Saturday, February 21, 2015

January Prayer Letter

January 2015

Dear Praying Friends,

It was just a Christmas card, delayed in transit, but it arrived at just the right time.  

We had received an email from a church that had supported our ministries for 23 years.  They told us that their missions giving was down, so they would no longer support our ministries.  We have been through this too many times to count, but it always hurts.  It is a personal rejection, a slap in the face.  I was hurting, discouraged and a bit concerned about how we would make do without their support.

Then I read the delayed Christmas card.  It said, “May you have the gift of faith, the blessing of hope and the peace of His love at Christmas and always.”  The pastor signed it, “May the Lord greatly bless you, keep up the good work.”  Enclosed was a love offering.  It said exactly what I needed to hear, in spite of falling missions giving in so many churches, we can still trust God, we can still hope in His provision and have His peace always.  That dear pastor and his church never knew when they mailed that card, what a blessing and encouragement it would be! 

No matter what challenges come this year, I want to focus on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is faithful and true and we can count on Him no matter what comes in our world.  I also want to thank each and every one of you who, in spite of financial crises and lower wages, sacrifice faithfully to keep us on the field to minister on your behalf. 

May God richly bless you for your sacrifices!

Mark Hale

December Prayer Letter

December 2014

Dear Praying Friends,

This month we have had three challenges for our family in which the Lord has increased our faith and grown us spiritually to be more like His Son. 

Our 15 year old Volkswagen is a good, reliable car which we are very thankful for since we drive tens of thousands of miles each year ministering in our church in Lagos and in our sister church in Albufeira (an hour and a half away).  But those miles take a toll and this month we paid over $2000 to make necessary repairs.  God knew this was going to happen and gave us some extra Christmas offerings which helped to meet the need!  May God RICHLY bless all of you who sacrificed over and above your regular giving, to send us an extra Christmas offering.  Thank you so very much!!

After weeks of slowdowns, crashes and glitches, our computer quit working and spent almost a week at the technician’s shop.  Thankfully our work horse is once again helping us get caught up on prayer letters and ministry materials! 

On Dec. 10th, our son, Joshua stepped onto a train only to have the doors malfunction and slam shut on him, trapping his arm and leg outside.  The driver, trying to get back on schedule, began pulling out of the station, accelerating quickly.  Joshua could not reach the emergency stop button located just six inches from his free hand and realized if he couldn’t get loose, his leg would be crushed by the concrete electric pillars next to the track.  With the poles rapidly approaching, the conductor entered the car, saw what was happening and hit the emergency stop button.  He pried the doors open and Joshua collapsed in his seat, relieved and unhurt.  PRAISE GOD for His protection!!  We were five hours away, waiting at the train station and unable to help him.  But, our Heavenly Father took care of His son when we could not.  God is SO good!!

May you have a blessed Christmas,

Mark Hale

November Prayer Letter

November 2014

Dear Praying Friends,

She survived the Normandy landings as a child and has fond memories of Americans rescuing them from the Nazis.  That is why over two years ago, G. began taking the free English classes our church offered.  She also began attending our church services as well and has been faithfully coming and listening to God’s word ever since. 

She is a committed Roman Catholic as was her family.  There are times when she sees “similarities” in our doctrines but recently, she has been seeing the differences.  After Sunday services, she was talking with a couple of our folks and one man mentioned his lost uncle saying, “If my uncle continues in his rejection of Christ, he will die and go to hell.”  G.became agitated and loudly said, “You cannot say that, no one knows where people go after they die, only God!”  The man continued, “Yes, that is true, but if my uncle dies still rejecting Christ as his Savior, he will go to hell.” G. became silent for a moment and then said, “If  I believed that, then I would have to say that all of my family is in hell.”

There are times when the truth of the gospel is so painful that some turn away in a blind attempt to avoid the eternal destiny of their departed love ones.  Only God knows for certain the eternal destiny of every person who has died, so we continue to warn the living that there are no second chances after death.  The Bible declares:  Now is the day of salvation, now is the accepted time.  Please pray that G. will see past the possibility of her family being in hell and embrace the love of Christ and accept His salvation before she faces eternity without Christ.

A light on a hill,

Mark Hale