September 27, 2018

Comings and goings…that sums up these past two months.  Ana, Isaac and Margaret returned to Cape Town last month, and then Ana and Isaac turned around and left again!  It’s really hard to say goodbye, especially when they don’t have return tickets!  Add to that some of Phoebe’s recent challenges, and it’s been a tough month (for those of us left behind).

Below Alberto gives an update on the prison ministry:

The correctional facilities are a tough environment. Every day is different from the one before.  As a Christian man, l try to rely totally on God.  The moment that l try to think that l can manage on my own strength, l give the enemy a chance to play games with me.  Lately, there has been much talk about human rights violations in the prisons, due to overcrowding.  Criminal activity has increased because of this, as prisoners want their voices to be heard regarding their rights.  Prison wardens are often the target of violence.  Please pray for this situation.  Also, please pray for the ones who are being saved by the blood of Christ, that they will continue to be encouraged to see Jesus as their final destination and not to let this world disturb them with its fake beauty.

PSC Short-Term Team came to minister in the prisons last month.  It was great to have them.  Tatiana is still here actually.  We also had a visit from Philip (a PSC friend), and Todd (who is also still here).  It’s always such an encouragement hosting people from home!

YWAM Conference  Our annual YWAM Muizenberg conference took place last week.  Entitled “At Home,”  all Cape Town YWAM staff came together to seek God and hear each other’s stories.

I am always amazed at what God is doing through my fellow YWAMers.  They have a passion for Jesus, and a heart for this city.  They are doing something about the poverty and brokenness surrounding us by engaging with the communities. They also disciple people in and through the city, as Cape Town is a strategic springboard to reach the nations.  YWAM is a diverse group of people in terms of race, culture, and socio-economic background.  It is the body of Christ, and I am honored to be part of it!

Ana returned from Boston with the news that she wants to do her Bible course (School of Biblical Studies) in Kona, Hawaii, instead of Cape Town.  As Kona is the international headquarters for YWAM and has more of a college-vibe, I understand the appeal.  She’ll be gone for about a year!  The Bible course is nine months, with an outreach after that.  YWAM is all about putting things into practice immediately!

In case you did not see her last letter, please see it here.  If you would like to receive updates or support Ana directly, please contact her at

Ana is pictured above, leaving us!  I’m so proud of her travelling half-way around the world alone.  There’s a 12 hour time difference between us now!

Isaac returned from an amazing DTS (Discipleship Training School) outreach in Zambia and Zimbabwe in August.  He is pictured above with Virmz, the school leader, on graduation day.  He only came home for a few hours before we dropped him at the airport, where he then flew directly to Messiah College’s international student orientation.

Friends Dereck and Lea Plante picked Isaac up from the airpot and helped him set up his dorm, pictured below.  (Thanks for the picture Lea!)

I had many different emotions as Isaac left: proud that he is well-grounded in Jesus, relieved he was able to finished his DTS before college, happy that he has a vision for using engineering for missions in the future, sad that he is so far away, disappointed that I wasn’t there to help him move in, but overall overjoyed that he has the opportunity to attend college.

Margaret started 9th grade last month.  High school has been great, as the drama of middle school is now a thing of the past.  Finally, Margaret can say that she is happy here!  She has some great new friends, although we are still praying for a Christian friend.

She is pictured above on her 15th birthday, and below at the school’s Homecoming dance.

Phoebe has had a challenging last couple of months.  She burned her hand, and her school said they can no longer accommodate her.

Phoebe must have burned her hand on the electric stove.  (I don’t like electric stoves.)  Although she never cried, the blister on her hand was concerning enough to warrant a trip to the ER, where the blister was popped and wrapped.  The doctor’s concern was that the puss could affect her diabetes.

We returned to the hospital’s Burn Department for three more appointments, and had to wait on average five hours each time to see the doctor.  Being surrounded by seriously burned children from all over the province broke my heart, especially when the wounds were gruesome and visible for all to see (wounds are wrapped with plastic wrap while you wait for the doctor.)  As it is winter here, many poor people use fire for warmth and cooking, and children are prone to accidents in crowded settings.  I was grateful Phoebe only burned the side of her hand.  Now that the burn is healing nicely, our trips to the hospital are over.  Hallelujah!  (Thank you Tatiana for coming with me one of the days!)

Phoebe’s second challenge came when her preschool said that they cannot accommodate her anymore.  I was a bit frustrated by this, as we had received such a warm welcome last year and even have a wonderful aide, Plaky.  I know there are no other schools in the city equipped to work with a child with a dual-diagnosis, as I had called 15 schools last year.  Only the special needs public school could help.

Then in a miracle from God, the special needs school called us last week, saying Phoebe’s name had come off the wait list, which we’d been on for two year.  So, Phoebe (and I) went for a trail visit.  The staff seems lovely!  Phoebe can start there in January.  She will have the same schedule as she has now (8:30-12:30), which is ideal, as I can administer her insulin with lunch.  I am amazed at God’s provision and timing!

Now we are working on sending Plaky to a training program on autism recommended by the school, which will equip her with more skills and techniques to help Phoebe.  Unfortunately, neither the training, Plaky’s salary, nor the public school is free.

Drought Update

Thank you for your prayers.  We have had a cold, wet winter!  Water restrictions have been somewhat relaxed, as dam levels continue to rise, well above everyone’s hopes and dreams.  God certainly answers prayers without holding back!


  • Praise God for the hunger for the Gospel in the prisons.
  • Praise God our kids have the opportunities that they have!
  • Praise God for rain.

Prayer Requests

Alberto: the power of the Gospel to manifest in the lives of the prisoners, and that their changed lives will be evident to their families and victims, so that healing can begin
Joanna: grace as she adjusts to having Ana and Isaac so far away
Ana: fundraising for her YWAM course
Isaac: a good first semester at college
Margaret: a Christian friend
Phoebe: healing for her hand, and guidance on training Plaky
Financial Opportunity

Thank you to all of you who have made it possible for us to be here.  We appreciate your partnership!

If you would like to support our work in South Africa through YWAM and Hope Prison Ministry, please make a donation to Park Street Church with our name in the memo. The online giving link is


October 30, 2017

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:29-31)

Greetings dear friends.  Thank you for your encouraging emails and prayers as we readjusted to life in Cape Town after our quick visit home.  We are in a good place again, and have lots of exciting news.

YWAM has had various conferences these past couple of months (an international conference in Costa Rica which Alberto attended, and a southern African leadership conference which I attended).  At 82, founder Loren Cunningham spoke passionately about missions and how God delights in using simple people like you and me to spread His kingdom.  His stories of God’s leading were inspiring.  He personally has preached the Gospel in every country in the world.  Through his impeccable historical knowledge, he showed how getting the Bible into people’s hands always proceeds spiritual awakenings and revivals.  He challenged us to keep our urgency in spreading God’s Word to those who do not yet have it, so that they can in turn be released as missionaries.

Attending the Africa conference was particularly meaningful for me, as Africa’s exponential growth among youth is the highest in the world.  Our role of evangelism, discipleship and multiplication here in South Africa is strategic.  It is very exciting to be involved in God’s purposes.

Click to watch a short YWAM video: I am a Missionary.

Click to read the recent NY Times article End of Apartheid in South Africa? Not in Economic Terms.  The desperate plight of the poor here in South Africa lead many to a life of crime and prison.  But God has plans for getting His Word to the inmates.


Alberto recently participated in a Restorative Justice program at a nearby prison.  One of the participants was a young man named P, who was born in a township by Table Mountain here in Cape Town.  His father was a gangster, and at age eight, P was shot in the head by a stray bullet.  After three years in hospital, he was released as a recovered child.  Revenge had been boiling in P’s blood all these years, so it was not long before he followed his father’s footsteps and joined a gang, thus beginning his criminal lifestyle. 

In and out of prison, P finally attended a Restorative Justice program and wants to take responsibility for his actions.  Please pray that he will take responsibility, and that he will accept Christ’s forgiveness and walk in the reality of a new creation.


I recently started helping with the DTS (Discipleship Training School) in YWAM Muizenberg, Cape Town.  The focus of this DTS is Children At Risk, which is close to my heart.  Now I have a small group of girls I am discipling, which is very exciting.  They range in age from 17-23, are from four countries and all desire to grow closer to God.  Such a blessing!  Although my commitment is minimal at this point, it is very rewarding, and I enjoy being part of the YWAM team.


Ana and her DTS (Discipleship Training School) team left for Madagascar September 9, thanks to the generosity of many of you.  Although a tough country, Ana loved the people.  Her team shared Christ through an ESL venue, did Bible studies, and saw many people come to the Lord.


A few weeks after their arrival in Madagascar the Plague erupted, the same plague that ravaged Europe in the 1300’s.  Transmitted through bacteria from rats and fleas, it can cause death if not treated quickly with antibiotics.  Because of the alarming rise in the death toll, Ana’s team was advised to leave.  After a brief quarantine period, they are now in Johannesburg, trying to make sense of what just happened. 

The situation in Madagascar is dire, so please pray that the WHO and Red Cross continue to provide antibiotics. To read more about the Plague in Madagascar, click here

Meanwhile, Ana and team are in Johannesburg working with at-risk youth through Joseph Project, a YWAM ministry.  The children they are working with are young, but their wounds are already deep.

Soon her team will travel to Swaziland for the remainder of their outreach.  Ana did her previous DTS outreach there last year, so she is excited to lead a new group there.


Happy birthday Isaac and Margaret!  Isaac is 18.  Margaret is 14.  Both are busy at school, but Isaac is especially stressed by college applications (and me by financial aid applications).  Please pray for this process.


Phoebe is doing well, now that she is back to her old routine. It’s Down Syndrome Awareness Month, so here’s to Phoebe!


*Feeling settled again

*Great YWAM conferences

*Alberto’s visit to his family in El Salvador, and his mother’s successful knee surgery

*Friends Cody and Keri’s recent visit

Prayer Requests

*Prisons: for the power of Christ to break through the strongholds in the prisons, especially among the juvenile offenders whom are Alberto’s focus

*P: to make a decision for Christ

*Ana’s team: for God to continue using them to spread His Kingdom

*Madagascar: an end to the Plague 

*College applications/ financial aid applications: for divine intervention as Isaac scrambles to get his essays and various forms to U.S. colleges next month, and for God to open the right doors

*Rain: our drought continues

*Health: we’ve been sick


Financial Opportunity

If you would like to support our work in South Africa through YWAM and Hope Prison Ministry, please make a donation to Park Street Church with our name in the memo. The online giving link is  

June 12, 2017

We are packing our bags and looking forward to our time back in the U.S.  We arrive June 18 (after a few day lay-over in Paris) and leave again July 27.  We will be staying with Joanna’s parents in South Weymouth.  We would love to see you, and thank you personally for your support!  Please contact us:

Home phone (781)337-1141

Cell phone (339)927-5867

Email, or simply respond to this email

At the moment, this is our Sunday schedule:

July 2: Holy Nativity Church: morning.  Park Street Church: evening ministry update

July 9: PSC: morning ministry updates 

July 16: PSC: reception

July 23: Iglesia Bautista de Washington

On July 27 Margaret, Phoebe and Joanna return to South Africa, Isaac leaves for the Colombia mission trip through Park Street Church, and Alberto leaves for El Salvador to visit his family and attend YWAM’s annual conference in Costa Rica. 

Although we are sad that Ana is not coming with, we are excited that she is doing her own missions work. She is currently staffing the next DTS in Worcester.


Happy 10th birthday to Phoebe!  She celebrated with a gf/cf carrot cake with her new friends at her preschool.


Alberto and his prison team.  This is from Alberto:

I am so thankful to God for allowing me to co-work with Him here in South Africa.  I have been able to touch so many lives of at-risk young people in prison.  (The gangs recruit new prisoners, and make them their slaves.)  It is only now that I am here in South Africa that I can understand the calling He has placed on my life.  I am seeing the spirit of God working in the lives of the inmates.  They are welcoming me, and I really love working with them.


Preschool kids in Worcester receive a box of books from the Holy Nativity Church.  Books and other basic resources are scarce in poorer communities.  This particular community suffers from gang violence.


“Western Cape declared disaster area over drought” are our recent headlines.  Water consumption has been reduced to 100 liters per person/per day.  That’s about a third of a typical American’s consumption.  As the worst drought in 100 years continues, our dam looks more and more like a sand pit.  Given Africa’s history with drought, I just have no confidence that the government has a back-up plan.  Please pray for rain!


* Fruitful talks with prisoners

* A good end to the school year for Isaac and Margaret. Isaac had 5 AP exams and they’ve both had final exams.

Prayer Requests

Please pray for:

* Rain

* Ana’s training in Worcester as she embarks on staffing the next DTS

* Safe travels during our flights and lay-over in Paris

* Good visits with friends and family

* Church presentations 

* Phoebe’s appointments at Children’s Hospital

* Isaac’s college visits, work (selling ice-cream at Sprinkles), and upcoming fundraising for the Colombia mission-trip

* Wisdom for possible refinancing of our Quincy house

* Finances to cover all the added expenses

Financial Opportunity

If you would like to help us cover the additional expenses involved in our upcoming trip to the U.S., please make a donation to Park Street Church with our name in the memo. The online giving link is  

el 20 de noviembre

Bienvenidos al primer update de la familia Parada…en español!  Si conoce otros hermanos que quisieran recibir este update, déjenos saber. 

Somos misioneros con Juventud Con Una Misión en Sur Africa.  Nuestro llamado es discipular jóvenes en las comunidades más necesitadas.  Tenemos 4 hijos entre la edad de 8 y 18.

Ha sido un mes bastante ocupado por Ana a causa de los exámenes finales, el baile final, y la graduación.  Es increíble que nuestra nena se está graduando de una escuela en Sur Africa. Ella ha tenido la dicha de estudiar en tres continentes, sin mencionar los años que estudió en casa. Ha tenido una vida muy bendecida hasta esta fecha.  Estamos orando para que le vaya muy bien en los años que el Señor le de en esta tierra.  

Yo (Alberto) recientemente tuve la oportunidad de participar enseñando en una prisión cercana un curso llamado “Justicia Restaurativa.”  Este curso se enfoca en ayudar a restaurar el daño causado por el pecado. Brinda la oportunidad a los prisioneros a confesar sus crímenes primeramente con ellos mismos, y después con Dios, con sus familias, con sus víctimas, y finalmente con sus comunidades. Asumiendo responsabilidad por su acciones, los prisioneros pueden encontrar su libertad en Cristo y convertirse en agentes positivos cambiados, y así comenzar una nueva vida ejemplar en sus comunidades. 

Mi esposa tuvo la oportunidad de estar presente en el día final del curso.  Pudo ver cómo los prisioneros se encontraron con sus parientes (la mayoría eran madres).  Estos tuvieron la oportunidad de confesar sus crímenes en forma pública.  En la mayoría de los casos sus madres o parientes no sabían toda la información del porque sus hijos estaban tras las rejas.  Fue muy difícil para sus parientes escuchar sus confesiones criminales. Fue un proceso bastante delicado y muy emocional para todos presente.  Nosotros inclusive llevamos una pareja que tienen un hijo en la cárcel por 2 años.  

El enemigo ha construido sus altares de maldad en muchas de estas comunidades dónde el Señor nos ha traído.  El diablo ha envuelto a los jóvenes con sus mentiras y falsas promesas de poder y prestigio por medio del crimen organizado.  Pero más fuerte es la sangre de Cristo, que nos lava de todo pecado. Nosotros estamos aquí en obediencia a nuestro llamado, cubiertos totalmente con la sangre de Cristo que es el elemento esencial de guerra contra las mentiras del enemigo. 

Estoy tan agradecido al Señor, porque yo hubiese sido fácilmente uno de estos prisioneros.  Fue un honor haber podido ser parte de este curso que busca la reconciliación, la esperanza, y la vida eterna a todos aquellos que quieren escuchar la voz amorosa del Señor.  La presencia y poder de Dios esta bien activa en las prisiones.  Dios tiene el mismo mensaje para los que están en el bote tanto como para los que aún no han estado en prisión.  Jesus dice, “Yo he muerto por ustedes, y a través de mi sacrificio, tienen la oportunidad de ser como yo y ver mi gloria.”

Motivos de Oración

  • Para que los prisioneros en el program de Justicia Restaurativa puedan entender la profundidad del amor de Dios.
  • Exámenes finales de Ana y Margaret
  • Sabiduría para Ana en la manera que esta buscando la dirección de Dios para continuar su educación.
  • Consuelo para Margaret quién extraña mucho a sus amistades en los Estados Unidos.
  • Por un precio razonable para remover la pintura con plomo en nuestra casa en Massachusetts. 
  • Recaudación de fondos para un vehículo ministerial.


November 20, 2015

It’s been a busy month with Ana’s matric ball, graduation and exams.  It’s hard to believe our baby is graduating…from a high school in South Africa!  She has attended schools in three continents, not to mention her homeschool years.  She has had a full and blessed life already.  We are eager to see how she will spend the years ahead of her.

Alberto recently spent a week doing a Restorative Justice program in a nearby prison, thanks to an invitation from Andrew May.  Restorative Justice seeks to begin to repair the collateral damage of sin by providing opportunities for prisoners to confess their crimes to themselves, God, their families, their victims, and their communities.  By taking responsibility for their actions, prisoners can be set free themselves, and can become positive agents of change in their communities.   

I (Joanna) had the opportunity to attend the final day of the conference and watched as some of the prisoners were met by family members (mostly mothers) and were given the opportunity to confess their crimes openly.  In most cases, the mothers did not know why their boys were in prison and had a hard time listening to their confessions.  It was a slow-going and highly emotional experience for all involved.  We actually transported one couple to see their son in prison, as they had not seen him since he was incarcerated two years earlier.  The pain was very real.  Satan has a foothold in many of these communities, as he offers the boys lies and empty promises of power and prestige through gangs and crime.  But the blood of Jesus is stronger, and washes away all sins (I Jn 1:7b). 

Below are Alberto’s thoughts on the experience: 

I am humbled because I easily could have been one of those prisoners.  God protected me in order to declare His news to those who are in prison.  It was an honor to be able to collaborate with Restoration Justice in bringing reconciliation, hope and eternal life to those who want to listen to His gentle voice.  God is very active in the prisons.  You can feel the power of His love.  God has the same message for those in prison as He has for those who have never been in prison: “I have died for you.  You have the chance to be an imitator of me and see my glory.”

Prayer Requests

  • The prisoners in the Restorative Justice program, that they would understand the depth of God’s love for them.
  • End of year exams for Ana and Margaret.
  • Wisdom for Ana’s next steps as she considers colleges, and guidance for Isaac’s and Margaret’s education.
  • Comfort for Margaret, who really misses her U.S. friends (although she has wonderful friends here.)
  • A reasonable quote to de-lead our house in Quincy. 
  • Finances to buy a ministry vehicle.


September 16, 2015

Happy anniversary to us!  One year ago we arrived in South Africa to work with YWAM. Most of the year Alberto has been in class (Bible and Counseling), but recently he has started getting involved in local ministry to hurting youth.  We lived in tight quarters for 10 months, surrounded by other YWAMers.  Now we are in a beautiful home with just our family!  It has been a hard year, but a very good year. We are grateful to God and to you, our friends and supporters.  We are excited to see how God will use us in spreading His Good News of salvation to the nations, starting right here with the troubled youth.

Note from Alberto: “How to Stay Afloat in the Storm”

Life these days is like a severe storm, with strong winds that sweep across our everyday existence.  Sometimes we stop and ponder what we are doing on this crazy earth.  We look at others having a good time in their groups as they celebrate the common events of life like birthdays, graduations, weddings, funerals.  Superficially, everything looks good. Deep down, however, so many of us are suffering.  As Christians, we pray to God for miracles of healing.  Most of the time, we end up not getting healed and instead ask ourselves, “Why?”  It is hard to be thankful when we pray for a healing in someone and instead the person dies.  We know we prayed in faith according to the Spirit that is within us.  The only satisfying thing we will have in our hearts is knowing we had the privilege to pray for that person.  We know that our salvation is more important than healing from earthly circumstances.

Jesus wants to be our first resource.  Let’s come to Him because we love Him, and not because we want something from Him.  Let’s pray for those who do not know Jesus yet, as our eternal healing is more important than our physical healing.

Please let me encourage you with Isaiah 43 as you continue through the storm: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

Thank you very much for the different aspects of support you have given our family.  We are faithfully here in South Africa building the kingdom of God in troubled youth and their families.  God bless your humble and generous hearts.


People come to study at our YWAM base from all over the world, and return home empowered with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  We recently celebrated an evening entitled “Voice of the Nations.” YWAMers from many nations shared their culture through song, dance and a parade of flags.


Happy 16th birthday to Isaac!  He is growing and maturing before our very eyes.  Here he is pictured with his two best friends.  Three boys, three nations.

He had a wonderful month back in the U.S. at camp, and has just started homeschooling using Veritas Press’s online classes.  This is a classical Christian curriculum that we have used on and off over the years.  Isaac was getting too frustrated in the local school, thus the change.  I am happy to have him home again, and his classes are pretty amazing!

DTS (Discipleship Training School) is YWAM’s signature course which comprises 3 months of discipleship training and 2 months of outreach. DTS students recently returned from outreach in Tanzania, while another team just left for Kenya and Swaziland.  Exciting days!

August 23, 2014

“The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.'” (Lam 3:23)

This past year of fundraising has been such a blessing and such a challenge!  We have met so many amazing people, for which we are grateful, and God has paved the way with His faithfulness…every step of the way.  We are so amazed at His leading and provision. Thank you to all of you for your role as our partners!

We were commissioned at Park Street Church last Sunday!  Receiving the church’s blessing has been very important to us, and we are grateful for their spiritual covering and prayers.  Now our departure seems more real.  September 7 is just around the corner!

Here on the home front things are a bit crazy!  Alberto and various faithful friends painted the outside of the house, replaced a fence, rebuilt the front steps and are currently painting the interior of the house.  It all looks great!

Please pray that we find renters this week!  Our house is ready to rent, so please spread the word.  Praise God we sold both vehicles!  Most of our furniture has found new homes, but we still have some bookcases and a dining room table, in case you are interested.

Fundraising Update

We have raised 87% of our ongoing expenses and 100% of one-time gifts! Thank you faithful people! All money raised from here on out will go towards our ongoing support. We are almost there!

Upcoming Events

Tomorrow our friends at Allure Spa in Quincy are doing a fundraiser for us. All proceeds from haircuts and facials will benefit our South Africa account!  I have been so impressed with peoples’ creativity in helping us get to South Africa!  Thank you!

Sept 5 is our good-bye party at 296 Forest St, South Weymouth, MA 02190.  All are welcome!

Sept 7 is our departure date!  Come say good-bye in the Terrace Room of Park Street Church between the morning services at 10:00.

We are looking for someone with a van to drive us to the airport that night.

May 23, 2014

We are the Parada family, preparing to go to South Africa this August as missionaries with YWAM.  We are busily finishing up the school year, purging ourselves of all the things that we can live without, and getting our house ready to rent.

But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.” Psalm 9:18

We plan to work with poor and afflicted youth in South Africa.  They are close to God’s heart.  God has not forgotten them, and nor have we.  Their cry has been heard, and there is hope– the hope we have in Christ.

There are many lingering injustices in post-apartheid South Africa, and sometimes it is hard to see where God is.  God is there though, as is the church, the body of Christ.  We as the church need to use our voice and our hands.  “God bless Africa–guard our children, guide our leaders, and grant us peace” is a South African prayer.

In looking ahead to life in South Africa, we are finding many open doors.  YWAM will offer us housing, classes and ministry opportunities.  There are some good school options for the kids.  We have connected with doctors for Phoebe, and are even in email contact with her new Down syndrome doctor in Cape Town.

Please keep us in prayer these last few months as we prepare ourselves for the big move in August.  Please pray that all our finances will come in a timely manner.  God has been so faithful in rising up partners, for which we are grateful and humbled.  This has been an amazing testimony of God’s faithfulness as we depend on Him in every area of our lives. The stories we have of how God has met us at every single turn is truly a testimony and reminder of how He will provide for us when we submit ourselves to Him.


Thank you to all of you who expressed love and concern for Phoebe after her recent diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes. The original proposed schedule of seven to ten shots a day has actually been reduced to two shots a day.  Phoebe is very patient with the blood draws from the tips of her fingers and the shots.  Her blood sugar levels are now stabilized, which means she does not have huge sugar swings affecting her energy levels. She has also put on a few pounds!


This video ( allowed us to share our vision for South Africa in seven minutes. We showed it at Primera Iglesia Bautista de Washington.

Here is the link to a shorter three minute version: which we showed at Park Street Church and First Presbyterian Church.

Fundraising Update

We reached our goal of 60% for ongoing expenses by May 1!  Praise God!  Our next goal is 75% by June 10.  Our one-time budget for moving us to South Africa is 78%.

Thank you to all of you for partnering with us in this area! Your role as senders is so valuable.  You are participating with us in fulfilling the Great Commission.

The Parada Kids

Ana just got her driver’s permit! She is also taking AP Spanish and Psychology exams. (Psych is today!)

Isaac is presently taking his final exams.  He enjoyed playing lacrosse this spring!  He made honor roll last period.

Margaret is swimming at the Y.  She has another month of school, which she is not happy about!

Phoebe lost her first tooth, and turns 7 next week!

Words from Alberto

Spring is here!  Again we can see God’s faithfulness in the return of longer days, beautiful flowers, singing birds, and aromatic cookouts.  It seems like we have all the ingredients to start over again.  Winter is behind us.  Through the renewal of the seasons, God reminds us that it is time to renew our minds. (Rms 12:2)

I know we all have a lot of challenges, but God wants us to equip ourselves with the mind of Christ.  Only then will we be able to speak to our problems with His authority and ride the wave of the Holy Spirit.  We will always have challenges and trials, but these let us know that it is time to get back to our first love.  God is always waiting for us with open arms.  (1 Pet 1:13)

How to Support the Parada Family

Please visit our website at for giving instructions through our church.

Isaac set up a GoFundMe account for people who prefer to not contribute through our church.  The link is here.

Church Sharing

We had a fantastic time in the DC area over Easter last month.  We reconnected with friends from the First Baptist Church of Washington DC (Primera Iglesia Bautista de Washington), many of whom we hadn’t seen since leaving DC 18 years ago!  We were honored to be able to share our South Africa vision during the Easter service.  We also saw Alberto’s two brothers, cousin, and some other friends.  It was a busy week on the road!

This past Sunday, we shared at our friend Jason Sentas’s church here in Quincy. First Presbyterian Church gave us a warm welcome, and our connections with the body of Christ have widened.

Prayer Requests

Please pray for us as we prepare to sell our vehicles and rent our house. We are also researching plane tickets, health insurance in South Africa, and a host of other details involved in an international move! You can only imagine!


Youth With A Mission (YWAM) ministries target needy youth: orphans, street children, teenagers who have dropped out of school, youth affected by AIDS/HIV/TB, and children of broken families.

The goal is to empower young people through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Practically this is done through relationships and time, and through addressing some basic human needs.

We will spend our first year in Bible and counseling classes, and the following years in ministry to hurting youth.

Read more about YWAM’s ministries here.

Contact Us

Please contact us with any questions.

Our website is

April 17, 2014

Mission to South Africa 2014

We are the Parada family, preparing to go to South Africa this summer as missionaries with YWAM.


Our biggest update is that Phoebe now has diabetes. Diabetes is an inability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to break down sugars, resulting in high blood sugar levels.  Diabetes is treated by injecting insulin and adapting the diet.  Phoebe is now on insulin, which has stabilized her blood sugar levels.  Her diet was near perfect before, so no change there necessary.

Phoebe is patient with the whole finger-pricking procedure, and doing well with the injections.  She continues to amaze us with her happy spirit, and ability to live completely in the present.  Please keep her in your prayers though.

Although this is a big surprise to us, we can clearly see God’s hand of provision and protection.  We were able to catch it early, so Phoebe never got sick.  (A nurse at Phoebe’s oxygen therapy suspected it when I told her Phoebe was extremely thirsty and was peeing frequently. She did an immediate finger prick to test her blood sugar levels.) Diabetes can be sudden-onset, so we are grateful it happened now, and not right before our departure for South Africa.

When I asked the doctor if he thought we could move as planned, he assured us that we could.  He even said that the head of Endocrinology at Children’s Hospital is South African, and would surely help us with contacts in South Africa.  So, I booked our follow-up with him!

To give you some background, children with Down syndrome are at high risk for auto-immune challenges such thyroid problems, diabetes, and celiac (wheat intolerance). Phoebe already has thyroid issues and is on a gluten-free diet, so the diabetes part is the last of the three challenges.  The doctors can foresee no other challenges for Phoebe at present.

We know God uses all things for His glory, so we know this will be no exception.  We live in a hurting world, and God does not promise us exemption from life’s trials.  He does promise to be with us though, and to use the circumstances in our lives for His glory. We now have a window into the lives of diabetics.  Our medical repertoire has certainly increased over the years!


Our video is done!  It’s seven minutes!  Just click this link:  A big thank you to Noël Barlow and Kelly Arnold for your amazing work!

Fundraising Update

We reached our goal of 50% for ongoing expenses by April 1!  Praise God!  Our next goal is 60% by May 1. Our one-time budget is 67%.

Thank you to all of you for partnering with us in this area! Your role as senders is so valuable.  You are participating with us in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Family Update

Ana turned 17 on April 9.  We are so grateful for her cheerful spirit.  She got a camera for her birthday, which she hopes to use to document life around her, both here and in South Africa.  Many of the pictures used in our video were taken by Ana on her trip to South Africa through Boston Trinity Academy two years ago.

Margaret sang in Park Street’s Cantata at church recently.

Words from Alberto

I try to imagine seeing Jesus at the desert: fasting, praying, suffering for me and for you. Just when we were dead in our sinful ways with no direction to go, our Lord Jesus had mercy on me.  I feel like I am a very weak man compared to the courage Jesus showed. During this time of Lent I have been realizing how good life is and how I need to exercise my spiritual muscles, as I haven’t experienced real pain yet. I pray that the Lord will help us to live in a way that responds to and honors the sacrifice He made for us on the cross.

Happy Easter

May the joy of the risen Lord be with you this Easter!  In Him we have victory.  He is the light that overcame the darkness. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn 1:5)

Washington DC (area)

We head there tomorrow!  We will spend Easter with our friends at the Spanish congregation in Maryland, and visit friends and Alberto’s brothers in Washington DC and Virginia. We are looking forward to being there!

Jan 11, 2014

In the craziness of our preparations for South Africa, it is good to step back and remember how faithful God has been in our calling and preparations.  I enjoyed highlighting the kids last time, so thought I would now highlight Alberto and me.


It is mysterious the way the Lord works.  At the time when I left El Salvador, I was running away from war.  As I look back, the Lord brought me to the U.S. to train me for a different type of war: spiritual warfare, the battle against the devil.  Through the blood of Christ, we have complete victory and power over the devil.  We need to put on the full armor of God talked about in Ephesians 6, and stand firm.  The Lord will use us.

Like Isaiah said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”  (Is 61:1)

Paul says in II Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me as a prisoner, but share with the sufferings of the gospel, according to the power of God.”

And now, as missionaries we know we are God’s infantry, and we have been called to deliver the Good News, in this occasion to the people of South Africa.  It is an honor to have served God up to this point.  We want to do it for the rest of our lives.

Thank you for joining us in our journey, and I hope that the Lord will soon meet whatever personal difficulty you may be going through, because we are praying for you as well.  When we pray to God, the solution to our problems is at the tip of our fingers.  The victory has already been won!


Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others is my motivation for missions and my joy!  I am touched that God is paving the way for us to serve Him and His people in South Africa.  Youth With A Mission is an agency we love and respect, and our whole family is eagerly anticipating our next steps.

Intentionally placing ourselves in a place of ministry forces us to depend on God’s provision in a whole new way, since we are raising our support.  Learning to trust God in this way has been humbling and exciting, and He is meeting us at every step.

  How You Can Help

Pray for our preparations and fundraising.

Invite us to your small group or host a chat in your home with your friends so that we can share. Contact us at

Contribute on a monthly basis toward our ongoing support, or on a one-time basis towards our outgoing fund.  See our website for details: