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Hard Things Beget the Beautiful

June 2023 Newsletter

"For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Hebrews 12:2b-3 [1]

To our support team, family and friends,

Hello and a big hug from us. :) We'll be sharing a few highlights from the month of June:

  • Pictures - spending time with our community and practicing language

  • Hosting the Discipleship Training School team from Northeast Thailand

  • A lesson we're learning about "hard things"

  • Prayer requests

We pray it is a blessing for you all to read. This next month we are are coming up quickly on two very special anniversaries - our first year married and our first year in Thailand! We are looking forward to our Pastor from Idaho visiting our team and celebrating one year in Thailand with a YWAM Trang Staff Rally!!

Language and Relationships

This month was filled with lots of language practice alongside our growing community in Trang. Here are some of those moments in pictures!

In the far-left picture are our neighbors, the Kim's who are Korean missionaries. They have been serving in Thailand for over ten years and are spending extra time with us this month helping with Thai. In the middle is our other neighbor, Trinity, the daughter of our Thai mom and landlord, Pi Daranee. We've fostered such a deep friendship with Trinity this month as she just returned from studying as an exchange student in America. We've started doing Bible studies together weekly and trust that God is raising up this young woman to be His light to those who have yet to hear! To the right is one of the most classic fruits in Thailand - durian! :D

We were invited to go with our pastor and his family to the outskirts of town and spend time encouraging the church members who have a hard time traveling all the way into town. We were then able to do a bit of evangelism in their neighborhood. Pray for these believers and their steadfastness in Christ.

Of course, we can't forget about eating Thai dessert with Pi Kwan!! Words can't express our gratefulness to Pi Kwan and her husband Pi Thaksin for all the ways they serve our team: their constant availability to practice Thai, go with us to the mechanic, and do all the official translation for our media pages - they are awesome! Today we celebrated Pi Thaksin's birthday. If you are partnering in prayer with us please include this couple as you pray. They are needing greater financial support, something incredibly hard for Thai YWAMers as there are few churches and believers to partner with them as senders, but we know God is their Provider and will supply their every need.

Writing and reading Thai! We wanted to include these so you can see what the Thai script looks like first hand. When we hosted the DTS team from Kohn Kaen our team was able to write encouragements to them in their native tongue and that was such a special moment in our language learning journey!

Hosting YWAM Kohn Kaen DTS in Trang

This past month we hosted our very first team in Trang and partnered together in evangelism and compassion throughout the city. It was a taste of the ministry we aim to do to a greater degree after our Language and Culture phase, a special gift from God to us in this time. If you aren't familiar with the the Discipleship Training School (DTS) you can read about it by clicking that link. In short, it is the backbone of YWAM which trains and equips young people to know God in a three month lecture phase and make Him known in a two month outreach. Our team aims to pioneer DTS in Southern Thailand for Thai and international believers with the goal of equipping and mobilizing them into the nations!!

Hard Things Beget the Beautiful

"Reflect on this year, on this season of your life. What has caused you to learn something new about the Lord?" In community worship last Monday morning, Makayla Gonzalez posed this question to us all, a question worth serious reflection. She led us to linger, to remember, to not forget what God has done!

As many in the team began to share, this symphony of stories filled the room with one shared heart: we are thankful for the hard things, because we are finding that the hard things beget the beautiful. [2] He has beckoned us to traverse the mountain cliffs with Him, to go forward into the greater trials, the difficult things. [3] This past year, many of us have become students of Christ in a new and greater way: students of His suffering and of His discipline. [4]

"We are thankful for the hard things, because we are finding that the hard things beget the beautiful."

Sometimes it can feel like the list of hard things runs down and off the page like wet ink: whether it be our personal struggles for holiness, the obstacles that must be overcome, or situations out of our control which simply occur because our world it not yet perfect, the list is there for us all. But we as believers are not surprised, nor are we shaken. We know that He who upholds the universe by the word of His power is presently pushing back every claim of darkness, both in our hearts and in the lives of all peoples of the earth! He will have His bride. He will have His victory. He will, once and for all, conquer every hard thing! [5]

In this age, we are those who proclaim the name of the crucified and then risen Lamb of God. [6] Who we proclaim, we also must follow. [7] We are little Christs and tribulation in this age is to be expected, for He not only told us, but modeled to us the cost of discipleship, the cost of resurrection: temporary death. [8] It is in His death, and our subsequent participation in it, that we will experience new birth, abide daily in new life, and have His Spirit within us gazing ahead to the final restoration when the Conquering One Himself will come and dwell among us. [9]

This past week we celebrated the day of the Christian Martyr: a day to honor those who have gone before us, walking the narrow road that ended in perhaps the fullest expression of the gospel. We'd like to share this video from Voice of the Martyrs to remember and celebrate the joy and security that we have in Christ which emboldens us to do difficult things! [10]


  • Relationships - Trinity, Pastor Kim

  • We now have our car back and fully repaired!

  • YWAM Trang Team

  • The lessons and intimacy He has given us this year that we could only know by following Him in faith where He has led.


  • Please pray for our Thai teacher Kru Sue. We continue to have opportunities to share about Jesus and she grows in her interest and specially points to something different about our team. We believe she will meet and follow Jesus!

  • Mike - another friend we continue to encourage and have the opportunity to share with. Pray for life-changing realization of the gospel

  • Language learning endurance and God's guidance in how He wants us to study

  • Our marriage - one year anniversary!

  • Hosting our Pastor from Idaho and a young man from our church - prayer for safe travels and mutual edification!

Follow YWAM Trang Media:

Our media team is starting to post regularly on our accounts and we'd love for you to have access to these pages! YWAM Trang website (and subscribe to our articles) Facebook Instagram

Thank You

We are so grateful for each of you and the encouragement and love you show us though we are far away. Staying in close communication with so many of you has truly helped in our transition. We also want to say a special thank you to our incredible partners who sacrificially give so we can go! We are blessed and honored to link arms together in His name!

We love and miss you. <3

Ethan and Marie Parks

"We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."

Romans 6:4 [11]



[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Hebrews 12:2b-3.

[2] "Hard Things (Official Lyric Video) // Ballads of the Song of Solomon," streamed on March 17, 2023, YouTube video,

[3]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Song of Songs 2:13b-14. [4] Ibid., Hebrews 12:6-7, 1 Peter 4:13, Romans 8:17-18.

[5] Ibid., Revelation 21:2-4.

[6] Ibid., Revelation 1:18.

[7] Ibid., 2 Timothy 2:11-13.

[8] Ibid., Luke 14:25-33, Galatians 2:20, Romans 6:11.

[9] Ibid., Romans 6:4.

[10]"Day of the Christian Martyr," streamed on June 29, 2023, YouTube video,

[11] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Romans 6:4.

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