Mariner Family to Suriname

Dear Praying Friends,

We are thankful to all your prayers on our behalf. God has blessed. We are thankful for His protection during our recent travels. Emily and Faith were able to make a quick visit back to the States. It was necessary for them to leave for immigration paperwork. We praise the Lord for smooth travels despite various restrictions!

The school season has begun again here in Guyana which means we have been able to

resume our school Bible clubs. Mark helps lead a club at a local secondary school. A middle school next door to Victory Baptist Church sends all of its students right into the church for weekly Bible club! Both of these have been excellent opportunities to present the gospel and many children have accepted Christ.

Recently we were able to participate in a missions conference at a sister church her in Guyana, Liberty Baptist Church. The church is a bilingual English and Spanish congregation. The conference was great! We enjoyed presenting our ministry to Suriname and fellowshipping with the dear folks. It is encouraging to see Guyanese Christians with a heart to reach other missions fields with the Gospel of Christ.

Recently I was greatly blessed during our weekly family center Bible club. Pastor Shrivnauth and I were rejoicing together after six young people accepted Christ. He mentioned that it was the 28th anniversary of his family’s arrival in Guyana. Waving towards the girls he had just led to Christ Pastor Shrivnauth said, “28 years ago we arrived and here we are still doing what God called us here to do.” The obvious joy and contentment with which these words were spoken touched my heart! I prayed right then asking God that He would grant us the grace to have the same faithfulness in our ministry. We appreciate your prayers for us greatly!

Mark, along with missionary friend Robert Woodard drove to Paramaribo, Suriname for a quick survey trip. They were able to visit a church in the city and meet with veteran missionaries. We appreciate all those that prayed with us for open doors. The opportunity to meet local churches and pastors and to establish contacts was very helpful as we continue to prepare for our move to Suriname. Please pray with us as we are currently working with a lawyer to prepare our Suriname visa application.

Perhaps the most adventurous part of this trip was the ferry crossing at the border of Guyana and Suriname. We left around 3AM in order to arrive at the ferry at 6AM. The trip is typically about 12 hours one way 6-8 hours of driving with about 4-5 hours at the ferry. The ferry does not open until later in the day but due to limited space it is necessary to arrive early to get an early spot in the line. Once the limit is reached everyone is turned away. It reminded me of the old camp meeting song our church used to sing with the line “you must come early to get a seat!”

On the return journey we repeated the process in reverse. We arrived at the ferry plenty early but as boarding began several cars from the back of the line were waved to the front of the line including two large oil tankers. When boarding was halted, we were the second car in line. We were left outside the gate wondering what to do. Thankfully after a few minutes an official came and let two more cars through. We were the last car let on the ferry!

We are grateful for the Lord’s blessing in our various ministry efforts. He has continued to bless the family center Bible club ministry. Emily has enjoyed preparing and teaching a Bible lesson to the children. During the lesson each first time visitor is personally witnessed to. Mark has been able to lead several children to the Lord through this opportunity. We are grateful for this unique opportunity in addition to our regular outreach.

Mark was asked to teach a series on Christian stewardship at Victory Baptist Church. Many struggle with making church a priority over work. This challenge is made worse due to the current difficult financial situation. We are praying that young Christians will learn to trust God to meet their needs as they honor Him by prioritizing Him. Several have mentioned that the teaching has helped them. Praise the Lord!

Prayer Requests

  • Suriname Visas (application is in, we are waiting for a response)
  • God’s Blessing as Mark Preaches the Missions Conference at Victory Baptist
  • God’s Blessings During our Transition to Suriname


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