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

Partnership Development Trip

Our first extended Partnership Development trip in November was a fruitful time!  We were joyfully received and graciously hosted, and felt very encouraged by people’s responses to our story and calling. 
We built some new friendships and partnerships, and strengthened some existing ones.  Here are the highlights:
  • We were able to share with six different faith communities in Georgia and Alabama.
  • Nearly all of our events incorporated speaking, drama and music.
  • We performed two hour-length concerts, featuring our own music intertwined with stories about our calling and work.
  • We visited with a children’s mission group that had fundraised $70 for our ministry. 
  • We received more than $500 in donations and honoraria that helped cover our expenses.
The trip was certainly fruitful in terms of relationships, and we’re already beginning to see financial fruits from the trip as well!  We are grateful for so many things, including:
  • Your prayers for safe travel, which God answered!
  • The five families who hosted us on the trip – they provided perfect environments for both productivity and relaxation, and all of them were tolerant of our “highly energetic” girls.
  • The six churches who provided us an opportunity to share.  The trip was filled with great fellowship and food!

God at Work: Slovak Connections

A few weeks ago at an event of the Southside Baptist Association, we saw some friends we haven’t seen in a while.  We had gotten to know them on a trip to Louisiana a few years ago, helping with clean-up efforts after Katrina.

As shared with them about our upcoming work in Slovakia with the Roma, one of them casually said, “Oh yeah… I’ve been to Slovakia before.”


Turns out these men went on three trips to Slovakia back in the late 1990′s and early 2000′s, when Virginia Baptists had a partnership with Slovak Baptists.  They had even did construction work on the new building for the Baptist Church in Košice.   They have wanted to make another trip to Slovakia, but they just hadn’t had the opportunity or reason… until now!

These are friends we have known for years, but we never knew about their connection to Slovakia.  This is one of many ways we have seen God at work, preparing us for this new adventure.  Already, God has brought people into our lives who have connections to the Roma and to Slovakia.  Now the fun is in discovering those connections!

The Roma: New Advocates

Composer Hans Zimmer has won Oscars for several movie soundtracks, including The Lion King, Crimson Tide and Gladiator among many others.  He has recently completed the score for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shows, and wanted to include some Gypsy influences in the score.  So he made a research trip to - get this - Eastern Slovakia, to learn more about the music of real Gypsies.  His daughter, Zoe, took some beautiful pictures, and Zimmer himself was so impressed by the musicians he heard that he recorded them and actually used them in the soundtrack!

While there, Zimmer and his daughter were captured by the story and culture of the Roma people.  Zimmer sponsored and wrote the music for a public service video telling the story of the Roma.  They have become new advocates for these forgotten people.  Rather than tell you more ourselves, here are links to some of the articles and pictures - click the titles to go to the websites.

CNN Photoblog - Zoe Zimmer's pictures. Want to be amazed? Open the comments and read some of the hateful things people have said in response.

Articles about Zimmer's trip from Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

A YouTube link to the video Zimmer produced for the NDI.

Upcoming Schedule

Dec 18 - First Baptist Church, London, Kentucky

If you are interested in having us come to your area/church for a speaking engagement or concert, please contact us!

Prayer Concerns

Join us in thanking God for our fruitful partner development trip in November!
Thank God for new workers and new advocates among the Roma people!
Pray for the Roma people, that God would raise up Roma leaders, and would change the hearts and minds of people who show them hatred.
Pray that God would lead us to new financial partners - we still have more than half of our funding to raise.
Pray for our colleagues - the Normans and the Lees - as they also work to find financial partners.
Pray for Jeff and Alicia Lee - Jeff's surgery (mentioned in our last newsletter) is scheduled for January 11.
We're making progress... but we still have a long way to go.  
This is a great time to make a year-end contribution!  
Remember that gifts to our ministry through CBF are tax-deductible.
Follow this link to donate now online by credit card, or send a check to:
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, P.O. Box 101699, Atlanta, GA 30392
Payable to: Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Memo: Parks - Slovakia

One Last Pic...

Concert at Redstone Village Assisted Living (where Jon's grandmother lives).  While we sang, the girls drew pictures for each of the residents.

We'd Love to Hear from You


114 S. Grace Street
Kenbridge, VA  23944

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