Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Praying Friends,
Lamentations 3:22 "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not."  Today I am thankful for the Lord's mercy to me and my family.  He has been so merciful and gracious to us while here in Australia.  With the business of life it is good to slow down and take the time to count our blessings.
One of the recent blessings in our ministry was voting in a new deacon at the last business meeting.  It is so wonderful to see the Lord's work in the lives of people and in the progress of His church.  It has also been a blessing to be in the public school teaching Special Religious Education.  Though it is only for a half an hour a week, I have enjoyed getting to know the students and teachers at the primary school.  Another blessing is celebrating Grace Baptist Churches 15th anniversary next month.  God has been so faithful to this work, and we pray He will continue to bless Grace's witness in the community.
Spring is finally in the air here in Melbourne.  Flowers are blooming and the weather is warming up (though sometimes I wonder if winter is still trying to make a comeback).  Our children are back to school again which makes our house a busy place, but it is a joy to see my children learn and grow in their understanding.  With the warmer weather brings many activities and outreach opportunities.  Please keep us in prayer as we will be busy at home and in the work at Grace. 
Thank you for reading this update, and your prayers are always a blessing.

In Christ,
Mark Pitts and Family

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Dear Praying Friends,
It has been a chilly winter here in Melbourne.  Apparently it is the coldest it has been in seven years!  Even though it is a cold winter, we still remember the snowy days in the Midwest in America.  Shoveling snow, scraping ice off the windshield of the car, and bundling up.  Now if you ask my kids they remember snowball fights, snowmen, and hot chocolate.  Sorry but you're receiving a dad's perspective.
In June we had a small addition to the church.  A family at Grace had a little baby boy.  It was a pleasure visiting the hospital and praying with the family as they rejoiced over their new little guy.  Also in late June Sara's mom came to visit.  Deb stayed until the last week of July.  We had a wonderful time taking her to see special sites all around the Melbourne area.  Sara's mom and dad visited last June and we were able to show Deb all the new places we've discovered in the last year.  The Lord has created so much beauty in the state of Victoria.  We were able to take her to the mountains, to the ocean, and to the bush.  All of it reflected the glory of our God!
One of the most recent ministry opportunities has been Special Religious Instruction.  This is the new name for what was Christian Religious Education.  It is an opportunity to teach on the Christian faith in the public school system.  On Thursday of last week I taught for the first time.  The Lord has blessed me with twelve students.  My prayer is that God can greatly use this to allow us to get to know people in our community.  Please pray for SRI as it is under much pressure from those who would like to see it removed from the schools.
Please continue to pray for the growth of this ministry that God has called us to at Grace Baptist Church, and not only the ministry but for our growth as well.  May God continue to teach me and mold me.  Thank you for your prayers and for the time you have given to read this site.

In Christ,
Mark Pitts and Family
 Our bush walk at King Lake
Our trip to Philip Island

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Dear Praying Friends,
The weather has turned chilly here in Melbourne as we are entering into our winter time.  It still is strange to me that June is considered winter.  The last few weeks have been busy with many activities and some exciting news of what God has been doing.
In the month of May we had a men's breakfast, a singles activity, and a teen night.  We celebrated Mother's Day and the church had a surprise birthday party for me (which was very kind, thank you!).  When there is so much going on it makes the days and weeks fly by.  It reminds me that time on this earth is short, and Christ tells us where to set our focus for our time in Matthew 6:33 "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;".  May we serve Him daily and pursue holiness by the power of His Spirit.
Near the end of May we held our quarterly business meeting which began with another individual joining Grace Baptist Church.  The Lord has been working in a very special way at Grace.  We now have had two people join in the past few months and there have been several others who have started to attend regularly.  I praise the Lord for drawing people to Himself.  Now my prayer is that these who are attending will be receptive to God's word.    
Please pray for the work at Grace Baptist Church.  Pray that God would direct us as we minister to these new people.  It is great to see new faces, but we realize that each new person has their own spiritual needs.  Our desire and prayer is to see Christ meet each and every need.
Thank you for your prayers and for taking the time to read this update.  May God bless you all.

In Christ,
Mark Pitts and Family