Wednesday, June 26, 2019

May Prayer Letter

May 2019

Dear Praying Friends,

A few months ago, I felt a bulge in my abdomen that began to grow and hurt. After consulting with four doctors, having ultra sounds, CT scans, blood work and other tests, it was determined that an operation was needed to remove and biopsy this tumor. On Tuesday, May 14th, they wheeled me into the operating room. The anesthesiologist had an unpleasant surprise for me. He informed me that he wanted to do an epidural rather than general anesthetic as it was safer for me to be awake during the two hour operation.  So, I lay there on my back, not feeling anything from my lower chest down and watching the operation in the reflection of the stainless-steel lights overhead. After about an hour of them digging and working, I joked with the three surgeons, “Have you reached my spine yet?”  They all three paused and then burst out in laughter. They wanted to know where I was from and why I had chosen to live in Portugal.  So, for the next 20 minutes or so, I shared with them the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I can honestly say it was the strangest witnessing situation I have ever found myself in! While they were wrist deep in my abdomen, I told them of the love of Christ for each one of them and that only through Christ we can have salvation.  After the surgery, each doctor came by and shook my hand and thanked me for talking with them.  Please pray that the seed that was sown will bear fruit. 

I am home and recuperating as I write this letter. Praise the Lord, the chief surgeon told me the tumor was benign, definitely not cancer!  Praise the Lord!! Thank you for your prayers!

Sowing seed wherever we can,

Mark Hale

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

April Prayer Letter

April 2019

Dear Praying Friends,

He watched the suspicious man slowly walking by and instinctively knew something was wrong. He lost sight of the man for a few moments, but the breaking of glass was all the warning he needed. Yelling for his wife to call the police, he ran next door to his neighbours’ house and found the broken window where the thief had entered.  Inside, realizing he had been discovered, the thief broke a back window and tried to run away with his hastily gathered loot. A. (a young preacher in our church) jumped on his motorcycle and rode after the man as he disappeared into the woods. Three hours later, after being chased relentlessly, the exhausted thief ran into a police barricade and was arrested. 

In spite of the fact that the loot was recovered in his possession, his fingerprints were all over the neighbours’ house and an eye witness testified about his crime, the thief was released the next day because he was a “first time offender”.  This is how messed up the P. justice system is: They allow a thief to go free but convict a Christian man for “psychological abuse” for witnessing to his lost wife! Are things getting worse? Not really.

2,000 years ago, a thief/murderer was released but the Holy, Sinless Son of God was unjustly condemned and crucified!  Not much has changed in all this time. The world still turns a blind eye to real crimes but angrily condemns those who only seek to follow Christ. As we remember the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, may we also remember that true justice will only come when King Jesus rules this earth. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus! 

Looking for His return,

Mark Hale

Friday, February 15, 2019

January Prayer Letter

January 2019

Dear Praying Friends,

1. Please pray for my father in law, Dean McClure (missionary to Brazil for over 53 years) he will be having open heart surgery Jan. 22nd to repair a leaking valve that has given him problems for years.

2. Please pray for my wife, Michele. Because of a precious church in Arkansas, she was able to fly to Springfield, Missouri to help her parents during this time. Please pray for her as she takes her parents to doctor’s visits and helps with the post-op care of her father.

3. Please pray for our son, Joshua. The Bible college graciously allowed him to take a week away and help his grandparents and his mom. His bus ticket in hand, he found out at the station that all buses were cancelled for two days due to a winter storm. With his own money, he purchased a $400 round trip airline ticket because he knew God wanted him to go and help his family. While flying he was able to witness to and win a young woman who had been struggling with drug addiction and who had attempted to kill herself just two days before. Her original flight was cancelled and she was rebooked onto Joshua’s flight and seated right next to him. God cancelled his bus ticket and led him to purchase an airline ticket so she could hear the Gospel and be saved. Her name is Erin, please remember her in prayer as well.

Thanking God for detours,

Mark Hale

Missionary Dean McClure

Friday, January 4, 2019

December Prayer Letter

December 2018
Dear Praying Friends, 
They were some of the poorest and least educated in Israel, looked down on by Jewish society and ignored by most, yet God sent His angel to the shepherds with the greatest news the world has ever heard – the birth of the Savior!  Why did God choose these men? It wasn’t because of their high level of education, nor was it the thickness of their wallets, nor their acceptance in Jewish society, but rather because of the condition of their hearts.
·  They laid aside their fears to search for the new born Messiah Luke 2:8-15
·  They trusted God to protect their flock while they found and worshipped the new born King Luke 2:15-16
·  In spite of the lack of response, they faithfully witnessed to those in Bethlehem of the birth of the Savior Luke 2:17-18
May this be said of us in 2019!  May we lay aside our fears and seek the Savior on a daily basis!  May we trust God with all we have in order to worship the King of kings and Lord of lords!  May we be faithful witnesses of our Lord Jesus Christ regardless of the response of those who hear the good news.
Thankful for the good tidings of great joy to all people,

Mark Hale

Monday, December 10, 2018

November Prayer Letter

November 2018

Dear Praying Friends,
Because of bronchitis and a touch of walking pneumonia, I had to cancel our scheduled baptism. By the next Sunday, I had recovered sufficiently, but a weekend storm was producing 12 to 15 foot waves, so baptism in the sea, as we normally practice, was not going to be possible.  As an alternative, we contacted the hotels in our city with indoor pools, but were turned down by every one. That is, until the last hotel informed us that we could use their Olympic sized swimming pool for our baptismal service! (This was a miracle, because public officials and businesses usually shy away from being associated with Baptists since the influential Roman Catholic Church falsely identifies us as a “cult”.)
There were 23 in attendance that Sunday morning standing on the edge of the pool as I baptized our newest member. This Portuguese young man was gloriously saved six months earlier, had completed the new members’ class and had given his testimony of salvation the week before at church. Now, as a public testimony of his faith in Christ, he followed the Lord Jesus in scriptural baptism. Both he and his wife joined our church and are expecting their first child in the new year. We praise the Lord for our newest members and for the Lord adding to His church!
Praising God for victories,

Mark Hale

Friday, August 10, 2018

July Prayer Letter

July 2018

Dear Praying Friends,

I remember vividly the first time I preached and souls were saved. It was an amazing experience to be used by the Almighty God to reach hell bound sinners with His gospel.  Now, our son, Joshua has experienced this for the first time in his short ministry.

When I asked him if he would be interested in teaching the boys at youth camp, he jumped at the opportunity.  He studied and prepared lessons in conjunction with the theme of the camp “More than” (Romans 8) and his lessons were “Jesus was more than just a common man”, “Jesus’ death was more than just a common death” and “The life that Jesus gives is more than just a common life”.  He preached that first day and God really took hold of the boys’ hearts. Two came forward and were gloriously saved, two more came for assurance of salvation and another in the group surrendered his life to be a preacher either in Portugal or as a missionary in another country.

This experience has fanned the flames of Joshua’s determination to preach God’s word and accomplish the Lord’s will for his life. Thank you for praying for him and for us as we continue to minister here in southern Portugal. By the time he heads back to the States August 14th to continue his studies at Bible college, he will have preached here 12 times.  He has experienced the miracle of seeing folks saved and lives changed as God used his preaching to touch hearts. We are thankful to the Lord and to you, our faithful prayer warriors. This is fruit to your account! 

Thanking my Heavenly Father for my son,

Mark Hale

Teaching the younger boys

Lifeguard duty

Saturday, August 4, 2018

June Prayer Letter

June 2018

Dear Praying Friends,

We have known her for 11 years, talking with her and witnessing when God gave the opportunity, yet as a typical Portuguese, she deflected and delayed and came up with reasons to avoid the biblical truth we tried to share.

We see her multiple times each week.  Recently she called up Michele and asked us to pray for her mother who was diagnosed with cancer.  Of course, we prayed and had both of our churches praying as well, asking God for not only physical healing, but spiritual as well. Her mother had surgery, the tumor was successfully removed and she seems to be making a full recovery. 

E. came to a church service to thank us for our prayers and remark how those prayers seemed to make the difference. She listened closely as I preached God’s word and carefully explained the plan of salvation.  She stayed after the service to fellowship with our members and has promised to return again.  Please pray for E. and her husband, two sons, and mother.  They are the typical Portuguese family: nice, honest and hard-working, yet living in deep darkness. They claim to be Catholic, yet never attend mass, claim to believe in God but make no effort to come to Him.  Please pray for E.

Seeking the lost sheep for Him,

Mark Hale