First, let me thank you and your people for your faithful support and prayers over the years. Christina and I have been serving God in Australia since August of 1999, which is almost 17 years. We have seen God do some amazing things during that time, including the planting of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Sydney in 1999, an autonomous church that now has its own pastor, a man whom I trained.
God has brought us on an incredible journey since we began deputation in 1998. As you may know, my health has been deteriorating for a number of years, culminating in a complete breakdown in late 2014. I took an emergency medical furlough and sought intensive help, including ongoing medical care, as I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder. I am currently on medication and see a Christian psychologist on a regular basis.
In November of 2015, God led us to leave Lighthouse and move to Southland Baptist Church in order to serve in the church and assist Pastor Hernan Hullana. Unfortunately, our American support is well below 50% of what is needed to live in Sydney; Lighthouse was providing this shortfall before we left. This left us with a monthly deficit of about US$4,000 a month as of December of last year. Obviously, this presents a serious problem for my family, as Sydney is a very expensive city.
After vainly searching for part-time work since November and incurring very significant debt in the process, God recently opened a door for me to obtain full-time work using my background in IT and engineering. This will enable us to catch up on bills and pay off debts and then meet the ongoing needs of our family. The opening of this door is quite miraculous. We believe it to be clearly of the Lord.
While working a job, I continue to serve at Southland Baptist Church, being involved in teaching, preaching, evangelizing, and mentoring men. I am hoping, God willing, to eventually scale down my secular work, enabling me to spend more time working at Southland. This long-term goal will take some time to achieve, of course, as our finances are in total disarray.
Therefore, I believe it ethical and fitting for us to let go of our American missionary support, freeing up those funds for use by missionaries who are unable to work a job on their field. This would be effective immediately. Please feel free to contact me concerning this or speak with the leadership at FBMI. We covet your ongoing prayers.
In His service,
Mark, Christina, and Adam Tossell
M: +61 412 111 218