Newsletter for the Parks Family - CBF Global Missions Field Personnel among the Roma people in Slovakia.
"Praying With Our Feet" - Newsletter of the Parks Family in Slovakia

A Call to Prayer

We rarely begin our newsletters with financial matters or requests from you, our many partners.  But this month, we feel like that's what we need to do.  We have made some crucial steps in recent weeks - we're nearly halfway to our commitment goal!  But that means, of course, that we still have half-way to go...

We are busy preparing to leave for the field, and there's much to do!  We're excited about the opportunities that lie ahead - but we are also acutely aware that unless we have the financial commitments to support our ministry, we simply cannot make final preparations to go.

That's where the request comes in:  Beginning this Friday, February 27, would you join us in a season of prayer and discernment for our financial support?  Here are the things we’d hope you’d pray with us about:
  • That we would be able to identify partners who would help us reach our goal of 2/3 (or 66%) of our commitments raised by February 8 – that’s $5,130 of the $7,695 a month we need to live and carry on our ministry in Slovakia.
  • That we would be able to complete our financial commitments by April 15, so that we can begin taking concrete steps toward moving in the beginning of June.
You can give voice to these prayers, but you can also help us reach these important goals:
  • Have you been thinking about making a commitment?  Now is a perfect time to pray how God might lead you to support the work going on among the Roma people of Slovakia!
  • Do you know someone else who might have interest in our ministry, who might become a financial partner with us?  Tell them what God’s doing, and invite them to be a part!
During these five days of prayer, we will be updating our blog at least once a day with devotional thoughts and ideas for prayer throughout the day.  Go to our blog - prayingwithfeet.wordpress.com - during these five days to see those posts.  Or, if you'd like to receive the posts in your email when they become available, go to the blog and look on the right-hand side for the "Email Subscription" tab.  Enter your email address, and the new posts will come directly to you.


A Call to Thanksgiving!

 
We can't ask only that you intercede - join us in giving thanks to God as well!
  • We've been amazed at how God has led us through each step of this process so far.  This time last year, we were preparing to go to Atlanta for the first time.  We had no idea where we might go or what we might do, and were praying about whether or not God would even have us take another step in this direction.  Now, twelve months later, we have been commissioned and are more than halfway toward our goal of being on the field!  God is truly faithful to guide and provide for us, and we are humbled to be a part of this.  
  • There's a lot going on right now.  Tanya is in a musical production at the seminary, and Jon is still pastoring and is involved in several other ministries.  We're in the process of selling things from our house (we can't take much!) on Facebook and Criag's List.  Plus, we are parenting two beautiful - but energetic! - daughters.  And in the midst of this, even in the busy-ness of life, God continues to break in and astound us.  Isn't it wonderful that, even in hectic times, if we stop to take a look we can see God at work?!
  • Our travels from November and December have proven fruitful in many ways, and we've met many unexpected new friends and partners in the last two months.
  • We're also humbled and thankful for YOU - that you are willing to join us in this journey.  Whether by prayer, by participation, by giving, or by encouraging, God is using all of us to accomplish the work of the Kingdom.  Thanks be to God!

God At Work: New Friends

Our partnership trip in November took us to several cities, and we knew we’d be making lots of new relationships with people.  One of those encounters moved us in unexpected ways.  While we were in Locust Grove, Georgia visiting with family, we were able to meet a unique family who opened our eyes to a new way that God is changing lives among some of the Roma people.
 
On the day we met them, Paul and Deana Schmid and their children were literally in the midst of moving.  They pulled into the Starbucks parking lot, vehicles packed full with their possessions, on their way to a new home in Tennessee.  Thankfully, they were able to take a few moments to share their story with us. 
 
A few years ago, Paul and Deana decided to adopt a child – and God led them to Eastern Europe.  In the orphanages of Bulgaria they saw dozens of Roma children, and were told that while other children came and went, hardly anyone ever chose the Gypsies.  Moved by what they'd seen, the Schmids adopted a Roma girl and brought her home to live with them.  10 years later, she is a beautiful young woman who is beginning to discover more of her heritage.  While she has had difficulties, it’s also evident to us that she has found a wonderful and loving home among parents who have shown, through their courage, an amazing example of God's love for us all.
continued ----->

Come to Slovakia!

Even as we're preparing to move, we’re also thinking ahead to the time when we’ll be able to see some of you in Slovakia!
 
What’s that?  Not what you signed up for??  Maybe not – but our prayer is that some of our partners will be able and willing to take a step farther in serving the Roma, by coming to Slovakia and being a part of the work first-hand.  Even now, begin asking God to show you how you might be a more hands-on part of what he’s doing there.
 
There’s already an opportunity planned for this summer: From Jul. 23 to Aug. 1, 2012, a team from CBF Missouri is coming to Košice to do some painting and maintenance on the Roma school where we will work.  In a few days, this team can make an incredible impact on a whole generation of Roma students!  And they are open to having a few other partners as part of their team.
 
Interested?  Contact us and we’ll get you more information.

Their story was inspiring, and we hope to share more of that story in future.  But in the meantime, remember that there are many Roma children throughout Europe who do not have a home.  They don't fit the profile that American families typically look for today - but they need as much love, hope and acceptance as we can give!

Upcoming Schedule

Feb 2-4, 9-11 - Tanya performs in the Cotton Patch Gospel at BTSR.
Feb 8 - Franklin Baptist Church (Franklin, VA)
Feb 15 - First Baptist of Richmond, VA
Feb 16 - Longwood BCM Meeting (Farmville, VA)
Mar 4 - Black Branch Baptist Church (Chase City, VA)
Mar 17-18 - Franklin Baptist Church (Franklin, VA)

Please contact us for more details about this schedule.

Prayer Concerns

Praise God! for successful surgery for our friend and colleague, Jeff Lee! He had an AVM removed with open-brain surgery, and is now recovering at home.  God is good! 
Pray for the Roma Gypsy people of Europe, who are experiencing more hatred and violence in recent months.
Pray that we will have wisdom in two very important upcoming decisions: Where we will live in Košice, and where we will send the girls to school
Pray for dilligence and patience in the many preparations needed for our departure - obtaining visas, selling possessions, and much more.
Pray that even now God would be preparing local helpers who can help us learn the Slovak language and culture.
   

One Last Pic...


On January 15th, our family celebrated as Abigail was baptized!

We'd Love to Hear from You


jparks@thefellowship.info


(434)676-2160

114 S. Grace Street
Kenbridge, VA  23944

Follow Our Blog:
prayingwithfeet.wordpress.com