Author Archives: Mark

November 2019 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | God’s Grace in Times of Waiting

“Why?” was the question I was pondering in the back of my mind. Our visas were delayed much longer than we anticipated. We were hoping to already be back in China. But as we were running into delay after delay, I started to think about what God was going to do through this. Now we know a couple of those answers: (1) Our second oldest daughter brought a friend to church for a family revival and that friend got saved; (2) My wife was sick for a couple weeks and she finally was able to get recommended to a doctor. The doctor fit her in at the last minute and ran some test. Her blood work showed that she tested positive for Celiac Disease (and also allergic to milk and eggs). We are thankful that we now know where her problems are coming from and, Lord willing, learning the treatment to go forward. If we would have already returned to China, we wouldn’t have done this testing. So we are thankful for God’s grace in this matter. Not only theses things, but in many small ways we have seen God work over this period of waiting.

Special Announcement  | Furlough Ending: Plane Tickets Purchased

Finally, we were able to get all the paperwork needed to officially apply for our visas to China here in the States. We have already sent in our applications and purchased plane tickets. Lord willing, our visas will be issued soon and we will return to China on November 11. We are excited about this next term on the field and all that God is going to do!

Special Projects and Needs Update | 78% of Our Goal Reached

We have raised nearly $5,500 of the $10,000 needed in our Church Planting Fund and nearly $17,900 of the $20,000 needed for our Reentry Setup Fund.Altogether we have reached 78% of our total goal. If you haven’t already, would you pray about giving a one-time love offering of any amount to help us reach these needs?

Prayer Requests and Praises | Health, Family Returning to China, Thankful

  • Pray for my wife’s health as this disease means a lifestyle change for our family to deal with. Also, they mentioned that this is genetic, so our children might have it too.
  • Pray for our family of seven as we return to China and get readjusted to the language, culture, food and doing ministry in a closed country. May Jesus be glorified!
  • Praise the Lord for a wonderful furlough. We have had so many people help, sacrifice, give, bless, and love on us. We are thankful for all our supporters and your faithfulness.

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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October 2019 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | From English Teacher to Church Planter

Several years ago, I was put in contact with an American English teacher in China. His name was Austin and he was newly married to a Chinese woman. He had a heart for God and desired to make an impact for Christ in China. He was fluent in the Chinese language, but he needed more practical ministry training. As we talked, I encouraged him to take a giant leap of faith: to follow the same path of training that I had taken. And he did! He moved back to America and trained at our home church. Now he is on deputation heading back to China as a church planting missionary. Just this past month, I was honored to preach and pray at his ordination service. I can’t wait to see what God does through this man of God and his family.  

Special Projects and Needs Update | 64% of Our Goal Reached

We have raised nearly $5,400 of the $10,000 needed in our Church Planting Fund—which helps covers the cost of our next church plant. We have also raised nearly $13,900 of the $20,000 needed for our Reentry Setup Fund—which helps cover the financial cost of returning to China and resetting up life there. Altogether we have reached 64% of our total goal. If you haven’t already, would you consider a one-time love offering of any amount to help us reach these needs as we plan to return to China by the end of this month?

Prayer Requests and Praises | Visas, 99% Support, Rest and Productivity

  • Please continue to pray for our visas to be granted quickly. The company we are using made an error and we have to wait until after the current Chinese holidays before we can finish the process. This could delay our return by a couple of weeks. We are still asking the Lord to allow us to return on October 28th, but we know it is all in His hands and timing.
  • Praise the Lord for all of our supporting churches. We are at 99% of our target monthly support amount. This means that we should meet budget before we return to the field. But as many of you know, a budget is just that, an estimate of our expenditures over a period of time, and like anything else in life, there are hidden costs or things we didn’t think of. Thus, even though we will, Lord willing, reach full support based on our budget, any support above and beyond will still be needed, used accordingly, and greatly appreciated. And we know that we don’t trust in money or things, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
  • Praise the Lord for rest and productivity. Since our last prayer letter, we have only had a few meetings in FL and OH because we were finishing up our furlough travels. This has allowed me to gain much needed rest and time with family over this past month. And it has given me the time to catch up on things that needed to be done for our return to 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 the Him, and to make Him known!

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

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How Much Should A Believer Give?

  • Devotional: How much should we give? Second Corinthians 9:7a says, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give…” God lets people decide how much they are to give. For every person it is different, we need to seek God and decide in our heart what we can give regularly according to our means. A good place to start is anything above 10% of our income, because it shows that we are no longer under the law where people were required to give a 10% tithe, but under grace. We have so much to be thankful for, so let’s excel in our giving.
  • Prayer: Dear Father God, thank You for all the blessings You have given us. Help us to live our lives for Your glory and kingdom. God, please give us wisdom on how much You would have each one of us to give. Help us to give sacrificially and help us to decide to give an amount that would honor You. Thank You for giving us the money that we can use to be able to give back to you. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

5 Thoughts About Growing Successfully In Leadership And Missions

  1. Pursue continuous growth and learning in all areas: spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, relational, and mental.
  2. Exhibit godly characteristics, qualities, and the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
  3. Adapt to the culture and the local way of thinking (How do they think? What makes them tick?) Be creative in your adaptation (How do they do things? ) and critical in your Biblical discernment (What part needs to be avoided or redeemed?)
  4. Engage the local people and serve them; contribute something to their community through good works. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
  5. Interact with the locals, spend large amounts of time among the people, and effectively communicate the gospel. Be a fisher of men. May their hearts burn within them while you talk and open with them the scriptures “by the way”.

Together We Can Do More

  • Devotional: It is not the responsibility of just a few people to give, but it is something we do as a whole. Everyone gives willingly and according to what he has so that one’s abundance supplies another’s need. Second Corinthians 8:14 says, “But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality.” This verse shows us that we can do more together than we can do separately. God can use us to help meet each other’s needs. Together we can do more!
  • Prayer: Dear Father God, thank You so much for all that You have done in my life. Thank You for everything You have done. God, help us to be a very generous and giving people. Thank You for the opportunities we have to be blessing to others and thank You for how You have used people to meet needs in our lives. God help us to live for You and honor You with our lives. Thank You for Your love for us. We pray this in Jesus name, amen. 

September 2019 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | Husband and Wife Saved in China

In January of this year, the location that Grace Baptist Church in China was meeting in was discovered by the police and they eventually had to relocate. The church now meets in an apartment in a housing complex. The location might not be the most ideal, but it was the opportunity that was opened to them as they were looking for a place to meet. At the end of last month, I received a picture from the Chinese pastor of a husband and wife who live in the community that they were able to lead to the Lord. Praise God who works together all things for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

Special Projects and Needs Update | 52% of Our Goal Reached

We have received about $4,000 of the $10,000 needed in our Church Planting Fund which covers the following cost: building rent for one year; utilities, furniture, materials, misc. We have also received about $11,500 of the $20,000 needed for our Reentry Setup Fund which covers the following cost: plane tickets for our family of seven; housing cost for three months rent plus deposit; visas and passport renewal; furniture and appliances. Altogether we have reached 52% of our total goal. Will you consider a one-time love offering of any amount ($100, $250, $500, $1,000, etc.) to help us reach these needs before we leave in October?

Prayer Requests and Praises | New Support, Safe Travels, 12th Anniversary, Visas

  • Praise the Lord for blessing our support raising efforts over the past year. We are at 97% of our target monthly support amount. We have had several more churches mention their intention to partner with us as well. Lord Willing, we are returning to China on October 28th for our next term to start multiple churches and train more men for ministry.
  • Praise the Lord for continued safety in our travels. Since our last prayer letter, we had safe traveling mercies traveling to our meetings in: VA, GA, LA, and TN. Also, I won’t be traveling as much over these final two months as we prepare to return to China.
  • Praise the Lord for our marriage. My wife and I celebrated 12 years of marriage this past month. My wife is one special women who has been by my side through it all. I am blessed and unworthy of her, but she said, “I do” and the rest is history! I am glad, thankful, humbled, and joyful to call her my wife. I couldn’t do what I do without her.
  • Pray we will receive our visas. We are currently applying for our visas to return to China. There is much paperwork to be done, but we are asking God to grant us a smooth visa process so that we can return to China in a timely manner and continue ministry there.

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

DOWNLOAD THIS PRAYER LETTER AS A PRINTABLE PDF

100% Of Believers Should Be Involved In Giving

  • Devotional: Every believer should participate in giving. Even if you don’t have much money you should still be involved. The churches of Macedonia were in extreme poverty, but they gave generously to the Lord. Second Corinthians 8:2 describes their situation. It says, “How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” This verse tells us that they had “deep poverty,” yet they still gave generously to the Lord. In the Bible, giving is not just for the rich, but it is for all believers. No matter if you only have a very small amount that you are able to give, God wants you to be involved in giving.
  • Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, help us to all be involved in giving. Help us to want to give to You from what we have. Thank You for all the blessings You have given to us. God, help us to rely on You to provide for our needs and give to You from what we have, no matter how small it is. We ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.