Friday, April 18, 2014

April Prayer Letter

April 2014

Dear Praying Friends,

“I just don’t agree with you that there is only one way to heaven, I believe there are many ways to God!” he proclaimed.  I told him that he was correct, there are many ways to God – but as his Judge.  There is only one way to God as his Father – through Jesus Christ alone.  He looked at me for a few moments, and then turned and walked away.  Please pray for Steven, instead of being thankful that God provided one way to heaven, he stumbles over the fact that he cannot make his own way there.

“I am a good person, I am not a sinner!” she announced recently.  Maria has complained before that I preach too much about sin, especially since she claims to have no sin.  Although she has attended many services and has had many discussions with us, she continues to deny the biblical truth that all have sinned.  Please pray that she would humble herself and admit what God already knows, that all are sinners in need of the Savior.

We are seeing spiritual growth among the believers here in our small church, but we are heartbroken over Steven and Maria’s decisions to avoid the truth of God’s word.  Thank you so much for your faithful prayers for us, for our ministries and for these two people.  We are asking the Lord in His own way and time, to show this couple their sinful condition and bring them to repentance and salvation. 

Proclaiming the ONLY way,

Mark Hale

Sunday, April 6, 2014

March Prayer Letter

March 2014

Dear Praying Friends,

She is 92 years old and is the lone survivor of the Jewish ghetto massacre in Vilnius, Lithuania during World War 2.  As we walked around the old town, she showed us where she saw her family for the last time, where her friends were killed and the underground sewer she crawled through to escape the Nazis.  Tears flowed freely as we gave her a tract to witness to her of the Jewish Messiah.

She is 38 years old and has heard the Gospel many times.  She even faithfully attended our church services for almost a year when we ministered in Lithuania.  She listened quietly as the plan of salvation was once again presented to her, but sadly, she still has not been saved.

Victoria is 17 years old. She listened carefully during my sermon, but unlike the others, Victoria accepted Christ as her Savior!!  Praise God Almighty!!  Please pray for her. After discovering his daughter’s new birth, her lost father refused to allow her to attend services at the church there.  Pray for her father to be saved and for her continual spiritual growth in spite of family persecution.

Recently, we returned to Lithuania for a two week visit.  I taught in the Bible College in Vilnius, Lithuania and in Riga, Latvia and preached in churches in both cities.  It is always a joy to see people still serving the Lord after decades and it is an answer to prayer to get to witness yet again to those who are lost.   We came back to Portugal, weary, but determined to continue proclaiming Christ regardless of the response of the hearers.

Plowing and planting,

Mark Hale

February Prayer Letter

February 2014

Dear Praying Friends,

Sometimes witnessing is like baseball – you just have to keep swinging until you get a hit.  Recently at the grocery store as I waited in line, I noticed the two teenage girls behind me each only had a candy bar, so I allowed them to go ahead of me.  They thanked me but refused to accept the tracts I offered – a swing and a miss, strike one……

Then a very pregnant lady came up behind me, towing her wheeled basket behind her.  I allowed her to go in front of me and helped her unload her selections onto the conveyor belt.  She thanked me but also refused the tract I offered – a swing and a miss, strike two………

I went through the line and paid for my purchases, put them into a bag and prepared to leave.  The older man behind me placed his few food items on the conveyor and waited for the total.  “That will be eleven Euros and ninety one cents” the cashier announced.  The man fumbled in his pockets but only came up with ten Euros in small coins.  The impatient cashier informed the man that he had already rung up his purchases and that he had to pay the total, he couldn’t return anything now.  I reached into my pocket, pulled out two Euros and handed them to the cashier.  He quickly took them, rang up the receipt and tried to give the older man the nine cents change, but the old gentleman refused and gave the coins to me. 

With tears welling up in his eyes, one arm cradling his meager food supplies, he reached out a quivering hand and grasped my arm.  “Thank you, thank you very much” he said quietly.  “Why did you do that, sir?”  I looked into his watery eyes and simply said, “Because of Jesus Christ” and handed him a tract.  He smiled and accepted the pamphlet – a swing and a base hit! 

Going down swinging,

Mark Hale