Category Archives: Ministry & Family Updates

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? 

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,, 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 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).


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.

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,, 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,


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!

Returning To The USA, Applying For Visas

Quick Announcement

Our whole family must return to the USA to apply for missionary visas so that we can return to Taiwan and have a semi-permanent residence here. We are flying back, Lord willing, on July 28th. 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.)

Detailed Announcement

Many of you have been praying for our visa situation here in Taiwan. To recap, as we reported in an earlier prayer letter:

“Our current concern is that Taiwan has barred entry of “foreign nationals” to keep combating the virus from coming into the island. This includes American citizens. We currently are allowed to stay until mid June before we need to make another visa run. But with the current regulations in place, and if they don’t change by then, we will not be allowed to re-enter and we won’t have a choice but to return to the USA until the ban is lifted. Obviously this in not what we are wanting or hoping for, but we know all is in the Lord’s hands. Please pray for this ban to be lifted or for a way to process our visas.”

April 2020 Prayer Letter

Since then, Taiwan has continued to give extensions but they max out at 180 days. That would mean that we would be forced to leave by August 13 at the latest. But just a few days ago Taiwan announced an update to this policy and that they will begin allowing foreign nationals to apply to enter the country again for certain reasons. One of the valid reasons for travel under the new policy includes “missionary activities”. We have also confirmed this with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago.

Therefore, we have already purchased tickets to return to the States for July 28th. Our purpose in returning is (1) we can’t stay on our current visa-free option past August 13 and currently not allowed to reenter the country on that option; (2) apply for a missionary visa that will allow us to return to Taiwan and also get residency, which would allow us the freedom to come and go from Taiwan and be semi-permanent here.


Can’t you apply for this visa in Taiwan? No. We actually have prepared our paperwork ahead of time, but there is a regulation that prevents us from applying from within the country. We have to turn our paperwork into an approved office outside of Taiwan.

Can you apply in another country that is closer? This was our original plan, but once COVID-19 happened, most countries are closed to foreigners traveling there on tourist visas or their requirements for quarantine are not suitable for our family.

Why didn’t you apply for this earlier? We were in the process of applying for the missionary visa, but then COVID-19 happened and the ban they put into place meant that we couldn’t apply for any visas, which is why we didn’t return earlier or go to another country and apply for this. Everything was put on hold. It is just within the past few days that we have been given permission to even apply again.

How long do you plan to be back? Lord willing, just 2-3 months. Everything is in the Lord’s hands, but we have been told that the processing time is 6-8 weeks for the visas we are applying for.

What about the new church plant? This was a hard decisions for us, but it is one that is currently out of our control. We are talking with other missionaries to help others find another preacher who can take over the work until we return.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray that our paperwork arrives in a safe and timely manner. (We have already started the process and sent to the USA the paperwork that we could.)
  • Pray that our visa process can start as soon as the paperwork is received (next week).
  • Pray that the processing time will be shorter, not longer than expected.
  • Pray for safe traveling for our family of seven.
  • Pray for the new church plant while we are away.
  • Pray for God to provide a man and/or family that will be lead in our absence.

Update #7: Pastor Austin Gardner (Praise God!)

The latest updates (newest to oldest) from pastor’s children:

Friday Update (Final Update):

What an amazing God we serve!
We are so thankful to have him back and for being the godly man he is. One of the first things he did was get us all together and prayed to thank God for all He has done and for allowing him to be used again. Please continue to pray for his recovery!!

June 19th, 2020

Thursday Update:

We got to see him again today! He is doing well. Still confused and all but they say that can take many weeks to get over. He is getting stronger and able to walk more and more steps with a walker and can easily transfer himself from the bed to the chair. They think it will be very soon that he will be able to go home. The only thing holding them back is his white blood count has gone up and they don’t understand why. He has no fever and looks great so they have run any and every test they can think of today to try to find what is going on. We should have results tomorrow. Please pray that his white blood count can come down and that they can treat whatever is causing it. We are so happy and thankful to get to see him and to be able to see how God is taking care of him.

June 18th, 2020

Wednesday Update:

One of his ICU Doctors arranged for him to be rolled outside in a chair so he could see his wife, kids, and grandkids. It was a huge blessing for us all to get to see him, hug him, and talk to him for a bit. He is still confused and wants to go home but it cooperating and doing his best to get strong so that can happen soon. He walked about 30 steps today during his physical therapy. He was not able to sleep yesterday during the day nor last night and barely any today so hopefully, he will be able to sleep tonight. We are so very thankful for Faith Insisiengmay as she has been a HUGE blessing by going by and checking on him and taking him a milkshake and encouraging him to build up his strength. He really enjoys seeing a familiar face! He really doesn’t like hospital food and isn’t wanting to eat. Please pray that he will start eating something at least and that he can get a full night’s sleep tonight.

June 17th, 2020

Sunday-Monday Update:

The weekend was a little hard on him with all the drugs and stuff in his system still, making him not be his nice self and just very confused. But today was a great day. Mom and Joy were able to go see him today and spend a little over an hour each with him. He is doing so much better, he is still a little confused and disoriented but is understanding so much more and grasping it all little by little. He was joking and picking on us and happy to see the whole family over FaceTime. He is getting stronger and stronger. He took about 8 steps today and is able to get up and out of bed on his own and move to the chair. Thank you so very much for all your prayers and support towards our family during this time. We praise the Lord for all of His goodness towards us.

June 15th, 2020

Saturday Update:

Since he is no longer in ICU we are not sure we will have daily updates. If we get them they will be here though. My sister Joy is the one that sends us the updates as a family and then I send them out to the world. Thanks so much for thinking of and praying for my dad. I just talked to the nurse. He is weak. The occupational therapist went in to try to work with him but he seemed too weak so they stopped and the physical therapist because of that also said let’s give him today to rest and tomorrow they will start up again. Speach therapist went in and he was doing well coughing and swallowing so they have upgraded his diet to a soft diet now instead of just liquid. They did give him some oxygen this morning but is doing well even without it.

June 13th, 2020

Friday Update: What a day!

Mom and Joy got to go to the ICU and see him. We were shocked when we walked in the door and saw him sitting in a chair and with NO oxygen at all. He is doing it all on his own! Praise the Lord! He is still very tired and things were a little foggy. He FaceTimed with the rest of the family and told everyone he loved them. His voice is weak and he only whispers right now. He is doing well coughing. He ate some pudding, drank some Diet Mountain Dew (which he said it didn’t taste good), and chewed on ice. Ice was the most successful thing. His kidney is working well and the MRSA is being treated. He is being moved out of the ICU and going to a regular room today GOD IS GOOD! All of this within 24 hours of being off the ventilator. Our God is powerful and merciful. He has answered our prayers !!! He will be going through intensive physical therapy.

June 12th, 220

Thursday Update:

Hallelujah! Our God is Awesome and powerful! He is off the ventilator and awake. He whispered back to us that he loves us all. He is on a high amount of oxygen but that is normal to start off. PLEASE continue to pray, the next 48 hours are crucial to see if he can keep it up on his own or if they will have to reinsert the tube. So for the next 48 hours pray hard!

June 11th, 2020

Wednesday Update Number 2:

Doctor just called, he did the bronchoscopy and there was not much secretion, thank the Lord. His airway is a little swollen, which is to be expected. He had thought about taking the tube out now but since it is late afternoon he prefers trying it in the morning instead of him maybe having problems or complications during the night. He says he will be there tomorrow morning very early and will start the process of taking it out. Dad is doing a fair amount of breathing on his own now, instead of the machine, which is good. When doing the bronchoscopy, sedation was lowered and he was awake and following commands.

June 10th, 2020

Wednesday Update:

Just FaceTimed. Oxygen is at 35%! Peep is 8! The kidney is working well still at 1.3. No fever! The MRSA is in his lungs but is being treated with antibiotics and his white blood count is at 9.2 (yesterday it was at 14.2) which is great. He is also on antifungal medication. They again turned off the sedation to see his reaction this morning and he followed commands but then got agitated so they turned the sedation back on but lower than normal and he is doing good with it low. The camping med they are giving him through the feeding tube is working well and keeping him calm. The bronchoscopy is scheduled for 2:00 pm today and depending on how it looks they will try to pull the tube out this evening or tomorrow morning. Let’s pray the bronchoscopy goes well and there isn’t much secretion so they can take the tube out. Also, let’s pray he is able to breathe on his own and respond well.

June 10th, 2020

Previous Blog Updates:

Update #6: Pastor Austin Gardner (Keep Praying)


The latest updates (newest to oldest) from pastor’s sons:

Tuesday Update #2:

Doctor himself called this afternoon and said when they lowered the sedation this morning he tried to pull the tube out. The MRSA is only in his nose right now so they aren’t starting him on an antibiotic yet. They also said that they would start a tracheotomy even with MRSA if they feel the need to do so.

June 9th, 2020

Tuesday Update:

Just FaceTimed. They took him off of the sedation this morning to see if they could take the tube out. At first, he was responding well and even followed commands from the nurse but then he started getting agitated so they had to give him the sedation again. Peep is at 8! Oxygen is at 35%! The kidney is still good at 1.3. White cell count is at 14.2 today but with the new medication, it should be going down. COVID test came back NEGATIVE! The results came back on the bacteria and it is MRSA so they are having to change up the antibiotics. The plastic surgeon is being contacted to come to see the wound on his face from all the tubes. Bronchoscopy is already scheduled to be done in the morning. They are giving him medicine through his feeding tube to help him respond better tomorrow when they lower the sedation. The plan is that with this medication and after the bronchoscopy tomorrow they are going to take the tube out and hope and see if he responds well. Please pray that he can breathe on his own and doesn’t get agitated and upset so the tube can stay out. If he can’t handle it they will have to reinsert the tube.

June 9th, 2020

Monday Update:

Hallelujah our God is a good God !!!! Prayers are being answered !!! They have taken him off of the sedation and he was responding better today. He heard our voice and opened his eyes a little. Peep is at 9! Oxygen is at 40%! The kidney is working well at 1.1! The only set back right now is he does have bacterial pneumonia and fungus growing but he is on an antibiotic and anti-fungal medication. The antibiotic is working because his white blood count was at 17 and is now at 13 (11.4 is about normal). He does not have a fever. There is no indication of any infection to the brain. Just that any infection we have just makes our brain foggy. The new team of doctors, nurses, and infectious disease doctors are hoping and planning on taking the tube out within the next 24 hours AMEN !!!!! Today they are planning on doing a bronchoscopy to help clean him out because he has a lot of secretion. We are so thankful and give God all the honor and glory for His goodness. Let’s pray they will be able to take the tube out and he will be able to breathe and respond well on his own when they do it.

June 8th, 2020

Sunday Update:

The doctor just called. Some good news and not so good news. His kidney is still working well and is at 1.2. Peep is down to 9! Oxygen is at 40%! They lowered the sedation today to the lowest amount but he is still very sleepy and not responding like he did the others times they lowered it. Doctor thinks it could be because the culture results showed there is a bacterial infection and it may be affecting his brain and that is why he didn’t respond like the other days. So they started him on an antibiotic and an anti-fungal medication. We asked if it is normal that it would affect the brain he said any infection can affect the brain but it is normally temporary until the antibiotic has time to work.

June 7th, 2020

Saturday Update:

The doctor just called, they did a chest X-ray and it looked like his right lung had collapsed so he did a bronchoscopy to check if it really had and thank the Lord it hadn’t but he did find there was a lot of mucus. He cleaned it out and took a biopsy, he believes he has a yeast infection inside the lungs. So he is starting him on a yeast infection med. He hopes that after cleaning the mucus out and giving him the med it will help overall. The wound on his face seems to be better, a plastic surgeon will be coming to check it out on Monday. Peep is at 12 and oxygen is at 50%. We will talk next week about the tracheotomy.

June 6th, 2020

Previous Blog Updates:

Update #5: Pastor Austin Gardner (Keep Praying)


The latest updates (newest to oldest) from pastor’s sons:

Friday Afternoon Update:

Just FaceTimed. Oxygen is at 50% but is going to be brought down to 40%. HIS oxygen is very good at 98. Peep is at 12 but is also going to be put back down to 10 in a little bit. His chest X-ray looks a lot better. Since his kidney is doing well at 1.3 they are going to give him another Lasix to help the fluid buildup. They are going to be retesting for COVID tomorrow morning and we should know the results to that in the afternoon. He is being given normal water through the feeding tube and also the saline solution through the IV. They moisturize the lips and mouth with saline solution several times a day. He was sedated and pretty sleepy. His eyes were open at first for a bit but he didn’t respond much like yesterday.

June 5th, 2020

Thursday Update:

Just FaceTimed!! He was awake, eyes open and all. When we started talking to him he would shake his head. He is still sedated but definitely able to hear. We tried calming him down and letting him know the faster he cooperates, the faster he gets to come home. He got a little anxious and/or fussy so they had to turn up his oxygen to 80% but that is just temporary. His Peep is still at 10. His kidney is at 1.3 !!!! Let’s pray specifically that he can come off the tube this weekend because if he starts next week still intubated they will do a tracheotomy.

June 4th, 2020

Wednesday Update:

Hospital just FaceTimed. They have started lowering his sedation. He had started to open his eyes so she called for us to try to talk to him and get him to open his eyes but when calling his name out he didn’t open his eyes with us. They are starting to lower his sedation so they can start to explain to him what is going on and what they are doing and to see how he reacts with it all and then be able to take the tube out. His Peep is down to 10 today and his oxygen is still good at 40%. His kidney is better today at 1.4 but still hasn’t had a bowel movement yet, still working on that today.

June 3rd, 2020

Tuesday Update:

I just FaceTimed with the hospital. God is so good and answering our specific prayers. His Peep is down to 12 today! Hallelujah! Oxygen is still at 40%! His kidney function is the same today at 1.6, but it is understandable. He has had no bowel movements for several days so today that is their goal. He has a wound on his face from all the tubes and things hooked to him so they are treating that and hoping it doesn’t get infected.

June 2nd, 2020

Monday Afternoon Update:

I just FaceTimed and he looks so much better. He looks like himself again. The oxygen is still great at 40%. Let’s pray particularly for his peep number it is at 16 and because of that, they are unable to do more right now. Just waiting for him to heal some. The plasma exchanges didn’t seem to help him much so they have stopped that. He has finished the Remdesivir medication. They are trying to balance everything they do because of his kidney which is not producing as much as it was on Thursday and Friday. Still isn’t of much concern yet but we need to pray for it to be working more. It is at 1.6 right now and should be at like 0.6-0.8 for him. So let’s pray specifically for those two things, that his Peep number comes down and that his kidney will start producing more.

June 1st, 2020

Monday Update:

I just got off the phone with the hospital. Oxygen is at 40% but peep is still 16. They would start to wake him but being that the peep number is still high they will probably hold off. They don’t want to start to wake him if they can’t remove the intubator. The peep is high because his lungs have not healed well yet. They are about to do the rounds and run tests and decide what to do. She said to call back this afternoon and she could give us more info.

June 1st, 2020

Sunday Update:

I just got off the phone with the hospital. Thanking God for a better day. His chest X-ray looks better today, they took him off the paralytic medication and it is wearing off so he should start moving a little soon. He is still sedated though and on pain meds. His peep is at 16 but his oxygen is at 45%. His vitals and blood pressure are good. The kidney is also working well.

May 31st, 2020

Saturday PM Update:

I just got off the phone with the hospital. Vitals and blood pressure are good. Peep is at 16 and the oxygen was at 80% earlier during the day but is now at 70%.

May 30th, 2020

Previous Blog Updates:

Update #4: Pastor Austin Gardner (Keep Praying)


The latest updates (newest to oldest) from pastor’s sons:

14th | Friday Evening Update:

Just got off the phone with the hospital. He had his 4th plasma exchange today and responded well. His peep is still at 12 and the oxygen is at 60%. Blood pressure is good now. No fever. The kidney is still working well. They aren’t planning on “proning” (putting on his belly) him again unless it is a necessity.

Note from Mark (me): Also, David Gardner (Pastor’s son) and his family arrive safely back to their destination in the USA from Peru. Thank you for praying and giving!

May 29th, 2020

13th | Friday Afternoon Update:

Dr. just called, says he is hanging in there. They have given him 3 plasmas so far, there hasn’t been much of a difference but at least it has kept him from getting worse. Numbers and all are the same. Yesterday and today have not been the best of news, just have to hang in there. This Dr. will be with him over the weekend so he will let us know about any changes or improvements that he may see.

May 29th, 2020

12th | Friday Update:

Hospital just called. Chest X-ray is looking a lot better than yesterday. They pulled fluid out and that has helped. It even has helped the swelling in his face. Yesterday he was having nose bleeds but now he isn’t having that problem. There is more air in his lungs instead of fluids. Peep is still at 12 and oxygen at 70%. They are going to do another plasma exchange today. He is still receiving the Remdesivir (medication).

May 29th, 2020

11th | Thursday Night Update:

Today hasn’t been a day with a lot of up numbers. Peep is at 12 and oxygen at 70%. They do not act upset, it is just a part of it. We are hoping and praying for a better tomorrow.

May 28th, 2020

10th | Thursday Update:

Peep is back up to 10. Oxygen is at 60%. He Is on his back now and will be turned at 4:30 PM. His face is very swollen from being so many hours on his stomach and face. His kidney is producing an excellent amount of urine. You could hear a lot of fluid and they are getting ready to suck that out.

May 28th, 2020

9th | Wednesday Night Update:

Doctor called. He was very enthusiastic and extremely happy. He even said he is loving how he is progressing and how the treatment is helping him. He is on his stomach because they believe he prefers that position than on his back (which is true). He will make a note for the day staff to know that he has always preferred sleeping on his side. They will probably start trying to keep him on his side and see how his numbers change. His own oxygen is great at 100%. The oxygen on the machine is at 45%. While on stomach he is back on the paralytic medication. We asked when he thought they would start waking him etc. and he said that Pastor Austin Gardner would be the one that decides that. His blood pressure is a little high but he says he can work with that and it is no concern. He was extremely happy

May 27th, 2020

8th | Wednesday Update:

I was just on the phone with Dr. He said that he continues to improve. The plasma from yesterday is working and they are getting ready to give him his second dose in a few minutes. His peep # is at 8 now. Usually, 5 to 8 is normal range from what we understand.

May 27th, 2020

7th | Tuesday Night Update:

The nurse we talked to is the same one he had last night and he personally sees an improvement. They did the plasma exchange and will do an X-ray and all tomorrow morning so we will know if it helped him or not. No more turning him on his stomach because he is doing so well on his own but they do prop pillows and turn him sideways etc. every two hours to avoid bed sores.

May 26th, 2020

6th | Tuesday Morning Update:

Doctor says he is the same, no change really, so they are going to do the plasma exchange later today. Normally there is an immediate improvement, might be small but normally there is some. They can do this plasma exchange several days in a row. He is still on his back and oxygen is at 55% which is great for being on his back. Peep number is still 10. His kidney is functioning well and still ok.

May 26th, 2020

5th | Last Monday Update:

He is still on his back which is good cause the goal is to keep him on his back. If his numbers change or he starts struggling they will put him back on his stomach. His oxygen is at 70% right now but they lowered his Peep number to 10 so it compensates with increasing the oxygen. His Peep was at 14 now at 10 which he said was a good sign.

May 25th, 2020

4th | Monday Update:

He is back on his back and doing very well breathing on his own oxygen at 60% could possibly even be at 50%. Doctors words were it has been a good day, looks like we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Still a process but looking good.  
If there is a turn for some reason they will do a plasma change but hoping that doesn’t happen and how it is looking it won’t.

May 25th, 2020

3rd | Last Sunday Update: 

He is on his stomach again, because of him being on his back so long they turned his oxygen up to 70% but now that he is on his stomach they will start to lower it to 50% again. They took him off of the paralytic medicine or machine which is a good sign because that means he is not fighting the ventilator. He is ventilating well on his own. His own oxygen is at 100%. He has no fever. Still sedated and on pain medication. Thanks for praying guys.

May 24th, 2020

2nd | Sunday Update:

He is on his back still on 50% oxygen. He gets his last dose of that medicine today. Depending on labs and everything else they will eventually start trying to wean him off of the different machines. Still a day-by-day thing.

May 24th, 2020

1st | Sunday Update:

They have him on his stomach again and they are pushing in 50% oxygen. He is on day two of Remdesivir (medication). The doctor says that he is responding well to everything and they are encouraged. Thanks for praying everyone.

May 24th, 2020

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