News from Jon & Tanya Parks, working among Roma in Slovakia.
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Catching Up

FEBRUARY 2017 UPDATE

Dear partners –

Greetings from Slovakia!  It’s been a few weeks since we sent an update, and we want to quickly catch you up on what’s going on here and how you can pray with us.

The Christmas season here in Slovakia was festive and joyful as always – we held end-of-semester parties in our different ministry groups, where we enjoyed Christmas songs and playing games and just spending time together.

This December was also meaningful for us personally, as we enjoyed a visit from our friends and partners, Patrick and Sharon Chappell, from Birmingham.  They joined us in some of the festivities, and we enjoyed introducing them to our many local friends and coworkers.  It’s always a joy for us to host our partners from the U.S. and allow them to see firsthand what God is doing through our partnership! (photo below: enjoying the Christmas Market with the Chappells)

After Christmas, we enjoyed a visit from family.  It was a great time to simply be together and enjoy the snow and winter atmosphere in Slovakia.  All together, the holidays were a time of refreshment for us physically and emotionally after a very busy fall.  We’re thankful to God for these opportunities! 

The New Year has afforded us a chance to intentionally do something different. We are stepping back from some of our regular activities to spend more time in fasting, prayer and conversation – to renew and deepen relationships, and to seek out where God might be moving us in new directions.  After the physical and emotional refreshment of December, this time of spiritual refreshment was what we have most needed.

We’ll be resuming our different groups and activities in mid-February, but in the meantime we ask you to join us in specific prayers over the next couple of weeks.  You'll find the prayer requests below the photos.
Top L-R: Singing Christmas songs with the kids at the Roma school;  Christmas party with the kids' English class at Rankovce village.
Middle: Christmas crafts with Tanya's ladies' group in Rankovce.
Bottom L-R: Slovak winters are cold, but they have benefits - for instance, skating on one of Kosice's large lakes!  Learning with kids at the Roma church about good eating and keeping our bodies healthy.

Prayer Requests

Discernment – please pray with us as we seek God’s guidance for the future.  Specifically we’re praying that God would show us how CHE can be used in Kosice and the surrounding area.  Already we’ve had a chance to share the CHE principles with several people, and to share it in the Roma congregation where we worship.  Pray that God would open doors… and that we would recognize and step through those doors at the right time! 

Changes to Schedules – Please also pray that during this time of discernment we can find balance that will carry us into the future.  The overly-busy fall season reminded us that we need to make changes to our schedules so we can better care for our family.  Please pray that we would be courageous in making the decisions that will support our girls, and that our local ministry partners will be understanding with the changes.

Official Business – please pray with us over two government processes we are in the middle of – renewing our residence permit, and purchasing a vehicle.  Pray for a smooth process, and for officials who are understanding, helpful and patient.

Incoming teams – we have two mission teams joining us this spring.  Teams are a joy for us – we love getting to know new partners, to learn together alongside them, and to watch as they experience what God’s doing here.  Pray for those who are coming, and for us as we make preparations.

Trip to the U.S. – we will be in the U.S. this summer in July and August.  During that time we’ll be visiting with our families and friends, and spending time with our partners and partner churches.  These trips are always fun, but also very hectic, as we try to cram a lot into a few weeks. Pray with us as we make plans and preparations – that God would help us find the schedule that best meets our needs for this season!

Personal – please keep us also in your prayers:  for physical health in a time when there’s a lot of sickness going around, for Tanya as she begins another online seminary class (one more year!), and for the girls as they continue in Slovak school (Kaitlyn is in 5th grade, Abigail is in 6th). 
We’re so grateful for each of you and we pray that you are finding God’s joy and peace in this New Year. Thank you for your partnership – know that God is using your prayers and support to accomplish great things here.  God is growing his Kingdom and transforming lives, and you are a part of that.  Thank you!

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In Slovakia:                                      In the U.S.
Jon & Tanya Parks                                              Jon & Tanya Parks
Za dolnym mlynom 57                                    4214 Garden Ridge Rd.
040 16 Kosice-Myslava                                     Crestwood, KY 40014
Slovak Republic                                                                                     
+421 911 834 787                                                   (502) 241-0837

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