Saturday, April 6, 2024

March Prayer Letter

March 2024 

Dear Praying Friends,


He was a volunteer. While many (including myself) waited uneasily for the call, he followed Isaiah’s example and simply said, “Here am I, Lord, send me.” My father-in-law, Dean McClure, spent the past 60 years serving God; first in the US and then for the last 58 years as a missionary to Brazil.


Dean learned the Portuguese language fluently and spoke like a Brazilian. He immersed himself in the history, culture, sports, food, music and mindset of the Brazilians. As a result, he was very effective in his ministry to that nation. The McClures established 20 Baptist churches which are all under national leadership and financing and still faithfully preaching the gospel. They established a Bible Institute where many pastors, preachers, Christian workers and their wives have been trained. They won thousands to Christ and what is absolute proof of the value of their ministry, while the first generation they won and trained are passing off the scene, the children and grandchildren of those pastors and their wives are now leading those churches and establishing more!


God called Dean McClure home to be with Him April 4, 2024. We are sad for us but rejoice for him! He was faithful to Christ all the way to the end. In the hospital, he witnessed to doctors and nurses, at home from his wheelchair, he made sure that the pastors and their churches had thousands of tracts for evangelization. His burden for the Brazilian people and his love for the Lord Jesus Christ were clearly evident in his life. Our world is still in great need but the laborers are few. What about you? Would you be a volunteer? Would you trust the Lord and say, “Here am I Lord, send me.”?


Thankful for the volunteer,


Mark Hale

Dean and Deloris McClure in 1966, just before leaving for Brazil

The McClures in 1982

Dean McClure preaching in 2001

Deloris and Dean in May 2023

February 2024

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

February Prayer Letter

 February 2024


Dear Praying Friends,


He was scheduled for a procedure that Friday, so asked for us to come over to see him. We had a good conversation and since he was a bit nervous about the upcoming hospital visit, we had a time of prayer at the end. He gripped my hand and said, “I am looking forward to Sunday!” Why is that? I asked not sure what he was referring to. “My procedure is on Friday but on Sunday, I get to go home!” he answered with a smile.


His procedure went well and all seemed fine; he was stable and scheduled to go home on Sunday. But on Saturday night, he closed his eyes in the hospital room and opened them to his new eternal home in heaven! That Sunday, he was able to worship the Lord in person!


None of us know when the date of our departure will be. If we knew that our departure was this Saturday night, how would that affect our choices for the rest of this week? What would we value differently? How would we talk and what would we do knowing that our departure was this Saturday night? David said it best in 1 Samuel 20:3 “...there is but a step between me and death.”


May each of us value the things that are of heaven and not the things that are of earth. May we all honestly say, “I am looking forward to Sunday!”


Life is but a vapor,


Mark Hale

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

January Prayer Letter

 January 2024


Dear Praying Friends,


Years ago, I knew a pastor who had spent 13 years in the gulags of Russia for the testimony of Christ. He said, “When they arrested me, the first thing they did was take away my Bible. It wasn’t long before I realized how little of God’s word I had because I had not memorized much of the Scriptures. I vowed to the Lord that if He ever allowed me to be freed, I would memorize as much of the Bible as I could so that the next time I am imprisoned, I will have more of God’s Word with me!”


His testimony convicted me; how much of God’s Word had I memorized? How much of the Holy Scriptures would I have if they confiscated my Bible? I determined to strive even more to memorize God’s Word while I had the opportunity. I recently read that the only Bible North Korean Christians have is what they have memorized and passed on to other believers. In the Communist translation of the “Bible”, the names of their dictators replace

God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit!


As we begin this new year, may we each value God’s Word as the eternal treasure that it is! May we strive to read and obey the Bible daily and memorize more and more of it so that we can share the good news of Jesus Christ with our dark and hopeless world!


So thankful for God’s Word!!


Mark Hale

Friday, December 29, 2023

December Prayer Letter

December 2023 

Dear Praying Friends,


He took the pastorate of the church but quickly realized that he had to make a very hard decision. Continue receiving a salary from the church but stop sending support to their missionaries, or get a full-time job while still pastoring the church so the missionaries would get their promised support. He made a very difficult choice; he got a full-time job so his missionaries would receive their monthly support and continues doing so to this day. He is one of my heroes!


She lost her husband years ago, downsized to a smaller house and continues to work, save and send support to missionaries. She is faithful to pray as well as give sacrificially so the missionaries can labor for the Lord. She is one of my heroes!


He started the church in one of the most difficult areas in America. For decades, he worked full time jobs while pastoring the small church and leading the congregation to support missionaries even though the church couldn’t yet pay him a salary. Finally, the church grew to the point of paying him a full time salary as well as supporting their missionaries. He is one of my heroes!


She was widowed a couple of years ago, but determined that she would continue to pray and give to missionaries just as she and her godly husband had done for decades. She faithfully sacrifices every month, constantly prays for her missionaries and lays up treasure in heaven. She is one of my heroes!


There are so many folks just like the four in this letter, who sacrifice and pray unseen by anyone except the Lord. They labor for God and are instrumental in so many souls being saved and so many victories won! They are the unsung heroes in many churches and they will one day hear from the Lord Jesus Christ, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant...enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!”


Thanking God for heroes,


Mark Hale

Thursday, November 30, 2023

November Prayer Letter

November 2023

Dear Praying Friends,

He sat in the lone chair at the front of the auditorium, while the four pastors and I sat in a semicircle in front of him. Our church folks sat in the auditorium watching the proceedings and praying for their beloved brother up front. This was the examination part of the ordination. Our church had voted to ordain Aristarco and these faithful pastors had come to help us. One after another asked doctrinal, philosophical and practical questions relating to the Holy
Scriptures, the ministry and his personal life and family.

Although he was nervous, I knew he would pass with flying colors. He has studied with me in our Bible Institute for seven years and has a deep understanding of God’s word, pure doctrine and biblical principles. After an hour and a half, the four pastors had come to the same conclusion that I had months before – Aristarco was ready to be ordained as a pastor. Our church had already voted unanimously to ordain him and these visiting pastors had
graciously helped us in this big step in the life of this man, his family and for our church here. We had a God honoring service later that day and the presence of the Lord was felt by all who attended. The dinner on the grounds was filled with fellowship, rejoicing and gratitude.

We don’t yet know if Pastor Aristarco will take over the church in Lagos, or if our church will help him establish a new Baptist church in another city. Our church is praying for God’s guidance in this major step and we ask that you join us in prayer for the Lord to be glorified as we seek to do His will.

Praising God for faithful men,

Mark Hale

Friday, October 27, 2023

October Prayer Letter

 October 2023

Dear Praying Friends,

A year ago, at their grandson’s birthday party, they just glared at us from across the room and wouldn’t even shake our hands. I had just led their daughter to the Lord back then and to them, we were the new pastor and wife who had “intruded” into their dysfunctional family. Now, a year later, another grandson had been born and his parents wanted to dedicate their baby son to the Lord. They invited both sides of their family to come to our church for the dedication even though their families are lost, hostile towards true Christians and some are deeply involved in witchcraft.

Last month, we asked you to pray for six lost ladies from these families who had never darkened the door of a Baptist church before, but who had come to the baby shower my wife, Michele and the ladies of our church had held for the mother to be. Three of those ladies came to church last Sunday to see the new babdedicated to the Lord!! They listened to the hymns that wsang and even more surprising, they listened intently as I preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to them.

Three of the ladies told us afterwards that they had enjoyed the service and would be back to visit again! What a difference prayer makes!! Just a year ago, there was open hostility, but now an open and receptive spirit in spite of the spiritual obstacles!! Thank you for praying!!!! Please keep praying. We KNOW prayer is powerful, we have seen first-hand the evidence of your prayers here and are begging you to continue praying for these lost ladies.

Praying for souls,


Mark Hale

Friday, September 29, 2023

September Prayer Letter

September 2023

Dear Praying Friends,

Sometimes it takes a special event to get the lost to darken the doors of our church. Recently Michele and the church ladies hosted a baby shower for Alexandra, one of our young mothers. I had the joy of leading Alexandra to Christ a year ago and she has been actively witnessing to her lost family and trying to get them to come to church with her, her husband and small son. Until the baby shower, none of them would come. But Michele had the joy of giving a devotion to these lost ladies and they listened quietly as she shared the gospel with them.


Please remember these lost women in prayer whenever God lays them on your heart. Only the Holy Spirit can penetrate their sin blinded hearts and we are praying for that miracle! Our 2,000-year-old city of Lagos is the center of witchcraft in southern Portugal, so this is a very dark and hardened city; yet God loves every one of the people here and desires to save them! Please pray with us for these lost souls.


Reflecting His light into the darkness,


Mark Hale

Our church ladies and guests.