An update from Mark Waite, 2019 Sovereign Grace Pastors College graduate…
We are Mark and Becca from Sovereign Grace Church Dayton, Ohio. We have been married for five years, with our first baby arriving in December! Last year, our church sent us to the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s College as a step towards transitioning to full-time missions in Turkey.
Turkey is a beautiful country, full of warm and kind people. Family ties are strong as well as hospitality to friends and complete strangers. However, beneath the veneer of a beautiful place and people lies a dark and destitute country.
Nearly 80,000,000 Muslims live their lives here under a hellish blend of secularism and Islam with little access to the Gospel. It’s estimated that there is 1 gospel-preaching church for about every 1,000,000 people. Pastors have limited access to resources and training. Turkey is a strategic ministry location as it serves as a gateway to the Muslim world. It is also a destination for refugees and travelers from across the Middle East.
We have had the privilege to visit Turkey on multiple occasions over the last 6 years. We love the place, the culture, and the people. Over the years, the Lord has given us significant relationships with a handful of Turkish Christians. We eagerly desire to be a part of what God is doing and feel that the Lord has been directing our lives here.
We plan to move to Turkey in the Spring of 2020. Initially we will give ourselves to full-time Turkish language study. While studying, we plan to join arms with a small, Turkish church. Our prayer is that we learn from this church and be of encouragement to them.
Long-term, we desire to help strengthen existing churches and to help see more gospel-centered churches planted in Turkey. And in addition, I pray for the opportunity to take the training from the Pastors College and contextualize it to benefit pastors here. We desire to make our home a hospitable ministry-ground both to Christians and lost Muslims in need of Jesus. We pray that they would see the outworking of the gospel in our lives and family in this place that has very few Christians.
Please pray that the Lord would bless our efforts as we prepare and plan with our church and continue to fundraise over the next few months. Please pray for us to have humble dependence on the Lord for all we need in this new season of becoming parents and moving overseas. Please pray that the Lord would go before us in Turkey, providing gospel friendships for us in a new context.
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(Please do not repost any of this online for the security of our work in Turkey)