The Ottumwa Courier

Community News Network

August 2, 2013

To give God the glory

(Continued)

"We're a mission ministry," he explained. "We've been very fortunate to be in the Himalayas, Buton, Nepal, around Europe. That's really our heart, to go out and reach the nations, reach the people."

The time Mark spent in prison has also led him to start the Never Alone prison ministry. They visit Iowa prisons on a monthly basis, now focusing on Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility. After five years, the difference they've made is clearly visible.

"They're hungry, ready to engage," Mark explained. "We pour out our heart to them and then leave. The reward is to see them on the outside. That change, that's the new heart God gives us."

The Tanners have seen prisoners leave jail, get married, start families and even devote their own lives to the ministry. This, Mark says, is simply the power of God.

They also have a house church with just a few people right now.

"We don't care if it's big, we're just trying to be big for the Lord. It's based in Ottumwa, but it reaches out to the world."

Mark has also released two CDs, one of which has a companion DVD, teaches private music lessons and is an adjunct teacher at Indian Hills Community College, teaching applied guitar. He feels teaching is a ministry, too, as many of his students want to play in church. He says this is his way to help raise up new worship leaders.

"But all of this would not be possible without my wife," he said. "This is our family. She's a jewel in my breastplate and she's my crown, because the Bible says the wife is the crown of the husband."

Suzanne, who is from Switzerland, has several of her own ministries as well. She is on the radio twice a day sharing devotions. She has also just written the first of a four-part book series of daily devotionals.

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