Boldness to proclaim truth in the midst of persecution

Amazon rainbow

Decimation, hopelessness, and abuse. Three words that describe the indigenous in the Colombian Amazon,” shares Bronson Parker.* Diego, a 60-year-old Cocama man, grew up seeing the aftereffects of the rubber boom industry in which thousands of indigenous were enslaved. Diego “is a fisherman, a carpenter, and an artist. Now, he is a Christ follower and His messenger,” says Bronson. Discipling is what Bronson Parker enjoys most about his ministry in the Amazon.

Bronson, Anna,* their three daughters and son share the gospel through storytelling. “The people are without hope, and are living in the consequences of their sinful lives,” shares Bronson. His family and missionary friends strive to encourage one another in the work being done.

There is no typical day for the Parker family, though they begin each morning with a family devotion. Anna homeschools their children and ministers through hospitality. “People always stop by the house and visit. The Lord gives me opportunities to share the word and pray for the women and children that come to our home,” says Anna. The children enjoy learning a different language — Spanish. They find it challenging and fun. “Some treats for us are going swimming at a local pool or going to buy ice cream. We like to drive to Brazil and pay to jump on a trampoline for one dollar,” shares Anna. They live on three borders — Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. Through experience, they have learned that the greatest need of the people is a spiritual need — Christ.

The dominant worldview of people of the Amazon is animism; they live in a fear-based culture. The people live in fear of spirits, and, through that, live to please them. “The Biblical worldview differs in the sense that God does not give us a spirit of fear, but actually gives us His spirit. The gospel frees from the bondage of spirits and gives us the Spirit of the most High Spirit,” says Bronson.

They do their work in Spanish. Some of the people they work with speak indigenous languages, which can bring a challenge in sharing with them. But, as we know, God is faithful. “We share the gospel through telling stories from God’s Word. We work with oral learners, so this is an effective way to share the gospel. This is done in our daily relationships and circumstances in life. We call these situational storying. We use storying to disciple,” shares Bronson. The Parker family ministers to children through their home. The family has children come to their house, where they are able to share food, Bible stories, and life with them.

“Everyone in our family has times of loneliness. However, God is always gracious and provides friendship in different ways”, says Bronson. Some of their closest friends are missionaries in Brazil. “They come over and spend the night, or have game nights, when they travel to our town to buy supplies and groceries. We enjoy celebrating holidays and birthdays with them,” shares Bronson. The Parker family partners with different people, on different levels, from indigenous believers to Colombian believers, to other missionaries. Their connecting churches are in Arkansas and Mount Pleasant, Texas. These churches send small groups of people each year for missions. As missionaries, they continue to do what they can to help with physical needs, but “always tie it with the greatest need, a spiritual need,” says Bronson.

Please join us in praying for the Parker family. Pray for boldness to proclaim truth, even in the midst of persecution, and for wisdom in decisions to be made. Pray that they have listening ears to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Pray for unity amongst the believers in the area, and, above all, love for the Lord and others. May we remember the command of Jesus in John 15:12 – 13, “Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (NIV1)

by Tessa Harvill, WMU Preschool Intern

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*Names changed

1Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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