December 16, 2016

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Merry Christmas to you all as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!  Our days in South Africa are getting longer and hotter.  It is still a strange concept to celebrate Christmas in the summer, even though this is our 5th Christmas in the southern hemisphere as missionaries. 

Thank you for your prayers and emails.  It’s been a tough few months, but I believe we have made a positive turn in our adjustment.  We are feeling much better about being in Cape Town, and are starting to feel at home. Praise God!

Thank you also for your financial support.  We are keenly aware of the fact that we are here because of God and because of your support.  We are preparing to mail thank-you postcards to many of you, so please look out for them!

Our Barnabas (prayer) group is also helping us mail out 120 fundraising letters, as we are trying to increase our number of monthly donors, due to our increased cost of living in Cape Town. (See the letter here.  Donate at www.parkstreet.org/give.)  

Pictured above are camels at a farm not far from us.  We had to do something special for Thanksgiving, since I wasn’t cooking a turkey!

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Alberto’s class ended this week. “Children at Risk” has further broken his heart for children in difficult situations in this world. It has given him more tools to work with troubled youth. His final paper was on juveniles in prison, and explains how he plans to spearhead an outreach to them at the local prison.

This class completes Alberto’s required classes.  We plan to join staff with YWAM Cape Town (Muizenberg) in the new year. At that time, Alberto will be able to spend more time discipling a group of young men from the community.  He’ll also be able to participate in more Restorative Justice conferences in the prisons. These conferences (and the follow-up) teach the inmates about God’s forgiveness and their need for reconciliation with God and their victims.

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Graduation dinner!  Sitting at the table with us are a school staff member, fellow student, and the base director and his wife (who also have a child with Down syndrome). Six people, six different countries of origin!

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Ana is currently in Swaziland, where she just embarked on a 2-month outreach. She recently finished the lecture phase of her 3-month Discipleship Training School (DTS) in Worcester with YWAM.

Isaac finished his mid-term exams yesterday.  He has a full schedule with 4 AP’s (Physics, European History, English Language, and Spanish), 1 regular class (Pre-Calculus), 2 electives (IT and Model United Nations) and 1 homeschool class (Philosophy). Somehow he manages to still go to the gym and play rugby.  He recently attended a Model United Nations conference in Johannesburg, where he represented the U.S.

Margaret has had a tough time adjusting to Cape Town, as she misses her friends. Although the homeschooling has gone well academically, she has not made any new friends.  Because of this, we have accepted the American School’s recent (unsolicited) offer for her to start attending in January at a fraction of the cost. Margaret is thrilled, and we are in awe of God’s faithful provision.

Phoebe is receiving speech, physical and occupational therapy.  Once we started with one therapist, the doors opened for the other therapists.  We are also considering sending her to a neighborhood home-based preschool a few mornings a week. Lots of changes after substantial research!

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I recently attended a Thrive conference in Cape Town for North American women in ministry.  Pictured above are some fellow Wheaton alumni.  I had a wonderful time being refreshed in the Lord, and connecting with other women in ministry both here in Cape Town and throughout Africa, and the world!

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Phoebe joining us in prayer on the beach as we witness a baptism.

Financial Requests

If you would like to make a monthly contribution, increase your monthly contribution, or make a one-time donation, please make a donation to Park Street Church with our name in the memo. The online giving link is parkstreet.org/give.  

This move has been a steep step of faith, so please join us in praying for the necessary finances to enable us to do what we believe God is calling us to do.

We are very grateful to each of you who gives and prays for us. Thank you for your partnership. 

Prayer Requests

  • Health for Ana and her team in Swaziland, and for the Holy Spirit to touch people’s lives through their ministry.
  • God’s protection, blessing and guidance on what we do.
  • More donors to commit!
  • Protection for our new brothers in prison.
  • Wisdom to know how best to help the needy children we encounter daily.
  • Rain to relieve the drought! (Going into the dry season with a water deficit means there are strict water regulations.)

Nov 1, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

It gives me great pleasure to write to you about our upcoming missionary plans in South Africa starting next June 2014. As most of you know, South Africa has been on my (Joanna’s) heart for many years, so I am thrilled to have this opportunity. As you probably also know, Alberto is a born evangelist. For both of us, nothing gives us more joy than to be in a place where we can positively impact the kingdom of God. We have been doing that locally, but now we have the opportunity to do that in South Africa. What a privilege! We are excited to take the step of faith that God has been preparing us for.

The foundation of our calling is the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19-20:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

South Africa is a nation full of potential, due to the natural resources of the land, and capabilities of the South African people; yet unemployment, AIDS and poverty are rampant. The gospel of Jesus Christ offers spiritual hope to those otherwise without any hope. As spiritual needs are addressed, physical needs are also addressed, and lives are transformed. This is why discipleship is key!

What better way to do this than with a group of Christians who are passionate about sharing the Good News? Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is an international volunteer movement of Christians from many backgrounds, cultures and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. The purpose of YWAM is simply to know God and to make Him known. This is done through training, evangelism and mercy ministries.

YWAM has a base in the Cape province of South Africa where not only preparatory Bible classes are offered, but opportunities for service abound. We plan to spend our first year taking classes such as Family Ministry, Couple and Family Counseling and of course Bible! Our second and third years will be spent in one of YWAM’s ministries to broken families, and vulnerable youth. (Be assured that we will also be seeking out the special needs community!) We also have friends involved in prison ministry through the Andrew Murray Centre, so we will be praying about that involvement as well! After a few years, we will return to the U.S. for a reevaluation period with Park Street Church.

As self-supporting missionaries, we raise our own funds to cover our monthly living expenses. We depend on partnering with people who support our vision. Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us? We need both prayer support and financial support. Our home church, Park Street Church, has generously committed to covering 10% of our monthly budget for which we are thankful. As for the remaining 90%, we now are reaching out to you, our friends and family, requesting that you partner with us by donating on a monthly basis. Any gift will be helpful! Please let us know of your decision by returning the postcard to us, or by emailing us at joanna@paradas.org.

We are enclosing a form which details how to make the donation, whether it be a one-time donation or a recurring donation. One-time donations go into our outgoing expense budget covering airfare, moving expenses, tuition, etc. Recurring donations are monthly donations which cover our living expenses. (All funds donated prior to our departure will go towards our outgoing expenses.) We are currently at about 5% of our goals. Please let us know if you would like a copy of our budget. More information is available on our website at www.paradas.org. As always, please contact us with any questions.

 In His service,

Alberto, Joanna, Ana, Isaac, Margaret and Phoebe Parada