Get to know the Dye Family
Mark and Melynda have been married for 15 years and have a young son, Jude, who is eight years old. God has used the challenges Mark and Melynda faced during their upbringings, their military careers, their journey toward finding Christ, and the trials of managing their child’s medical needs, to prepare and mold them for this mission. They are ready to reach out and into the hearts of the Sao Luis people with their story, their unique gifts of service, and their love for the lost, to deliver the message of salvation through Christ.
Mark is a 39-year-old Marriage Ministry Leader at Northside Church of Christ and is currently 33 hours into the 84-hour Master of Divinity Graduate Program at Nations University.
Mark’s earliest memories of church go back to his grandmother’s bible class at the Fifth and Oak Church of Christ. She turned a tiny little room located behind the baptistery into one of the most exciting places in his world where he would sing songs, complete worksheets, answer questions, and put stars on his memory verse charts.
But early in Mark’s life, his parents divorced, he moved, and church was no longer a part of their lives – even though Mark says that, “talking to Jesus was still part of mine”. Through elementary, middle and high school, he rarely attended church but if he did, it was with friends or his grandparents while staying with them during the summers. Several times during those years, he felt called to respond to an invitation to follow Christ but deep down he knew he would not be fully committed, so he didn’t.
After high school and a year of junior college, he enrolled in a university, quickly realizing that he did not have a focus or reason to be there. So, at age 21, he joined the Air Force and started basic training in early 1999.
It was in Omaha, Nebraska in 2000 after advanced training that Mark recalls praying that God would send a woman into his life who would be a compatible partner for him. Two weeks later on Valentine’s Day, Mark met Melynda, who would eventually become his wife.
Melynda grew up in Baraga, Michigan, faithfully attending Catholic mass every weekend. She remembers that she loved buildings, windows and singing at church, but wanted to know more of the traditional ceremonies and the deeper meaning.
Melynda began seeking this deeper understanding through summer church camps, and Bible studies and applications of Jesus’ teachings. Witnessing these differences, planted a seed deep within Melynda’s heart which would eventually bring her to seek out a group that would allow her to study, pray, worship, and grow to understand Jesus and the heart of His teachings.
After graduating high school, Melynda joined the Air Force, in her words, “as a strong-willed, independent 18-year-old out to prove that I could make something of myself.” The next year and a half, Melynda’s plight for independence resulted in the emptiness of a self-serving spirit and self-reliance.
Their Path to Sao Luis
Melynda met Mark on the day she arrived at her first assignment at Offutt AFB. They
became good friends and began dating, but had difficulties with trust and openness due to their upbringings and the distance created by numerous deployments.
It was on one of these deployments that Melynda heard Jesus’ call to seek Him first. She called Mark and told him that she wanted to find a church where they could seek Jesus. Mark says, “When she returned home from Japan, that is just what we did. And it is to her that I owe my reconnection with Jesus.”
Mark and Melynda began attending Bellevue Church of Christ in Nebraska. It was a military church and they were welcomed as family and met by a loving couple who invited them to lunch and quickly became close friends and mentors.
On September 11, 2001, their world, and everyone else’s, changed when terrorists made several attacks on American soil, with the largest damage in New York City. Emotions were raw in the armed forces with the anticipation that full-scale war was upon them. Their close friend and mentor approached them the Sunday after the attacks with tears on his cheeks and told them that he was worried for their eternal life, not knowing if Mark and Melynda would be deployed and what might happen to them.
Mark recalls on the drive home asking Melynda how someone else could care more about their souls than they did. That night they decided they would be baptized and get married the next weekend. On the next Friday and Saturday, their parents witnessed both.
When their commitment to the military ended, Mark and Melynda spent a few years in transition in various states and attended various congregations. During this time in a move to Alabama, Mark had the opportunity to go on his first mission trip to Guyana. That trip opened Mark’s heart to reaching out to others with the love and message of Jesus Christ.
Mark and Melynda soon moved to San Antonio to finish college and they began attending Northside Church of Christ. It didn’t take long for them to find a place to serve the congregation in the youth ministry.
Mark and Melynda not only served Northside, but they soon found themselves being served by the family of Northside. The church’s loving arms quickly wrapped around them when their son Jude was born in 2008 with Diastrophic Dysplasia, a disorder of cartilage and bone development which usually includes early-onset joint pain (osteoarthritis) and joint deformities called contractures, which restrict movement.
It was a difficult start for Jude, and Mark and Melynda were faced with many heart-wrenching times and were called to make difficult decisions. Jude required four surgeries during the first six years of his young life. But Mark and Melynda’s faith and the love of their church family saw them through the setbacks and challenges.
During the last 11 years at the Northside Church, God has sharpened Mark and Melynda’s talents and skills, while softening their hearts as they have surrendered to His will. They have been active in youth ministry, urban ministry, homeless ministries, teaching opportunities, a marriage ministry, and mission trips to Mexico and Brazil.
Now, Mark and Melynda are ready to go, with a faith that God has been preparing and molding them for this new mission to love the lost in Sao Luis, Brazil. And they are more than willing to answer His call.
Short term Evangelism and VBS missions in Guyana, South America: 2004, 2005, 2006
Youth Bible Class teachers
Congregational Work weekly night coordinators 2005
NEON- high school mentor program 2006-2010
Adult Bible class teacher
Children’s Bible class teacher
Men’s Retreat coordinator 2007
SERVEiVOR Youth Weekend Outdoor Retreats 2006-2017
Texas Area Churches/Christian School and College
San Antonio Urban Youth Program
Fortaleza Brasil 2016-2017 (4 retreats)
Children's Special needs assistant
Couples Retreat Coordinators 2006-2007
Leader of the Marriage Ministry
LIFE group leaders