Mind Dump: Hospital, Blessings, Fundraising, Blog Series

  • Hospital – Natasha got sick a few days ago, and it wasn’t getting better. So we finally came to the hospital, and after some tests, they diagnosed her with colitis. The doctor said she would have to stay here for a few days to get the medicine through IV. Please pray for a quick recovery.
  • God has been good to us! The church has seen 4 Taiwanese make professions of faith recently. Two were from my wife’s Bible study, another was from Kanon studying the Bible with a man who contacted our church, and the fourth was a 14-year-old boy I led to the Lord; he had started coming around the church after Kanon met him passing out tracts.
  • Kevin’s Story: A 14-year-old boy came by the church a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday night. We preached the gospel to him and gave him a Bible. He asked if he could keep it at the church because his parents would get upset that he had a Bible. So instead, I gave him an audio player that had the Bible and some preaching on it so that he could keep learning. He said he was listening to it. The following week he came back for our youth night, and we continued to study the Bible. That night he got saved. He even took the Bible and material home with him. He continues to come to our youth night and also came this Sunday. Pray for Kevin.
  • China Pastor’s Fund | A Different Approach – UPDATE: We are at 75.5% of our goal for the China Pastors Fund! Excited as more church plants are taking place in mainland China! For more info, click here.
  • Taiwan Building Fund | Special Giving Opportunity – UPDATE: This month, we just launched a fundraising campaign for purchasing a building for the church plant here in Taoyuan, Taiwan. Will you prayerfully consider getting involved? Click Here for More Info & Church Plant Updates
  • I normally don’t write about different current events that are going on, but I felt compelled to earlier this year, and it helped me think through them. Here is a 3-part SERIES from the blog that you might have missed: Live In The Light: Condemning Racism & Engaging Culture
  • As the pandemic took over 2020, I had a unique perspective, leading ministries in more than one country. Naturally, as I answered questions about how to respond for myself and think through these issues, another SERIES on the blog came forth: COVID-19 Related.

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, ChinaMinistry.org, 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,

Mark


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!

October 2020 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | The Joy of a New Church Plant

In August, I asked for you to pray for “one of the Chinese pastors” as he was “looking to start a new church plant, Joy Baptist Church.” God heard our prayers and is blessing this new work in mainland China! I received reports of over 30 participating. The birth of a local New Testament church amid COVID-19 restrictions and the ongoing persecution is genuinely a work of God. Currently, we are helping them rent their building (which has a business on the first floor as their cover). Jesus’ words ring true, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Visa Furlough Over | We are Back on the Field

Praise the Lord—we have safely returned to the mission field of Taiwan! We had a blessed time in the States and returned ready to do more than ever! Last month we mentioned needing a negative COVID-19 test before we could return, but we met the visa requirements not to get the test. We are still required to do our mandatory 14-day quarantine in our house. Currently, we are still in the midst of this quarantine period, which should end on October 9th (my birthday), if there are no complications or sickness. Once we are permitted to leave our house, we will be getting busy about our Father’s business!

Exciting Announcement  | Asia Field Director for Vision Baptist Missions

In January 2009, Natasha and I started deputation as the first missionary family serving with Vision Baptist Missions. Since then, we have been serving as church planting missionaries to China and now Taiwan. Not only has our ministry grown since then, but God has blessed the growth of our mission board, adding dozens of families. It is with great honor, privilege, and humility to announce that I have been asked to serve as the “Asia Field Director” for Vision Baptist Missions. I have humbly accepted this role of service, which will allow me to encourage and equip other missionary families with our board in Asia. Lord willing, we will also be able to enlist others in Asia missions and world evangelism.

We will still be living on the field and serving as church-planting missionaries, so little will change in this aspect of our current ministry. Nevertheless, this new responsibility will allow our scope of influence and ministry to expand from the island of Taiwan to all of Asia.

Please pray that God will (1) give me the wisdom to fulfill this new role; (2) give me the strength to be a faithful steward of these new responsibilities; (3) give me open doors for new recruitment opportunities to raise laborers for Asia.

Church Plant Update | The Church Plant Is Seven Months Old

Praise the Lord, since we left, it seems beside the many visitors, there has been one new family who has been attending faithfully. We are excited to be able to meet them this month.  I am thankful for all the missionaries, national pastors, and pastors in training that were able to preach at the church in our absence. Our three ongoing prayer requests: (1) the salvation of the lost; (2) the discipleship of the saved; (3) a band of young men to train for ministry!

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

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

DOWNLOAD THIS PRAYER LETTER AS A PRINTABLE PDF

Quarantine Mind Dump: Together In Unity

  • We have been back in Taiwan for five/six days or so now. We are on day 5 of our 14-day quarantine. We feel great, with no sickness, praise the Lord. We are just required to do this quarantine as a precaution coming back in.
  • I am thankful for my missionary friends. Two missionaries who live in our current city, Charlie San Juan and John Flowers, have been a huge encouragement and blessing to me. Charlie led the church for the first month while we were gone. John also filled in preaching several times and helped with so many “practical” things such as paying bills, airport runs, and helping with the house. All 3 of us serve with different mission boards, but we serve the same Lord Jesus and the unity of the brethren has been sweet. (Psalm 133:1)
  • Two other missionaries that have also been a particular blessing have been John Walz and Kanon Bloom. We serve with the same mission board. Kanon was able to lead the church the second month we were gone and now while we are in quarantine. He has also been able to help with the many errands that we have, bills to be paid, etc. John also was able to send several of the men he has trained to preach at different times over the past two months. What a blessing!
  • If we can keep this true brotherhood where we really care and help one another without care about who gets the credit, then I believe we are going to see God do great things here in Taiwan, and not just here, but its effects will ripple around the world.
  • I am excited to get back to work. I would say over the past year I experienced some sort of “burn out”. I knew something was up, but couldn’t put my finger on it. The Lord has been giving me the “rest” that I needed and the “refocused” attention back on Him. In Him there is Victory. This is a spiritual battle and I am on the right side, the winning side. God has never left me, nor is he done with me, I am being molded into His image. May I be a reflector of His grace.
  • Some things in the “dream” stage right now are starting a second church and buying a piece of property for the ministry here i.e. church building. Once we are able to go out of our house, we will be looking into these two dreams more in-depth.
  • Pray request: Once we are out of quarantine, we are planning to look for a new house and move. Pray, we can find a reasonably sized and priced house. We want to be closer to the church plant(s) and save money on our monthly expenses. Pray for an easy transition out of our current contract and a smooth transition into our new contract.
  • Pray for Taiwan, China, Asia. Check out the new “Our Field” page.
  • Pray for the pastors in China who are dealing with persecution. Check out the new “Persecution Timeline” page. We need more men to surrender and go to China. The more missionaries they kick out or intimidate to leave, the more we need to go in. We call this the pipeline. Will you surrender your life and go to China even if you will endure some persecution?
  • A blog is great for writing new content, but not so much for finding old content. Recently, I discovered how to list out all blog posts organized by category. You can check out the selected blog posts or all blog post in an easy to glance format.

Upcoming “China Missions” Event:

Underground Jiaohui Conference | October 16-17, 2020 | The Underground Jiaohui Conference is exclusively for those who would consider how they can orient their lives to make an impact in China for the gospel. Lead by Vision For China missionaries with Vision Baptist Missions, the conference will encompass both preaching and practical teaching on China, the underground church, and the immense need for gospel laborers. Topics will include praying for China, boldness amid persecution, language and culture acquisition, and strategy for mission. The most exciting aspect of the conference is sure to be the time between sessions to get to know missionaries to China, ask them your questions, hear their stories, and discover their heart for making Jesus known in the most populous country on earth!
More Info | Register Now

September 2020 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | “Soul Saving Business”

Even amid a pandemic and persecution, God is still in the soul-saving business! Two of the pastors in China have reported four souls saved this past month! In one Chinese city, there were three saved: a young lady who is a university teacher, the husband of a lady who comes to the church, and a father. In another Chinese city, there was a lady in her fifties saved! Pray for these two pastors as they disciple these new believers and pray for the new believers as they are baptized, discipled, and growing in Christ.

Visa Furlough Ending | Visas Approved, Returning to the Field

Praise the Lord—our missionary visas were quickly approved, and we have them in hand! The day we received our visas in the mail, we also purchased tickets to return to the field. Lord willing, we will be boarding a plane to return to Taiwan on September 22nd. Praise the Lord for answering our prayers for a smooth, efficient, quick, and successful process. Please be in prayer over the following as we go forward:

  • Pray for our final weeks in the States to be productive—there is much to do as we prepare to return and say our goodbyes to family, friends, and supporters once again.
  • Pray for our health and safety—according to current regulations, we have to test negative for COVID-19 within three business days of our flight to be able to board the plane.
  • Pray for our reentry—according to current regulations, once we land in Taiwan, we will be required to do a mandatory 14-day quarantine in our house. After that time period is up and we don’t have any symptoms of the coronavirus, we will be able to return to life and ministry as normal.

Church Plant Update | The Church Plant Is Six Months Old

In our absence, the Lord is continuing to bless Victory Baptist Church in Taoyuan City, Taiwan. Attendance has held steady, and there have been many new visitors over the past month. Over the past six months, the church has had about 105 visitors. Please continue praying for the salvation of the lost and the discipleship of the saved! Also, we are praying for God to give us a band of young men to train for ministry to take the gospel to the world!

Moreover, in our absence, we are thankful for the Taiwanese believers who have stepped up and taken responsibilities to lead their church. We are also incredibly grateful for the missionary family who graciously lead the church over the past month. For this month, they turned over their responsibilities to our teammates, who were able to get out of quarantine after arriving in Taiwan. We are also thankful for the many preachers (missionaries and nationals) who have gone and preached at the church on Sunday mornings.

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

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

DOWNLOAD THIS PRAYER LETTER AS A PRINTABLE PDF

August 2020 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | Victory Summer Camp

Several months ago, another missionary in Taiwan gave us the idea of running a summer day camp. We learned from how they did things and then made our plans. We started promoting the camp and getting some interest. By the time camp was ready, 20 kids had signed up (almost all from the new location)! Over the next five days, from 9-3, we hosted those kids at the church and taught them the truths of God’s Word! Of course, they made some crafts, learned some English, and played outside, but the essential time throughout each day was communicating God’s Word to them, some whom I imagine had never heard before. The following Sunday, we had “Camp Sunday,” and there was 49 in attendance with 24 of those being first-time visitors. Thus, not only did the campers have an opportunity to hear the gospel, many of their parents were able to hear it as well!

Visa Furlough | In The USA, Waiting For Visas

Praise the Lord—we were able to turn in everything needed, thus far, for our visa applications, and our entire family has safely returned to the USA. They told us the application process takes 6-8 weeks. Once our visas are approved, Lord willing, we will return to the field as soon as possible. Please pray for a smooth, efficient, quick, and successful process. Also, thank you to everyone who has made our unexpected return to the States much more comfortable with taking/picking us up from the airport, providing a place for us to stay, loaning us a vehicle to use, and so much more. May the Lord bless you greatly for serving His servant.

Church Plant Update | Our Church Plant Is Five Months Old

Last month, we successfully moved Victory Baptist Church to Luzhu District in Taoyuan City. The Lord blessed as we took this step of faith, and our average attendance was higher in our new location than any of the previous months—averaging around 22 on Sunday mornings (including our family) in July. Also, over the past five months, we have had a total of 79 visitors. Pray for the salvation of the lost!

After having such a great month of growth and ministry, we were saddened to have to leave because of our current visa situation and the COVID-19 restrictions. Another missionary family has graciously agreed to lead the church in our absence, and many preachers are lined up to go and challenge this young church plant. We are also excited about those attending, taking on more responsibilities. Please keep praying for continued growth and edification—all for the glory of God!

Prayer Requests & Praises | New Church Plant, Vision For China

  • Please continue to pray for the churches in mainland China. One of the Chinese pastors is looking to start a new church plant, Joy Baptist Church. Pray for wisdom as he goes forward with the church plant amid COVID-19 restrictions and the ongoing persecution.
  • Pray for our Vision For China team. Over the last year, we have lost some missionary families (for various reasons) but also have recently gained a new family—praise the Lord! The harvest is great, but the laborers are few. With COVID-19 and the current political turmoil with China, it seems the door is slammed shut for a season—but at the same time, it could open at any moment. We need to be ready with laborers ready to go when the opportunity to “go in” is available again. At the same time, there is a great need and open door in Taiwan—an island of 23 million souls filled with idol worship—they need to be told the knowledge of the true God! Who will go? Will you? Pray about it.

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

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

DOWNLOAD THIS PRAYER LETTER AS A PRINTABLE PDF

July 2020 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | More Persecution

This past month I was contacted by one of our pastors in China about being contacted by the police again. He told me he had to go in and would contact me when he got out. We waited the whole day for any news, but finally that night he contacted me. He recounted the story of going in and behind handcuffed in front of his son and wife, led away to a holding cell, being roughed up, physically abused, threatened, interrogated, and then finally released. Why? Because of the same problems over the past year and a half—his relationship to missionaries and him being a pastor. They haven’t closed this case and are still seeking to persecute those involved as they desire to obtain more information on anyone involved with the church or missionaries. But praise the Lord he came out with a good spirit and a renewed passion to keep serving the Lord!

Important Announcement | Returning To The USA, Applying For Visas

We have purchased plane tickets to return to the States on July 28th. Our whole family must return to formally apply for our missionary visas so that we can return to Taiwan and have a semi-permanent residence here. 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 and our current “visa-free” entry is about to reach its max limit for our stay in the country.)

Church Plant Update | Our Church Plant Is Four Months Old

“Adjust, adjust, adjust” is one principle I was taught as a teen by my youth pastor. And it seems to be the theme for our lives over the past year. This has also been true for the church plant. After praying and talking it over with those faithfully attending, we have decided to move the location of the church plant. It will be about an 8-mile move (driving) which is far in city terms and will be in a new district and city. The Lord has already provided a new location for us to meet in. The church will now be located in Luzhu District in Taoyuan City. This location will be much more convenient for almost everyone who is attending faithfully and will be close enough for those taking part in our small groups in that area to also start attending on Sundays. We are very excited about this move and the potential to reach more people as this new area is much more densely populated.

Over the past four months, we have had a total of 52 visitors. Also, in June we had a “Friend Day” and averaged around 19 on Sunday mornings including our family. Please pray for the church plant as there will be another missionary family taking it over while we are in the States applying for our visas.

Prayer Requests & Praises | Mainland China, Praise For Healing

  • Pray for the churches in mainland China: (1) to restart having in-person services and people won’t be afraid to do so in a safe manner; (2) to endure the continuing persecution with boldness; (3) to be blessed and encouraged by our once a month online service.
  • Praise the Lord, Pastor Austin Gardner was released from the hospital around June 19th. Please continue to pray for his full recovery as he does therapy to increase his strength and stamina.

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

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

DOWNLOAD THIS PRAYER LETTER AS A PRINTABLE PDF

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.

F.A.Q.

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.

June 2020 Prayer Letter

Stories of God at Work | First Time To Church, Ever!

It was Sunday morning and because my wife was sick, we were doing the Sunday School and Adult Bible Study together. I was just expecting a small crowd that morning. In the midst of the lesson, an older couple walked into the church. They had a church flyer in their hand. Not much longer after that, a young family with two teens walked into the church. I also noticed they had a church flyer. As they found their seat, I asked them if they were Christians. The husband responded, “No. Actually this our first time ever visiting a church.” After we finished the Bible study, we had our morning worship service. I quickly changed my message to a gospel presentation. They didn’t receive Christ that day, but praise the Lord the seed was planted. It was a much-needed encouragement to me that day.

Friday Night Outreach | Victory English

Currently, on Friday nights we have two outreaches. My wife is teaching a Kid’s English Club and at the same time, I am teaching an Adult English Corner, which some of the parents who attend. We have a good response to these events and between them we consistently have 20-30 people come every week. Pray as we continue to build relationships and trust with our community. Some have already come and visited the church from it but not all. Also, we will be hosting “Victory Summer Camp” in July, similar to a Vacation Bible School, that several of these children have already signed up for. 

Church Plant Update | Our Church Plant Is Three Months Old

We have now completed the third month of our church plant. We had around 17 first time visitors in the month of May. We had a high day on Mother’s day of 30 people in attendance with 12 first time visitors. We have also been trying to figure out the best times for our services, as we desire to give everyone around 3 hours of “meeting” time each week. After changing the times a few times, we finally have a schedule that seems to be working. Currently, we meet one hour on Sunday morning for Sunday School and Adult Bible Study, plus an hour for our Sunday Morning Worship Service, and then one hour for small groups during the week. Over the past three months, we have had a total of 40 visitors, which is about an average of 13 a month. Also, we are averaging around 15 on Sunday mornings including our family. We praise the Lord for this continual growth! We ask that you keep bringing the following two requests before the Lord on our behalf: (1) the salvation and discipleship of those coming; (2) young men to reach and train for ministry.

Prayer Requests & Praises | China Opening, Car Accident, Pastor Gardner

  • Pray for the churches in mainland China. As the country continues to open back up after COVID-19 lockdowns, may have the churches there still can’t meet in person. Also, I have changed my online service with the churches to once a month.
  • Praise the Lord I wasn’t injured when I was getting out of the van to move some cones to park it on the side of the road, I heard a scream and saw a motorbike coming directly at me. The handlebars hit the rear brake light and then turned over into the rode and slid down it. The driver was taken to the hospital. Pray for a quick recovery of her leg which was severely damaged.
  • Pray for my pastor, Austin Gardner. On Wednesday, May 20th, he was taken to the hospital by ambulance because he had very low oxygen levels. He was admitted into the ICU and is being treated for double pneumonia and COVID-19. On Thursday, May 21st, Pastor Austin Gardner was intubated. He was asleep for the next 21 days. On Thursday, June 11th, PRAISE THE LORD, he was finally taken off off the ventilator and is now continuing to recover in the hospital!

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

In His Joyful Service,

Mark

DOWNLOAD THIS PRAYER LETTER AS A PRINTABLE PDF