GLP - Mark & Karen Prayer Letter
Here’s what we look like now….50 years later. Thanks for loving us, praying for us, encouraging us, teaching us.
Since 2017, I have purposely declared 3 things about myself everytime I publically spoke.
I am a rescued follower of Jesus Christ.
I am trying to live my life by the Bible
I’m crazy about my wife.
It’s been a year since I attempted a deep dive communication with all of you… the prayers, supporters, and friends of Karen and I. If I tried to review our last 12 months I’m afraid it would sound like a travel log and not a ministry report. God decided post-Covid to make up some of the miles we missed.
I hope the following report doesn’t sound like prattling but rather a worship song to a loving Father who created Karen and I to love Him and tell everyone we could about Him and give away laptops! God created us to go to lots of places, love His youth and their leaders, love His church and…..I love my wife!
1. Karen and I celebrated God’s gift of 50 years together. If you don’t know the miracle story of our meeting, please ask, I love to tell it. Karen and I are NOT perfect, but we are perfect for each other. God is so wise. (“and I’m crazy about my wife!”)
2. Last October God made it possible for Karen and I to go to our favorite ministry spot on the earth. Dacu, Masbate, Philippines. The young Pastor in Masbate has figured out discipleship and in the last 8 years, with the anointing of God, has planted 7 churches all over the island. Every attender is encouraged to personally be involved in a small group for personal discipleship and be leading a small group of younger believers and be consistently bringing their friends to church. Karen and I attended 6 Sunday services (several each Sunday) that each had at least 10-20 visitors.
3. India in June. I hadn’t been back to India since I was “asked” to leave 8 years ago. God worked a miracle 5 years ago to get me a new 10 year visa and then Covid closed down the world. I got to return in June to be with my good friends at the Gospel Hall in Vijayawada.
Pastors in the Gospel Assoc. of India.
4. Haiti in March. We are amazed at a pastor that has maintained 7 rural churches during a civil war and those churches have grown. I have the privilege to help them run their youth camp every year. We had 150+ students with many coming to Christ.
5. Karen and I were humbled and amazed when we were invited by Global Youth Initiative to join 200 youth leaders from 40 international countries to Izmir, Turkey to join in training and discussion on how to disciple the next generation. We concentrated on the strategy of God in the book of Acts. Obviously the locality was the 7 churches found in Revelation which are located in modern Turkey.
Karen with granddaughter, Hope, in Czech.
(Hope is Thomas and Janice’s daughter)
Karen and Mark in Ephesus with GYI
6. Czech in April and July. Because I knew I couldn’t go to Czech in July, I went alone in April. What great people. What a great youth ministry. Ask me some stories. THEN my July ministry in Chicago was cancelled and Friendship Church was so kind to let me go with their team (Karen was already on the team) to teach, train and speak. I got to teach adult English classes and actually enjoyed working with adults. (hahaha)
7. Karen’s mom is physically struggling in NY. Karen goes home 3 times a year for 2-3 weeks at a time to take her turn at being a daughter and caring for her mom. I went in August and helped and supplied the pulpit for the First Christian Church. This is my mother church. I lived with the Pastor here for 2 years and he taught me the Bible and how to do ministry. These people have cared for me for 53 years. I enjoyed speaking at their spring men’s retreat. Your prayers have brought their cancer crushed pastor to 98% cancer free. What an amazing God.
8. Thomas, my son, and I spoke together for the first time as a tag team at a father and son’s retreat for Trout Lake in September. I hate speaking with Thomas because he’s so much better than me!!! Whenever I recommend him, I don’t get invited back. He goes to the top of their speaker list.
9. I just returned from Lagos and Uyo, Nigeria. I was asked to teach at a 2 day marriage seminar, 2 day youth evangelism conference with street evangelism, a 3 day multi church conference, and train some wonderful youth leaders.
Emem from Nigeria and Daniel from SierraLeone.
10. I have enjoyed some wonderful mentoring and discipling relationships this year with some individuals and new youth pastors.
11. God faithfully met all our needs miraculously from Heaven. This has been an interesting year. Our support has come from a few wonderful regular supporters but more often from brand new singular gifts. I love this journey that God has called us to.
In May, I was driving to meet my Indian pastor, Yesu Bandela, and felt prompted to ask God for a laptop. I haven’t needed one for several years. You know we have given away at least 40 laptops to rural international pastors who would never have this tool for study. But this spring I was in several venues where I needed to produce power points. I just gently prayed, not begged. In less than 30 minutes, as Yesu and I were meeting, the phone rang and a dear friend of Global Link Partners called and asked…….did I need a laptop! Hahahahaaha. What a great God. I went from my meeting with Yesu, picked up the laptop, took it to New Prague’s local computer guy and he upgraded it and installed the new operating system for power point. In June I took it to India and made about 15 power points…. BUT WAIT…… it get’s better…..2 weeks after I got it and had it upgraded, my good friend and pastor called from Nigeria and said he only had one material request for my visit in October……he really needed a laptop. God’s laptop is now in Nigeria.
I am leaving out, for space and your time, so many friends and places. Please if I left you out it wasn’t because of my lack of appreciation or care but if I included all of you this would be a booklet, not a letter and NOBODY would look at it.
This just skims the details of the year. We often just look with awe and praise at what He has chosen for us to do. We just worship HIM!
Mark and Karen Gold