The Lord called Mark to the ministry from a career as a firefighter. During his four-and-a-half years of training at the Bible Institute of Grace Church of Mentor, God revealed His will for the Mavars to become church planters in Panama.
The Mavar family arrived in Panama in January 2002 and began language school. They initially worked with veteran missionaries in a church in Cerro Cama. In September 2003 they were led to start a Bible study in Valle Dorado and the first service of La Iglesia de La Gracia de Valle Dorado was on February 29, 2004. Wednesday services began in October 2004.
After meeting in rented houses for a couple of years, the Lord provided land for them to purchase. They began building in August 2006 and had their first service in the unfinished building in December. La Iglesia de La Gracia de Valle Dorado officially organized as a church with their charter service on February 29, 2008.
The Mavars have 4 children. Their oldest, Luke, married Kara in 2007 and graduated from Bob Jones in 2011. He is now a police officer in Greenville, SC and his wife runs her own home business. Caleb graduated from BJU in 2010 and married Shelly Barclay in 2011. They reside in Ohio where they are both nurses. Hannah and Hope both graduated from BJU in 2011. Hannah married Ben Pannell in 2012, and they reside in Greenville, SC where Ben is working and studying for his masters degree in Educational Leadership at BJU. Hannah recently began work as a nurse in a local Greenville hospital. Hope resides in Ohio where she works at an assisted living. She will begin teaching piano lessons at a local Christian school in January of 2013. She also ministers as the choir pianist at her home church.
To view Mark and Carol Mavar's photo gallery, click the picture below.