Category Archives: Prayer Letters

August 2019 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | Souls Saved in China and America

I received a text message from the pastor in China that translates: “Tonight we visited the house of a church member to share the gospel with her mother. We shared the gospel several times. She believed tonight!” Praise the Lord! It encourages my heart to see them winning souls. And as they are winning souls there, we are winning them here in America while we are on furlough. Last month, a friend asked me to go out soul winning with him. That afternoon we went out and started knocking on doors in a complex near the church. At one of the doors that opened, a young black woman thought she was headed to heaven simply because she was a good person. I asked if we could share with her what the Bible said about that. She agreed and we were able to preach Christ unto her. At the end of the conversation, she professed Jesus as her Lord and Saviour. Praise God for saving souls!

Special Projects and Needs Update | 25% of Our Goal Reached

We have raised about $4,000 of the $10,000 needed in our Church Planting Fund which covers the following cost: building rent for one year ($7,000); utilities, furniture, materials, misc. ($3,000). We have also raise about $6,000 of the $20,000 needed for our Reentry Setup Fund which covers the following cost: plane tickets for our family of seven ($6,000); housing cost for three months rent plus deposit ($4,000); visas and passport renewal ($2,000); furniture and appliances ($8,000=washer $1,000; refrigerator $800; air conditioners $1,200; deep freezer $500; hot water heater $500; living room furniture $1,500; bedroom furniture $1,000; kids’ beds $1,500). Altogether we have reached 25% 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?

Prayer Requests and Praises | Returning to China and Safety in a Car Wreck

  • Lord Willing, we are returning to China on October 28th for our next term. We are at 95% of our target monthly support amount. Pray that the final amount of support comes in and for everything that takes place to transition our lives from “furlough” to “on the field”.
  • Praise the Lord for keeping me safe after hydroplaning on the highway, loosing control into the cable barrier in the median, and then being hit by another car this past month in Paducah, Kentucky during a thunderstorm. Also, since our last prayer letter, we had safe traveling mercies traveling to our meetings in: OH, WV, MO, and GA.
  • Praise for the local missions trip we hosted in Atlanta with Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church.

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

July 2019 Prayer Letter

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends,

I woke up to several messages from the pastor of Grace Baptist Church in China. He was giving me an update about the situation in China but then he also asked a question. There was another young man who has been showing interest in full time ministry and the Chinese pastor was wondering if he could start training him now or if he needed to wait until I returned to China. Of course, with excitement in heart, I told him to start training him now! Praise the Lord for raising up more young men for ministry. Pray for this young man, whom I have yet to meet, that he will be become a faithful minister of the gospel.

Special Projects and Needs” Update: Will you consider a one-time love offering of any amount ($100, $250, $500, $1,000, etc.) to help us reach these needs? Donations of any amount can be given online, ChinaMinistry.org, or sent to Vision Baptist Missions, PO Box 442, Alpharetta, GA 30009 with a note in the memo. (All donations are tax-deductible.)

  • Church Planting Fund: $8,500 Still Needed; $1,500 Raised
    • Building Rent for one year = $7,000
    • Utilities, Furniture, Materials, Misc. = $1,500 Remaining
  • Reentry Setup Fund: $17,500 Still Needed; $2,500 Raised
    • Plane Tickets for our family of seven = $5,000 Remaining
    • Housing Cost for three months rent plus deposit = $3,000 Remaining
    • Visas and Passport Renewal = $1,500 Remaining
    • Furniture and Appliances = $8,000
      Washer $1,000; Refrigerator $800; Air conditioners $1,200; Deep freezer $500; Hot water heater $500; Living Room furniture $1,500; Bedroom furniture $1,000; Kids’ beds $1,500.

Praises, Prayer Requests, Updates and Announcements:

  • New Support Update: Our monthly support continues to materializes as churches vote to support our ministry and send in for the first time. We are around 94% of our next target amount of support! If you haven’t partnered with us yet, will you prayerfully consider it?
  • Furlough Travels: Sine our last prayer letter, we had meetings in: GA, NV, OH, KY, and TN. We are blessed to establish partnerships with local churches all over the USA.

In His Joyful Service,

Mark


We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. All gifts and love offerings of any amount can be given online, ChinaMinistry.org, or sent to Vision Baptist Missions, PO Box 442, Alpharetta, GA 30009 with a note in the memo. 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!

DOWNLOAD THIS PRAYER LETTER AS A PRINTABLE PDF

June 2019 Prayer Letter

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends,

In our August 2018 prayer letter I reported that “I was able to meet a Chinese man who was participating in an ESL class at our home church and started studying the Bible with him in Chinese. Please pray for his salvation.” Once I started traveling full time, I turned the Bible study over to my friend who is training to be a missionary to China and already speaks Chinese. Since then, that Chinese man has trusted Christ and I was able to be there to see him get baptized on Easter morning this past April. Praise the Lord for answered prayer.

Special Projects and Needs” Update – Will you consider partnering with us to see the need of this new church plant and the cost of our reentry funded? (All tax-deductible gifts 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.)

  • Church Planting Fund: $10,000
    • Building Rent for one year = $7,000
    • Utilities, Furniture, Materials, Misc. = $3,000
  • Reentry Setup Fund: $20,000
    • Plane Tickets for our family of seven = $6,000
    • Housings Cost for three months rent plus deposit = $4,000
    • Visas and Passport Renewal = $2,000
    • Furniture and Appliances = $8,000
      Washer $1,000; Refrigerator $800; Air conditioners $1,200; Deep freezer $500; Hot water heater $500; Living Room furniture $1,500; Bedroom furniture $1,000; Kids’ beds $1,500.

Praises, Prayer Requests, Updates and Announcements:

  • New Support Update: We continued to see new support sent in this month as our initial target amount materializes. We praise the Lord for this continued increased in monthly support and we are aiming for the next target amount of our support! We are hoping to raise as much of this as we can before our return later this year, Lord willing.
  • Furlough Travels: Sine our last prayer letter, we had meetings in: KS, WI, TN, SC, GA, FL and OH. We also enjoyed our time of learning, encouragement, and teaching at the Vision Baptist Missions Orientation in North Carolina.

Thank you! 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

May 2019 Prayer Letter

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends,

As we were out soul winning on a Friday morning, my partner and I were walking down the steps from the third floor of an apartment building when an Indian man greeted us. We exchanged some words with him and I asked him the question, “If you died today are you 100% sure you would go to heaven?” He almost instantly replied, “50/50”. We continued talking and he invited us into his apartment. We spent the next half hour or so explaining the gospel to him and helping with some of the confusion that he had, apparently from his upbringing. By the end of our conversation, he got on his knees and prayed to ask God to save him. After he got done praying he said, “Now I know 100% that I am saved!” Praise the Lord for saving another sinner!

Special Projects and Needs:

  • Church Planting Fund: $10,000 – Lord willing, we are heading back to China this fall and will plant another church. In preparing for this church plant, we are raising funds to be prepared for all the cost in starting a new church. This covers, Lord willing, about a year’s rent, utilities for that year, church furniture, materials, Bibles and any of the small expenses that come with planting a new church.
  • Reentry Setup Fund: $20,000 – As we prepared for furlough, we put much of our things, furniture and vehicle into storage, but also several things were sold because of the need to upgrade to meet the demands of our growing family, etc., when we return to the field. Thus, we will not only be looking to purchase those items that need to be replaced (certain furniture and appliances), but also need the funds for plane tickets, at least three months rent, and the cost of visas before we return.

Praises, Prayer Requests, Updates and Announcements:

  • Persecution/Church Update: The persecution in our China ministry seems to have settled down, although one of the men reportedly still gets phone calls from the police to keep tabs on him. The church we started has rented a new space and continue to have services.
  • Teammates Update: Our teammates who had to flee the country because of persecution were able to return to China and setup in a new city without any problems. Praise the Lord.
  • New Support Update: We have raised additional new support this past month which makes our new support goal almost reached on furlough based on promised amounts, but we are only at 90% of that goal based on what has been sent in. This goal was set as the minimum we needed to raise before we return to China and any above it is needed and will help us to do more than we expected. We have truly been blessed and want to be a blessing.
  • Furlough Travels: Sine our last prayer letter, we had meetings in: TN, IN, OH, GA, and MT. I was also able to teach a “Discipleship Course” at the Our Generation Training Center.

Thank you! 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

April 2019 Prayer Letter

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends,

During one of our missions conferences, I was able to teach a Chinese Sunday school class. The class seemed to really enjoy the lesson, especially since I taught a good portion of it in Chinese (usually the class is taught in English). Following the Sunday school hour, we all sat together for the main service. During the invitation, the teacher of that class brought one of the first time Chinese visitors over to me and said he wanted to know more about being saved. I didn’t have a Chinese Bible on me, so I opened the Chinese Bible app on my iPad and walked him through the gospel. At the end, I asked him, “Is this something you want to do now, or do you want to understand it more first?” He responded with, “Now,” and then he bowed his head to ask Christ to save him. Praise the Lord for saving another sinner!

Praises, Prayer Requests, Updates and Announcements:

  • Persecution Update: Many of the foreign missionaries we worked with in our city are no longer there. But the Chinese church that we started and a couple others that we know of are still going forward. The persecution with those that we know has settled down, but there is still a push from the government in general to persecute Christian activity outside the government’s control.
  • Teammates Update: Two of our teammates are settled in their new cities and another is leaving to return to China this month, Lord wiling, with new passports and visas in hand. Three more of our teammates are still raising deputation support to head to the mainland and two others are heading to Taiwan. WE NEED MORE LABORERS! CHRISTIAN MAN, WILL YOU SURRENDER ALL TO JOIN US IN REACHING THE MILLIONS IN CHINA?
  • New Support Update: We have raised an additional 6% of new support this past month which makes a total of 23% raised on furlough. We are at 93% of our new support goal, which means we only need 7% more.
  • Furlough Traveling: Sine our last prayer letter, we had meetings in: PA, MD, VA, NJ, GA, IN, WV, and AR. March was my busiest month traveling and filled with many great missions conferences and meetings. I am amazed at all the doors the Lord has opened for us to present our ministry and preach His word!

Thank you! 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

March 2019 Prayer Letter

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends,

“I received a phone call from the national security bureau and have to go in for more questioning. Please pray for me.” This was roughly the translation of a message I received from the Chinese pastor leading the church we started. He went in to meet with them and was questioned more about the church and especially the foreigners who were involved with it. He didn’t give them any new information. Thankfully, he had his young son with him and they seemed to treat him well because of it. As this wave of persecution continues, even now that the holidays have passed, pray for wisdom during the time that this Chinese pastor trusts the Lord to lead not only the church but his young family through this trying time.

Church Update: Please continue praying for Grace Baptist Church in China. They are without a consistent location and met this past Sunday in the pastor’s house. The uncertainty of a meeting place has stopped a lot of the evangelism activities that were hosted in the previous office space they rented every month, but even so, the church had visitors this past week because the members are still inviting people to church.

Teammates Update: All of our American teammates and friends are out of the city and working on the next stage of their ministry setting up in a new location or waiting until this passes to hopefully be able to return safely.

Praises, Prayer Requests, Updates and Announcements:

  • New Support Update: We have raised an additional 3% of new support this past month which makes a total of 17% raised on furlough. We are at 87% of our new support goal, which means we only need 13% more.
  • Furlough Traveling: Sine our last prayer letter, we had meetings in: NC, TN, GA, FL, OH, and VA. I have been blessed and encouraged by all our recent meetings. God is working and it is exciting seeing a new generation taking the mantle of world missions forward.
  • Pastor Charles went to his home village for Chinese New Year and he was invited to preach, he took the offer, preached the gospel, gave an invitation and several raised their hand for salvation! Praise the Lord for boldness to speak the Word of God!

Thank you! 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

February 2019 Prayer Letter

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends,

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Our ministry in mainland China is going through a wave of persecution right now. We have been reporting about all the great things God is doing and how souls are being saved, and now Satan is fighting back. We are in spiritual warfare. Much has happened since our last prayer letter. I will try to sum it up below:

  • Men from our church and the landlords we were renting from were contacted by the police about the possibility of illegal activity happening in the building we rented. The attitude and type of accusations seemed to be much more serious than what we have run into in the past. Because of this information, the church moved everything out of those locations overnight and started meeting in homes and restaurants.
  • The following Sunday, there was an attempted “raid” on the church, but no one was there because they had already moved out. But the police showed up at the Chinese pastor’s house and took him in for questioning for around 9 hours about a false accusation. He was released, but later he would be summoned by another police station where they asked about me and warned him: (1) Preaching the gospel to college students is illegal. (2) Having a church not approved by the government is illegal. (3) Foreigners preaching in China is illegal. He was finally released and sent home.
  • During this same time, they were after one of our American teammates. But he and his wife were able to drive to another city and fly out of the country. They were after the husband because of some false accusation made about him and the Chinese pastor. They made it safely to America, and Lord willing, will try to get back in at a later time.
  • Finally, one of the men trained in our ministry and whose name was on the contract of the location we rented for the church was summoned by the police. After getting the problems with the contract settled, here is the series of events that I was told happened: He was handcuffed, head covered, thrown into a vehicle and taken to a dark room and handcuffed to a table. He asked for a lawyer and was hit and then they handcuffed his hands over his head. He was asked to give up information about me and others in the church. He was beaten for not knowing or not giving over information they wanted. He spent the night in jail on a hard bed in a very cold cell with no covers. He could have given over the information about us and our ministry and been released, but instead, he remained loyal and was punished for it. After 48 hours his wife paid the fine and he was released because it was coming up on Chinese New Year. The original jail sentence was 7 days.

Praises, Prayer Requests, Updates and Announcements:

  • New Support Update: We have raised an additional 1% of new support this past month which makes a total of 14% raised on furlough. We are at 84% of our new support goal, which means we only need 16% more.
  • Furlough Traveling: Sine our last prayer letter, we had meetings in: AL, GA, SC, NV. Please pray as I will be traveling more extensively over the next few months, but this semester our children are in school and only have a certain number of days they are allowed to miss, thus my wife and children will not be traveling with me to most meetings due to schooling restrictions.
  • Solar-powered Audio Devices Update: They were not able to pick up the ones that were confiscated and take them to Taiwan, although there still might be a chance in the future. Please pray.

Thank you! 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

January 2019 Prayer Letter

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends,

“I preach in a little bit. Please pray for me!” was the translation of the text message that I received from the Chinese pastor on the Sunday morning of their Christmas service. I responded in the affirmative and then a couple of hours later he sent another text that translates: “Amen! Three people trusted in Jesus!” Hearing stories of God saving people in China while we are on furlough and in our absence is one of the greatest things to hear! If you are a supporting church or a prayer partner, then it should thrill you to know that even though our family is not in China right now, there is a church that is actively reaching the lost. And you were a part of making that happen! But there was even more great news to follow because the Wednesday following the Sunday mentioned above, that same local church in China hosted another Christmas activity during their midweek service and saw another four people make professions of faith. Praise the Lord!

Praises, Prayer Requests, and Announcements:

  • New Support Update: We have raised an additional 3% of new support this past month which makes a total of 13% raised on furlough. We are at 83% of our new support goal, which means we only need 17% more.
  • News from China: There were 7 saved over the Christmas holiday in China and 1 already saved in 2019 for around a total of 17 souls saved since we left China for our furlough. Praise the Lord for the great work He is doing in China!
  • Furlough Traveling: Sine our last prayer letter, we had meetings in: TN, GA, OH. We had a wonderful time celebrating the holidays with family. Also, were able to attend the Our Generation Summit in Ohio where we launched our new book, A Thousand Lives. The conference was a great success with people surrendering their lives to take the gospel to the world.
  • Solar-powered Audio Devices Update: Last month, we reported on the solar-powered audio devices that we were trying to get into China. Those that are in the country are starting to be used. The others that were confiscated, Lord willing, will be picked up and taken to Taiwan by the end of this month. Please pray.

Thank you! 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 

December 2018 Prayer Letter

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends,

“Are you willing to take these with you when you visit China?” was the question I asked a missionary friend. He is the brother of one of our teammates in China. He and his wife were going to Asia for a visit. Our ministry was given hundreds of solar-powered audio devices that contained the Chinese audio Bible, preaching, etc. But we needed to get them into China. However, with all things like this, there is a risk. He agreed since they were going to be visiting China on this trip. He took the first batch of 250 devices into China without much of a problem—meaning they were stopped, asked questions and then released—successfully getting them into the country. But on their second trip into China with another 200 devices they had bigger problems—meaning they were stopped by customs, their bags were opened and security was called. Him and his wife were put into separate rooms for about two and a half hours. Eventually, someone showed up to interview them. Afterwards, they were released but all the devices were confiscated, as they found out it was “religious propaganda” (in their terms) from listening to the content on the devices. Finally, they were told that the devices were not allowed to enter the country but they could get them out of customs and take them to another country. They didn’t have the time to do this on their trip, thus we are still working on getting them out of customs. Praise the Lord for their protection and the devices that got in. Pray for those officials who listened to the content of the devices to realize that they are not listening to “propaganda” but “truth” that can set them free! Pray as we use the devices that are in-country to help reach into the cities and villages of China.

Praises, Prayer Requests, and Announcements:

  • New Support Update: We have raised about an additional 2% of new support this past month which makes a total of 10% raised on furlough. We are at 80% of our new support goal, which means we only need 20% more.
  • Furlough Traveling: Sine our last prayer letter, we had meetings in: SC, NC, TN, GA. Again, it is a blessing to serve God, see people respond to His working in China, and make new partners in the ministry as we travel.
  • New Project: Our China team, Vision For China, has written a book entitled, “A Thousand Lives” about the great need in China. Lord willing, we will be launching it at the end of this month. 
  • Event Reminder: December 28-29, 2018 is the Our Generation Summit in Mt. Sterling, Ohio. Our whole family will be attending this conference, Lord willing, and we want to invite you to come too! For more information contact us or visit: www.ogsummit.com.

Thank you! 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 everyday to know Jesus, to be happy in the Him, and to make Him known! 

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

November 2018 Prayer Letter

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends,

Imagine you were born in a communist country. A country that denies the existence of God. A place where there was a very small chance that you would actually hear the gospel. Thousands are born this way every day in China. But this past Sunday, there was a baby boy born to a Chinese man and women who are followers of Jesus. They are leading the church we started in China. Against all odds, this boy was born into a Christian family. He, Lord willing, will be raised by parents who are in love with Jesus. Parents who every day have to truly live out their faith because of the reality of their surroundings—the reality that his occupation is considered illegal by their government. Oh, praise is to God for the changing of a generation and the work He is doing to change lives in China and around the world. 

Please pray or rejoice with us over the following updates:

  • News from China: Another soul was saved this past month in China. Pray for the growth of the church as they disciple these new believers in a growing relationship with Jesus.
  • New Support Update: We have raised an additional 5% of new support this past month which makes a total of 8% raised on furlough. We are at 78% of our new support goal, which means we only need 22% more. We are thankful and blessed by our new partners!
  • Furlough Traveling: Sine our last prayer letter, we have had meetings in: AZ, GA, OH, CA. Again, we were blessed with great meetings and missions conferences. It has been a joy to reconnect with faithful supporters and partner with new ones. There are so many little blessings in traveling and serving God—one of those is making friends all over the country with the same passion of knowing Jesus and making Him known.
  • Family News: Keep my wife in your prayers as she is dealing with a few health problems. Also, we are working on getting all the kids caught up on the doctor’s appointments.

Event Reminder: We will be participating and speaking at the Our Generation Summit in Mt. Sterling, Ohio this coming December 28-29, 2018. This conference is a gathering of Christians endeavoring to further the Gospel of Christ. This conference is open to individuals, couples, families, and church groups. If you are interested in missions, I hope that you will plan to attend. For more information contact us or visit: www.ogsummit.com.

Thank you! We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying and being a part of our “China Ministry” team. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward so that we can know Jesus and make Him known! 

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

DOWNLOAD THIS PRAYER LETTER AS A PRINTABLE PDF