Category Archives: Prayer Letters

December 2019 Prayer Letter

Special Announcement | From the USA to China to Taiwan

On November 11, we left Atlanta, Georgia to return to Dalian, China. A few days after our return, the Chinese pastor that we trained up was taken in by the Chinese Nation Security Bureau. Once the Chinese pastor returned, he informed us that they knew I was back in the city and they were seeking information about me to deport me from the country. We got council and prayed for guidance. We concluded that the Lord was leading us away from living in the mainland to living on the island of Taiwan. Choosing to stay would have put our ability to work in the mainland at high risk (since they were actively seeking to deport me already) and continued to put more pressure on the locals to turn over information on me.

On November 17, we left the mainland and relocated to the city of Taipei, Taiwan. There is religious freedom here similar to the USA and a wide open door for us to do ministry. This will allow us as a family to have a home base and to start a new church, but also, serve as a launching pad for us to continue making trips into the cities of Northeastern China that we were ministering in previously. God is at work in our midst, and even though I don’t understand all of it, I know that the missionary life, and even more so, the Christian life, is a series of small steps of obedience following God’s leading.

Stories of God at Work  | No Turning Back, No Turning Back

On November 24, the church of one of the men we are training was raided by the police. The members and pastor were taken into the police station and then later released. As I was trying to encourage this Chinese pastor, he sent this simple text which translates into: “The cross before me, the world behind me, no turning back, no turning back.” Amen! 

Special Needs | New and Unexpected Needs: Please Give and Pray

Our move to Taiwan was unexpected. Thus, we need to raise at least $30,000 above what we were originally were raising for our Church Planting and Reentry Funds for the mainland. These additional funds will help cover the cost of resetting up life here in Taipei and, Lord willing, be debt free at the end of it. Thus after merging our previous funds with our additional needed funds, we are at 62% of our target goal. A one-time love offering will help us continue the work the Lord has given us to do. We are thankful for our partners who support us on a monthly basis, those who have recently given to help us with our other recent funds and our praying friends, but now we are asking for you to consider again a one-time love offering of any amount to help us reach these needs.

Prayer Requests and Praises | Transition, Persecution, Church Plant

  • Praise for a safe transition during our relocation and pray for our readjustment here!
  • Pray the three Chinese pastors we are training in the mainland as they lead their ministries in the midst of persecution. Pray for them to be encouraged and emboldened in the Lord.
  • Pray for our new ministry in Taipei. We are praying to get setup ASAP and be launching a church plant shortly after. Also, pray about coming over on a short-term trip to help us.

We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying, serving, and being a part of our “China Ministry” team. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward and keep fighting the good fight. May we strive every day to know Jesus, to be happy in the Him, and to make Him known!

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

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November 2019 Prayer Letter

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

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

Special Announcement  | Furlough Ending: Plane Tickets Purchased

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

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

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

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

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

We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying, serving, and being a part of our “China Ministry” team. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward and keep fighting the good fight. May we strive every day to know Jesus, to be happy in the Him, and to make Him known!

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

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October 2019 Prayer Letter

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

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

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

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

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

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

We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying, serving, and being a part of our “China Ministry” team. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward and keep fighting the good fight. May we strive every day to know Jesus, to be happy in the Him, and to make Him known!

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

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September 2019 Prayer Letter

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

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

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

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

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

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

We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. Thank you for giving, praying, serving, and being a part of our “China Ministry” team. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward and keep fighting the good fight. May we strive every day to know Jesus, to be happy in the Him, and to make Him known!

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

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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

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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!

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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