Ukrainian flooding

If my memory serves me correctly, the rain began on Monday. All week long it continued, sometimes heavily, until Friday evening sometime. Although I have not heard of any displaced people in our region, a Fox news article states that these rains have produced some of the worst floods in 100 years. The areas the article describes is actually not too far from here (both in Ukraine and the Romanian border). Please pray for these families. The following is the Fox News article printed yesterday:

KIEV, Ukraine — Severe storms and floods in the Carpathian Mountains killed 13 people in Ukraine and another five people in neighboring Romania, officials said Sunday. Two other people were missing in Ukraine.

Five days of heavy rain near the Prut and Dniestr rivers caused floods that damaged more than 21,000 houses, Ukraine’s Emergency Ministry said in a statement.

Ukrainian officials evacuated more than 8,000 people and reported that over 300 towns and villages were left without electricity. The government said damages are estimated at more than $300 million.

“Ukraine has not seen anything like this in 100 years,” First Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchinov said in televised remarks.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko declared the region a national disaster area, leaving festivities marking the 1,020th anniversary of the country’s adoption of Christianity in Kiev, the capital, to fly to the heaviest-hit region of Ivano-Frankivsk in southwestern Ukraine.

The storms will continue for at least another 24 hours and water levels are expected to rise further, the meteorological service said.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who had already been touring the region, called for a parliament session to allocate disaster relief funds.

In northern Romania, five people died in flooding and heavy rain in areas bordering Ukraine, and power outages affected around 20,000 people, officials said.

a personal letter from Josh

Dear Friends and supporters:

I’m sorry to let you know that Lindsey and I have decided to return home to Texas. During our time here in Ukraine, God has made it clear to me that I am not called to full time mission work. However, we understand the importance of missions and will continue to participate and support them. I know that this is disappointing for many of you and hard to understand, but know that I love the Lord and want to follow his leading and not my own.

Having been here just over 3 months, I’ve had a lot of time for self evaluation and meditation on my motives for coming here. First, it is clear to me that it wasn’t because I have a calling for full time mission work, but rather I was trying to please Lindsey and the love she has for the Ukrainian people. Secondly, I let the money be a large deciding factor in us coming here. When we first began pursuing our mission work, the funds quickly started to accumulate. During this time, I still felt unsure about coming to Ukraine, but I saw the growing funds and let it lead me. However, just because the funds are available doesn’t mean you start building a building without first establishing its foundation.

On coming to this conclusion I have had to ask a lot of hard questions and make some hard decisions. I honestly believe that God brought me here to reveal these things to me that I may better serve him. Had I known what I know now I would have not pursued this path as hard as I have, but sometimes this is how we learn. I hope you will forgive me in my unplanned misleading when I told you that I was called to be a missionary. Lindsey and I both strongly love the Lord and want to serve him wherever we are, we’re just trying to figure out exactly where and how to serve him.

Upon our return home on August 13, I will return to my career as an electrician. Lindsey will continue full-time mission work with Sons of Salvation in their administrative and communications department. She will also help lead and facilitate short-term mission trips worldwide as needed; her first assignment being in the Bahamas in October. We both will serve in church ministries as well.

As far as our funds are concerned, we will no longer need any more continuing support sent for our work in Ukraine. The funds we have already received will continue to be used in Lindsey’s ongoing mission work with Sons of Salvation.

Thank you for your understanding and prayers as we are making this transition. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email, as we do not yet have a USA phone number.

With my deepest gratitude,

Josh Parks

deeply heartbroken

Every day, I still read up on local news from the Dallas Morning News.  I read an article a few moments ago that has deeply broken my heart.  Click on the following link to read the article:

Dallas man accused in accused in death of 2 month old daughter

I’ve read stories like these before, and they all sadden me; but this one is different.

Erica, the mother of the baby, was one of my very first students when I was teaching.  She was what I considered a dream student – always engaged in class, always smiling, always prepared.  I even had to force her on to the next class period because she would stay behind just to talk to me.

I saw her earlier this year.  I don’t exactly know Erica’s situation, but the last time I talked with her she was pregnant and attending an alternative school.  She had gotten into some trouble, faced some hard times, and gotten pregnant.  Yet, she was still smiling, still hard-working, and still prepared to work at success for herself and her child.

I can’t imagine what this tragic event has done to her.  Please pray for Erica.

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