August/September '03

As Sabrina and I experienced the last weeks leading to the fall season, I couldn’t help but think that this was the longest and best summer of my life. I have certainly reveled in the fact that we are actually full-time in the ministry, and we have yet to experience a deputation “horror” story. In actuality, we have definitely been spoiled by churches, pastors, and their members. We continue to praise God for a packed schedule. During our first four months (concluding on September 21st) of raising support, we had meetings in forty-five different churches. We have over fifty different churches remaining on our calendar so far, and I am busily planning for more.

So many people have been an extra-special blessing to Sabrina during our travels. Our sending church in Gulfport and her home church (Central Baptist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) have planned baby showers for her and she has been “showered” with gifts from several individuals, especially family [Sabrina's Mawmaw pictured]. Her due date is still December 20th, and she continues to be in great health. We did find out that, the Lord willing, we’ll be having a boy! He’ll be named Mark Joseph, Jr., and we plan to call him Joseph.

During our time on the road, Sabrina and I have found several unique opportunities to present the Gospel of Christ. Upon our arrival for a meeting at a church outside of New Orleans, I saw that several teenagers were using the church parking lots and sidewalks as a “skateboard park.” We met a few of the church members, and while I went inside to grab a handful of gospel tracts, one of the staff men scolded the teens and ran them off the property. As I came back outside, they were already about a block away and had gathered in front of a house within easy walking distance. I made sure I had my New Testament and walked over to them. Each one of the eight boys received an invitation to the church, and I began to witness to them. When I got to the question of whether they would go to Heaven when they die, I was surprised by their curiosity and seriousness. Each of them stopped their bikes and skateboards and listened intently as I shared with them the wonderful story of Jesus. As I came to the point of decision, I said to them, “I’m sure that you would probably be embarrassed to say in front of your friends that you want to ask Jesus into your heart and be saved.” Before I could even finish, one of the boys spoke up with, “I want to be saved.” Immediately, four of the other young men on their own said the same thing. After I showed them some more scripture and prayed with them, those five teenagers sincerely told me they had received Christ as Saviour. Hallelujah for the Gospel and for the boldness God gives to the soul-winner and to the sinner who is not ashamed to speak out in front of his buddies!

The following is a letter of recommendation of our ministry from Dr. Mike Cox, the co-founder of our mission board, Fundamental Baptist Missions International, and currently the pastor of Victory Baptist Church in Elyria, Ohio:

February 12, 2003
Dear Pastors:

It is with great joy that I sit to write this letter of recommendation for missionary Mark Holmes. Mark and Sabrina Holmes are a quality young couple whom God has uniquely prepared to serve Him. A 2000 graduate of Hyles-Anderson College, Brother Holmes served as Ministries Director of Faith Baptist Church of Gulfport, MS, until the summer of 2003. While serving there he distinguished himself as a hard-working young man of exceptional character.

God has called Mark and his wife to serve in the country of Nigeria. Nigeria is a crime-filled, poverty-stricken land. Life there is hard and uncertain. Mark’s history and experience will prove invaluable as he begins his work there.

I want to encourage you to invite Mark and Sabrina Holmes to your church, in order that they might present their vision and burden for the Nigerian people. I am certain that they will be a great blessing to both you and your people.

R. Michael Cox

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