Word of Life

– Gary and Sandy Parker

– Amazon Project

 

Gary and Sandy Parker family

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volume XXXLII                                                Spring 2018 Report

Provision is the word that I think best describes our latest season of ministry.  If 27 years ago someone had told me all that it would require to take the Amazon Project from where it was to where it is; I would have said it was impossible.  We serve a God of the impossible and I hope the testimonies of God’s provision in this new and overdue edition of our newsletter is an encouragement to you.

The provision of staff.  This February we were able to gather almost the entire staff from the ministry on our main campus as well as all the missionaries that work with us on the river ministry.  Our original staff of 8 has now grown to 80.  Perhaps the most exciting part of this provision is that 90% of the staff are Brazilians and most of them are fruits of the ministry.  We are humbled and honored to be a part of this group of servants.

The provision of stability.  In our last update we shared with you about our goal of maintaining the ministry with nationally generated funds by the year 2020.  Each department has been vigilant at cutting expenses and working tirelessly to increase income by increasing attendance.  For the first time, we have over 100 students at the Missionary Training Institute.  Our camps and retreats have also been over 90% capacity.  Due to these provisions, so far in 2018 we have been operating the ministry 100% on nationally generated funds!  I cannot express you what a huge relief this has been to us and how freeing it has been as we consider our vision for the future.

The provision of funds: We also shared with you about an opportunity to build a men’s and women’s dormitory that would be used exclusively for rentals, retreats, camps and conferences.  Our goal was to raise $80,000.00 so we could make full use of the matching grant that God provided.  I am thrilled to announce that this project is now 100% funded.  Perhaps the most exciting thing about this provision is that over half of the funds were donated from within Brazil.  Construction will be starting in the next week or two as the rains are starting to subside.
The provision of ministry: God has been so gracious to us in allowing us to serve Him here in Brazil.  It is always amazing and humbling to see how many ministry opportunities the Lord provide for us and the ministry as a whole.   Between our teaching ministry at the school, preaching at local churches and traveling to speak in our conference ministry; our schedule is full of ministering the eternal Word of God to the hearts of people who are also eternal. I was recently speaking in a conference where a pastor shared with me how he trusted Christ at one of our camps was discipled by one of our students and then dedicated his life to ministry at another camp.  These provisions of ministry are truly a blessing far above anything we could have imagined.

The provision of partners: Another area of cost reduction we identified last year was reducing energy costs by switching to solar energy.  The initial investment is very significant, but the return is also fantastic.  Energy in this part of Brazil is about double the cost of southern Brazil and more than triple the cost in the United States.  There is a partner mission here in Brazil that is closing its ministry.  They have some assets that must be distributed in Brazil as they feel the Lord would lead.  We have submitted a proposal that they consider helping us with this solar energy project.  Please pray that God would give them wisdom and that His will be done in this project.  This mission has been very faithful for many generations and we truly believe that their leadership is wise and discerning.  To us this looks like it could be another miraculous provision, but in all honesty, we are praying for God’s direction in this endeavor and ask you to join us in praying to this end.

The provision of family: In May we had the privilege of visiting the US for a required leadership conference at Word of Life headquarters in New York.  We took advantage of the time to visit Sandy’s family in Kansas as well as Josh and Hilary in Maine and Mishaela flew in to be with us in Maine too.  We missed Mackenzie but we are so proud of the multiple reports we heard from the leadership in Europe of the impact she is having in Portugal.  Josh and Hilary continue to be greatly used as executive pastor at their church which now meets in multiple locations.  Mishaela continues to be faithful in her service with The Children’s Hunger Fund in Los Angeles.  We praise the Lord for the incredible way He is providing for and using our children. Our aging parents can use your prayers at this difficult stage of life.  Also, please keep our siblings in your prayers.  Both of us have sisters that are fighting cancer right now.  Pray for God to provide grace and healing.

Thank you for being used of the Lord to provide the prayers and support that are required to sustain this ministry.  Your partnership is truly one of the most blessed provisions we have experienced.  May He continue to provide for all of you according to His riches in glory.

By His Grace,
Gary and Sandy

Prayer Requests

  1. Praise for the ministry team God has provided.
  2. Pray for the solar energy project.
  3. Praise for the growth in the student body and financial stability.
  4. Pray for our parents and siblings and their health concerns.
  5. Praise for the many avenues of ministry the Lord provides.
  6. Pray for the construction of the new dorm facilities.

The Parker Quarterly Post            Spring 2018

Thanks for your prayers,                  

Gary & Sandy, Mishaela, Joshua & Hilary and Mackenzie

Gary’s devotional blog:  www.garygleans.blogspot.com