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Prayer Letter May 2011

Ben turned double digits April 25th - The Big 10!Ben turned double digits April 25th - The Big 10!

We have enjoyed a month full of ministry opportunities.  It keeps us busy - we are so thankful for the blessings that come from serving God.

Mother Daughter Banquet: Jen had the opportunity to share her testimony and it was an honor and privilege. The women of Emmanuel Baptist have become special friends.  Being able to encourage the women at EBC was such a blessing. 

Maranatha Baptist Church: Mark presented our ministry at Maranatha.  He enjoyed getting to know the people there – several of whom have served on the mission field.  We appreciate Pastor Kenoyer and Pastor Green for their warm welcome and attention.  Unfortunately, the rest of the family was not able to come along because it was AWANA awards night at our church. 

Weekend of Champions: We participated in the Dayton area Bill Glass Champions for Life’s prison ministry.   This ministry visits prisons bringing inmates the message of the gospel.  Athletes, entertainers and musicians bring their testimony of salvation through Jesus Christ.  Then the other volunteers move in at the end of the presentation and engage inmates in a dialogue about the gospel.  How awesome to see God working through this ministry.  Many inmates prayed a prayer of salvation.  Jen and I were able to share the gospel with several inmates and encourage many others who have already accepted Christ and are struggling with what God has for the rest of their lives. 

Operation World View: Jen and I attended a mini-study in world missions that was a condensed version of the "Perspectives on the World Mission Movement". The course was taught at our church by missionary Tom Holtz.

Bible Baptist Church in Newark, OH: We visited the church to see dear friends we made at the missions conference last fall.  We were invited to be a part of the dedication for the new building addition.  There was a special dinner and Dave Warren, OARBC’s state representative for Ohio, preached the sermon. 

MAP ministries: We spent a day at the ministry: Mission to Amish People (MAP).  We helped with mailing and grading of children’s Bible club lessons.  Our children helped by stamping the children’s lessons that needed to be mailed.  They worked diligently and we were proud of their willingness to serve.  We enjoyed the day with Joe Keim and the other ministry volunteers.  We really admire and love Joe.  His ministry to the Amish people is amazing.

Faith Baptist Church in Kenton, OH: We presented our ministry at Faith.  The people were so friendly.  Pastor Burns invited us to attend a lunch after church to celebrate his son’s graduation.  We enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the people.  They are passionate about God and serving Him.  They are so kind and gracious.  It was a blessing to spend time with the Faith Baptist Church Family. 

Other highlights:

·         Mark’s brother Brian and his family arrived from China for a short furlough.  We have enjoyed spending time with them and meeting their youngest daughter Lydia who was born in China.  Brian and Eva are part of a medical ministry in Shenyang, China.

·         After “retiring” from his job, Mark has continued working 1-2 days a week on an as-needed basis.

·         AWANA – we are proud of our children and their hard work in AWANA this year.  Andy completed a large portion of his Trek book even after starting late and worked as a Sparky leader.  Gabriel finished his fourth Truth & Training book and won Clubber of the Year.  Ben and Julia both worked hard and finished their books.  We are proud of our children and pray that these verses will continue to work powerfully in their lives as they grow up.

We pray that God will miraculously provide the financial support that we need by October.  God has provided 77% of our support so far!  We are getting closer but there is still a significant amount to raise.  However, if 23 churches or people will join us at 1% - we will be there.  Please continue to pray about whether God is asking you to become a more involved part of this team.  Will you be one of the 23 needed to get us to Nicaragua?

     We are in need of your prayers.  Please pray for us.  Pray that we will be faithful in prayer.  Prayer shows our dependence on God.  The most common prayer posture mentioned in the Bible is one of hands held out with open palms.  We want to pray with open hands and heart to whatever God has for us and follow God’s leading, not our own agenda or direction.  Some prayer requests are:

1.     We would grow to be more like Christ – in word, attitude, and action.

2.     For individuals and churches who have considered partnering with us – that God would provide for them and that they would be lead by the Spirit to partner with us.

3.     100% support by the end of October.

4.     Our teammates who are raising their support to go to Nicaragua as well:  Doyles, Langs, Andrea Clark.  Praise the Lord that Traci Warner has reached 100%!

5.     Mark’s brother Brian and his family who need to replace lost support before returning to the field.

Thank you for blessing us!  God is using you to accomplish His will. We appreciate you!! 

We love you and treasure you. 

Mark, Jen, Andy, Gabe, Ben, and Julia