Robert Frost and an EEG

I am in the room with my father now.  And he looks peaceful.  Occasionally a nurse or doctor comes in to move a tube or give him more medicine.  He moves in protest. You hope it is because he knows we are here, but the nurse tells you that it is reactionary movement.  Still that voice inside of you wants to yell out wake up,  Yet he does not.  Still I have faith that he hears us and hears all of your love as you yell out with us in prayer.  As a family we are sitting around reminiscing about the whale tales we all have.

Today is a day filled with tests and meetings.  My dad will get an EEG test this morning to measure brain activity.  This will be compared with the same test yesterday.  Pray for an improvement to show up on the test.  He will also get a an MRI to see where his brain has moved to, and if it has recovered to where it was before the accident.  We will have a meeting early afternoon with the neurological surgeon, to discuss my fathers progress to this point.

This morning one of the doctors that original checked my dad on Sunday when he came in said there was slight improvement, but not the improvement they would want to this point.  Still we believe God is bigger than medicine.  We are thankful for the progress that has come.  They said his pupils were now the same size.  And it appears that he is trying to swallow.  All slight improvements.

Please pray for our family as we all are beginning to grasp the long Road ahead to recovery.  We have faith in a great God and know he will get better despite what a test or doctor says.  My father is fighter.

This morning Whitney read him one of his favorite poem by Robert Frost.  Two roads diverge in the yellow wood … I took the one less traveled.  That is my dad.  Always the explorer, always the traveler, always willing to go where others had not gone.  He is a good man, no he is a great man.  And I am honored to be a son of whale.

60 responses to Robert Frost and an EEG

  1. The Evens


    We here are praying too. We pray knowing that our God is Bigger than medicine and is into the healing business. Congrats on Eli and everyone at Jlife Africa sends their prayers too.

    love-the evens

  2. cecilia flores

    all of eastfield college is praying for your dad…
    read him Wild Grapes(he’s not going to let go and neither are you);if i were there and allowed to do it i would. he (and now you, son of whale):great good men who love the earth and poetry. our love and prayers for you and your whale family.

  3. Donde Womack

    As a fan of Dr. Mark and a member of his Sunday School class I have been brokenhearted since I received the news. I continue to pray and trust God for Dr. Mark’s recovery. Psalm 91:16 keeps coming to mind, “With LONG life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation”. I have reminded the Lord of this (“Put me in remembrance, let us plead together… Is.43:26) and surely Dr. Mark and his family cannot be satisfied should he not go on to see his ninetieth birthday with many more tales to tell. Please know that much prayer is going up for this dear, wonderful man who we all love.

  4. Jennifer and Abraham Miller

    Presley Family,
    I am one of your father’s instructors at Eastfield. Please know we are thinking of him daily and praying that God continues to put His healing hand on Mark. We know we serve a God that heals and we believe the report of the Lord. I think it’s great that you guys read and talk to him because I truly believe he hears you and it is ministering to His spirit.
    We love you guys and please let us know if there is anything we can do.
    Jennifer and Abe
    Exodus 15:26, Psalm 107:20, Isaiah 53:5, I Peter 2:24

  5. Dana Mingo

    Dr. Presley and family,

    Our prayers are with you and through your faith and the righteousness of God; he will see you through this trying time. Look to him and his word to give you strength in your time of need.

    Romans 3:22, NIV reads
    This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

  6. Steve & Beverly Garms

    Mark. Typically when folks try to console a friend in crisis, their first response is: “I can’t imagine how you feel.” Well, in this case, we can imagine how you feel, having walked this path with our son so many years ago. In reflection on this “closed-head injury” crisis in our life, we often say we measured our son’s life first by the second hand, then the minute hand, then the hour hand. As God had His way, we began measuring his life on the calendar. Yes, you are correct, God is bigger than medicine and in our case God saw fit to provide a recovery that was nothing less than a miracle. We are praying the same for you has you hold your private vigil of faith. Continue to read aloud and carry on conversation with your Dad. They will tell you that he cannot hear you….in my heart of hearts I know that Braxton heard us! Know that we are prayerful for you and your family. Please give your mom a hug for us. The “Whale” has been an important part of our live as well! Steve/Bev

  7. Dr. Presley and Family,

    My prayers and thoughts are with all of you, especially with Mark! We at EFC are all thinking of you. Remember the Lord is your strengh! Hold close to HIM….Liz

  8. Paul & Becky Daily

    We are praying for your dad and your entire family. And also for Melissa, Champe, and Eli at home. We know the days can be long in the ICU, we know the waiting can be tiring, but we know that in all things God has a plan.

    love you guys,

  9. Mark and Family –
    You are certainly in our prayers. We will continue to pray for a God sized healing!

    Give Kari Anne a great big hug for me!

  10. Janet Robinson

    Mark & Melissa ~ Just wanted to let you know that the Robinson’s in San Diego are praying for Dr. Mark and the rest of the Presley family. Our God is a God of miracles. Congratulation on the birth of Eli. Love to all of you ~ Janet

  11. Karen Green

    The Greens are praying night and day. Please give your mother my love.
    Karen Green

  12. We’re praying for your father and all of your family for God’s healing, strength, and comfort.

  13. Judi Elliott


    As a staff member and adjunct faculty member proudly working for your father, Whale, I want you to know that Dr. Presley always believes in me. He is always positive about the impact I have and can make at Eastfield. He is lavish in his praise and cautious with his criticism. In return for the nuturing atmosphere that Whale consistently provides, I will be generous with my prayers and cautious with my thoughts. I love your father. He is the best boss I have ever had. I know there are others who have earned the right to be called “friend” by your father. And I hope he will give me the privilege of being his “friend” someday.

  14. I have been reading your blog information about your Father. I am so sorry to hear of his situation. My Father is a Neurosurgeon and I used to be a Surgical Tech (kind of like a scrub nurse)…so I am curious as to what caused the bleeding. Did he have an aneurism?

    As I promised your sisters, I will pray for him on my lunch break…it is kind of hard to forget the name “Whale”. :0)


  15. Meghan Hendrickson

    I was reading Psalm 91 in my quiet time today and thought I would share it with you:

    “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare of the LORD: HE ALONE IS MY REFUGE, MY PLACE OF SAFETY; HE IS MY GOD, AND I AM TRUSTING HIM. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers. HIS FAITHFUL PROMISES ARE YOUR ARMOR AND PROTECTION. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day, nor dread the plague that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, THESE EVILS WILL NOT TOUCH YOU. But you will see it with your eyes; you will see how the wicked are punished. IF YOU MAKE THE LORD YOUR REFUGE, IF YOU MAKE THE MOST HIGH YOUR SHELTER, NO EVIL WILL CONQUER YOU; NO PLAGUE WILL COME NEAR YOUR DWELLING. FOR HE ORDERS HIS ANGELS TO PROTECT YOU WHEREVER YOU GO. THEY WILL HOLD YOU WITH THEIR HANDS to keep you from striking your foot on a stone. You will trample down lions and poisonous snakes; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! THE LORD SAYS, ‘I WILL RESCUE THOSE WHO LOVE ME. I WILL PROTECT THOSE WHO TRUST IN MY NAME. WHEN THEY CALL ON ME, I WILL ANSWER; I WILL BE WITH THEM IN TROUBLE. I WILL RESCUE THEM AND HONOR THEM. I WILL SATISFY THEM WITH A LONG LIFE AND GIVE THEM MY SALVATION.”

    I know that God alone is your family’s refuge. So much of your family has inspired and impacted me through the years because of just that. I am a firm believer in angels, and when it says that God orders His angels to protect you wherever you go and that they will hold you with their hands, I am certain that they are holding Dr. Mark with their hands along with you.

    Praise God that he is moving forward and not backward! It is wonderful that you all take notice of that blessing. And when you said that the doctor said that his moves forward were immeasurable, I would look at that as truth, but in a good way! Who are we to put a measurement on the steps forward that God has provided? I believe that every reaction that he continues to make is another giant leap ahead.

    This is a long journey, as you said before, but know that I will be praying alongside your family each day of this journey. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer, and with all of the people praying for Dr. Mark right now, there is not a doubt in my mind that he will make it through this successfully!

    I love you all. Thank you Mark for keeping us updated. I, and my family, appreciate it. We will all continue to be in prayer for Dr. Mark and your family.

    In His Love,
    Meghan and The Hendricksons

  16. Eric Kuykendall

    Hey Mark,

    Just want you to know I am thinking about you, your dad, and your family.

  17. Vicki Woolverton

    Mark, I just heard about your dad. I just wanted you to know I am praying for all of you.


  18. Becca Brockway

    We are praying for you,and your family. We love you so much! Let us know if there is ANYTHING you might need,or Mel and the boys might need. Love you.Becca Brockway

  19. Coach and Linda Dyer

    Please know that Dr. Mark and the entire Presley family are in our thoughts and prayers. I have talked with both Mel and Cathy T. trying to get updates…thanks for sharing the blog with continually are in our prayers…please give Anne and great big hug…we love you all
    Linda and Coach

  20. Sherri Pinckley

    Good morning,

    How blessed we all are to have our support networks of family and friends. The outpouring of support for Dr. Presley and the Presley family is overwhelming. I know the prayers are many. Draw near to God through prayer and scripture and keep reminding your dad of God’s love for him.

    In my praying and thinking of your family this morning, I remembered a website that could be very uplifting for your family and would like to share it with you in case you don’t know about it. This is a gospel music website that plays music praising our Lord. Just click “Listen Live” on the left side of the page.

    I pray this will help calm you and give you rest.

    We are continuing to pray that God be with you, for your dad’s healing and comfort, and for your entire family’s strength and peace.

    ~ Sherri Pinckley & Family ~ EFC

  21. Doug Lee

    Dr Presley and family,

    I know of Dr Presley through his crazy daughter Whitney…. Wanted to let you know you are in our prayers here in Indiana. God specializes in the impossible and I know he can heal your dad,husband and grandfather. I will be joining you in praying for signs of improvement. God bless you all .Doug

  22. Jill Byrd

    Dr.Mark and family –
    Each one of you remain constantly on our minds, in our hearts and your names are on our lips as we pray, pray, pray. We know Dr. Mark is a fighter! Little did he know his next mission trip would be to the staff and patients at that hospital. He is ministering through Anne and all of his children. Praying for miracles every moment, Jill

    PS: I think Keegan and Darby are ready to adopt Champe. He is starting to copy Keegan….monkey see, monkey do…

  23. Jim Bennett

    I have worked with your dad many years at Eastfield College, and I love and admire him. He is in our thoughts and prayers. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Melanie Gill-Shaw

    Dear Mark and Family,
    Tears filled my eyes as I heard of this tragic situation. Mark, my mind recalls this busy man running around the campus, zipping in and out and trying to take care of endless tasks. The sweeter thoughts are watching your face light up when we find a new idea, or plan a new event that will really excite the students. This is where we witness your passion as an educator. You just shine when talking about your family, geological ideas, ways to help the scouts and your travel to the New England area.

    When you talked about mission trips, I was not surprised that you would commit to volunteer for such outreach. It was a joy to attend the Christmas party for your division, and see you quite comfortable playing the guitar and leading the group in song. I hope and pray we have many more opportunities to share as colleagues at Eastfield.

    To Mark’s family – you are truly blessed to have Mark in your lives (a fact you certainly know). He is a kind, congenial and endearing man whom I greatly respect. His passion for you, his family, his students and all he does demonstrates a character and love that we don’t often get to witness in one person’s life.

    We are praying and trusting God to bring wisdom to the medical teams providing the care, and healing that only the heavenly Father can bestow. We serve a mighty God.

    “ every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”. (Phil.4:6-7)

    Your Eastfield colleague,
    Melanie Gill-Shaw (Grants office)

  25. Grant and Marcy Bergman

    We do not know you personally, but we are praying for your dad. Both of us teach with your mother and know she is a wonderful woman. We pray that your family will have strength. I have a cousin who was in a car accident when he was 17. He suffered from TBI and I remember watching some of the events you have described. It is a long road- but obviously your dad is a fighter. And God can work miracles that medicine cannot.

    With love,

    The Bergmans

  26. Courtney Kuykendall

    Mark and Presley’s,

    We are praying for your dad’s recovery and healing, and for all of you as you faithfully sit by his side.

    With great love,

  27. Leslie Johnson

    To the Presley’s,

    Please know that Mark and your family are in our prayers. Mark is a very unique man and it has been a pleasure to work with him.

    We look forward to seeing him zipping around here very soon.

    In my prayers, Leslie Johnson

  28. Darryl & Lisa Chavis

    We are saddened to hear of what has happened. Know that Dr. Mark and the entire Presley family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  29. Kevin and Sharon Wieser

    Our prayers are with you, and we look forward to watching God gain all the glory from this! A wise man once told me, it is not so much what you go through, but how you go through it. The victory has already been won, and now we watch it unfold.

    Kevin and Sharon Wieser

  30. Becca Brockway

    I know I have already posted, but I have just been thinking and praying for you, and a thought I can not get out of my mind is that I do not have any experience with my father being very sick, but I do with a daughter. And with many stories of being told by the Dr’s that the outcome does not look good, one plays in my mind today. Brooke was very sick and we were in the ER, and she was bascially dieing. But one of the dr grabbed me and told me to get up in her ear and tell her to fight… to hold on… that we were not giving up on her. She to at the time had no swallow, no pain reflex, her eyes were fixed.. she to was in a bad place. But I know in my heart she heard me, I know she fought harder and was stronger knowing that I was fighting with her. So dont listen to the nurses who tell you he cant hear you… talk to him, tell him stories, read and sing to him….only God knows what he can and can not hear,and I choose to believe.
    Praying for you always,

  31. Joanne Eaton

    We are all praying for you. I remember when Dr. Mark shared his favorite poem in our BFG. He is such an incredible man. I know that having all of you by his side is comforting beyond words – I believe it does make a difference. Love knows no bounderies. Know that you are being lifted up continually.

  32. Mark
    As I read aabout Dad today my first thoughts were how typical of Mark. Each day at the college I watched his focus and determination that all of us were working toward the success of our students. I would look up from my desk and he would be standing there with a thought about how we might do something even better than we thought we could. Whether scouting for field trips or talking about new courses, Mark’s light would shine bright as he shared his excitment. Last week we had one of our most successful Boy Scout camps thanks to his efforts. Like his mission trips it was another reminder of his commitment to people and their lives.
    Please know that each day we are praying for him and all of you. I do believe that those prayers and good wishes are being heard by him.

  33. Jay Justice

    Presley Family

    Dr. Mark, the whale, is my friend, my mentor, and my boss here at Eastfield. My prayers are certainly with you and Mark. I remain very confident that Mark will prevail. Remember, the whale is an instrument of God, serving God’s will, as in the story of Jonah. Mark is truly an instrument of God as evidenced by his great and giving family, his work as a teacher (a gift from the Holy Spirit) and his mission work. God has a mission for Mark and that mission is being played out now. I pray God’s mission is to return Mark to us.
    God bless you all.
    Jay Justice

  34. Presleys, We are praying for Dr. Mark and each of you. When Josh was 6 mos. old and very sick in the hospital, my friend “gave” me this Bible verse. It is Lam. 3:22-23. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” While we wish you were here so we could minister to you in a more concrete way, we know that God has Dr. Mark in the best place to get well and that He is in the palm of God’s hand. Hug your mother. We love you, Ginny and Larry Robinson

  35. Michele and Mark McElwey

    Presley Family,

    As a family and as a church, you, your family and your Dad are in our prayers. Mark has had the privelege to work side by side with your Dad in drama and we have a special love for your family. I do not know Dr. Presley as well as my husband does, but I will never forget that one of the very first people to make me feel “welcome” as a 16 year old moving to a new city, was your brother, Stephen. We will continue to pray that God heal your father and that he hold you all in his peace during this time.

    Michele and Mark McElwey

  36. Barbara and Ralph Cross

    Presley Family,
    We are praying for you and your dad. We love you. Barbara and Ralph

  37. Vikki

    I come by way of your sweet sisters blog. God bless you and your family during this time. I too have sat at the hospital bed of my parent and know it is a hard and difficult time. God is good and he has your Dad in his hands. I pray for his recovery. Stay in his peace.

  38. Barry Dorociak

    Mark Jr,
    Thank you for keeping us informed in your blog of your dad’s progress and recovery. I am praying for him and all of you all. Know that God is good and that He is in control. He is there when we go through difficult times.
    I love Mark Presley. He is such a terrific man to work for, he recently hired me to teach geology at Eastfield (2 years ago) and have enjoyed getting to know him first as a gifted teacher, and second as a warm, encouraging friend. He has always been on my side, from hiring me, to giving me words of encouragement–you are doing such a great job with our students. I have wonderful memories of geology field trips with he and Dr. Justice. I love his sense of humor and fun. He is so entertaining as an intructor and he became a role model and mentor to me. I enjoy popping into his office and chatting, laughing, about whatever, including faith.
    Know that I am saddenned with you, but have hope.
    Know that I am praying for Mark and for you all.
    God bless
    Barry Dorociak

  39. Karen Stepherson

    Presley Family,

    I’m a former employee of Eastfield College and had the pleasure of working with Dr. Presley. I can tell you that we both have the same spirit! He’ll probably find that funny. This is my prayer for you: I ask that you would be committed to prayer and not faint nor lose heart or give up!. (Read Luke 18:1).

    Life begins climbing
    mountains up from caves
    of drunken nights
    dipped in holy rivers
    found heaven’s love!

  40. Don Thomson

    I am praying for you, your dad and family. I am a friend of Russell Swanson who worked with Whitney at AD players.

    Don Thomson

  41. Theresa Sternat

    To the Presley Family,
    As I think of your dad and pray for his recovery, I remember a student describing her experience on a geology field study with Mark. She said, “He was like the best dad ever, and he’s the kind of dad I wish I had.” My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  42. Brynndah Hicks Turnbo

    To the Presley Family,
    During a precious time such as this one,it becomes so difficult to say the right thing, especially when you feel that all you have to offer are a few “words”. Yet, when those words are spoken in the form of “prayers” they become powerful.
    It is my prayer to God for you and your family to
    have peace and renewed faith in God’s miracle power. Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon form against me shall prosper”.

    Brynndah Hicks Turnbo
    Eastfield Staff

  43. Mark,
    Please let your family know that all the Sexton family is praying for your dad and for all of you. We remember all too well what it is like to have an extended hospital vigil from when Holly was in ICU for so long after Jackson was born. We were given very little hope by her doctors and she was at death’s door many times. But God chose not to open that door and showed us His grace and mercy by sparing her. The doctors do the best they can and the rest is up to God. Our FBC church family was our strength then as I know it is for you all now. Please give your mother a hug from me. She gave me many when Holly was sick. Cindy is keeping in touch with Melissa. Congrats on your precious baby. Thank you for setting up this blog so we can know exactly what to pray for in your dad’s recovery. We love you all, Pam Sexton and family

  44. Chris & Leigh O'Malley

    Dear Presley Family,
    Just want to let you know we are following this unbelievable story from the East Coast (Virginia this week). We are praying AND believing with you for an amazing recovery/resulting testimony. Our God is a truly Awesome God and gracious, loving Father. Just wanted you to know we care and send our love!

    Chris & Leigh O’Malley

  45. Bryan and Tracy Doyle

    You are constantly in our thoughts and hearts…we earnestly pray for healing and restoration…I got to speak to Dr. Mark the Sunday before last…as ever, he was bright, incredibly intelligent, humble, gracious and oh so wise…
    We love you guys, Bryan and Tracy

  46. Ann Cozad

    Dear Presley family, Whenever I think of you all, I am very awed by the character, integrity and spiritual leadership that you show. When you guys show up, it’s just like God has shown up too! Like many others who’ve commented, I also feel like he knows you’re by his side and can hear what you’re telling him, so keep it up. We all know great miracles do still happen today, and my prayer is that we’ll see one in the life of Dr. Presley. He, and the rest of you, have been such an awesome inspiration to myself and my family. We thank you and are praying for you. Ann Cozad

  47. Don Hellstern

    Presley Family,

    My prayers have been and continue to be with you all. Mark is a treasure to all of us that know him. I concur with Mark Jr., that he is indeed a great man. Embodied not merely by his many distinguished personal and professional accomplishments, but more so by his numerous deeds of love, compassion, and empathy toward his fellow man and his genuine love for planet Earth. By these gifts he shares with us daily he makes each of us want to be better human beings. I join the many voices asking God to return him to us completely and swiftly.

    Don Hellstern

  48. Kim Vitz

    Dearest Presleys,
    I am praying continually for each one of you. Your family has impacted my life in such wonderful ways. Dr. Mark, as you know, is such an amazing man. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning from him in bfg, talking with him and singing and playing silly games (which he cheated at!) at Christmas. How incredibly blessed you kids are to have such an incredible Dad, admired and respected by so many. I look forward to many more after church lunches at Pizza Inn!!
    I pray for complete healing for Dr. Mark and peace in the waiting for all of you. God is bigger than science.
    Lots and Lots and Lots of Love to you all,

    Kim Vitz

  49. Lynn Gross

    Mark – It has been said so many times in the comments, but we are praying for all of you continually. I understand the waiting on brain injury and can only tell you that you are doing exactly the right things – talking to your Dad, singing songs and being the family around him. We played music for my mom in this situation and she would often respond in simple ways. We love you all so much and just pray for any progress. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Please hug Anne for me and tell everyone that we are praying, praying, praying.

  50. Rob Bowsher and Family

    My prayers, emotions and thoughts are with you all. 4 years ago my family was in the same scenario with my dad. I am so sorry for what you are all going through. while in the hospital with my dad, God filled my heart with a song that assured me of His Great Love, His Peace and that i could not control anything and it was ok, with my soul. I began singing this to myself while sitting next to his bed. No that we are praying for you, Melissa, Champe, and Eli.

    Rob Bowsher
    “When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.
    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.
    Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
    My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
    And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.”
    Horatio Spafford

  51. Coach and Linda Dyer

    Daer Presley family,
    I can’t seem to get you off of my mind..your family has truly been a blessing to us in many ways. I cannot imagine the pain, but we continually pray for you, and are in our thoughts. I just pray for God’s peace to surround you, and comfort you. Once agian, just know that we love your family!
    Linda and Steve Dyer

  52. Melba Jeffus

    Dear Presley Family,
    My heart is breaking for each of you. My family has and will continue to pray for all of you. Our family had a similar experience a few years ago and we truly ache for your pain. Dr. Presley is “one of the good guys” and we all love him. His zest and passion for his work, the college, students and especially his family has always been an inspiration to all of us. Please know that we join in your prayers and petitions to our gracious God that Mark will be restored totally and returned to your loving embrace. I also know that he is so proud of each of you and how you are showing everyone around you that your trust is totally in the Lord. God works in mysterious ways and He may be showing someone in your presence just how wonderful it is to be loved by Him. My pastor preached a sermon once about each of us being the only Bible some people may ever read. I am certain that message is shining clear in each of you and that Mark is very proud of you. One of my favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God is holding you close and will be your strength and shield.
    God Bless you,
    Melba Jeffus

  53. Brenda Womack

    Mark Jr,

    Words can not express the concern we all have for Mark Sr and everyone in the Presley family. He is one of the most cariing and positive men I’ve ever known. His humor, wit, love of life and faith in God served to uplift me through some trying times, when he was my boss at Eastfield. Mark has greatly influenced so many lives. Please know that so many people, in the district, our loved ones and friends will be praying for Mark, the medical team and your family.

  54. Nikkik

    Latvian friends are also praying for ya’ll guys!!!! God is greater then our best expectations. He can do more the we ever imagine!

  55. Dan Weintraub

    Mark and family, I’m praying for you and your Dad’s recovery. I pray that you get clear guidance in this difficult time.

  56. Craig Garrott

    Anne, Mark, and family,

    I am very sorry for your great loss. Since hearing the news, I have daily kept up with your blog (thank you Mark for taking the time to let us all know. A time; undoubtedly, the hardest time in your life, to convey messages–I marveled how God gave you the grace to share so much with us in such a time of great hurt and pain).

    I have taken a while to respond because it opens a door to my past that is, as well, very unpleasant to recall. My Mom was promoted to glory in the same fashion. Within a week of the aneurism, she was gone. I too kept thinking I would wake up from a bad dream; it took a while for me to accept it. The great comfort I have, you all have, is knowing the Truth, and knowing that Mom, Mark, and all who know Him(in the greek context of knowing) are residing immediately in that prepared place.

    In your daily blogs, you mention things, events, circumstances that remind you of the great man your Dad was. What a joy for your family to hold unto those memories; a precious gift to remember for all the days ahead. In my Bible, I carry handwritten notes my Mom made from her Bible studies; verses she had written, references she made (I wouldn’t take all the money in the world for them–they remind me so much of her).

    It was my privilege to be with your Dad, along with Michele Henry, on the mission team to Buenas Aires. Michele could sing (very well), and your Dad, to me, had the amazing ability to preach a message with limited, if any, notes, especially on short notice. Like Pastor Jeff, he had a gift (in my opinion) that way. And with that gift, his other advantage was it was what he believed; Whale really loved the Lord, and it showed not only in his preaching, but his demeanor, and the way he lived his life.

    I again had the privilege in recent years to be with Whale in Holland. We had a large team, but Whale, sometimes spontaneously, organized all the visits to a very efficient order. But allow me to share with you one particular visit I made with your Dad. A lot of the particulars escape me, but to this day, it is one of the most unique visits I have made in any foreign country. Unique from the perspective that Mark commandeered a car from a lady in the church so we could make a late night visit in another town. So here we were, Whale driving, me trying to navigate in the dark with a map, trying to find an elusive home in the Netherlands. By divine help, we found the house, were graciously received, the gospel was presented, and your Dad led Rashid to Christ. To this day, it is the only person of Muslim descent, I have personally seen come to the Lord. After the visit, and putting some petrol in the car, we made it back safely. The lady who owned the car appeared to me to be very relieved it (the car) was back.

    Last night, Sunday, I was on the beach, at Madeira Beach, Fla. And I was thinking of you all on the beach at the Cape. Far removed by distance, I looked up at the sun, it’s rays beaming through the clouds, shining down on the soft pitching waters of the gulf. And the thought came that as you all had the memorial service, you all could see the same sun (assuming it was not cloudy)shining down. And I remembered reading Mark’s blog, that after so many days of rain, that next morning on the Cape, the sun was shining down in a brilliance that will long be remembered. What a comfort to know that the Son will always be eternally shining with Whale, in that prepared place for the good and faithful servant that he was.

    I will miss you Mark Sr., as will all who knew you. And as the Lord brings you that remain to my mind, know I will be lifting you all up in prayer, for God to comfort and to provide that peace beyond understanding (that Mark eluded to in a recent blog).


    Patricia and Craig

  57. Matthew C. Stelly


    I know the feeling quite well. I lost my father in 1981 and I don’t think I ever appreciated it until many years later. It is good to see that you truly have that love inside you.

    Every day is a new experience and we grow. The past need not be prologue. All we can do is seek to make amends and try to be better people. You are doing that in a very inclusive way. You have been blessed because of it.

    Take care and remember: “every sickness ain’t death, every good-bye ain’t gone, and every big man ain’t strong.”

    Take care.

  58. Karen Stepherson

    If I Be Defeated

    If I be defeated,
    let the record show
    that it wasn’t by friend, relative or foe
    but rather a shortcoming of my very own.

    If I be defeated,
    without winning the race
    it wasn’t because I was slow or thrown off pace
    but rather a mindset on a different place

    Because despite the loss here
    I’ve already won and only time
    is my enemy in which I’ll succumb

    If I be defeated!

    Rest in peace Mark!

    Karen Stepherson
    Former Eastfield Staff

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