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Family in Missions

Updated: Apr 9

December 2023 - March 2024 Newsletter


"For I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for Myself that they might declare My praise."

Isaiah 43:20-21 [1]




To our partners in the gospel, family and friends,


Hello and Happy Easter from myself and Ethan! Since our last newsletter, the Lord has been leading our family into an incredibly beautiful new season of life and it has been one in which we have known Him in new and unique ways as our Creator, Father, and Faithful Guide. Yes, its true! We are pregnant!! Our little one is due mid-August and we have been so blessed by a healthy and generally easy pregnancy thus far. We'll be giving birth here in Trang, Thailand and also waiting to know the gender of our baby until that special day comes... but it seems like everyone thinks we're having a boy! We shall see... 🩷?💙


Baby Parks - We Are Forever Changed



Since the moment we saw two pink little lines appear on that pregnancy test, things have not been the same, nor will things ever be. Something magnificent and mighty has happened, a miracle has taken place. There is a brand new and entirely unique soul whose days are already numbered and known by the Creator of all things. The dust of the earth has been quickened to life and even now as I write, I feel the very proof of this new reality: little kicks and tumbles coming from our child in my womb. Ethan and I are forever changed.


It has been a season of humility, of joy and celebration, and a time of counting the cost as we walk towards Calvary unlike ever before. The refrain from a worship song echoes in my mind now as it has throughout this pregnancy:


"For from You are all things, and to You are all things,

You deserve the glory." [2]


Like Hannah prayed for her son Samuel and offered His life as worship to the Lord, so must we offer this little one's life at the footstool of our Master. He is the Giver of Life and accordingly, He decides how each and every life must be spent. The Lord is well acquainted with us and He was there when He called our family into missions. I remember it well, and I am sure that the Lord does too, with quite perfect clarity!! So when He entrusted this soul into our care, I know He remembered the calling He had given us. He foresaw the life of missions this child would be born into and indeed I believe He purposed it since the foundation of the world - this is no suprise and no mistake. We trust that the safest and most loving place for our little one is right in the center of God's will for our family, what a privileged and blessed place to be! Please pray for us and for our little one, may Jesus to be adored in our hearts and to the ends of the earth. Indeed, He deserves the glory.


- Stephanie Quick in To Trace a Rising Sun [3]


Baby Registry

If you would like to help us prepare practically for the baby, we have made a registry that you can browse by CLICKING HERE. However, this registry will work differently from most others due to us being in Thailand. Please see the steps below that explain how to reserve and donate for a specific gift on the registry. <3


Step 1: Click the baby registry link: https://giftster.com/gift/public/obXwW/

Step 2: Decide on the item you would like to reserve

Step 3: Contact Ethan or myself and let us know the item you would like to purchase - we will mark it as reserved for you so that others will see

Step 4: Give the amount of the item directly through Venmo or through our donation page.


We’ll be using one of Thailand’s dominant online shopping systems called Lazada for ordering most of the baby items. It is very similar to Amazon but the Lazada app cannot be accessed by those living stateside. This makes it impossible for our family and friends to directly purchase the items for us, we have to be the ones to make these purchases with our Thai phone number. I hope this makes sense but please let us know if you have questions. :)


Contact Info:

Ethan's Phone: +1 (208) 699-9684

Marie's Email: marienova53@gmail.com


Staff Scouting Trip to Japan

Our ministry at YWAM Trang can be summarized by these three words: "Mobilize, Disciple, and Go."

With the vision to mobilize believers, especially Thai believers, into other unreached nations as missionaries themselves, part of our ministry as YWAM Trang will be to take short-term teams on outreach to unreached countries. Keeping this goal in mind, we believe that it is time for our team to establish these relational connections outside of Thailand so that we are ready and prepared for these outreaches in times to come.


Ethan and I have prayed and believe the Lord is opening opportunities for these partnerships in Japan! Joined by another family on our team, we will together be visiting multiple locations within the country, partnering with them in their activities and gaining understanding into their vision and day-to-day ministry. Other team members are also currently planning scouting trips within the next year to other countries within the 10/40 Window as well. Our collective goal is to have boots on the ground across the Neediest Red and gain the experience and tools necessary for leading teams to these locations in the future.


We are so thankful to the many of you all who have given directly to the financial needs of this trip and we are blessed to say that we are currently fully funded! Our team leaves for Japan this week and we will be there for a total of 20 days. We will be joined by our pastor from our homechurch in Idaho and his son who will then return to Thailand with us for his annual pastoral visit. We are blessed to have such an incredible network of believers partnering with us, praying for us and offering the support needed to longterm missionaries. Thank you Jesus!! We are expectant and ready for what the Lord has prepared for us in Japan and we will keep you all updated with our whereabouts in the days and weeks to come!


This video and the other two in the same series done by Radical give a great foundation for the history of Christianity in Japan and the challenges the church faces there today.


[4]


Visit from Supporters & Hosting Japan DTS Outreach Team:

January was an eventful month for us and our team! We hosted some of our close friends from our home church in Cour D'Alene, Idaho who came to visit and encourage our team. We simultaneously hosted a DTS Outreach team from Japan who came to do ministry alongside of us in our city. During this week many of their hearts were burdened for the unreached through the missions mobilization teaching and discussion times. We look forward to hosting many more outreach teams as we engage Southern Thailand with the Good News and mobilize many into prioritizing missions in the Neediest Red!



EFT Conference

In March we attended the Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand (EFT) conference in Bangkok. EFT is the Christian organization in Thailand that provides our long-term missionary visa! This was an incredible opportunity to build relationships with other ministers and pastors in Thailand and learn from many missionaries who have been serving here for years. We are honored beyond words to work alongside these men and women of God for the growth of the church in Thailand and in the nations.



Relationship Building

Here are some pictures of us with a few of our friends. We were visited by fellow believers who partner with YWAM in a neighboring province for a day, as well as a pastor we met at the EFT conference. We've also had the chance to visit a local school and distribute gospel tracks and care packages - we then had the opportunity to share a short bible story with pictures that the kids LOVED!! It was beautiful seeing their eyes glued to the large picture book, seeing and hearing perhaps for the first time the biblical story from creation to restoration. These are just some relationships we have the priviledge of stewarding for the long-term.



Prayer Requests

  • Japan Scouting Trip: longterm partnerships and prayer for the longterm workers we will be meeting with and the people of Japan to hear the message of the Kingdom

  • Praise God - the YWAM Trang base facility is fully funded!

  • God's grace and strength as we grow roots in Trang - Language and Culture adjustment and life overseas

  • Our Thai friends and all Thais who have not yet heard the message of salvation

  • YWAM Trang team - Kingdom of God culture

  • Relationships with Ethan's basketball team


We love you and are thankful for you.

Blessings,

The Parks Family


"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."

Psalm 127:3-5 [5]

 

Citations


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Isaiah 43:20-21.

[2] UPPERROOM & Abbie Gamboa. "Worthy of It All / All Of The Glory (Live)." Moments II (Live). Apple Music, July 23, 2018.

[3] Quick, Stephanie. (2018). To Trace a Rising Sun. FAI Publishing.

[4] Radical. "Is Christianity Doomed to Fail in Japan?" YouTube, 30 Jan. 2024, https://youtu.be/qIc6H8H9_pg?si=O8XYfR4pkzcc8QkX

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Pslam 127:3-5.



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