Category Archives: Prayer Letters

June 2017 Prayer Letter

We had another blessed month in the ministry this past month. Here are praises and prayer request for this month:

  • As of this writing, we have two days left of our first semester. The three students have done a great job and are spending these two final days preparing for and taking their end of the semester exams. Through the summer we plan on doing module style classes, the first being hosted by two teachers from our home church, Vision Baptist Church. We are excited about them arriving this week. Also, Lord willing, the wife of the other man training will be joining us this coming semester, as she desires to learn more. This means we will have 4 full-time students. Please pray for them and also for more students this semester.
  • Praise the Lord we had 4 baptized last month. One of the men that were baptized was led to the Lord by one of our students as he was coming back to the city on the train. The Lord is really using him to reach souls.
  • The church voted last month to financially take on one the Bible college students (Lebron) as the assistant pastor. Praise the Lord! He will be receiving 50% of the offerings until he can receive an honorable wage. This is a great step for the church to become more indigenous.
  • We are praying about and planning for a second church plant this fall, Lord willing. Please pray with us for wisdom about location, building, and all the other decisions that need to be made to start a second church in the city.
  • We are considering purchasing a building in the future for the church to use and also for a central location for our training center. We have been researching the process of purchasing a building in China and the necessary requirements. Although the prices are high (minimum of $150,000) because we are working in the inner city, it is definitely a possibility and it would be an incredible help. Please help us pray for wisdom about making this decision and necessary fundraising.
  • We are excited about our teammates who have confirmed–with plane tickets purchased–that they will be joining us this coming December, Lord willing. Please pray they can raise their final support and for the upcoming transition they will be making.
  • Pray for laborers. We need more laborers, but many are afraid to step out and serve God for a various amount of reasons. Fear paralyzes us from action. Inaction allows us to ignore our problems. Ignoring our problems leads to a wasted life. Face your fears by taking action and facing your problems to live a victorious life! What are you waiting for? There is an incredible life for you to live through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in the gospel of Jesus. Step out into the deep waters and give everything!

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 team, Project China.

May 2017 Prayer Letter

Each month there is growth. The growth looks different each time. Some of it can be measured by numbers on a sheet, but some of it is the unseen spiritual maturity taking places in our lives and the lives of those we are around and only known from seeing how far we have come. April has been no different. God is working and we praise His name!

Easter: The Lord blessed with great attendance on Easter Sunday. We had over 80 people in attendance. The kids’ ministry had hosted a special time where they had different stations that explained part of the Easter story in a fun and yet clear and convicting way. One of the mom’s (who is an unbeliever) mentioned to me that she thought the kids were really understanding what Easter was all about. I was happy that she was understanding what Easter was all about. The Lord allowed me to prepare and preached a clear and bold gospel message. We had one man that we had worked with for almost two years make a profession of faith after the service. He is getting baptized this coming Sunday. Afterward, we had a big meal and enjoyed the fellowship with all of our visitors.

Seminary Update: The three full-time students are working and studying very hard. We are more than halfway through this semester and it has been a blessed time for all those involved. We are excited to see the students and teachers all growing in the Lord.

Marriage Class: To help strengthen the marriage of the couples in our church, we started a marriage class during our Wednesday night bible studies. This class is designed to be attended by both spouses and we study what the bible says about marriage, how the gospel changes our thoughts about marriage and how to use biblical principles in our everyday lives to have a God-honoring marriage.

Vacation: At the end of the month and into this month, my family was also able to enjoy a 10-day vacation to Thailand. We enjoyed the time together as a family and it gave us the much-needed rest and relaxation before we head into a very busy summer.

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 team, Project China.

April 2017 Prayer Letter

March has been an exciting and busy month. We had three baptized and joined the church this month. The lady who we mentioned in our February prayer letter made the decision to turn from Buddha and follow Jesus—she was one of those we baptized. Praise Jesus!

Seminary Update: Classes are going great, and the teachers and students are all enjoying their time together studying God’s word. We started with two students, and through a series of events, one of the wive’s of the men asked if she could join the classes so that she could also grow in the Word. So now we have three full-time students. Please continue to pray for the other teachers and me as we prepare and teach these classes. Also, please pray for the students as they prepare and train for ministry. A side project that we have been working on is a website that host all of the material we are producing and other resources that would be helpful to the Chinese church. We completed a majority of the work on the website and launched it near the beginning of this month. All of the material is in Mandarin with simplified characters. The site offers the following:

  • Sermon Outlines: Over 200 of my sermon outlines—this will continue to grow as we continually update it with new sermons. These can also be download in PDF form to be used in the local church or a small group setting.
  • The Chinese Bible: Anyone can easily access the Bible in Chinese and read it online, download it in PDF form or listened to in MP3 format. Also, we have a request form that a person can fill out if they need a physical Bible sent to them in the mail.
  • Worship Songs: We provided all the lyrics and custom music sheets for the worship songs that we sing in our local church.
  • Other things include Bible verse art, theology pictures that help explain simple and complex truths, testimonies from our church people, other articles, and some of their daily devotions. There are also links to Christian and gospel movies or videos and other websites that provided helpful information in Chinese.

Survey Trip: We had two of our Project China teammates take a survey trip to China this past month. They visited us, and I was privileged to travel with them for a few days as they consider what city they will be moving to within the next year, Lord willing. Please pray as they are coming to the end of their deputation and making plans to go to the field soon.

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 team, Project China.

March 2017 Prayer Letter

February was a great month to be able to get ahead in preparing sermons and making plans for the future of the ministry here. Many exciting things are happening, and we praise the Lord we can have a small part in it.

Dalian Baptist Seminary: Back in November of 2014 we started working on organizing and laying the foundation for our Bible training center. We had a few students who were partially interested in ministry. At the beginning of the year, I started a class in the evenings with those who were interested. Every Thursday night we would meet for class. We finished a course on “Galatians” and then over the break the young men who were involved became busy with their work at the universities they still attended and needed to choose one or the other. Each made their decisions and classes were suspended by July 2015.

Now, it is March 2017, and we are starting back up. We made some initial mistakes at the beginning, but we have learned from those mistakes and the advice of others. This month we are re-starting “Dalian Baptist Seminary” with full-time classes (the first class was held on February 27th). We will be having day-time classes with 18 credit hours this semester taught by five teachers. We are excited about this opportunity to train young men to be pastors and investing into their lives.

Students: We have two young men in their twenties who have surrendered to full-time ministry. Both men are married without children. Their English names are Lebron and Charles. Lebron has purposely quit his job to start taking classes full-time with us. Charles recently sold his restaurant and decided the Lord was calling him into ministry the day before we started class.

Please pray for the following: (1) Each of the teachers will be able to accurately and clearly teach God’s word. (2) For more students and young men who forsake their life plans to serve full-time in ministry. (3) Wisdom for me as I will be doing a bulk of the teaching this first semester.

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 team, Project China.

February 2017 Prayer Letter

Happy Chinese New Year! As the holidays come to an end in the USA, they continued here in China. Everything slows down as many are off work and return to their hometowns for the holiday break.

Update: In January, the church hosted its first wedding between two of its church members. The bride was saved and baptized last summer. We praise the Lord for working in their lives. Also, we had a good turn out for our Chinese New Year service where we made dumplings at the church before everyone returned to their hometowns. Finally, we have been blessed to be in a couple of the houses of the Chinese over the break. Please pray for one lady who is attending our church because her daughter’s participating in the weekly Kids’ Club. Recently, she told us that she is at a crossroads in here life—whether or not she should believe in Jesus. When she first came to our church, she said she was a strong Buddhist and asked if her kid could participate but she just wanted to sit outside and wait—not wanting to listen o the preaching. Now she is considering turning from Buddha to Jesus. Please pray for her and her daughter.

New Initiative: Project China’s “The 10 City Initiative” is a strategy to reach the North-Eastern part of China with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our initial goal is to see a church-planting missionary in each of the chosen key cities. Our hope is that each of  these missionaries will start a church-planting movement that trains national leaders to not only reach the city they are in but also their province and beyond.

The 10 key cities that we are targeting are: Harbin, Changchun, Shenyang, Tangshan, Tianjin, Dalian, Yantai, Weifang, Jinan, and Qingdao. The 6 provinces are: Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, and Shandong. The total population for these cities are around 88 million and the area is around 295 million souls.

We need men to surrender their lives to take the gospel to these places. There are incredible opportunities in these places—we just need a willing man with a heart fully surrendered over to God. Will you pray will us for the millions of souls who need the gospel? Will you consider going and being one of the missionaries with Project China?

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 team, Project China.

January 2017 Prayer Letter

Happy New Year! As we look over the past year, we are thankful for the Lord’s tremendous blessings on our life and ministry. December was packed full of many blessings.

Candlelight Service: This Christmas was a milestone for our ministry. This was the first year that we hosted a candlelight service for the members of our church where we celebrated Jesus’ birth as a time of worship and not just as an outreach opportunity. A majority of our members were able to be present and it was a sweet time in the Lord as we sang, read scriptures, testified and partook of the Lord’s supper together.

Women’s Ministry: My wife is doing a great job leading up the women’s ministry in the church. On Christmas Eve, she hosted their monthly women’s meeting at the church and enjoyed a great time in the Lord.

Christmas Service: Since Christmas fell on Sunday this year, it was the perfect opportunity to reach out to the community with the gospel message. We prepared a special Christmas performance to be done by the kids in the kids’ club and asked their parents to come to the morning service. We also encouraged the church members and all those in our different outreaches to come and invite their friends to hear the gospel on Christmas morning. The Lord blessed and we had over 80 in attendance.

Trip to the USA: After Christmas, I took a short trip (around 10 days) back to the US to attend and speak at the Our Generation Summit. I was also able to visit 4 different churches during this time. The purpose of the trip was to mobilize more labors for China. Thankfully, we were able to see two more families make the right steps to eventually join our Project China team, as well as, see many young men show interest in a short-term trip this coming summer. We pray for more fruit from this trip.

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 team, Project China.

December 2016 Prayer Letter

Merry Christmas! This is a wonderful time of year and a fruitful season of ministry in China. The Lord has been so good to us and we have seen Him work in the lives of so many. Fruit is abounding to your account!

Bible Reading: Last month we honored five members of our church who completed reading through the New Testament. One of those men recently finished reading the entire Bible. We are excited about our church members actively reading the Word of God and we hope to encourage them to continue to do so as they grow in the faith.

Thanksgiving Outreach: The Sunday after thanksgiving, we hosted a “thanksgiving banquet” at the church after the morning service. Even though it is an American holiday, we redeemed it to use as an outreach tool. We had a great attendance with several first time visitors as I preached to them about “To Whom Should We Be Giving Thanks?” Please pray for those in attendance who are not believers yet.

We were also blessed to have my in-laws and sister-in-law visit us on the field and celebrate Thanksgiving with us. It was a special time for our families.

Sending Church: The pastor and mission director of our sending church came to visit us on the field this month. We enjoyed their visit and are thankful for their ministry and encouragement to us while we are on the field. We have a great time of team building and our church was able to be blessed through their teaching ministry.

Prayer Request:

  • A man who recently made a decision to believe in Jesus was threatened to lose his job because he works for the government and you must be atheist.
  • We planned a couple different Christmas outreaches and we pray for souls to be saved and God to be glorified.

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 team, Project China.

November 2016 Prayer Letter

We praise the Lord for His continued blessings in our lives and ministry. We count it an honor and joy to be able to serve the “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” in China.

2nd Year Anniversary: Dalian Grace Baptist Church celebrated its second year anniversary from the official start of the church. The Lord blessed and we had many visitors and a wonderful time in the Lord. I was able to preach a simple gospel message and we are praying for fruit in the lives of those who heard it.

Reaching All Ages: I had the opportunity to baptize an older lady who has been coming to our church and learning about the gospel. She finally believed and was baptized this past month. Praise the Lord.

Fall Festival: We hosted a fall festival again this year and it was probably our largest attended activity. It was a joy to see whole families come and enjoy the games and activities that we had planned. Every child received a tract in their treat bag and everyone was invited to come back and join us on Sunday for our kids’ club and morning service.

Support and Offerings: Praise the Lord we have received some new support and other opportunities that have help financially. Also, we received part of what was needed to help purchase the Chinese Bibles.

Persecution: China is a land of great blessing and great persecution. We recently decided to change some of the way we did things to adjust for the growing tension towards local churches in China. In the past, our ministry has had two visits from the police, but thankfully we haven’t had any in the past two years in our current location. With that being said, we have heard of at least three other churches or ministries in the city who have had problems within the past month or so, as well as, others in different parts of China. Please continue to pray for our ability and boldness to move the gospel forward in China.

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 team, Project China.

October 2016 Prayer Letter

September was another exciting month to be serving in the ministry here in China. Since late spring God has really been blessing our outreach efforts and building His church. We are just blessed to be able to be a part of it.

Fruitful Ministry: The school year is back in session so everyone is back to a normal pattern of life. After a fruitful summer, we were hopeful looking into the next season. The church has continued to grow and we even tore down two more walls in our building to expand the auditorium. Also, we saw another man saved. He had been coming to our different events but never had come to church. He decided to believed in God and wanted to become a Christian. He didn’t really know what it meant, but He knew he wanted to know God. He came to my house and I shared the gospel with Him. He didn’t know much about Jesus, but He knew that if Jesus was the way to know God then he was willing to trust in Him. He got saved that day and has been doing weekly discipleship with me since then. Praise the Lord. We are planning another baptism service this month for him and others. Finally, we had another young man (who is married) show interest in full-time ministry. Please pray for him as he makes the necessary steps for his training.

New School: We have a new opportunity for schooling our children this year. All three of our daughters are attending a newly formed bilingual school where all the teachers of the school are Christian. My wife is also working at the school this year to help teach and direct the kindergarten. Our two youngest daughters are in her class. (She even has a government official’s son in her class.) I have the opportunity to teach chapel there several times a semester. Pray for wisdom with this opportunity to influence these children.

Visas: Renewing visas is always a stressful time of the year. You never know what is going to happen. This year we had do something a little different from last year to get our visas, but the Lord blessed and our whole family was granted visas for another year. Praise the Lord. While on our visa run, we were able to take the kids to the new Disney Resort in China for a one-day vacation. We had a great time as a family.

New Outreach: We started a new Bible study outreach on Wednesday evenings. We have a meal, sing a song and then break into small groups for about an hour Bible study where we use a mix of Chinese and English. So far the response has been great and there are several unbelievers studying the Bible because of it. Pray that we will see fruit from this new outreach.

Visitors: We were blessed to be able to assist Ed and Beth de los Reyes on their survey trip last month. They are currently on deputation and have raised over 50% of their support. They are a great couple and we are looking forward to them getting their ministry started in China. If you are interested in more information about them or would like to have them visit your church, please contact us. Also, we hosted some Chinese friends (who pastor a church in Harbin) over a recent Chinese holiday. We enjoyed our time with them and are thankful for the friendships God has given us here.

Support and Offerings: As the ministry grows and the opportunities to invest more of our funds into the ministry here are growing, we could use more monthly support. Please pray that we could raise additional support to meet the growing needs. Also, we are looking to raise some one-time gifts to help us purchase more Chinese Bibles ($500), books we use for outreach ($150) and Christians books and material to stock our church library ($500).

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 team, Project China.

September 2016 Prayer Letter

August marked our sixth year in China. And this past month was one of our most busy and exciting months in China yet!

Salvation: We saw another young man come to faith in Jesus. It is always a blessing to see God working in the hearts of the people we are ministering to!

Baptisms: We planned a baptism activity for the second Sunday of last month. We hosted it during our normal afternoon service time, but held it at the ocean in a park near our church. We saw seven people follow the Lord in believer’s baptism, one of those being our oldest daughter. There were hundreds of people on the beach that day and many stopped to watched as we publicly baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Church Membership: Also this past month we added seven people to our church membership. God really has blessed over these summer months.

The Baptist Tabernacle: We were privileged to host a group from the Baptist Tabernacle in Carlisle, Ohio. This was the church that I grew up in and that my parents still attend. My youth pastor was also able to make the trip and it was an honor to stand by him and translate the Sunday morning message for Him. God used Him in a major way in my life to bring my to where I am today. This was one of the best groups that we have hosted and we were able to do several outreaches while they were here that were a blessing to the local people.

Family: My parents came with the short-term group and then stayed a few days longer to spend time together with our family. We enjoyed having them hear and the girls loved spending time with their grandma and grandpa.

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 team, Project China.

In His Joyful Service,

Mark and family.