Mariner Family to Suriname

Dear Praying Friends,

So much has happened since our last letter! We have been doubly busy with various ministry opportunities and responsibilities.

New Responsibilities at New Life

One major event was a medical emergency on the part of our friends, the Woodards. This forced them to return to the United States for treatment abruptly. Thankfully they are doing well and hope to return to Guyana next month with their new baby! During their absence, we have attempted to help with their infant church, New Life Baptist Church. We have kept the services going, visited the people, and encouraged the church to remain faithful while their pastor is away. While we have enjoyed the opportunity to invest in these dear young Christians, we are eager for their pastor and family to return. Please pray with us that God will bless this effort and also that He will allow the Woodards to return soon!

New Believers at Victory Baptist

Seeing the fruit of the continued ministry at Victory Baptist Church is exciting. While we have shifted to being at New Life Baptist on Sunday mornings, we still attend Victory Baptist Church during other services and continue to help in its various ministries throughout the week. We recently concluded the fall semester of school Bible clubs as schools conduct testing and break for Christmas. It is typical to see several children saved each week but recently, ten young people trusted Christ in one day! We rejoiced that God allowed us to see abundant fruit for our labors. It was also exciting that one of the students who attended the school Bible club visited for an evening service at the church.

New Materials for the Ministry

We enjoyed the exciting opportunity to participate in unloading and distributing a container load of gospel literature (15 thousand Bibles and 150 thousand John & Romans booklets). We did not order this container, but we were thrilled to help move the hundreds of boxes containing the precious seed! We distributed them to local churches, pastors, and missionaries throughout Guyana that will be able to use them in the work.

New Opportunities for Witnessing

Victory Baptist had annually planned a large tract distribution passing out tens of thousands of tracts in December each year. However, often few visible results were seen from this tremendous effort. In praying over this situation, Pastor Shrivnauth was inspired to lead his church to use the tried and proven witness tool “3 things God cannot do” utilized at many fairs and marketplaces. We hoped we could engage people in more meaningful conversations about their soul’s destinies. Emily’s grandparents are involved in this work as full-time missionaries to state and local fairs with AmazingGraceMission. Knowing that Emily was familiar with this approach, Pastor Shrivnauth asked us to make a “3-door unit” and demonstrate this powerful witnessing method to his church. Plans were made to set up the display at a local shopping mall and man it with teams from the church for three weeks. God has already blessed this effort just one week in.

New Developments at Home

On the home front, Emily has adjusted very well to her new roles as a missionary, mother, and homemaker in a third-world country. She really has made our house (one-bedroom apartment) a home. We have enjoyed the convenient location of our current residence but have struggled with the need for space, especially as we host people weekly for discipleship and fellowship. We have been praying and searching for another apartment that would be suitable yet affordable. We believe we found it and have made arrangements to move in January. This was a great answer to our prayer as we will be upgrading to a two-bedroom place for the same price in rent.

Faith has been developing by leaps and bounds, or almost. She has begun walking and is on the verge of talking. She makes lots of adorable noises, some of which, with a bit of imagination, sound very much like “bye-bye” and “mamma.” Mark has been attempting to start her out right by speaking to her in Dutch. You can see some videos of her antics here.

We are thrilled to share the news that we are expecting a new addition to our family! The new little one is expected in May 2023. So far, the pregnancy has gone very smoothly for Emily. We should be able to find out the gender by the end of this month. We appreciate your prayers for our family and the various ministries in which we are involved.

Prayer Requests

  • Visa for Suriname
  • Move to New Apartment
  • Woodard Family Return to Guyana


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