained a new family—praise the Lord! The harvest is great, but the laborers are few. With COVID-19 and the current political turmoil with China, it seems the door is slammed shut for a season—but at the same time, it could open at any moment. We need to be ready with laborers ready to go when the opportunity to “go in” is available again. At the same time, there is a great need and open door in Taiwan—an island of 23 million souls filled with idol worship—they need to be told the knowledge of the true God! Who will go? Will you? Pray about it.

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

DOWNLOAD THIS PRAYER LETTER AS A PRINTABLE PDF

July 2020 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | More Persecution

This past month I was contacted by one of our pastors in China about being contacted by the police again. He told me he had to go in and would contact me when he got out. We waited the whole day for any news, but finally that night he contacted me. He recounted the story of going in and behind handcuffed in front of his son and wife, led away to a holding cell, being roughed up, physically abused, threatened, interrogated, and then finally released. Why? Because of the same problems over the past year and a half—his relationship to missionaries and him being a pastor. They haven’t closed this case and are still seeking to persecute those involved as they desire to obtain more information on anyone involved with the church or missionaries. But praise the Lord he came out with a good spirit and a renewed passion to keep serving the Lord!

Important Announcement | Returning To The USA, Applying For Visas

We have purchased plane tickets to return to the States on July 28th. Our whole family must return to formally apply for our missionary visas so that we can return to Taiwan and have a semi-permanent residence here. If everything goes smoothly, we should only be in the States for 2-3 months. (We originally planned to do this overseas, but COVID-19 changed our plans and our current “visa-free” entry is about to reach its max limit for our stay in the country.)

Church Plant Update | Our Church Plant Is Four Months Old

“Adjust, adjust, adjust” is one principle I was taught as a teen by my youth pastor. And it seems to be the theme for our lives over the past year. This has also been true for the church plant. After praying and talking it over with those faithfully attending, we have decided to move the location of the church plant. It will be about an 8-mile move (driving) which is far in city terms and will be in a new district and city. The Lord has already provided a new location for us to meet in. The church will now be located in Luzhu District in Taoyuan City. This location will be much more convenient for almost everyone who is attending faithfully and will be close enough for those taking part in our small groups in that area to also start attending on Sundays. We are very excited about this move and the potential to reach more people as this new area is much more densely populated.

Over the past four months, we have had a total of 52 visitors. Also, in June we had a “Friend Day” and averaged around 19 on Sunday mornings including our family. Please pray for the church plant as there will be another missionary family taking it over while we are in the States applying for our visas.

Prayer Requests & Praises | Mainland China, Praise For Healing

  • Pray for the churches in mainland China: (1) to restart having in-person services and people won’t be afraid to do so in a safe manner; (2) to endure the continuing persecution with boldness; (3) to be blessed and encouraged by our once a month online service.
  • Praise the Lord, Pastor Austin Gardner was released from the hospital around June 19th. Please continue to pray for his full recovery as he does therapy to increase his strength and stamina.

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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