Home Sweet Home
Dear family, friends and partners,
Sa-wat-dee khap! (Hello!) :)
Marie and I have officially made it to Trang, Thailand, our long-term mission field and new home. As we arrived last Sunday, this past week has been filled with the business of getting "settled in." We were able to move straight into our rental home upon our arrival to Trang through an incredible series of events completely led by God. We visited our language school to begin the enrollment process, applied for our education visas, explored the city of Trang, met incredible people we believe God divinely brought into our lives who have been such a help to us, and begun making friendships with some of the locals of Trang; we pray that in the coming days, weeks, months and years, through the power of the Holy Spirit & acts of Christ-like love, they may come to the relationship they most need, the relationship we ALL need with the Risen King who shed His purifying blood for them.
Today, we started our team meetings together for the first time in Trang. Meeting in a small local church, we reflected on all God has done to bring each one of us here, we focused on unity as a team which will need to be SO tightly intact if we hope that the ministry here will produce any fruit in the large soil garden of Thailand. How beautiful it was to worship God together at the very beginning, the first chapter of this call He has for us all, giving thanks to our Sovereign God for His provision that seems so unreal to our small minds.
We are now most easily reached through WhatsApp and email. Marie's new Thai number is
+66 63 006 0470
If she hasn't responded to a text or call to her state-side number please just reach out again through WhatsApp or email as we believe some messages were lost in the transition.
THE COMING MONTH
This next month we will be in a continued time of gratitude to our Lord together as a team, prayer meetings, relationship building amongst our neighbors and community, while appreciating the culture and people He has called us to become one with. In addition, this next month before we start full-time language learning, there are many tasks we are seeking to complete. We are seeking to receive drivers licenses, buy a car, get health insurance, establish a Thai bank account etc.! We are so thankful to God that He has provided Thai "moms and dads" who are helping us navigate all these things in a foreign country. Your prayers for these logistical requirements would be so appreciated, in conjunction with your prayers for the Thai people and for us: adjusting to culture, integrating into our community, team unity, and our personal walks with the Lord.
NEW MINISTRY ACCOUNTS
Marie and I felt led by the Lord to create a linked FaceBook and Instagram account specifically for our ministry here in Thailand. The goal is to share more frequently about our daily lives, the ministry God is doing amongst the Thai people, and Thailand as an unreached country. This page is really designed for our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is our prayer that we can be the part of the body of Christ He has called us to be as missionaries. For us, we strongly believe that part of this role is to SHARE all that God is doing on the frontlines of the advancement of the gospel; to share testimonies, to shine a light on the faces and names behind the statistic of the 3.2 billion unreached people still remaining in the world. It is our goal and deep desire to encourage and exhort the body of Christ to press on toward winning a people for His own possession from EVERY tribe and tongue. We believe that not only we, but all of us "have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among all the nations" as it says, "including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:5-6). With that said, please follow our accounts linked below!
As we look back on the past few months, we are overwhelmed by the goodness and faithfulness of God to bring us to this place and moment in time. He has taken us from glory to glory: our new births in Him only a few years ago, our calls to serve Him in the unreached, and all the practical steps to make His vision of this ministry come to fruition. We can say with joy and thanksgiving that it all testifies to His worthiness of our fullest devotion, “[f]or what great nation is there that has a God so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon Him?” (Duet. 4:7).
Truly, this newsletter is the fulfillment of a vision that God gave to our team over a year and a half ago, the vision of re-planting this ministry of discipling, mobilizing, and going to the unreached people groups of Thailand. As we look out upon the open expanse of this nation, it is becoming apparent that we have reached the point on this journey where we hear our King proclaim to us, “See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore to your fathers” (Deut. 1:8). This possession is not for ourselves; it is not the conquering of the Thai people to make them look like us, talk like us, or adopt that which is American of ourselves. Rather, this is the fulfillment of prophecies foretelling the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven, a spiritual conquering of hearts won by the proclamation of the Good News. This is our ambition. To see God receive the love and adoration of those who have never heard of Him, to see the Thai people come to know their Creator and triumphant Savior and uniquely express their love-worship to Him. We know, this too is our partners ambition as well - as we link arms for His namesake. Thank you for your partnership as we seek to give our King that which He is so deserving of. We couldn’t do our part without you doing yours. To God be all the glory as each of us continues to give all that we have until He receives all that He deserves.
With love and thanks,
Ethan and Marie Parks