Mark & Chris Crooks
Mark and Kris have been TCC supported missionaries since 1989. Mark’s father, Dick, served as assistant minister to Dr. Donald Ewing for about seven years in the ‘80s. Dick was involved in missions and this is where Mark found his calling for missionary work. Mark & Kris recently moved their ministry from Venice Italy to the United States.
What is your ministry? Planting new churches in North America
What is your role in that ministry? Mark is the team leader and a church planter.
What religious groups do you serve? Un-churched cultural Christians
What age groups do you serve? All ages – primarily families
What is the country and location of your ministry? U.S. and Canada
What is the geographic area you serve? North America
Briefly describe your current ministry
Mark and Kris have been church planters in Venezuela and Italy and are now leading TEAM’s missionary work in North America (NAMA). NAMA was born to help the Church go across cultural boundaries and bring Gospel transformation to the ever-increasing diverse atmosphere and post-Christian culture right here in North America. Currently there are 15 missionary families working across the US and Canada that Mark is overseeing. Kris serves the missionary ladies in NAMA and is involved in ESL outreach to Muslim refugee ladies in Grand Rapids, MI.
Mark is using his background in training church leaders to help develop incubators to train church planters for forgotten communities in N America. Communities in systemic poverty, crime, drugs and hopelessness – communities where the Church has long since moved away. https://www.intrepidmissions.com/ They are also training church planters and indigenous leaders to reach Unreached People Groups in NYC, Atlanta, Chicago and Patterson, NJ. https://diasporaministrycoalition.org/
Tell us one brief story of how God is working in peoples’ lives through your ministry.
Francisco and Celia are immigrants from El Salvador. They arrived in the US as teens and now have teenage kids. Through our kids playing on the same soccer team, we have gotten to know this family and enjoyed speaking Spanish with them. From the first time we stuck up a conversation Francisco especially has been fascinated with the Gospel message and often asks me to “tell it again”! We have been together as families in their home and in ours. We are trusting God that we can lead them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus! We see the potential that they will be able to lead many of their family members and close friends to follow Jesus as well!
Please share three or more key goals that God has placed on your heart for the next year.
- Plan our first “Annual Conference” – a gathering of the 11 families (plus more coming on board) working in North America. We’re super excited to be holding this event next week! Nov 13-16 we will be gathered together – 15 missionary families – at Gull Lake Conference Center http://www.gulllake.org/
- Establish a synergistic leadership team. Great progress was made on this goal – I actually had two leaders that I was training until late in the Summer. For lack of financial support, one of them had to step back from his involvement.
- Have one or more of the Iraqi families with whom Kris is working, into our home. Kris continues to work with these ladies and we are making progress toward having them in our home! But it is slow going when you are working with Iraqi Muslim ladies. We are praying that this will happen in 2018!
Please update your children’s (thru High School) activities, school / college plans, ages (birth dates), etc.
Ben and Same are in 8th and 5th grades. They are enjoying soccer and basketball and are members of the youth ministry in our church. They both are looking forward to being involved in the new church plant.
Anna and Ben have two kids, Emma 4 and William 2.5. Emma has just started pre-K. Kris and Beka watch the kids twice a week so that Anna can work. They have just been given the opportunity to buy a home in Grand Rapids – made possible by another missionary family who wanted to offer them a land contract to facilitate them being able to own their own home. They move in this week!
Josh and Alissa have a son, Judah who is now 3. They moved to Germany to last year to join the ministry at Black Forest Academy (school for missionaries’ children where Josh, Anna and Beka graduated HS). You will remember that they just gave birth to their second child, a girl Jacalyn, born at 33 weeks with multiple heart defects. Jacalyn died just 27 days after birth – not from her heart defects, but from a massive abdominal infection. They have been sustained by the prayers of God’s people all this year. Now, they have just announced that they are expecting another child in early summer 2018! PTL!