Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January Prayer Letter

January 2014

Dear Praying Friends,

Sandra’s eyes welled up with tears as she recounted the three years her young son spent in hospitals with a failing kidney.  She recalled the painful tests, the long months of fear, the invasive procedures and the choking reality that even though she was a nurse, she could not help her son. 

Recently my wife began an outreach ministry through our church.  She calls it “Sewing for Smiles”.  Michele sews together cloth animals and attaches a small label which identifies us and includes our church website.  Sandra is one of the nurses that distribute our stuffed animals to hospitalized children.  She shared that giving these small gifts has been an encouragement to the children, to their parents and even to the doctors and nurses who share them.  Our church website has experienced a significant increase in people visiting and checking out our church.  Please pray that this new ministry will bear eternal fruit.

If you would like to have a part with this new outreach and have remnants of cotton fabric of a half a yard or more that you could send to my wife, it would be a great help!  Since there are three hospitals within an hour of our church, this new ministry could give us contacts with many needy families and medical personnel that we might otherwise never know.  If you send some fabric to Michele, please write on the customs form the value of the fabric (less than $25 we won’t be taxed) and that it is for charity, not resale. 

Thank you for making these ministries possible! 

“Sewing” the seed,

Mark Hale

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

December Prayer Letter

December 2013

Dear Praying Friends,

He came three weeks in a row and listened very carefully to my sermons.  His face revealed nothing, as if it was carved from stone, yet his eyes were ablaze with emotions.  I could see the Word of God was having an effect, but could not tell what his reaction to the Holy Spirit ‘s working would be. 

We soon discovered what it was.  He bluntly stated that he would no longer attend services at our church because the pastor declared that there is only one way to a home in heaven – through Jesus Christ’s completed work on the cross.  He believes there are many ways of getting to heaven and flatly refused to attend any more services.  Yet last Sunday, there he was again, listening intently to my sermon from John 10 on “The Good Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep”.   Please pray for Stephen, that he would repent of his pride and come humbly before the Lord of the Universe to accept Christ’s salvation as the complete payment for his sin.

In October, I asked you to continue praying for our church and the ongoing Bible Institute ministry.  It is very apparent that you have been praying!!  We have had 15 first time visitors in our church services the past few months and we are thrilled that some continue to attend regularly.  The Bible Institute now has 16 registered students who meet with us on Thursdays and another 25-35 who tune in live via UStream.  These internet students are from other cities in Portugal as well as Brazil and some Portuguese speaking African countries.  The Bible Institute is now having an international impact!  Thank you so much for your continued and faithful prayers!  I truly believe we are seeing this growth as a direct result of your labors in prayer.

May God richly bless you during this Christmas season and may your New Year be filled with more opportunities to serve our Lord.

Mark Hale