September 2011 Newsletter for the Parks Family.  Jon, Tanya, Abigail, and Kaitlyn begin a new adventure!

God's Call

Since before we were married more than a decade ago, we have felt God might be calling our family to serve internationally.  Now God has made it possible for us to pursue that calling - this summer, we were commissioned as Field Personnel with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), to minister among the Roma Gypsy people in Košice, Slovakia.  Through CBF's commitment to focus on the most neglected and least evangelized people in the world, we have seen that God is already at work among the Roma people, and we're excited to join what God is doing!  We plan to move to Slovakia by late Spring 2012.

Our Ministry

Our ministry with the Roma (sometimes called Gypsy) will begin at a school for Roma children in Košice (koh-sheet-suh).  There we will build relationships with children, parents and teachers as we assist conversational English programs.  We also hope to use our gifts in music, technology, etc. as we lead after-school activities.  Education is one of the primary ways these heavily-repressed people can bring real change to their lives and culture.  Abigail and Kaitlyn will attend a private Slovak school where they will learn a new culture and language.  They are already learning a great deal about God's love for all people of the world!

The Roma

The Roma are a fascinating people...with a complicated history.  Originating in India, the Roma brought their rich and unique culture into Europe around 1,000 years ago.  For centuries they wandered as traveling entertainers, and even today they retain a tradition of musical skill and craftsmanship.  But in the last 100 years, a changing world has forced them to settle and integrate into European society.  The Roma are outsiders in this new society, and they are continually treated with mistrust, rejection and even hatred.  They need to experience God's love and acceptance through actions, and to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.


Because the world is changing at such a rapid rate, missions is changing as well.  And with that change comes an exciting opportunity for all of us - our ministry among the Roma will be made possible by partnerships with churches and with individuals all across the globe.  This allows people, like you, to be directly involved in the ongoing work to build God's Kingdom:  through your prayers, your encouragement, and financial support.

We'd Love to Hear from You


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Please Pray With Us...
September 2011
...for our vision/exploratory trip to Slovakia September 15-23. While there, we will see where we will be ministering, look at schooling and housing options, and learn more about what our life will be like in the years ahead.
  • Please pray for wisdom to know the right questions to ask,
  • For understanding as we encounter new friends and cultures,
  • And for safety as we travel.

...for our fundraising efforts - we are making progress, but we still have a long way to go.  
  • Pray that we would trust faithfully in God's work and its timing,
  • That people would be drawn to what God is doing among the Roma people,
  • And that they would give courageously in difficult times!