Newsletter for the Parks Family - CBF Global Missions Field Personnel among the Roma people in Slovakia.

Vision Trip to Slovakia

Thank you for lifting us up in prayer as we traveled to Košice from September 15-23!  We know that your prayers were with us, because we felt God's peace and guidance the whole time... even when our luggage arrived late!  Every one of our requests was answered:
  • We had no significant travel problems, other than a plane problem in Detroit that made us a few hours late.
  • The girls had a wonderful time at home with Poppy and Nana!
  • All of the practical needs were accomplished, too – we visited the Roma school, saw two excellent choices for schools for the girls, got a feeling for the housing situation, and had lots of good conversations and ideas about how we can make the transition easier.
  • Most importantly, we asked you to pray that God would capture us with his passion for the Roma people – and this is exactly what happened!  Now we understand both why God loves these people so much, and why God’s calling us there to help them.
So thanks again for your prayers – God heard every one of them.

For more stories and pictures from our vision trip, visit our blog -

God at Work: Mrs. Keatts

A few weeks ago, we received our report of donations made during August.  One name caught our eye because we'd never seen it before - a Mrs. Keatts.  We didn't know who she was, but we wanted to find out!  So Jon called to find out how she had heard about us.

The twenty-minute conversation that followed was an unexpected blessing.  Mrs. Keatts has recently turned 80 (she prefers to call it 79-plus-one), and lives in a nearby city in Virginia.  When Jon called, she'd just come in from a refreshing morning working in her yard.  In her church's worship service each week, someone reads names of CBF field personnel for the prayer time, and our names were mentioned a few weeks back.  For some reason, she felt led to send a check to CBF for our ministry.

Because of stories like this we are confident that God has placed us on this journey.  It's daunting to face the task of raising our support - but it's a lot less daunting when we realize that God has gone before us.  God knows each of those who will pray with us, those who will partner with us... we just have to keep our eyes open, so we'll know when God brings them across our path.

Coming Soon...

Most of you know that we love to express ourselves through music, which is one of the reasons we are drawn to the intensely musical Roma people!  One of the ways we'll be spreading the word about what God has called us to do is through music.  Jon has collected several songs he's written in the last six years since we home-recorded our first album, "Something Good," and right now we're working on some new recordings (one of them was posted recently on our blog).  We hope to have a few concerts before we leave, in which we'll share our songs and our calling.  If you'd be interested in attending or hosting one of these concerts, let us know! 

The Roma: History Through Language

They began to appear in Europe about 1,000 years ago - bands of travelers whose skills as entertainers and craftsmen, seemed almost magical to the supersitious peasants of the medieval era.  While the Gypsy people quickly adapted to new environments, picking up language and customs of the places where they moved, they always remained very "foreign" to the European people.  Their dark skin and black hair made them impossible to ignore, and their language was like nothing that had been heard in Europe before.  

These traits, along with their mysterious origins, caused white Europeans to view them first with fascination, which later turned to suspicion, and sometimes to fear and loathing.

In the 1800's, scholars became interested in the Gypsy mystery, and they worked to discover their origins.  But the Gypsies had become so good at adapting, had spent so long making up fanciful and entertaining tales about their past, that they no longer knew where they had come from.  

Surprisingly enough, it was the Romani language that gave anthropologists their answer.  They discovered that some of the most basic words in the Romani language came from the area we now know as India - dialects that were spoken in 1000-1100 AD.  This history explains their darkened skin color.  

One commonly-accepted theory suggests that the story of the Roma people began on December 21, 1018.  On that date, the great conqueror Mahmud of Ghazni captured the city of Kannauj in northern India.  At that time, Kannauj was a renowned center of culture, intellect and craftsmanship.  When Mahmud conquered the city, many of the people fled north and west into Persia and the Byzantine Empire.

Using more words from the Romani langauge, they traced these traveling people through Persia, the Balkan peninsula and Greece... and finally north and west into Europe.Today we know much more about the Roma people because their language carries evidence of the places they've been.  Does it make you wonder what someone might be able to tell from the words you use?

Upcoming Schedule

Nov 6 - Farmville Baptist Church, Farmville, VA
Nov 13 - Fellowship Baptist Church, Fitzgerald, GA
Nov 14-15 - Atlanta area
Nov 16 - Baptist Church of the Covenant, Birmingham, AL
Nov 17-19 - Birmingham area
Nov 20 - Crosscreek Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL
Nov 21-24 - Huntsville area

Please contact us for a more detailed schedule.

Prayer Concerns

Join us in thanking God for our fruitful vision trip in September!
Pray for the McNary family as they travel to the US in October to visit potential colleges for Taylor and Allie.
Pray for our support-raising trips in November and December - for safe travel and for fruitful times with potential partners.
Pray for the Roma people in Slovakia, that God would raise up Roma leaders who can help their people rise out of the generational cycle of poverty and cynicism. 
Goal:  $25,875 In-Hand                                 Goal:  $8,625/month Pledged
Current: $2,850 (11%)                                          Current:  $620 (7%)

One Last Pic...

Yes, there is a McDonalds in Kosice!

We'd Love to Hear from You


114 S. Grace Street
Kenbridge, VA  23944

Follow Our Blog: