Thursday, September 6, 2012

An Interview with Missionary Wife and Blogger Heather Marks

In her own words, "I'm hopelessly in love with my best friend, Jonathan. I adore being a mom to my three children, Nathan, Anna, and Joshua. I enjoy life and love to laugh! I like trying new things and I love my Savior!" Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to this sweet, vivacious, young lady - Heather Marks. Pull up a chair and grab your hot beverage of choice and join me in welcoming her!

Maria: Great to have you with us today, Heather! Tell us a bit about yourself: 

Heather: I am the oldest of three born to fabulous Christian parents in Ohio. I attended a Christian school and an outstanding, vibrant church. Both of these had a tremendous impact on my decisions to follow Christ throughout my teenage years. I met Jonathan at college on a volleyball court. He says it was love at first sight, but I was too into the game to notice.J He wouldn’t let me overlook him for long. We married 3 weeks after graduation and it’s been an adventure ever since. God has blessed us with three amazing, healthy, and energetic children. We are living in Georgia, and we are so blessed to be members of Vision Baptist Church.

Maria:  Love the volleyball story! Did you always dream of being a missionary's wife?

Heather: I gave my life to the Lord during my church’s mission conference when I was 14. I didn’t have anything specific in mind, but always hoped that I could be a missionary’s wife.
Maria: Tell us where you'll be serving and what you're doing to prepare to get there:

Heather: We want to plant churches in Japan. To get there, we are on deputation. Deputation is more than just fundraising. The term comes from the word "deputize,"  like a deputy. It includes traveling to churches and presenting our ministry and burden for the Japanese people. We are seeking churches to partner with us in order to fulfill the Great Commission to go into all the world. We are their deputies assigned to work with them across the globe. This partnership is extended both through prayer and financial support.
Maria: Thanks for defining 'deputation' for us. What a neat opportunity for churches to partner with you to get the gospel all the way to Japan! What is included in the funding you're raising?

Heather: The money we raise will cover the expenses for our family’s needs as well as ministry needs.  Ministry needs would be things like literature distribution, outreach projects, a place for a church to meet, etc. Japan is one of the most expensive countries to live in, but we know God can provide.

Maria: So you're raising support not only for yourselves, but also for the church you will start. How much support have you raised so far?

Heather: We are praising the Lord for the 12% He has given us!

Maria: Fantastic! How can others partner with you in your ministry?

Heather: We would love to have your prayers! Also, we are praying that God will let us go on our survey trip within the next year. You can pray or give toward that goal. We are asking God to get us to Japan quickly! There are so many who need to hear of our precious Savior! Japan has over 127 million people, and fewer than 1% are born-again believers! The need is great!

Maria: Wow - that's a sobering statistic! Once you get to Japan, how long will it take for you to learn the language?
Heather: We will most likely be life-long students.J But, we will be spending the first two years in intense language study.

Maria: Love your positive outlook! What do your kids think about moving to a foreign country?

Heather: Nathan (5) is the only one who really seems to be affected so far, and he is very excited. He drew a picture of “Japanese letters” and read it to Jonathan and I in his own version of Japanese (gibberish). It was too cute!

Maria: How adorable! I'm sure you've got some deputation stories to tell. What is the funniest thing that's happened so far?

Heather: I actually devoted an entire post to that very topic! A few months before deputation, my husband asked me to let out his suit pants a bit. So, I went to a friend's house, and we worked on the pants together. There were 3 or 4 pair that needed alterations. Sewing is not my day job, so I asked my friend to do the first pair. She started on the slacks from his brown suit. (I must add that this chocolate colored suit was a hand-me-down from no one knows who and no one knows how old it is, but it fits and looks nice). So my friend showed me the process and I was surprised how simple it really was. 

Several weeks passed and we were at a meeting on a Sunday morning in early March. The pastor always stood out on the porch and welcomed everyone as they arrived. My husband decided he would join the pastor. It was a cool, breezy morning.

A few minutes later, he came in and told me that he was feeling a little drafty in his seat. I thought that was strange because we had just fixed his pants not too long ago. He turned around so I could take a look, and I could definitely see why he was feeling breezy! There was a giant hole in the seat of his brown suit pants!!! The stitching was so old (remember, this was that mysterious hand-me-down suit) that it shriveled away into dust and left a gaping seam (the new stitching my friend had put in was fine - the problem was a little further south of the waistband) Yikes!

We panicked! I thought, "Surely in a church filled with sweet elderly ladies, someone must have a safety pin!" I thought wrong. Tick tock. Tick tock. Time for the service to start!

My hubby was so nervous about his risque situation that he took baby steps all know, the kind where you don't really bend your knees. But he still did a great job preaching!

The lesson I learned from all this was to keep a sewing kit in the suitcase at all times! And now, we do. And one more in my purse!

Maria: That is hilarious! I wonder if anyone thought your husband walked funny! On a more serious note, what is the most important lesson God has taught you on deputation?
Heather: Complete, daily, unrelenting faith. It’s funny how we trust God for our eternity, but we have a hard time trusting Him for the immediate. Also, being ready to share Him at any moment, not just during a church service. I don’t feel like either of these “lessons” are specific for those on deputation. They are just God drawing me to Himself, and me learning to follow.

Maria: Definitely lessons we all need to learn! What words of wisdom would you like to share with our readers?
Heather: Don’t fear the path that lies ahead. Trust in Him with all your heart and He will direct your path.  Stay in His Word. It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Above all, pursue Jesus. Actively, aggressively, constantly run with all that’s in you toward Him. Seek Him first and all the other things will be added.

Maria: Thanks for sharing those fantastic words of truth, Heather! It's been such a pleasure hosting you on Life Lessons! May God continue to bless you and your family as you raise your support and get to the field of Japan!

Take a few moments to leave a comment of encouragement for Heather and be sure to connect with her via Facebook, website, or her blogs:

Facebook page: Project Japan
Devotional blog:

*If you're interested in receiving email updates from the Marks, scheduling them to speak at your church or would like to make a financial contribution to their ministry, please visit their website,

A BIG congratulations to Talynn Lynn, blogger at Ink in the Book - winner of Katie Ganshert's debut novel Wildflowers from Winter


  1. Blessings on you, Heather, as you continue in the support raising journey and preparation for Japan. I am an MK and grew up in Asia and a long time ministry wife, as well.

    Thanks, Maria, for a great interview.


    1. Thanks for stopping by Glenda! Neat to hear about your background - I'm sure you can relate to Heather's journey! God bless you and yours ~ Hugs! :)

  2. Thank you Maria, for this introduction to Heather and her lovely family. I will pray for them for their journey. We have friends who are missionaries in Japan and it has been challenging yet rewarding as they reach souls for Christ.

    1. Great to see you Karen! I know the Marks will appreciate your prayer support. It's always neat to hear of other missionaries who are already on the field ministering for Christ! God bless you and your missionary friends! Hugs & Blessings :)

  3. Oh, that trouser story was hilarious!! You need to laugh at moments like that, don't you :). Prayers and blessings to the Marks. I'm sure the journey will bring many more unstitched moments, but God will have the safety pins at the ready!

    1. Wonderful to see you Dottie! Love your quick-witted response to Heather's story, "I'm sure the journey will bring many more unstitched moments, but God will have the safety pins at the ready!" Fantastic and so true! Thinking of you and your Australian spring time! Hugs~

  4. Funny trouser story!

    An elderly couple I know were missionaries in Japan for 40 years. The wife wrote a book and had it self-published. They showed the same passion for the Japanese people as you do.

    May the Lord bless you and your family.

  5. Love the pants story - I am so not handy with a needle and thread myself:) My daughter would love to visit Japan someday, what an adventure God is taking you on! We'll definitely be praying for you:)

  6. Hi Susan R. & Susan! Wonderful to see you ladies. Neat to hear about other missionaries to the country of Japan making a difference for Christ. I know the Marks will appreciate both of you ladies praying for them! Have a blessed Lord's day! Hugs! :)

  7. Thirst missions is an incredible organization.We love and admire the people at Thirst Missions.

  8. Hi Maria.
    I wanted to let you know I received my book a few days ago. Thanks so much!

    And I really enjoyed reading fhis interview:) thanks for sharing:)

  9. Glenda, I loved your interview and the seat of the pants story. I also loved your reminder to trust God not just with our eternal salvation, but with our every day struggles, big and small. Thanks!

  10. elderly face tough questions our free TALK WITH THE LORD program, Heather, inspires daily talks catch they need your help with first question our blog helps g hubbard po b0x 2232 ponte vedra fl 32004