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

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

May Prayer Letter

May 2018

Dear Praying Friends,

For months, we had been counting down the days to this moment and when he walked out of customs control into the airport terminal, we waved with unbounded joy to our son, Joshua. The hugs were long and filled with love, then we ran to the van and made our way through the busy streets of Lisbon.  Our son, Joshua, was finally home from Bible college and had been in transit for 20 hours by the time he arrived. Yet, he was scheduled to preach in a Baptist church across the city in just an hour, so the drive was hurried.

We made it with time to spare and in spite of his weariness, Joshua preached a very good message from Isaiah 9 and 10 about the mercy of God and how the Lord’s hand was (and still is) extended in mercy to those who are under condemnation.  We can see the depth and growth that the Lord has accomplished in Joshua this past year and are so thankful to our Savior and to every one of you who are faithfully praying for our dear son.

He is scheduled to preach in our two churches this coming Sunday and in Sunday and Wednesday services throughout the summer.  He will also teach at camp in July. In total, he will preach and teach a minimum of 10 times in the next three months as well as finishing all the many tasks we do in preparation for our vacation Bible school and youth camp.   It is such a joy to have our son back home for the summer, but especially because he has such a servant’s heart and burning desire to share God’s word with the lost and saved! Thank you so very much for your faithful prayers for him!

Praising God for our son and for you, our prayer warriors,

Mark Hale

Monday, May 28, 2018

April Prayer Letter

April 2018

Dear Praying Friends,

She was just looking for a home. She was pregnant and her time was getting near. She wanted some place safe, warm and comfortable when her babies arrived. She found what she thought was the perfect location for her nursery, but the owners had other thoughts.

When the car wouldn’t start, I popped the hood and was disgusted to find rat feces on the engine (never a good sign) and shredded insulation stuffed into the top of the engine.  In spite of my best efforts, the car would not start. We placed a call to the insurance company and an hour later, the tow truck arrived. With some difficulty, we got the rat nursery onto the flat bed and started for the mechanic’s.  On the hour-long journey, God opened doors with Luis and I was able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with him.  He had lost a daughter as we had and this shared loss gave me a wonderful opportunity to talk about heaven and our only hope – Jesus the Savior.

A week later after almost $200 worth of repairs, the rat returned, avoiding the traps I had set and did more damage and we had a second trip to the mechanic with the help of another tow truck and yet another opportunity to share the gospel.  I am hoping this method of evangelism is not the new norm…! With eight various types of traps set, we are hoping to take care of momma and daddy rat and their babies so our car doesn’t become the scene of another rodent nursery rhyme.

Please pray for Luis, that our conversation and the tract he received will bear fruit and he will be saved.

Thankful for opportunities to witness in spite of the methods,

Mark Hale