Updated: Jun 3
January 2023 Newsletter
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:1–5 ESV
Dear family, friends and our entire support network,
A warm hug and hello from Ethan and I :) This update marks six months for us in Thailand - how did we get here so quickly?! As always it is a blessing to write to you all, truly. Writing each month is honestly a joy for us as it brings all that happened in the month to our remembrance and creates such an appreciation for this land, our team, the ministry and the blessing of getting to share that with you!
We always pray that these newsletters connect our hearts with yours, encourage you in your personal walk with the Lord and also open a window for you all to see with your own eyes the people of Thailand and the work He is doing in this nation. May all our hearts grow for all nations and may we spur one another on toward our common goal of being His witnesses to the world!
A YWAM School of Missions and Evangelism (a secondary school in Youth With A Mission) visited our team in the beginning of January during their outreach in Thailand! It was a sweet time of connecting with them and sharing our experiences. During that time I was able to reconnect with two friends I made last year while co-leading a DTS team to their location in the South. Meet P'Namwa (blue shirt) and P'Gift (black and white stripes)! Becca and Ethan got to meet them for the first time while they were in town. They shared their testimonies and how God has grown them in the past year. It was SO encouraging to hear how God has blessed their discipling efforts. God has doubled their community of faith in a year, entrusting these two young women to lead a growing number of believers. I am honored to know them and the power of God in their lives. Both are first generation believers from Buddhist backgrounds and each have led more than a handful to the Lord in their first years of following the Lord. What an inspiration!
Mom and Dad visited us for two weeks. <3 We spent time as a family and sharing our new home with them. We also got to visit Krabi for a long weekend (Ethan and I's first time) and get away together to see God's incredible creation. I knew Thailand was a beautiful country but our boat excursion to the coastal islands was like another world. God is beautiful. His creation is beautiful. It was also just a HUGE blessing to be with family. Dad and Connor helped us install a washer (which has been life-changing) and Mom helped me get some things for our house that we just hadn't gotten around to yet. There's nothing quite like being taken care of by your parents when you're in a new place and these two weeks were a breath of fresh air for us. Thank you Mom and Dad, sooooo much!!!!
One of my closest friends, Hailey, visited us for a week during the same time! I cannot tell you how refreshing and encouraging it was to spend time together, reflecting on all that God has done in our hearts and lives. We've been friends for around eight years, started following Jesus near the same time and now she is similarly preparing to spend her life on the mission field. What a blessing to do life with her. She was SO encouraging and God knew I needed that. It's amazing His provision for us in every way.
Amidst language learning and other responsibilities, how are we practically engaging in our community? Last year the Lord gave us His plan: to function in smaller teams as a foundational strategy for intentionally engaging our community with the collective goal of sharing the gospel and making disciples. Each smaller team unit prays and asks God to show them how to engage in the community and build relationships. P'Thaksin and P'Kwan are our missional community teammates and we're excited to be partnering with them in weekly prayer and simple relational development with our community.
This is a diagram from a book I'm reading (thank you Hailey for the recommendation!) called Spiritual Multiplication in the Real World: Why Some Disciple Makers Fail While Others Reproduce by Bob McNabb. He spent a long time in Thailand ministering so it's been awesome to be a student of his experiences through the book. I thought to share this picture because I feel it summarizes (without a thousand words haha) Ethan and I's desire for our lives and the entire purpose behind what we are doing in Trang. It's partnering with the Lord and His Spirit to multiply His praise, to play our small part in His filling the earth with the knowledge of His glory! 
Ethan's Reflection on Discipleship
As Marie mentioned earlier, we have now reached the six month mark of living in our new home of Trang. With the passing of time, it has started to feel and truly become our home more and more as each day goes by! It brings me to such a place of gratefulness at God's planting us here and seeing the progress we are making in our daily lives. Especially as the early months of doing life here came with certain struggles and dealing with culture stress, it has been really awesome to begin seeing all of our team members put down roots and to see everyone in their own ways really begin to thrive in this place. I pray God continues to give us a deep appreciation for our town and a never ending hunger for these people to come to know the Lamb of God.
This month I wanted to talk about what the Lord has been placing on my heart in regards to discipleship and how much of ourselves He wants us to give to others. I've been thinking as a follower of Jesus, "Am I doing the best to my capabilities to disciple others who don't yet have a relationship with the Lord?" As my relationships continue to grow deeper with a Christian brother named Ford, guys from the basketball team and even others that God has given me friendships with, God has been convicting me to give more of myself than ever before. To help lead others on the path of giving worship to the Father. Though we may be very busy in this time, there are seven days in a week and I feel Him directing me to give more of them to time with these people.
As I look at Jesus’ life, I see how He gave His time and complete self to others. Especially with His disciples day after day, and not them alone but the thousands of others! That is how I want to live. Growing daily in love for the ones around me, looking to them and their needs above my own.
I want to be poured out as a drink offering as Paul talks about in Philippians. To always be there for my brothers, not being selfish or using the time I have for obtaining joy for myself, but truly learning how to give my time, my heart and the grace Yahweh has given me to them, to relay the beautiful joy of being His son. When the time of looking back comes, I pray that the words of John would be something I am always able to reflect on for my Thai brothers who will one day come to know their Righteous Creator: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."
John 13:34 ESV
Ethan celebrated his 28th birthday this month! I (Marie here haha) am thanking God for Ethan's life, testimony, and His faith and trust in God to follow Him to an unknown place. I'm so thankful to God for such a honorable ministry and life partner.
Connor and Nicole (Marie's brother-in-law and sister) have received the needed donations for them to be able to purchase a car and have gained monthly supporters as well!! Thank you for your prayers and supporting our family here on the field.
God leading a few changes to our language learning. We're excited for the changes and practicing in new ways!
Our Thai teacher, for God to open the door for us to spend more personal time with her, for her interest to grow for spiritual truth.
Mike, he is struggling in his faith. Our team is asking for your prayers for wisdom, encouragement, and God's counsel to continue to walk alongside this young man.
Please also pray for these names: Golf, Tian, Boom, Team, P'Goi, P'Mook, P'Nok and her two children, P'Daranee, Kru Sue, Nueng, Bing Bing, Pang, Don and Gee, and Jay and his girlfriend. We believe that prayer over these relationships is crucial.
YWAM North Idaho - Andy and Katie Lincoln as they pioneer and lead the base in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Join us in praying for the neighbors of our church who have relationships with our pastor and his wife, for them to come to know the Lord.
As we walk in deeper discipleship with friends may the Holy Spirit continue to direct us in ways they will culturally understand.
Pray for Ethan and I's walks with the Lord, for our ministry to flow from abiding in Him.
Three conferences this year: YWAM Southern Thailand Gathering, ALLC Leadership Conference, YWAM Thailand National Gathering.
As for Thailand, we hope that you are finding the prayer book we sent to be a helpful resource highlighting some key ways to pray over this country!
Thank you for reading, praying and partnering with us. We love you.
Ethan and Marie Parks
P.S. Here is our little kitty!! His name is เสือ or "suuea" which means Tiger in Thai! We love him so much. He is such a cuddle bug and keeps us company while we study, and he LOVES when people come over and hangs out with everyone.
"And let us consider each other carefully for the purpose of sparking love and good deeds. Don't stop meeting together with other believers, which some people are in the habit of doing. Instead, encourage one another, especially as you see the day drawing near."
Hebrews 10:24-25 CEB
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Hab 2:14.
 “The Power of Multiplication,” posted on March 11, 2022, YouTube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKK9eAyr2H0
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), 3 Joh 1:4.