Author Archives: Mark

April 2021 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | Baptisms and Partnering With Others

  • Baptisms in Taiwan and China: In our February prayer letter, we reported that during the Winter Day Camp, three children made professions of faith. Two of those three children, who still come to church regularly, were baptized on Easter Sunday. The father of each child taught them what baptism was and helped prepare them for it. Amen! Also, I heard from one of the churches in Dalian, China, that they had three adults baptized on the same day. Please continue praying for these new believers as they grow in the Lord. Also, pray for the salvation of the mom of the daughter who was baptized—the dad was baptized in December, but the mom isn’t saved and comes to church very little.
  • Partnering with a New Church Plant in Kaohsiung: During a Sunday morning and evening services in March, we enjoyed having a Taiwanese pastor, Sam, and his family visit and speak for us. He and his family have been sent out to start a new church plant, and our church plant in Taoyuan has the privilege to financially and prayerfully partner with them. This family was trained by our teammates in Kaohsiung, John and Alisha Walz—who have done an excellent job at preparing them and others for the ministry. Pray for Sam and all involved in planting Second Mile Baptist Church.

Victory Building Fund Update  | Over 12% Of Needed Funds Provided

There has been consistent giving towards the Victory Building Fund, and it is has grown to $30,736 already! Please continue praying for the Lord to provide the remaining $219,264 for this fund and that the Lord would lead us to the right piece of property or building to purchase. If you want to get financially involved in this church building fund, you can give it 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.”

China Pastor’s Fund | Being A Bridge of Help and Hope

Currently, many missionaries still 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! 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 place as if they had a paid-for building. Over time, as the church grows and matures, the goal would be to have the local congregation support their pastor full-time and pay for their own rent/church building. With China’s current situation, we know this could be a long way off; thus, we want to be a bridge of help and hope. A secondary goal is to help these pastors with any other church planting expenses or temporary support that might be needed. We hope to raise $3,000 a month for this need and have already raised 70% of that. Thus, we are looking to raise the final 30% or about $900 monthly. Note that 100% of your financial gifts given towards this fund are used for the ministry in China (and not for us). If you would like to help alleviate some of the financial stress of being a pastor in Communist China, you can visit www.ChinaMinistry.org/china-pastors-fund or send all donations to Vision Baptist Missions, PO Box 442, Alpharetta, GA 30009, with a note in the memo: “China Pastors Fund.”

We labor abundantly by the grace of God and for His glory—for 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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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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February 2021 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | “…for of Such Is the Kingdom of Heaven”

One of the things we learned about Taiwan since moving here is the popularity of day camps during the children’s breaks from school. They have many different kinds of camps, but we wanted to do one that would teach the children about the gospel. Last year we held our first one in the summer and had a good turnout. We learned a lot from that experience. We decided to host two a year—the second one during the winter break. Because of the Lunar New Year holiday, the winter break here is much longer than in the States. We hosted this Winter Day Camp the first full week of the kid’s vacation last month and had around 23 kids participate. Some of the children were church kids, but some were kids that had never been to church or had very little exposure to the gospel. My wife, our missionary teammates, Kanon and Nancy, and some church members all led the week, going from 9-3 each day—Tuesday through Saturday, with the final day ending on Sunday morning when the kids would perform at church—hoping that the parents would come and have a chance to hear the gospel. And that is exactly what happened; we had a great turnout that Sunday and each of those visitors heard the gospel. But even more significant than this was during the week the children heard Bible stories, the gospel preached, learned Bible songs, and three children made professions of faith. Each of these children found a counselor on their own time and told them they wanted to get saved. They are ages 6, 8, and 9. Two of the three children come to church regularly, and the other comes occasionally. Actually, one of the children is the daughter of the man who got baptized recently, and I reported it in our last prayer letter. Praise the Lord for saving sinners! 

Victory Building Fund Update  | Over $24,000 Given for Victory

The Lord has already provided $24,718 in this short amount of time for the Victory Building Fund. Praise Him and thank you to all who have been obedient to the Lord and given an offering! If you haven’t already, will you prayerfully consider partnering with us by giving any amount to see these church building funds raised? All donations 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.”

Prayer Requests & Praises | Church Plant, Band of Men, Balancing Act in China

  • Church Plant Update: Praise the Lord that the church plant is eleven months old. We have seen God do so much in this short amount of time. We started with just our family, and now there is a small local church trying to reach its community and supporting gospel efforts in other places! Pray as we continue to follow up with the many visitors. Also, pray for our official registration with the government to go quickly and smoothly.
  • Men: Pray that God will give us a band of men here in Taiwan to be trained to take the gospel here and worldwide. The Taiwanese have a unique opportunity to get into other places that are harder for people like me to go. Pray that God will give us laborers for His harvest.
  • China: The virus has continued to be a problem in mainland China. Please pray for the pastors as they continue to have to do a balancing act with the meeting-in-person and hosting their services online.

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

January 2021 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | “Children, I Am a follower of Jesus”

Back in October, we received a message on our official church “Line” account. A man in his 30’s sent a message saying that he lived near the church, and that day, he saw an advertisement for our church and added the account. I asked Kanon, my co-laborer, to follow up with him (I was still in the mandatory 14-day quarantine). Kanon followed up with him and led him to the Lord, and started studying the Bible every week together. This new brother in Christ is a guitar teacher that works on Sunday mornings so that he couldn’t attend church then. But in December, we relaunched our Sunday evening services, and on the first Sunday evening service we had in December, he got baptized and has been serving in the church since. Before he got baptized, he gave testimony. After saying how he got saved, he looked at his wife and said he wanted to be a man of God and love her right, and then he looked at his kids and said he wanted them to know he was a man who follows Jesus. None of his family is saved yet. His children have been coming to church, but his wife hasn’t shown much interest. Please pray for the salvation of his family and the spiritual growth of this husband and father.

Victory Building Fund Update  | Stretching Faith—Stepping Into the Uncomfortable

Thank you so much to those who have already given or have contacted us about wanting to give! We have already raised $13,754 of our needed funds. As I have mentioned before, this has been a giving church from the beginning. The church paid all of its bills in December and gave $492 to missions and another $533 to their building fund in December for a total of $3,153 to date (in just three months)! We are trying to raise around $250,000. One of the things we realized and where our faith has been stretching is that prices in the big cities are high, but that is not an excuse to ignore them (especially since they are the population centers). Our God can. It is such a small thing to Him. We pray His will be done. We want to be a blessing to this church to have a permanent place to meet and be a lighthouse in this community and around the world. God often works through his people, so will you prayerfully consider partnering with us by donating any amount to see this church building funded? All donations 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.”

Church Plant Update | The Church Plant Is Ten Months Old

God is moving in our midst! Praise His Holy Name! December was packed with celebration, many Christmas outreach activities, and progress in the Lord’s Work.

  • Services: Our Sunday morning average attendance is slowly but continually increasing month-after-month. In December, we had 11 first-time visitors. We also relaunched our Sunday evening services.
  • “Firsts”: (1) The church had its first baptism. (2) The church had its first Lord’s Supper on Christmas Day. (3) The church had its first missions Sunday, where I taught the church about faith promise. On the first Sunday in January, we collected our first “Missionary Faith Promise Offering” commitment, and the monthly amount promised was $392 a month or $4,704 a year! We currently support three national pastors in China and one national church planter here in Taiwan, each for about $100 a month.
  • Training: My wife’s Bible study was split into two groups. She trained up a lady to teach the first ten lessons of our discipleship material to the groups’ unbelievers. Then in the other group, she is teaching a 10-lesson marriage course. Also, another soul was saved in their Bible study group. Lives are being changed and transformed by the Word of God! Amen!

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

My Phil 4:8 Version of 2020

The following is from Natasha:

My Phil 4:8 version of 2020… One of my mentors started this and so I wanted to share mine as well.

Think on these things :

  • God moved us to one of the only countries in the world that was able to contain and eliminate the coronavirus in early 2020.
  • Skyla was able to enter a Taiwanese school halfway into the school year and passed her mandarin (Zhuyin & Traditional Characters) and Taiwanese classes with flying colors.
  • God lead us to 2 amazing preschools for our little ones. The teachers have become our friends and we have been able to share the gospel with them. Our little ones have been loved and cared for, taught so so much, excelled in their Chinese, and adjusted to the Taiwanese food and culture after only a year in their programs! Praise the Lord for His leading in this area! Most schools in our area are completely full and yet He prepared for them these vacancies!
  • God allowed us to start a brand new church in a new city where we knew absolutely NO ONE in the middle of a pandemic! Hallelujah! 
  • God gave me the opportunity to start a Bible study with stay-at-home moms in a small community in Taoyuan city. 
  • God used the people in our church to give us a burden for an area we had never heard of and ended up leading us to move the church there.
  • We received multiple visa extensions to stay in Taiwan during the outbreak which gave us time to settle in and prepare our brand new baby church for a necessary visa trip to the States. 
  • God sent me 2 friends right after Chinese New Year. I had specifically prayed for this. One unbelieving, one believing. Two ladies to disciple in totally different ways. One to salvation and one beyond it. Both have encouraged me and taught me so much about Taiwan… the culture, the language, how to live and eat and cook and play just like them… Again, I prayed for this. 
  • God miraculously healed our pastor in the States! 
  • Our teammates from China were granted visas to Taiwan and were able to help our family and church for several months! 
  • God gave us unexpected time with family and friends, many of whom we hadn’t seen in years, including our pastor who had just been miraculously healed, our yokefellows John and Sandy Pearson, and our mentors, Mark and Amy Coffey.
  • We were able to spend time with one of our supporting churches in Tennessee. We got to know many of their people personally, and our children were able to build relationships as well. We were so so blessed by our time there! Jana Grubbs Wilkerson, we absolutely love your church and family! 
  • We were able to make some of the most amazing memories with our family despite the virus. 
  • God gave us the most precious moments with Mark’s grandfather, Carl, while he was still healthy. 
  • We were able to stay healthy ourselves and did not catch the virus during our trip to the States
  • We received our visas for Taiwan at the perfect timing!
  • Taiwan did not require us to have Covid testing done before returning which saved us a lot of stress.
  • We were only confined to our house for 2 weeks of the entire year! 
  • God grew our church even in our absence (while in the States).
  • God saved 3 moms in my Bible study!  
  • God allowed our church to have the finances to take on our first missionaries! 
  • My children’s Sunday School class outgrew its classroom.
  • God allowed us to have our first baptism service in Taiwan.
  • God allowed us to have a wonderful Christmas in Taiwan making so many special memories… this was after a very difficult holiday season last year (It was cold too!!!!! #anotheranswertoprayer).
  • God gave us the most special relationship with a family he sent to our church. They have become some of our best friends in the world and they have only known us for less than a year. Only God could do this!
  • I had the privilege of watching God absolutely transform one of my Taiwanese friend’s lives.
  • We had enough saved believers to have our first Christmas candlelight service where we received the Lord’s Supper together.
  • We, in the last week of the year, found a rental house in Taoyuan City. It was nothing short of a miracle. There were no rentals available with enough space for our family in the area we felt called to. But God made a way! And we found the most beautiful place for our family to call home for the rest of this term!
  • God healed my heart. Leaving China was one of the most difficult times of my life. The pain and grief felt unbearable. I couldn’t understand what God was doing. And while I still don’t understand it all… I’m in awe of all God did to prove Himself to us this year. To show His loving Kindness to us. I cry thinking about how amazing this year has been. And that is no exaggeration. 2020 will be a year I absolutely never forget… and not because of a worldwide pandemic. 2020 is a year in which I saw God work miracle after miracle right before my eyes… the memories of this year are ones I will keep in my heart forever 

How was your Phil 4:8 version of 2020? 

Missionary Faith Promise Offering

The missionary faith promise offering is a method of giving to fund a local church’s missionary endeavors. Members of a local church, individuals or families, follow this plan to give consistently and orderly to missions. First, you pray and ask God how much he wants you to give to missions. Second, you make a promise to God by faith to give a certain amount, in certain increments and for a certain amount of time. Third, each month you plan and trust God to supply your “faith promise offering” and give it according to the frequency you chose (weekly, monthly, yearly), along with your other regular offerings. As you are encouraged by God to give, know that He also supplies the gifts, and you are trusting God to take care of your needs, for the Bible says, “he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-10

The New Testament Paradigm For Giving Applied To Missions

  • The missionary faith promise offering is not a “specific command” in the Bible. Still, it is a “method of giving” derived from Biblical principles that help believers be more intentional about their giving to missions. It follows the same principles of the New Testament paradigm for giving but focusing on giving specifically towards missions.
  • The New Testament paradigm for giving is generous grace giving. This resembles the Old Testament freewill offerings. Its principles are as follows: complementary—a balance between the spiritual and material workings within the church; proportional—the amount is given is “within” our financial ability and “sacrificially beyond” depending on God to provide the means to give (by faith); regular—a pattern to follow so that we can excel in our giving; cheerful—a joy because it is a privilege and not an obligation; honest—the process of dealing with money that is given through the church needs to be done in an accountable way, so there would be no reason for criticism.
    2 Corinthians 8:1-3; 8-24; 9:1-15; 1 Corinthians 16:2-4
  • The principles of generous grace giving are applied to missions and are formed into a plan to support the Lord’s mission around the world: complementary—we give to missionaries and pastors to take the gospel to places we can’t go, and they minister on our behalf; proportional—we make a commitment to give to missions from what we have, but also try to sacrifice so we can do more, give by faith, trusting in God to provide for our giving and to care for us along the way; regular—we can give monthly or weekly, but we choose a pattern to follow so that we can be faithful in our giving; cheerful—we don’t “have to” give to missions, we “get to” give to missions so other can hear of Jesus; honest—everything is done orderly and truthfully with accountability.
  • New Testament Motivation: The missionary faith promise offering isn’t given out of obligation or command, but out of love and done all for the glory of God!
    1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 8:8; 9:7

Other Biblical Principles And Practical Applications
2 Corinthians 8-9

  • The missionary faith promise offering is a voluntary offering given to the Lord’s great commission work around the world so that we can be a blessing to others. We are blessed to be a blessing. This life’s greatest blessing is knowing Jesus. Biblical Principle: We are to eagerly and enthusiastically be willing to give to God’s work. But were aren’t only to desire to give, but match our desire with our giving. The Bible says, “Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.” Practical Application: Do you desire to give so that the world can be evangelized? If so, will you voluntarily and enthusiastically choose to give to this missions program?
    2 Corinthians 8:8-15
  • The missionary faith promise offering is a promise by faith to give a certain amount of money as an offering for missions for a certain period of time. At the end of that period of time, a new commitment is made. Biblical Principle: You can see a time frame when Paul is talking to the Corinthians. He refers to “A year ago”—meaning a year before they were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so, and then he encourages them to complete or finish that giving they had originally planned. Practical Application: “One year” seems like a reasonable time to promise to give a certain amount of money towards missions (for example, I promise by faith to give $500 each week for one year). After that year is up, you can reevaluate your giving, increase your faith, and, Lord willing, give more for the following year. (Note: Once a year, the local church should have a “Missionary Faith Promise Sunday” to make new commitments for the following year.)
    2 Corinthians 8:10-11; 9:2
  • The missionary faith promise offering is given alongside your other offerings that are part of the firstfruits of your increase. Biblical Principal: Giving to God should be a priority. Giving goes against our sinful nature of selfishness, but believers are to be selfless and generous givers. God even offers to bless us for obedience. Practical Application: Each month, we should first take the amount we promised and give it or lay it aside to be given when needed. This protects against spending everything and having nothing left to give or only having a little leftover to give. Each week, before you come to church, make it a priority to prepare your missionary faith promise offering so that you can give it joyfully and consistently.
    Proverbs 3:9-10; 11:24; Luke 6:38; 1 Corinthians 16:2

Practical Wisdom, Good Judgment And Common Sense

  • The missionary faith promise offering is an offering that is above and beyond your normal giving or tithe. It shouldn’t replace it, but it is in addition to it and given alongside it.
  • The missionary faith promise offering is not designated to be given to just one missionary or organization, but it is used to support different missionary families, missions organizations, and the missions mobilization and outreach efforts of the local church. Our goal is to support those who are evangelizing the lost, establishing local churches, and equipping national leadership. The distribution of these funds is agreed upon by the local church.
  • The missionary faith promise offering is not a pledge. It is not a legally binding agreement. But it is a promise or vow which is encouraged in the Bible.
    Ecclesiastes 5:4-5; Psalm 76:11
  • The missionary faith promise offering is a decision made between you (or your family unit) and the Lord. No one will have knowledge of your decisions, nor will anyone come and collect this offering from you. You cheerfully decided in your heart to give by faith for world evangelism.
    2 Corinthians 9:7-8
  • The missionary faith promise offering should include every member of the family. Parents and children all need to be involved in giving and watching God provide as the family gives to spread the gospel worldwide. Your heart follows your treasure. We want to raise children whose hearts are consumed with making Jesus known around the world!
    Matthew 6:21
  • The missionary faith promise offering should include two promises: First, you commit your life to take the gospel to the world. Second, in dependence upon God, you will endeavor to make a faith promise to contribute to world evangelism.
    Mark 16:15; 2 Corinthians 8:4-5

Review Questions

  • What is the three-step plan of the missionary faith promise offering?
  • What is the New Testament Paradigm for giving? What are its principles?
  • How are the principles of generous grace-giving applied to missions?
  • What are some Biblical principles and practical applications?
  • What are some practical wisdom, good judgment, and common sense?

December 2020 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | “I hope I Can Be Baptized One Day”

I got a friend request from someone I didn’t know on my Line account (a popular social media app here in Taiwan). I added him, and the man greeted me as “pastor.” I asked him who he was, and he started to tell me that he received our church flyer on his scooter, so he added my account. I asked him how I could help, and he said that he wanted to get baptized. He then told me that he had listened to all of our discipleship material available on Youtube (120 videos). Afterward, he said he realized that the “sprinkling” version of baptism he received two years before wasn’t right. Eventually, he came to church, our men’s group, and I began to study the Bible with him. This 50-year-old divorced Taiwanese man gave his testimony of how he got saved watching a preacher online. He was then directed to an organization that sprinkled him with water and took a bunch of pictures. He was left disenfranchised and starving to be fed spiritual food. Thankfully he found our local church, and we serve up hearty meals of the Word of God that help you grow in spiritual strength, maturity, and health. Please pray for this man as his coldness towards the church is warmed by the love of the body of Christ!

Church Plant Update | The Church Plant Is Nine Months Old

  • Preaching and Teaching: November was our first “full month” back at the church plant. I was able to preach every week and had a blast doing it! During the week, I lead a men’s Bible study, and my wife leads a women’s group. We also have several one-on-one Bible studies throughout the week. God is using His Word to change lives, and we praise Him for it!
  • Spiritual Maturity: Some saved recently are hoping their work schedules can change soon as they learn to adjust their culture to fit a life of following Christ and all that it entails, including the importance of church attendance. Pray for these young believers who learn what it means to follow Christ (some with opposition from family).
  • Outreach Activities: Since our return, we have been planning different activities. In October, we had a “Family Fall Festival” and had several visitors from the community. In November, we shared a “Thanksgiving Meal,” and even though it didn’t draw in people from the community, it was a great time of fellowship with our church family. In December, we are planning several Christmas related outreach activities. Please pray that we can use this as a means to reach more with the gospel.
  • Another Soul Saved: Praise the Lord at the beginning of last month, I was able to lead a young Malaysian man to the Lord. Pray for Him as he grows in the Lord!

Victory Building Fund Update  | Will You Be an Extra Blessing to This Church?

Last month we launched a special giving opportunity for the “Taiwan Building Fund for Victory Baptist Church.” We are seeing supporters and churches get involved in this project, and at the writing of this prayer letter, we have already raised $7,620 of our needed funds. Praise the Lord! This past month, the church paid all of its bills and gave another $527 to their building fund. We are still far off from our goal, but we are excited about the momentum we already have in just two months! Will you prayerfully consider partnering with us to see the need for this new church building funded? All donations 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.”

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

Two Projects for #GivingTuesday

Project #1 – Vehicle Needed for Chinese Pastor

One of the “pastors in training” in mainland China is working towards turning his Bible study fellowship into a local Baptist church. At the same time, through certain contacts, he has an opportunity to go and reach a village about an hour from his apartment. It isn’t convenient for him to go, but some believers are there and some he is witnessing to, but they are without a church. He asked about getting a second-hand vehicle to use to make the drives more convenient and more frequent. He is limited to when he can go. I told him we would see what we could do to help him advance the gospel there.

Amount: $5,000

You can give online here and choose the “China Pastor’s Fund” and then send me a note saying it is for this specific project!


Project #2 – Victory Building Fund

We are currently raising money to purchase a building for Victory Baptist Church in Taoyuan, Taiwan. Your donation 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 donation of any amount is greatly appreciated.

Click here for updates about this church plant and to read all the details about this project.

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 donation?

Obviously, this is a much larger project, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could raise at least $10,000 towards this building fund just on #GivingTuesday!

All donations of any amount can be given online, TaiwanMinistry.org, or sent to Vision Baptist Missions, PO Box 442, Alpharetta, GA 30009 with a note in the memo: “Tolson – Victory Building Fund.”

“VICTORY BAPTIST CHURCH” BUILDING FUND T-SHIRT

“Victory Baptist Church” Building Fund t-shirt is a fun way to help support the building fund of Victory Baptist Church in Taoyuan, Taiwan. With each shirt purchased, you are donating $10 towards their building fund! The shirt’s front is the church logo and name in traditional Chinese characters, and the back is a Bible verse (1 Corinthians 15:57).

BUY NOW


Thank you so much for your consideration and generosity!

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

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