Tuesday, July 30, 2019

August Prayer Letter

August 2019

Dear Praying Friends,
The restaurant had just closed, and the front door was shut and locked. She had just begun cleaning when the man arrived.  Yelling as he beat and kicked on the front door, he finally broke through and then began to scream, “Jesus, save me from the demons!  Only Jesus can save me now!  Oh God, save me from the fires!  Jesus, save me! Can’t you see the demons?!”  The man, overdosing on narcotics and possessed by demons was dying.  She watched in horror as he passed from this life in terror and torment. His face, even in death, was a mask of fear and pain. His eyes, though no longer seeing, were fixed on the horrors only he could see.
She came to services last Sunday looking haunted and terrorized. She listened to my message and immediately came up to talk with me after the services. She recounted this traumatic situation and said she could not sleep nor could she stop thinking about that man and what had happened to him.  Her eyes were haunted, her face revealed the trauma she had suffered.  But as I talked with her, for the first time in over 12 years that we have known her, she confessed that she was not saved.  After I had her read some Scriptures, she bowed her head, confessed her sins and asked Jesus to forgive her and save her.
Her eyes are no longer filled with fear, she has peace that only God can give. Please pray for her and her husband.  He is saved and God has recently called him to preach, but where there was conflict before, please pray that now, through Christ, there will be unity, true love and a submission to the Lord and His perfect will.
Only our God could take such a horrible situation and turn it for eternal good!

 Mark Hale

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

June Prayer Letter

June 2019

Dear Praying Friends,

The three-and-a-half-hour drive went by as if we were in molasses. Anticipation made every kilometer seem to drag by in slow motion. I had just had abdominal surgery a week before, so Michele and our dear brother, John, did the driving. Finally, we made it to the Lisbon airport. His flight had already landed so our wait was short. Then, as if in a dream, our beloved son, Joshua appeared, pushing the luggage cart and grinning from ear to ear.  The reunion was sweet, the hugs were long and the tears of joy fell freely.  It had been a long school year, but our son was home again with us after completing his second year at Heartland Baptist Bible College. 

In May, during the graduation services there, Joshua was given a scholarship award for this next school year in acknowledgment of his encouraging spirit and help to other students.  We were blessed and proud that our son was publicly recognized this way.  Praise the Lord!  Joshua has been called by God to be a Baptist church planter in the state of Oregon.  He has two years of studies left and then he will, Lord willing, be doing a three-year internship in a great church near Portland, Oregon where he will learn how to minister in that area of the Lord’s harvest field.  He is excited about his studies and what God is teaching him.

He has already preached 10 times in the month he has been home and will preach another 10 to 15 times in our two churches and in a new church plant during the rest of the summer. He preaches fluently in English and in Portuguese and our folks love to hear him speak.  They are proud of what he is doing and how he is following the Lord’s call on his life even though it means he is far away most of the year. Thank you for your prayers for Joshua and for us! I am 80% recovered from the surgery last month and by the end of the summer, I am hoping to be back to 100%, praise the Lord!!

Thanking God for our son,

Mark Hale

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