I looked at him in amazement when during preaching he said he didn’t believe he would die; he was trusting God not to see death. At that I realised that brother John Mark’s faith knew no limits.He had a reason to live like that: he had such a close walk with God, and so much faith that all things were truly possible with God for him.
From Zambia I had arranged with brother James Veremu for Brother John Mark to visit Zimbabwe. From there he would come back to Zambia and then move on to Kenya. One day whilst eating and chatting with him on a table in the sittting room we were talking about his itinerary, and how it would be good for him to visit Asia again. Smilingly he said, “You know, the Lord had spoken to me about this. He told me that he would raise someone for me to have another round of moving to different places to preach.” After saying this, brother John Mark wondered, “After all the things I have seen in my ministry, I wonder what great things will happen again.”
Those words sunk into my mind. My thoughts went back to some months earlier when I was driving home with my wife and I suddenly stopped a conversation we were having, saying, “Lets arrange for Brother John Mark to come, Won’t it be wonderful?” It wasnt long before I informed brothers and sisters at Believers Assembly of the need to start raising money for the transport and upkeep costs of brother John Mark. Well, the rest is history. We were able to bring him over to Zambia where he moved about in different congregations to preach. In all this, one thing caught my attention – the simplicity of the brother’s apostolic ministry and how it didn’t excite many people in a manner they get excited when it’s some European or American missionaries visiting. But here in our midst was a man who had such a unique and supernatural calling into the ministry!
Shortly after brother John Mark had returned to his home in Karamoja, I phoned him. His voice sounded frail and I wondered why he sounded like that. He spoke slow. Later on when I was informed by his eldest son that he was critically ill,I realised the reason for his ill voice. Later, after I had travelled to and returned from Singapore, we received the devastating news that brother John Mark had gone to be with the Lord on 26th February 2015. This shook our souls. About a week after that, our fellowship received a comforting word from the Lord through brother Annel Silungwe, a brother at Believers’ Assembly. Here is his testimony:
In my dream, to this day, I remember so vividly the sentence “Do not worry about the passing of Brother John Mark” like it happened yesterday. After much interaction and travelling to the southern province of Zambia in Choma, with Pastor John Mark, where we stayed for one week I was personally inspired by his humility. Many times at our lodge Pastor John Mark and I shared moments especially when he spoke of very simple but powerful testimonies of how he recovered his stolen bicycle and money on a bus. Some years before I had read his testimony of how he was called into the ministry and I was very much privileged to have accompanied him on this trip.
When Pastor John Mark was finally back home in Uganda I phoned him to just check on him and find out if he travelled safely but he sounded so low that I thought he had not recognized me. I said, “It’s me brother…” As I tried to introduce myselt he responded saying, “I know brother”. We spoke for a short time and the network connection got cut.
I kept wondering what was wrong until the day I received the news of his passing. I was confused, heart-broken and I kept asking “why Lord have you permitted this to happen? A gallant servant, an anointed man to die?” It was unbelievable. A thought struck and I remembered that he had run and fought his fight well. Then I had a very strange dream in which I was crying and mourning, still asking the Lord as to why he had taken brother John Mark. Suddenly a voice came and said “Do not worry about the passing of Brother John Mark”. I woke up and found tears still running down my face., I was literally crying. I testified of this incidence during the main Sunday service at Believers’ Assembly.
In pondering over all these events, I realised that brother John Mark’s visit to Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya was “another round”. The messages he preached admonished believers to stand on the Word and to have faith. More importantly, before his journey, he had a strange dream of seeing ministers naked. He was distressed by the dream as he wondered, “Why are these ministers naked?” The Lord answered him that the nakedness meant the lack of the Holy Spirit in many men who are professing to preach. In this round, this apostle of faith bid farewell without knowing that his ministry had run its course.
The next post will be a sermon by brother John Mark that I have transcribed from an audio recording. It’s a message that believers should hear – The Way of Escape. Although already available on our YouTube Channel, other people may not be aquinted with his Ugandan accent and hence miss out on important lines of thoughts brought out in the message. May God bless and keep you.