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Endurance and Patience

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

November 2022 Newsletter


"Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord...

being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might,

for all endurance and patience with joy."


Colossians 1:10-11 ESV



Dear family, long-term supporters and friends,

Suk-san wan Krit-maat! Merry Christmas!


We are so overjoyed to be writing to you all again! We are praying that you all have a blessed holiday season being reminded of all our Glorious Savior has done for us.


Updates

Each month comes with a greater understanding of our community here as we simply observe and get to be a part of their lives! Earlier last month we got to witness yet another festival! This one is called Loy Krathong, which means "floating basket." It is known to be the country's second biggest festival that has been celebrated since the 14th century![1] During this festival, Thais come together to thank the water goddess for a year's worth of abundant supply and they also give an apology for polluting the waters. The festival had very beautiful visual aspects, like the community coming together and the way the Thais construct all kinds of boats made from beautiful flowers, leaves and even food. But as we sat and watched the hundreds of people at this park launch these boats into the water, there again came recognition of the spiritual reality of our neighbors and friends. Thinking of how they are giving their thanks to a god they believe supplies them with water, when in reality Yahweh is the One providing the rain to fall, the One providing all of us with food to be thankful for that sustains us everyday as He continues to give us much grace, waiting for millions more to come to truly know Him. We are thankful to be learning so much, simply by living here!


We also finished up our mini School of Frontier Missions! As talked about in last month's newsletter we are thanking God for all that we learned through this school and so grateful for the insight we received on many topics that we ourselves wouldn't have learned otherwise unless we had been living here for a number of years. We are excited as God continues to put on our hearts different ways of reaching our Thai friends with the Gospel. It's crazy the vast differences in the way that our minds think as we truly grew up worlds apart from our Thai brothers and sisters. It is very humbling and beautiful to see the various ways people engage in and respond to the Gospel and it further highlights the beauty of all tribes and tongues worshipping our victorious King!


Over Thanksgiving we visited Phuket for our first short trip outside of Trang since getting here. It was really nice to be able to explore a new town, find some American food (Phuket is a big tourist destination in Thailand so it's more foreigner-friendly when it comes to food) and spend quality time with one another. The trip made us miss Trang so much though and really made us grateful for the new community we have. <3


Another big step that this month has brought is starting to put time into learning the Thai alphabet! We're realizing that some sounds just can't quite transliterate into English spelling so we're really beginning to switch from phonetically spelling out Thai with our English letters to writing in their script. It will be awhile until we can really do that well, but it all starts with learning our ABC's :) It has honestly been a lot of fun to sound out our first words and read our first signs!


Pictured on the left is the Ubon YWAM DTS van that carried their DTS team 12+ hours to visit Trang. Pictured in the middle is our teams meeting together. On the right, our YWAM Outreach Director in Bangkok with a big smile pointing to our ministry location in Southern Thailand!


Endurance and Patience

Marie here :) I felt led to share what the Lord has been teaching me recently! I pray God might multiply the encouragement He's been giving me in your hearts as well. <3


A few nights ago Ethan and I watched a Sunday service from my home church in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. God spoke so directly to me through this message: "We are confused to think that we have to have all of life figured out, that we have to have all the answers..."[2] With the newness of life here and being at the very beginning of pioneering towards the vision the Lord has given us, I have often felt confusion. I wouldn't have ever expressed it that way, but as soon as I heard that word: "CONFUSION" things clicked.


While the Lord has clearly given us directions and a path to walk with quite established guidelines, I realized my confusion has been centering around how to obediently and faithfully fulfill the calling to which I have been called.[3] There are practical steps to all that Ethan and I have been entrusted with stewarding, and yet still I find my heart has been crying out to God: "How do you want me to do this? How can I do this?" and into my questions He reminds me: by being strengthened with His power, depending on Him, abiding in Him, with endurance and patience.[4] With that, I don't need to have all the answers before I walk in obedience to Him. As I reflect on the past few months, it becomes apparent that God really has brought the answers as needed. He's been teaching us a daily obedience, a moment-by-moment dependence. I'm learning to remember His faithfulness when a new situation arises and my heart cries out, "How, Lord?" and trust Him to lead the way.


In that same message, Pastor Mike quoted from Francis Chan, "The prophets didn't have lofty goals like 'I'm going to lead the masses,' but strove only to be faithful to whatever God called them to... to follow directions from the Lord."[5] So many things pull at my attention. So many things in this world are hurting and rightly require a Christ-like intervention, yet individually we cannot carry the burdens of the whole world. God is teaching me that I cannot carry burdens that He has not given me. In prayer, yes, but practically, no one can do everything! We must be those who prayerfully discern the path He is calling us to, where He is asking for our hands to work and to stay the course with endurance and patience. He has a global body of which we are all members, and these members do not all have the same function![6] It's not up to us to be the superhero.


He is the sole superhero of this story.


I pray that each of us can rest in this truth as we faithfully walk in the good works that He has prepared for us. The Scriptures tell us that upon Jesus' return and the establishment of His eternal Kingdom, "those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above."[7] When we see Him in all His splendor and glory, I pray that we will be counted wise, having feared God and endured with great patience in those things He entrusted to our care. I pray that we would have relied on His strength for all these things. I'm reminded that those who will be counted as righteous will be those who recognize our disqualification apart from Him, qualified as righteous solely by faith in our Messiah. May the Lord strengthen you for the path to which you have been called. May He grant you endurance and patience until the end when the gospel is proclaimed to all nations![8]



Ethan and I found this film and were so encouraged by it so we thought to pass it along to all of you. It's a well-done documentary about the wholistic nature of the Great Commission! Through the testimonies of a high-school math teacher discipling on the home-front and an evangelist discipling frontier people groups in Nepal, they powerfully confirm that we all share in the task of making disciples throughout the earth. We pray you are encouraged to SEE NATIONS after watching this film!


Praise and Petitions

  • We are so thankful for our team's restored health after being sick this month. Please pray for the team in this regard as we have all experienced an abnormal about of physical sickness since arriving and we sense that this may be an attack of the enemy.

  • Please pray that God would provide divine appointments as Christmas opens doors for us to share about the greatest gift ever to mankind: Jesus!

  • Please continue to pray for our Thai friends: G'Golf, Tian, Boom, Team, P'Goi, P'Mook, Live & Mike, that they will all come to put their faith in Jesus, while continuing to understand what that means and realizing how deep Jesus' love for them is.

  • As the communications team moves forward, Ethan has been desiring and praying about purchasing a camera to be able to take usable photos and videos that can help us better portray what we see throughout our days here. Prayer for wisdom and finances for this is a blessing! If you have a camera you feel led to donate or if the Lord leads you to give to this, please contact us.

  • Additionally, we are prayerfully considering purchasing a Logos Bible Software Package (looking at Logos 10 Starter) for our studies and development as ministers of the gospel. If you are interested in donating to this purchase, please let us know! https://www.logos.com/compare/packages/Standard

  • We are praying for our team members whose support has dropped over the past few months. Connor and Nicole (Marie's brother-in-law and sister) are praying for and currently reaching out to their support networks at home as they seek for long-term partners to commit to $200 more per month. They are also seeking donations towards a car here as well. If you feel led to connect with them, their email is: nicoleholloway2021@gmail.com


Thank You

We are praying for you all continually, and especially with Christmas around the corner that the Lord would continue to reveal Himself as the greatest gift, blessing you and your families with more of Himself! We are so grateful for the incredible support network that the Lord has gifted us with in you all. Thank you for all of the emotional and financial support that you so generously give to us. We are honored to be co-laborers in this mission of advancing Jesus' name in all the earth!


Our deepest gratitude and love,


Ethan and Marie Parks


"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He who calls you is faithful;

He will surely do it."

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

 

[1] Tayud Mongkolrat, “Loy Krathong Festival – All You Need to Know,” Thailand Foundation,

https://www.thailandfoundation.or.th/culture_heritage/loy-krathong-festival-all-you-need-to-know/

[2] Mike Jacobs, “The Psalm of a Prophet | Habakkuk 3:1-15,” streamed live on November 7, 2022, YouTube video, 2:13, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdA_3A_pZZk

[3] Ephesians 4:1, ESV

[4] Colossians 1:10-11, ESV

[5] Mike Jacobs, “The Psalm of a Prophet | Habakkuk 3:1-15,” streamed live on November 7, 2022, YouTube video, 3:27, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdA_3A_pZZk

[6] Romans 12:4, ESV

[7] Ephesians 2:10, Matthew 13:43, Daniel 12:3 ESV

[8] Matthew 24:14, ESV

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