Mark’s calling by the Lord has been very different from how the Lord called Kees Hoek, the founder FPMF, but it is also an extremely clear calling. What is surprising is how our Lord already, years before Mark and Kees met had our meeting in Mansa in mind and that we would be working for our Father God together in and for Zambia; He had obviously a clear plan for Mark’s life, and guided him into it.
Mark in his very early life grew up in Chingola, Copperbelt province of Zambia. He was the youngest in a family with six children. At age five he lost his father and his mother moved with her three younger children to her own home town of Mwense in Luapula province where Mark grew up. She was in the Christian Brethren church, so Mark grew up in that same environment and came to love God at early age.
He almost completed High School, but lost support for his schooling and could not finish his senior year. Then going back home to Mwense he met a Scottish missionary with the Christian Brethren, who chose him as his assistant because of Mark’s sharp mind. Mark assisted him in the mission work; teaching him Bemba, doing translation work for him from English into isiBemba, running a book-store and learning from this missionary the house building trade. After the missionary had left, Mark found employ as the local water supply system maintenance man in which capacity he was highly appreciated and honored. It changed him into a proud man, proud of being asked to do important community work because of his sharp mind. That hindered God from being able to use him any longer, though the Father still had big plans for him. God cannot use proud people. It seems to be just like in the case of Jacob’s proud son Joseph, who became under-king of Egypt. He too was proud, yet God had chosen him to save his family and through it preserve His plan for the coming of our Savior. To prepare Joseph’s heart, God had put him through 13 years of slavery and prison. And so God caused Mark at age 46 to go to prison for five years.
As soon as Mark was arrested he cried out to God with all his heart, recommitting his life to Him and offering his entire life in his Father’s service if He would just give him that opportunity, and from the moment he was in prison Mark became an effective witness for his Lord, preaching and teaching other inmates daily. In time he was even allowed to baptise on two occasions a total of 24 inmates.
After two years in prison, one night, an amazing calling came in a dream or vision, or was it maybe even more than a vision? Here is what Mark shared about it.
Mark and his entire cell-population of 75 inmates, like a church, one night sang worship songs, did Bible study together as usual, and prayed fervently. Afterwards Mark just could not sleep; he saw a man stand beside his bed who had tapped him on his shoulder, and reached out to take him by the hand. "He told me to follow him and we passed through the solid wall of our cell." When Mark looked backwards to see what had happened with the wall it was just in tact.
"Looking ahead again", Mark said: “I found myself flying with him, he was still holding my hand. He took me to a place that I have never ever seen in my life. He stood me on a high rock and showed me a very beautiful land. Green grass, trees with different kinds of fruit and crystal like streams and waterfalls. Then I said to him: ‘What a beautiful place.’ While I was gazing at all this I saw a dove descending from heaven; it was continually changing colours and pointing to the dove I asked this man: ‘What is this dove like, changing in all these colours?’ But he looked at me and said: ‘You have seen enough, let me take you back.’ So we flew back to the prison and entered through the top of the roof to my mattress. And standing next to my bed he looked at me with deeply piercing eyes as if looking right through me, and said: ‘Do you see all these people asleep here?’ And, yes, they were all soundly sleeping. And he continued: ‘I will come back to you at the appointed time so that you can take these people also to the place we have just visited.’ When he had left me I woke up and found my fellow inmates still fast asleep. I shivered at what had happened and said: ‘Lord, if this is You, will You reveal what this all means?’”
Mark was released from prison after three years and four months and remained in Mansa, working as a home-builder and visiting the prison every Saturday, ministering to his friends. Then one day, five years later, Pastor Aaron Mataka and Kees Hoek, showed up at Mansa prison for a three day seminar and met Mark. Kees noticed Mark’s love for the Lord and was surprised to find so much zeal in this man. When they left Mansa, Kees looked at Mark and said "I felt that maybe should work with us nationally." A month later Mark called and asked if he could join the ministry. Mark told: "when I had looked at you that time we parted in Mansa I saw in your eyes that same penetrating expression of the man in my vision as if you were looking right through me, and wondered if you were this man who would return at the appointed time."