Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Last week we completed a week of travel which included a concert in Iowa, then a concert in Illinois, followed by a day of ministry and presentations in Iowa again. It was a wonderful time of effective ministry. Also, I was able to spend time with a new friend in the Czech Village, Cedar Rapids, IA. It was also the week that our support level finally made it to a full 30%.
Back in Kalamazoo, MI, the satisfying glow of ministry began to fade and the problem of our support level weighed on our hearts once again. It has taken us three years to get to 30% support, and for 18 months of that time our support has been moving up and down between about 26% and 29%. Two churches have joined as supporters, and several individuals have joined, which offset some other support that was lost.
"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." Psalm 127:1
We've begun to wonder if we are "laboring in vain". We had about 83 meetings in three years and have a full schedule into the fall. The response to our ministry and our mission to the Czech republic has been exceptional. Here are some quotes from the evaluation forms we give for each church we visit.
"They blessed and challenged me"
"The Parmenters were a blessing to our church"
"The day was a blessing, challenge and very positive"
We are worried that after such a full schedule of great meetings that we are not seeing more support come in. ABWE guidelines show that we should be at about 60% support by now.
In the coming week, we are working to discern if we are supposed to continue with prefield. Please, pray with us that we will have clear direction from the Lord. We need a clear indication that God will provide the supporters we need to continue. Also, this week, I'm going to call churches we've been to in an attempt to find out if there are any that are planning to support us. We are also praying that we will be able to discover any individuals that have been considering supporting us.
If there are no churches planning on adding us then that could be an indication that we aren't where God wants us to be.
Over and over I think about the Czech. In such a strongly atheist country like the Czech, there are college students that are curious and interested in Christianity. They would be willing to study the Bible with some one. Our age and background make us suitable for a number of ministries to help the little church in Southern Bohemia grow and Christians there mature in their faith. It's heart breaking to consider that we might not have the funds to go help the Czechs.
We have been praying about our support for some months, some times with tears. We know that God is good, and that He is able to do anything in His will, regardless of the economy or political system. Pray with us that we will have wise discernment and clear direction over what to do next.
We appreciate your prayers, and will keep you posted on our next steps.
Adam Parmenter on behalf of Marge, Michael & Maryellen
Saturday, April 10, 2010
They range in amounts from $10 per month to hundreds and range in age from a children's sunday school group to eighty year olds. One supporter supports us at the $10 per month level ($120 annually), and sends the support annually from her tax return.
We need your financial support, and being a Tax Time Supporter is an easy and fairly painless way to support us financially for $10 or $20 per month. If we had 300 supporters each donating the equivalent of $20 per month, we would have almost all the monthly financial support we need.
Getting a refund this year? Please consider becoming a Tax Time Supporter and sending an amount each year from your tax returns. Go to the "Help Us Get There" page at this link. It has information about how much support we need to raise, how much we have so far, and options (check, credit card) for you to take part in supporting us.
As always, send us a note via this link. We love to talk about the Czech.
Adam & Marge Parmenter
“Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So, signaling their partners in the other boat for help, they filled both boats so full they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees, exclaiming, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
Luke 5:5-8 (ESV).
No amount of human effort resulted in fish. Instead, it was the Lord who provided. Marge and I can identify with the disciples. God has provided for us a full schedule, encouraging churches, enough gifts of money to finance car repair and over thousands of miles of safe travel. But—our financial support level remains unchanged. It is currently not enough to meet our needs. I have not found part-time work. We are beyond our human ability to continue pre-field.
We can’t imagine how 2010 is going to turn out. Our belief is that God will provide our support needs according to His timing. I know that we aren’t the only ones dealing with difficult spiritual, emotional, health or financial challenges. Perhaps the struggle you face threatens to overwhelm you. Join us this year in trusting God, resisting the urge to “cut our losses and run.” Join us this year in prayer as we daily pour out our hearts to God. Join us this year as we saturate our lives with God’s Word. Challenges can drive us closer to God if we let them. Join us in trusting Him who alone can accomplish the impossible.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5&6 (ESV)
Adam, Marge, Michael & Maryellen