Thursday, August 17, 2017

July Prayer Letter

July 2017

Dear Praying Friends,

Last year, the Lord led us to share with you a great need that we could not supply ourselves.  Now, just 10 short months later, because God’s people sacrificed and gave in miraculous ways, we were able to purchase an excellent, used, 7 passenger van for our growing ministry needs!!  We want to thank each one of you who gave to meet this need and praise the Lord who led you to give!  It is a great encouragement and blessing to have this van to replace our 19-year-old Volkswagen that was costing more to repair than it was worth.  Lord willing, we will use this van for the rest of our lives!! May God richly bless those who made this possible!!

Humbled and thankful to you and to our Lord,

Mark Hale

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

June Prayer Letter

June 2017

Dear Praying Friends,

Thirty years ago, we stood before our families and assembled friends and made our vows before the Lord.  It was a simple wedding in a small country church, but next to the day of my salvation, it was the richest and most blessed day of my life.

For the past 30 years, I have had the privilege of having Michele by my side through thick and thin, through good times and bad, through times of blessings and times of trials.  We have been blessed with our son, Joshua, whom God has called to preach and we have lost our daughter whom we buried in the soil of Lithuania.  We have won many to the Lord and seen many others reject Him.  We have trained hundreds and seen some remain faithful while others have fallen by the way side.

Whether it has been a time of peace or storm, abundance or want, rest or trials, the past 30 years have been blessed because the Lord has been with us every single step of the way.  No matter what the coming years bring, we both know that Christ will always be faithful, always keep His word and always do what is best for us and what will bring Him the honor He so richly deserves. 

As we celebrate 30 years of marriage, please join us in celebrating the Lord Jesus Christ who is the One who gives all light, all joy, all peace and all blessings.

Thankful for these 30 years,

Mark Hale

May Prayer Letter

May 2017

Dear Praying Friends,

She was having a very difficult time letting go of her religious past.  Her parents had told her for years that she was going to heaven as a result of being sprinkled as an infant; but why then, was she so filled with doubt?  Why was she so afraid of dying?  If what her parents and their church said were true, why did she feel so empty and depressed?

That is when God brought a Christian friend into her life.  She saw the real peace that he had in Christ and knew that was exactly what she so desperately wanted!  He kept inviting her to church, but she always found an excuse.  That is, until that Sunday when she finally decided to attend one of our church services.

She was cool when I introduced myself and sang the hymns with about as much enthusiasm as a child waiting to see the dentist about a cavity.  The message I preached compared the Passover lamb in Exodus with Christ, the Lamb of God.  She listened with undivided attention as I explained from the Scriptures how every person could be saved.  After the service, I had the privilege of leading this precious lady to Christ!  As she finished the sinner’s prayer and looked up, for the first time in almost 40 years, she had peace.  What had eluded her for so many years in a religious ritual was now hers for all eternity because of Christ!!

Please pray for Natalie as she begins her new life in Christ.

Reaping the harvest, one eternal soul at a time,

Mark Hale

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

April Prayer Letter

April 2017 

Dear Praying Friends,

He was a long serving police officer, faithful husband and godly father.  As if that weren’t enough for the average man, he also sacrificed his hard earned money to financially support missionaries all across the world and was a tenacious prayer warrior on their behalf.  Over the years, he wrote us many notes asking for updates on people and situations we had mentioned in our monthly prayer letters. We knew we had a faithful prayer warrior in Thomas Holroyd!  But on Friday, April 14, at 6:22 pm, the Lord decided this super hero of a man had finished his course, had kept the faith and was ready to receive his rewards. 

We grieve for his children who have lost their beloved father, we grieve for the many missionaries (including us) who were the recipients of his faithful financial and prayer support down through the years.  He may not have been well known outside of his family and hometown, yet he is intimately known by His Savior and Lord.  Only eternity will reveal what his financial sacrifices and labors in prayer accomplished all across the world.  I am sure he is meeting folks right now that he was instrumental in seeing saved! 

Will you volunteer to take his place?  Will you ask God to use you as He did Thomas Holroyd?  Will you kneel before your Creator and Savior and willingly commit all He has given you to reach untold millions in this world?  Life is so short and we only have the time and resources God gives us to make an eternal difference.  Thomas Holroyd understood this and invested in eternal treasures.  Will you?

Praising God for prayer warriors,

Mark Hale

Monday, May 1, 2017

March Prayer Letter

March 2017

Dear Praying Friends,

It had been a hard couple of months.  Carnal Christians, lost folks under conviction by the Holy Spirit, financial pressures and physical illness had all taken a toll. That Wednesday evening, we all felt like staying home in front of the fireplace with a hot cup of tea in our hands.  Instead, we went out into the cold, wind and rain. Our family had come down with the flu and it was a particularly nasty variant that kept all of us sick for the two previous weeks.  Some of our folks had also been stricken and weren’t there, some because of work schedules had to miss and a few because of spiritual problems were skipping services and trying to keep others away. 

The service time came and went, but no one showed up.  I sat down heavily in one of the chairs discouraged and weary to the bone.  “Well, God” I whispered, “we came for you and that is enough.”  Just then Ana, came in apologizing for being late.  We had our song service, I preached and then we had our prayer time. 

At the end of the service, our dear sister Ana raised her hand and asked, “Pastor, may I say something?”  I nodded and she continued, “I just want to tell you that your labors are not in vain in the Lord.  Just remember that you will reap in due season if you faint not.”  This dear lady is married to a lost man who regularly blasphemes Christ and ridicules her faith, yet she comes to almost every service and this night, we didn’t minister to her, she ministered to us.  Needless to say, there were tears of joy that night. God knows exactly what we need and when we need it!

Praising God for faithful encouragers,

Mark Hale

Easter Sunday church dinner

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

February Prayer Letter

February 2017

Dear Praying Friends,

He saw our website and came for a visit.  He began attending services on a regular basis, but once comfortable, he began to interrupt my messages with off the wall questions and insults.  He loved to compare our church with others he had attended; almost always in his observations, our church came up lacking.  Finally, one Sunday morning, he insisted on interrupting the beginning of the service and I asked him to calm down and talk to me afterwards.  He left in a huff and did not return for months.

Out of the clear blue, he began attending yet again and didn’t try to interrupt services as before.  We encouraged him to read the Bible daily and he read through the entire Bible in just a few months.  He seemed to be growing closer and closer to salvation, yet his eight years in Buddhism and multiple experiences with demons clouded his reasoning and caused much confusion.   I cannot count the number of hours I spent talking with him and trying to answer his questions from the Word of God. 

Sadly, in one of our recent Bible studies, he stated that 70% of the Bible is true but 30% is error.  He further announced that God did not create the universe as Genesis chapters one and two declare, but that everything came about by evolution.  Stunned, I asked him, “Are you saying that God is a liar when He said He created the heavens and the earth?”  To which he replied, “Yes!”  Our hearts are broken by his rejection of God and His Word.  Do I regret all the time I “wasted” on him?  Not one bit!  We are praying for J. that he would surrender before God and submit to Christ as his only way to heaven.  There is always hope until his last breath.  That is why we continue to plow and plant regardless of the immediate results. God’s Word and the Holy Spirit can break the hardest of hearts and bring the proudest sinner to repentance.

Heartbroken, but not disheartened,

Mark Hale

January Prayer Letter

January 2017 

Dear Praying Friends,

He nervously fiddled with his tie and cleared his throat yet again.  He stared at his notes and quickly glanced up at the folks seated in the auditorium.  Beginning his message with hesitancy, he got his fear under control and preached a good, solid message.  It was his first time preaching since God had called him to be a pastor last August and we are proud of the man the Lord is molding and shaping him into. 

Last August, our son, Joshua came out of his room one day after his daily Bible reading and announced, “God is calling me to be a pastor!”  After seeking God’s will for his life for six years, he finally knew what his Creator and Savior had made him to do.   He has preached three times in our two churches so far this year, both in English and in Portuguese and will continue to do so until he leaves for Bible College in the fall. 

Another man in our church has also begun preaching, feeling God’s call upon him to be a pastor or missionary.  I am now training three men who have surrendered to God’s call to preach.  Please pray for these three men, (Aristarco, John and our son, Joshua) that God would help them in their studies and in the many life lessons they will need to learn to be faithful, biblical pastors in the near future.

We have also recently had 14 first time visitors attend our church.  In many of our services, we have had equal amounts of lost and saved which gives us great opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them!  God is working and we are thrilled to be a part of His plan in world evangelism!

Plowing and planting,

Mark Hale

*We are now up to 91% in our van fund!!  Thank you to everyone who has given to meet this very important need!!!