Coffey Family September 2023 Prayer Letter

As we work to expand our churches and equip young men and women for ministry, our hearts remain deeply burdened by the call of world evangelism. We are genuinely committed to actively spreading the Gospel to the world in our generation.  

Over the past year, we have witnessed a significant number of individuals expressing a strong desire to become more involved in foreign missions, particularly after their time in South Africa. Through visits from mission teams and short-term interns, God has graciously opened their eyes to the pressing needs of our world. We firmly believe that many of these individuals will answer the call to serve on the mission field full-time in the years ahead. 

Our sincere hope is to welcome more groups to come and witness firsthand the work the Lord is accomplishing here. We anticipate that their visit may ignite a fire within them, inspiring a greater commitment to spreading the Gospel in our generation. Please join us in prayer as we expand our internship opportunities and prepare to host several groups in the upcoming year. Our heartfelt plea is for God to raise up an army of dedicated laborers while there is still time.

As these visitors explore our churches, youth homes, camp ministry, and schools, we pray that they depart with an unwavering passion for reaching the lost, unlike anything they have ever experienced before.

Prayer Request & Praise

  • Pray as Amy, Addison, & I head back to the States for my son Luke’s wedding.  Amy left yesterday to be at a pre-wedding “shower” but Addi and I don’t leave until September 11th.  Pray for us as we try to survive without Amy:)
  • Please be praying for Jacob & Christian Clower as they finish up their last few months of support raising.  Their planned arrival in Mozambique is set for January, and I look forward to seeing the work the Lord has planned for them in this needy country.  
  • Please pray for my daughter Emilee, who is raising funds for her upcoming 6-month internship in Argentina. This internship is the final step in her bachelor’s degree from the Our Generation Training Center, and she’s set to leave in February. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated as she prepares for this trip.

Quick Updates & Needs

  • My son Luke & his fiancee Adri marry on September 24th. 
  • Missionary Lynette Osborn arrives on September 8th to help full-time here at Camp Rhino.  We are looking forward to having her here. We believe she will be a great addition to the Project South Africa team.
  • As our youth home continues to expand, the need for improved transportation becomes increasingly evident. Pray as we work to meet this need.

Coffey Video Ministry Update

Before we left for the US in February we made an updated version of our ministry video. The first one we did was hosted by our son Luke when he was 11 years old I believe. Things have changed a bit since then.

If you’ve never seen the first video you can check it out here.

Coffey Family July 2022 Prayer Letter

Prayer Requests/ Praises

  • My wife’s ear surgery seems to have been a complete success.  We won’t know for sure how much hearing she regained until next month, but things are sounding good, figuratively and literally:)  Thanks so much for your prayers.  
  • Please pray for Missionary Katie Dilfer’s South African Visa.  She’s ready to come as soon as she has her visa. 
  • Pray for the 30+ Juniors and Teens that have accepted Christ as their personal Savior these past few weeks during our Winter Camp Days.  
  • Pray for us as we are considering starting a new church.  We are currently working out of Lighthouse Baptist Church with Pastor Mvume but are leaning toward starting a new church soon. 

Quick Updates

  • Since May, we’ve hosted 4 different mission teams with 75 people in total.  God used them here in a great way and really worked in many of their lives.  Our hope is that God calls many Gospel laborers from these teams. 
  • This week we are having separate Junior Camps for boys and girls.  So far over a dozen boys trusted Christ.  The girls will arrive this evening. 
  • 2 Weeks ago we hosted Teen Camp days for the boys and girls separately as well.  We had 13 young people trust Christ during those days. 
  • Vision Baptist Missions will be hosting the World Evangelism Fellowship on November 8th.  You can click here for more info.  It’s going to be a great time. 

Now that all our mission teams have departed we’re going to be working a lot more on the Youth Home this month.  We have 3 teens ready to move in and possibly a fourth.  Pray that we find the right house parents for the Home.  We have some that can help temporarily but are praying for a long-term solution.  

I would like to ask you to pray for Pastor Khona Nohamba and his church Nkandla Baptist Church.  Khona recently graduated from our Bible College and is looking forward to devoting more time to building the church.  

We helped Khona right before the start of Covid and unfortunately had to close a few weeks later.  He and his wife Iminathi have been working hard to restart the church and have been making good progress. In our city of over a million people, there is much work that needs to be done. Pray that we can build a foundation that will last and aid in church planting for years to come.

Coffey Family March 2022 Prayer Letter

Would you consider committing $1000 to be one of the 100 churches to give towards the Africa Youth Home?  We are needing $100,00 by the end of April for this purchase.  It is the property right next to Camp Rhino, which makes it a very strategic location.  

The asking price is around $113,000, and we’ve already raised about $13,000.  I know with prices going crazy in the States and really around the world with fuel and inflation, this is a tough time, but we know this youth home is going to help a lot of young people who don’t have anything.   

Prayer Requests  Praise        

  • We will be back to the States for our Annual Missions Orientation in April.  Pray this is a productive time with our new missionaries.  We’re also planning to raise funds for the Africa Youth Home. Pray we can raise $100,000 in a month:)
  • Please continue to pray for my wife’s ear surgery.  The date has been set for her to have surgery on May 16th.   
  • Pray for Missionary Katie Dilfer’s visa to arrive.  Unfortunately, it didn’t arrive in time and she had to cancel her tickets to South Africa for the end of February. She is hoping she will be here no later than the end of April.   
  • As soon as we get back in April, we also need to apply for new visas.  Pray we can get those worked out as soon as possible. There’s been a back log and some have waited over a year for their visas. 
  • We are thankful for those who gave to replace the things that were stolen in January.  We have bought almost everything back now. 

Quick Updates  

  • We’ve started construction on a new building for Nkandla Baptist Church.  Pastor Khona & his wife Iminathi are excited about having a larger more permanent building.   
  • This last week I was in Nigeria with Graham and Olivia Young during their survey trip.  They will return in July to work full-time under Missionary Mark Holmes for their first two years.  Please be praying for them and Nigeria.  There are very few missionaries to Nigeria for over 220 million people.  We badly need more missionaries in this country. 
  • This past month, we’ve seen two guys that I’ve worked with for years walked away from the Lord come back to church.  We praise the Lord and pray the Lord continues working in their lives to make them more like Him.
Nigerian Style with Graham and Olivia Young

In church news, the main church we are working in now, Lighthouse Baptist Church, has been having more visitors.  Pray, we see more saved.  There are so many without Christ.  New Life Baptist Church is still struggling unfortunately in the more affluent part of the township, but Vision Baptist is doing well.

New building for Nkandla Baptist Church

Coffey Family January 2021

“These are crazy times” is quickly becoming the go-to cliche every where:). That’s definetely true for things in South Africa. 

Because of higher Covid numbers here in South Africa, tighter restrictions have returned.  The closing of churches and not being able to sell alcohol are really the only things that have changed. We’re glad about the alcohol but not so much about the churches. 

As I write this letter, we are in the middle of our last full day of teen camp.  Things have been slammed with us starting camps and with two groups from the US arriving to help. I slipped away so I could let you guys know what’s going on.  

Even with the restrictions on religious gatherings, we decided to have both our junior and teen camps.  Businesses are allowed to have 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.  Our plan was to stay under the 50 number for campers, but we haven’t done a perfect job at that.  These camps have been a blessing to our churches and we are thrilled to see many young people believe on Jesus.

Prayer Request and Praise

  • Pray for all our churches here in South Africa.  Churches aren’t allowed to meet until February 15th, at the earliest, because of Covid.  We have been holding services at Camp Rhino for the churches that want to be involved. Soon some of the churches will start meeting even though there is a lockdown.  It’s hard to find a good reason to stay closed with casinos, theatres, and malls still open. 
  • We had 22 saved during Junior Week at Camp Rhino to start off this year! 🙂         
  • Our smaller camp ideas didn’t exactly work out for Teen Week:) We ended up having 78 campers and hit 106 with staff and counselors.  Too many wanted to come, and we couldn’t turn them away.     
  • Katie Dilfer, a single missionary to South Africa with BIMI, came for three weeks to help out with camps.  Pray for her as she returns to the States next week to continue raising monthly support to come and work here full time.          
  • Pray for Noah & Tristan Wilkerson as they are here for a 2-month internship with the OG Training Center. If you are interested in helping with their expenses during their time here please let me know.

Quick Updates

  • We praise God for the offerings that came in the last 2 months.  Those gifts enabled us to finish our boys’ dorms, install the electricity for our auditorium/activity center, and cover the cost of both teen and junior camps this year. 
  • Our next building projects for Camp Rhino will probably be our couples’ cabins and main lodge. We have really been amazed at how far we’ve come in such a short time with all your prayer and support.  We can’t thank you enough. 

2020 Coffey Family December Prayer Letter

Prayer Request

  • Wisdom concerning Junior and Teen Camps in December and January at Camp Rhino.  Higher restrictions were placed on our province this past week that will probably change the way we do our normal camps.        
  • Our churches here are struggling a bit, just as churches in the States, from Covid.  Our brand new churches have few people attending while our oldest church is around 70% of its normal attendance.  Pray we will have the wisdom to reach people more effectively during this time.  We don’t want to coast.    
  • Pray God blesses and uses our teammates as they are back in the states for furloughs: Jeremy & Rebekah Hall, Kevin & Corli Hall, & Josh & Meagan Sullivan. 
  • Pray we can raise the $3000 needed to do the electrical work in our new auditorium/activity center at Camp Rhino.                          

Quick Updates  

  • In spite of Covid affecting our church attendance, the leadership has continued to be strengthened.  Our pastors have been faithful and other young men have stepped up. 
  • We praise the Lord that $10,800 has been given to help finish the new boy’s dorms for Camp Rhino.   This will enable us to start the construction back and have the dorms finished by the end of the year.  
  • We still need donors for our camps this year, even though we will have to revamp our previous plans for overnight camps.  The cost is about $55 per camper. We are trying to raise 120 sponsors for Teen Camp and 75 for Junior Camp. 

Covid Hot Spot

We live in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa which is now the #1 hot spot of Covid spikes in all of South Africa, making it one of the major hot spots for all of Africa.  

Sadly, our coworker, Pastor Sipho, lost his dad this past week to Covid.  I received this news shortly after attending the funeral of the grandmother of one of our faithful teenagers.  She also died of Covid.  Please pray for these families during this difficult time.  

Because of the rise of Covid numbers, stricter restrictions have been put in place.  We’ve even been told criminal prosecution could be brought against us if someone from our camp spreads it to someone and they die from it. 

Unless things change, it doesn’t look like we will be able to do over night camps in December and January at Camp Rhino.  We do believe we can continue with day camps and still abide by all the restrictions. Pray we can work through all of this and still have great camps.

October 2020 Coffey Family Prayer Letter

South Africa borders are finally open!

Well, sort of… They opened to every country on October 1st, except for those they put on their “blacklist” as a high-risk nation with COVID infections (a total of 54 countries btw). As you may have guessed, the US is on that blacklist.

We have two possible options to bypass the “blacklist” problem. Option one involved us applying for an exemption that I sent in this past week. Those who have business interests can apply for permission to enter even though their country is on the blacklist. We are on a Charity Visa, not a Business Visa, but are still hoping they approve our request.

The second option involves us flying to a low-risk country and staying there for 10 days, and then fly to South Africa. We would be counted as coming from a low-risk country and not the US. We are really praying and hoping that the first option works. This second option could be a bit more expensive, but we are pretty certain at the moment, that we will be back in South Africa no later than November.

Prayer Requests & Praise

  • Pray for Pastor Mvume Johnson as he holds an evangelistic revival at Lighthouse Baptist Church this month. He’s had to restart his church since the COVID lockdowns and is working to reach his community.
  • Please pray that we can raise our travel fund back to South Africa. This isn’t something we usually ask for. I try to always plan and budget our funds to cover the normal expenses of living overseas and coming back to the States. Unfortunately, our budget hasn’t worked out as we hoped. With canceled flights and unplanned expenses, we are needing about $5000 for travel.
  • Pray there won’t be hindrances to our teen and junior camps coming up this December and January at Camp Rhino. We believe we can proceed normally, but with how things change, we can’t be certain.
  • Please pray for our wonderful missionary families serving in Africa with Vision Baptist Missions. We need many more laborers for a continent of over 1.3 billion people.
  1. Graham & Olivia Young- Nigeria
  2. Kevin & Corli Hall- South Africa
  3. Nate & Emily Wilkerson- West Africa
  4. Jeremy & Bekah Hall- South Africa
  5. Jason & Charity Rishel- Burkina Faso
  6. Vicente & Gaby Garcia- Burkina Faso
  7. Jairo Valdiviezo- Burkina Faso
  8. Josh & Bethany Wormley- Kenya
  9. Dallas & Ashley Brown- Burkina Faso
  10. Robert & Kelli Canfield- Africa Representative

Quick Updates

  • Our 4th church plant, Vision Baptist Church in Kwadwesi Extension, is being started this month. There was a delay to the original start date because of a lack of chairs, but we’re hoping to get that worked out soon.
  • We’re at a standstill for the moment with the construction of the new boy’s dorm for Camp Rhino. The foundation is complete for the building, but we need about $15,000 to finish this project. This will enable us to have a total capacity for Camp Rhino at least 120 campers and counselors.
The New Building for Vision Baptist Church
The New Boy’s Dorm at Camp Rhino

Coffey Family August 2020 Prayer Letter

Prayer Request & Praise 

  • We have finished the building for Vision Baptist Church, our forth church in South Africa.  It is located in an area of Kwadwesi Extension.  This is where we have had a Bible study for the last couple of years. 
  • Please pray the South African borders will open so we can get back home.  We are hoping we don’t have to stay in the States past September 15th.  We were supposed to fly back on July 12th. 
  • Pray for Pastor Khona and his wife Iminathi. They are expecting their new baby in September and hope “Mama” Amy can get back in time for the birth. Pastor Khona Nohamba pastors one of our new churches, Nkandla Baptist Church.                                
The new building for Vision Baptist Church in Kwadwesi Extension

Quick Updates  

  • The roof for Camp Rhino’s new auditorium/activity center is complete. When the lights are installed, we will be set up for year-round camps in this new building.
  • We plan to start construction on the new boys’ dorms soon but need $15,000 to complete the space for 50 more campers. This new dorm will fulfill our current housing needs.  When this project is completed, we will have all the space we currently need for our campers, counselors, and staff.   
  • In Kenya and Uganda alone, we have now been able to help more than 350 pastors and their families eat during these difficult times. We can’t thank you enough for your generous gifts that have helped these families over the last few months.  
The Roof is Finished at Camp Rhino
Kenyan Pastors Receiving Food from Pastor Alute

I never thought Pastor Thomas Alute’s visit to our ministry in South Africa in March would open these doors that enable us to minister to so many Bible preaching pastors.  

Pastor Thomas Alute when he was with us in South Africa

For about $20 we can help these pastors’ families survive on cornmeal or something similar for 3 to 4 weeks.  Please pray for them during this time.  Also, pray that we can raise more funds to continue helping these faithful men.  With the water droughts, Covid19, and locust swarms, the needs in Africa are great for these Pastors who are preaching the Gospel.  

In spite of the trials, God is still at work.  We’re excited to see new doors open for ministry opportunities.  Thank you so much for partnering with us in the ministry to reach Africa with the Gospel.

Coffey Family July 2020 Prayer Letter

Prayer Requests & Praise  

  • 141 Pastors were helped this last month in Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa because of your giving. We can’t thank you enough for your generous gifts that have helped these families eat over the last few months. 
  • For about $20 we can help these pastors’ families survive on cornmeal or something similar for 3 to 4 weeks.  Please pray for them during this time.  Also, pray that we can raise more funds to continue helping these faithful men.  With the droughts in Africa, Covid19 restrictions, and swarms of locust, the needs in Africa are great. 
  • Our three churches in South Africa have been able to resume services under strict guidelines.  They have also been able to continue going door to door giving out invitations and bags of rice along with giving out the Gospel.  Thank you all who have given enable our churches to continue outreach inspire of the lockdown. 

To give to help Pastors’ Families in Africa go to:
(Choose Mark Coffey or Camp Rhino)

You can also send money to:
Vision Baptist Missions
P.O. Box 442
Alpharetta, GA 30009
(Make a note for Mark Coffey- food for Pastors)

Quick Updates 

  • $5000 has been given so we can begin construction for our fourth church plant in South Africa, Vision Baptist Church.  We’ve been holding bible studies in this area for 2 years and look forward to the start of this new church. 
  • Our son Tyler and his wife Lydia were married on June 20th.  Pray for them as they raise funds to be missionaries in Argentina. 
  • The roof for Camp Rhino’s new auditorium/sports center should be completed this week….we hope:)  We plan to start construction on the new boys’ dorms soon but need $15,000 to complete the space for 50 more campers. 

I can’t thank you enough for those who prayed for my Pastor, Austin Gardner, who was on the ventilator for 21 days because of Covid19.  All his ICU doctors didn’t think he was going to make it, but miraculously he stood in his pulpit at Vision Baptist Church this past Sunday for the first time since going in the Hospital.  We thank God for bringing him back.

Since being back in the States we’ve had the opportunity to continue raising monthly support for our ministries in South Africa in spite of the lockdowns.  If you would like us to report back or present Camp Rhino, please just let me know.  I would be happy to come by.  

During the week I’ve been able to teach at the Our Generation Training Center in Alpharetta, GA.  This is a missionary training school that started out of our home church.  Our unexpected extended stay has definitely opened teaching opportunities.  The OGTC is currently in the process of trying to buy 60 acres but still needs $100,000.  Could you pray this money can be raised soon?  More than 50 missionaries have been trained here since we began, and we believe the Lord is going to raise up many more.  

Coffey Family April 2020 Prayer Letter

Prayer Requests & Praise

  • South Africa is currently on a 21-day lockdown like many other countries. This, of course, is affecting all our ministries.  Pray God does a great work during this “downtime.”  No one is supposed to leave their home unless it’s for food or medical needs. 
  • We were going to fly out through the American Embassy this next week but have decided to wait here in South Africa for the lockdown to end. The flight they are offering is the last one out of South Africa for Americans, but it comes with an $8000 price tag:). Pray the lockdown will be lifted in time so we can make it back for our oldest son’s wedding.  Lord willing we’ll be back sometime in May or June:)  
  • Please pray for two of our most vulnerable churches during this time.  Light House Baptist Church and Nkandla Baptist Church are just a few weeks old.  Pastors Nohamba and Johnson aren’t able to have more than telephone contact with those that have been attending.               
  • Pray we can raise $5000 soon so we can build facilities to start our 4th church. We have the property now but need help with the slab floor and building.  We want to start construction as soon as the lockdown is over.  With the economy being hit so badly, the value of the $ has risen about 25%.  This is bad for South Africans overall, but it is helpful for building. We should be able to build for a lot less right now.

Quick Updates & Reminders: 

  • We would love to have you be one of our 2021 Mission teams. Bring a group and help be a part of what’s going on at Camp Rhino and all our churches.    Construction for our new auditorium is on hold at the moment.  The walls have been extended and some of the trusses have been put together.  Our construction crew plans to be back the moment the lockdown is over. 

Being quarantined at Camp Rhino isn’t so bad.  Our two new pastors live on campus, along with Khona’s wife and daughter.  We also have two of our full-time workers, two interns, and 4 teenagers from our church staying on during this time.  We are having Bible classes, while all the guys are putting in 4 to 5 hours of work around the camp each day to keep themselves busy.  Playing soccer and taking time off in the pool has worked at keeping them from being bored.  

Athi, our deaf teenager at New Life, is one of the boys on campus.  We are hoping to use this time to learn more sign language to better minister to him and also one day start deaf ministries in all our churches.  Khona, who is one of the pastors and a Xhosa language school teacher, is still teaching Xhosa classes online.  We are also working on materials where we can soon start an Afrikaans language school as well.