Below you will find some of my Prayer Letters
2009 May Parsons News letter To Our Prayer Partners
Greetings from the Mackenzie Delta where spring has sprung and life continues to be exciting for Rita and I. Dustin is back north, after a great year at St. Mary’s University. He is teaching at the high school. Matthew is near the end of his second year of medical school and Davey and Sarah just moved into a house that they built this past winter & spring. They are in Hampton, NB
Life is more than a routine as each season and year brings new and exciting challenges. We had two great Church Army 80th anniversary services and one of our parishioners gave a report on his dental mission to South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Please pray for an after school program that I’m running on Wednesdays 3:15—5:00pm. I call it J.A.M. (Jesus and Me). This club is for elementary school age children age 5-12. It was great to have a lady helping me for a little while this year. We started out with 5– 12 children sometimes 19. Whew that’s a lot! But for the past couple of months we have been having 28. Please pray that more volunteers will help me in the Fall of 2009.
God is at work in many lives while many others are in need of redirection and encouragement. We have seen a few souls turn their hearts to Jesus and now they need strength as they face living life with a Christ centered perspective. Pray that they continue to grow with the Lord.
We ask you to pray for the young people. With the 24 hour daylight, many young people are up all hours and there is a lot of mischief, vandalism, drinking and other aspects of law breaking. Pray for marriages and for those whose lives are consumed with addictions to crack, booze and gambling. Another and deep area of hurt is with those whose lives were damaged as a result of attending residential schools. They are plagued with pain from being separated from parents and not knowing how to communicate with the strange people who cared for them. Many resent the loss of language, the corporal punishment and being made to feel inferior. There is a lot of anger and where in the past the clergy were often respected it is not the case today. I need wisdom because people need to get their anger out and I need to allow people to speak
without becoming hurt or offended myself.
Another area for prayer is for a lay leader school that will be held in Ft. McPherson June 19th—21st. One young Christian has been my helper in another community and she is planning on coming. She is often alone in her Christian walk as family members question why she is moving into this strange new life. Please pray that the school is well attended and those who are being taught will become passionate in their service to Jesus and their Christian communities.
I had planned twice to go to Sachs’ Harbour but we have had a number of deaths so I had to travel to Aklavik and Tuktoyuktuk. We still need ministers for Ft. McPherson, Aklavik and Tuktoyuktuk so I ask for your prayers for both funds to pay these people and for the actual person of God’s choosing, to step forward. Lay people have been filling the gap but as in the south a lot of people are saying that they want full time minister to care for their needs.
~Rita and all the day care staff recently went to Edmonton for a conference. It was great to get out for a break to get batteries recharged. What I have been doing for my own mental and spiritual life is escaping on Monday to a Bush Tent. The tent certainly gives me a place of solitude as I~wanted a place to come away from the phone so that I could be still, think and pray and seek God for the coming week. I rarely bring people there as it is mainly a place to be spiritually recharged as I spend time alone with my maker.
I go to our homeless shelter every Tuesday and Wednesday mornings to be with the people and last year I started to bring movies. Most of these people will have nothing to do with the church but they~welcome me and we watch a DVD and talk about it afterwards. I guess I’m trying whatever way I can to get the message of Jesus’ Gospel out to everyone.
This brings me to an area where we need prayer.
I belong to an Anglican Mission Agency called SOMA (Sharing of Ministries Abroad)~ SOMA Canada is an Anglican based, short term mission agency with a worldwide vision to see Christians of all churches renewed in the Holy Spirit in all nations of the world.
Bishop Leonard Whitten former bishop of Western Newfoundland and present director of SOMA Canada asked Rita and I to join his mission team that will be traveling to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Malaysia (Borneo). The Bishop of Sabah (see his write up below) is to consecrate an assistant bishop on August 14th and he felt he should host an International SOMA conference prior to the consecration and follow it by having SOMA teams from the various countries conduct missions within his diocese. We would be part of the Canadian team.
In conclusion please remember our sons Matthew as he continues with medical school, Dustin as he prepares for either work or returning to university to study education and Davey and Sarah as finish their house and have a time to enjoy family, friends and holiday this Summer. Oh yes and Matthew and Dustin as they take a short break to travel Croatia and Italy August 3-12th.
Thank you for your prayers, God bless you and we pray that you will all have a wonderful summer.
David W. Parsons
From the Bishop of Sabah
Re SOMA Conference 2009
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
"Over the years, we have been trying to mobilize our churches into mission. But even after much effort, many of our members and leaders seem to be satisfied with only hearing about mission and occasionally giving to support mission. This is not enough as there are so many places where no local churches have yet been planted, where people can have the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. In order to get our churches excited and to move a step forward in our commitment to mission and church planting, I have offered to host the SOMA International Conference in Kota Kinabalu where, after a short conference, teams of mostly lay people will be sent out to minister to churches - preaching, witnessing, praying for the sick and encouraging believers.
SOMA means "Sharing Of Ministries Abroad", where many active lay people from lively Anglican churches will be coming from different parts of the world, and they would even pay their own way to share in ministry to stir up those local churches where the SOMA Conferences are held. This is a great opportunity for our Diocese and for participating
churches in our Province to get our lay people to be sent out alongside other lay people from diverse parts of the world to do mission. I encourage as many of our lay people as possible to step out in faith and join this exciting conference that can change your life and your outlook on church and mission."
THE BISHOP OF SABAH The Right Reverend Datuk Albert Vun Cheong Fui
Consecration of Assistant Bishop~~~~14 Aug 2009
Archdeacon Melter Tais will be consecrated as Assistant Bishop at All Saints' Cathedral.
He will be the first Kadazan Bishop of our Diocese.
You are invited to witness this historical event for Sabah Interior Mission Work.
SOMA (Sharing Of Ministries Abroad)
SOMA is an Anglican based mission agency, which began after a prophetic vision in 1978
"..to care for the nervous system of the Body of Christ."
History of SOMA
SOMA, Sharing of Ministries Abroad, developed out of the charismatic renewal which spread through, depending on who you read throughout the world to individuals and small groups in non-traditional church activities, or swept through the majority of the mainline churches beginning in the 1960's.
In July 1978 the first International Anglican Conference on Spiritual Renewal was held in England during which a great celebration was held in Canterbury Cathedral. God spoke a prophetic word to the three hundred gathered there to the effect that they were to Let my Holy Spirit mind the nervous system of the Body of Christ.
In 1979, an international group, met in England, with the late Archbishop of Cape Town, The Most Rev'd Bill Burnett as president, was formed to discern how this call could be put into action. The Rev'd Michael Harper took on the task of making this happen, under the covering of an international eldership. The mandate was discerned to be the renewal of the Anglican Church worldwide, with the understanding that this was to involve a ministry of encouragement and renewal to other denominations as well. Given the worldwide nature of God's Church this of course means with other cultures.
SOMA' first event was the 1981 gathering, in Singapore, of 160 Anglican leaders in renewal - bishops, clergy and lay people. In 1983 a second conference was held in Limuru, Kenya, for African leaders. Anglicans and Lutherans shared the leadership.
In 1984 a conference was held at Suva in Fiji for leaders in the Pacific region. Delegates were from Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist/Uniting, Presbyterian and Congregational churches.
After each of these conferences teams made up of delegates from outside the regions ministered within the regions for two to three weeks.
In 1985 SOMA USA was established and in February of 1986 SOMA Canada came into being with The Rev'd. Bill Ferguson as National Director. SOMA Australia began life in December of 1986 as a Pacific region organization and in 1992, with the expected advent of SOMA New Zealand became a national group. SOMA Ireland was established in 1991 and SOMA New Zealand came on the scene in 1994 followed by SOMA South African in 1996. SOMA Singapore was formed in 1999, SOMA~Ugnada in 2003 and SOMA Nigeria in 2005.
To Reach the soma web site click here www.somacanada.ca/
"SOMA is a mission agency called by God to serve the Anglican Communion and the worldwide Church:
- by building up and equipping the Body of Jesus Christ;
- through (by using) the renewing power of the Holy Spirit;
- principally through short-term, cross-cultural missions;
for the transformation of individuals, churches and communities
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, transformation provides for the
- renewal of churches (individuals and communities) and~
- leadership training (knowledge & experience)
Where, transformation is described as the process of going from a self centered to a God centered focus
- Jesus Christ is the Lord, Redeemer and Saviour of the world.
- The Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
- Intercessory prayer is essential for releasing God’s power.
- Baptism in the Holy Spirit renews, heals and transforms lives and churches.
- The Holy Spirit enables repentance and growth in holiness.
- Renewal leads to reconciliation, care and unity in the body.
- Renewal empowers the Church for evangelism and mission.
- Renewal seeks the transformation of communities as a sign of the coming Kingdom of God.
- Giving and receiving across cultures is part of God’s precious resource in renewal and mission.
- Effective ministry flows from a servant heart and through loving relationships.
Dear Prayer Partners,
Lent is a time to reflect on how we are doing in light of Isaiah 58. It is not suppose to be a time to just give up sugar, tea or some insignificant thing, but it is a time to remember we are in a war, a war that Jesus won through the cross and resurrection. A war against sin the world and the devil and their combined efforts to squash the life of God Almighty out of humankind. God calls us to be like him as he stated his battle plan after walking out of the wilderness and picking up the scroll at his “home parish” and read from Isaiah 61: 1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the
LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. 4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. I believe Lent is a time to follow in the steps of Jesus and yes we are to pray and fast as we do that.
On Mondays my dog Nugget and I take a 1/2 skidoo ride to our tent. We take time in the quiet to listen to God and seek strength and direction for the week ahead. She loves when I throw sticks for her to fetch and cook a meal to share. It is great to read scriptures and some of Selwyn Hughes’ insights. On Monday past the sunset was glorious and then at 9pm as I came out of the tent to warm up my skidoo the northern lights were right over me. To God Be The Glory
On Valentines Day Rita’s day care had a dinner and silent auction at the Legion. The money raised will help with operation costs. Presently the day care is operating out of Sir Alexander Mackenzie elementary school. A new school is under construction so a number of day cares are raising funds to build a new centre. In the picture with Rita and I is Julie our son Matthew’s girl friend. She is up with us for a month. Please pray for Matthew who is in Dalhousie medical school. Please pray that he will do well on his exams.
We have a new vestry (church board) in Tuktoyaktuk. For years all the responsibility of this mission has rested upon Helen Gruben (2nd from right) These other people have now allow her to step back as they take on the responsibility for the mission and getting the church up and walking again. Helen will lead the Sunday services and we will train others to join her in that part of ministry. We are very excited with what is beginning to happen in Tuk. So please pray for them that they will work well tighter and as they grow pray that others will join them for Sunday services.
Aklavik is also in need of a full time Anglican minister. A good crowd of faithful Christian gather for Sunday services and they have anorganized team of people who are leading. The big need in Aklavik along with needing pastor is they need funds to build a bathroom in their church. Trucks deliver water and take away sewer so it isn’t a cheap southern project to build on a bathroom. A large water take and heated holding tank are required and although we are experiencing extreme global warming it isn’t that warm yet. If any one knows a philanthropist who is looking for a worthy project Aklavik would be perfect. The Gwitch’in band gave the church a brand new 5 bed room house...that’s how eager they are that they receive an Anglican Minister.
Many Canadian towns love winter sports and host winter carnivals we in the Delta are no different. We call them Jamborees and
due to our lack of light and cold temperatures we wait till March/April. Each town takes a weekend. Inuvik’s Muskrat Jamboree is slotted for Palm Sunday weekend. Our church sets up a tent and sells chili soup hot chocolate burgers and more.
Simon Jozzy pictured to the left and cooking burgers is originally from Zimbabwe. After moving to Canada an old friend wrote Simon to ask for help to build a church. Simon didn’t know what to do and after three letter he approached Rev. Geoff Dixon his minister. Geoff talked to vestry and since that time the Church of the Ascension has been helping the United Baptist church in Gudyana, Zimbabwe build their church. Below Simon gives one of our gifts and to the left the pastor points to show us what our gifts have accomplished.
In March Simon is joining a team of dentists to go on a medical mission to South Africa. Following the mission Simon will go back to Zimbabwe and bring another small donation to help our UNC family in their project. Please pray for Simon & team.
Thank you for remembering us and please continue to ask God to send us some clergy to serve our people.
God Bless You and Happy Easter.
David W. Parsons
Parsons Newsletter July 2008
We have a northern magazine that’s called “Up Here”. It reminds me of this unique place where God has placed us to be living on top of the world, with its extreme variations of light and dark cold and heat. Last week we even made the national news of being the hottest place in Canada. Some people are shocked when they come up during our summer to experience the hot arctic. They can understand that we have cold winters but they haven’t really contemplated that it really heats up for June and July. Usually the heat begins mid-April –May but this year we like most have experienced a cool spring so the transition from +10C to +29C was a bit too hot for us but thought we weren’t sleeping much we were not complaining either.
Rita works at SAMS school at the Inuvik Childhood Development Centre and as in the picture it isn’t far from the church and our home is beside the church. This year Rita had a graduation for her kids that are moving on to kindergarden. Their daycare take babies on up to 4year old and even some afterschool school agers
Nugget and I have taken the past two Monday’s off and headed out in canoe to Caribou Creek and then down to Caribou Lake we had a great day trolling for fish but didn’t get a bite so stopped for a BBQ. Had a slight engine problem so paddled back (it took
3 hours) and then back home. Then this past Monday Nugget and I went out again and what a day, hot just a slight breeze and so we went up the creek to have a look as you can see it was equally beautiful. We may live in a harsh climate but days like this make it worth the experience and do I ever love being able to get out away from town and people for a change and just vegetate & dip the line. The bonus was hungry fish.
Well let me fill you in a little on this past year. I had been wanting clergy from the Eastern Arctic to come to the west for many years and so this year it became a reality. One week In September we had Bishop Andrew and the Diocesan Executive in Inuvik for their meetings.
Bishop Andrew brought his squeeze box and helped lead worship a couple of evenings and although we didn’t get very many people ot to our evening praise and worship it was a great time of fellowship.
Sunrise in September December’s Christmas Lights Northern Lights In February
In October I got out with some people to go ice fishing The Ice was only a foot thick but by the time Davey & Sarah arrived for Christmas it was much thicker but as you can see the 3/4 of a hour chiseling was well worth it.
It was great having the whole family here for Christmas 2008. Matthew is a med student at Dalhousie. Dustin is teaching at Sams school here in Inuvik and is planning to go back to universtiy at St Mary's next year. He is a political science grad from Dalhousie and Davey and Sarah are both working in NB. Sarah is teaching in Hampton and Davey is an Engineer in Saint John
In the Fall Dustin and I put up this tent at the lake where we go duck hunting. It has 2x4 walls and a good solid floor and of course a good wood stove. There’s a lake behind us and in front both excellent for ducks. Mainly I use this tent for my spiritual retreat on Mondays which is my day off.
A friend of mine has this tent frame down at Noal Lake I've gone with him a few times and although it is cold it is so very peaceful and beautiful
Nugget loves a good fire but prefers that we don’t burn all the sticks as she wants us to throw a few for her to retreave. And yes she loves hunting and can’t wait to jump into the water to go after a duck. Sometimes she can’t control herself as was the case last week when we were paddling back on Caribou creek. We came around a bend and there were two duck swimming along so Nugget just leaped in and was gaining on them until they flew away
In February Bishop Andrew was back in the Mackenzie Delta Deanery. We traveled to Ft. McPherson, Tuktoyuktuk, Sachs Harbour on Banks Island (my outstation)
St. Matthew’s Ft. McPherson where Rev. Sue Oliver is the Priest in Charge. We had an afternoon tea at the Senior’s home
St John’s Tuktoyuktuk Their little log church is very old and in very poor shape so while in Tuk we met in theSenior’s home for our service.
Helen Gruben (below) has been a faithful servant who holds services when there are no clergy in Tuk to do so.
The delta has many tributaries of the Mackenzie river and ice roads are built to travel to Aklavik and Tuk. Once the delta rivers meet the Beaufort Sea it is no longer a fresh water ice road but the Arctic Ocean. Sometimes it’s a little freaky to think about where we are but the only real concern is not to hit a pressure ridge as that can be hard on the shocks not to mention the jolt to the body.
St. Clements in Sachs Harbour looks south over the Arctic Ocean. While in Sachs we did a lot of home visits. We got to see a large herd of Muskox and at one home Bishop Andrew got to dig into some “country food” raw caribou and beluga muktuk. On Sunday we met at the school gym for our service. Sachs
Aboriginal and Canada Day 2008
A couple of weeks ago it was Aboriginal Day and so we had a great time of listening to music and feasting over at Chief Jim Koe Park in front of SAMS school. It was hot and some of the elders pulled away from the crowd for a game of 45s. It was an excellent day. Around 6:30 all stopped so everyone could go home to play TV BINGO and then about 9pm it was all back on the go and the dance that followed continued until 1:00 am. Then on Canada Day we gathered at the park and down at the river to celebrate Canada’s birthday. At the river there was BBQ fish and games for t he kids. Our son Matthew (centre left) and two friends came first in a triathlon of swimming biking and running. We all had an
excellent day but by the time Rita and Nugget started to head for home we were ready to have a break from the sun.
Rita and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We have been thinking of doing many things for our holiday this year from going to South Africa for a SOMA conference & mission to driving out and doing a Western Canadian tour. What we’ve decided is to go to our Nephew’s wedding in Regina for August 30th and then go on an adventure holiday in Costa Rica. Sept 5-24th. So please pray for us. We got our first shots today and we are really excited to be doing this. After our marriage in 1978 we spent nine months traveling in a VW van through Europe and N. Africa. We thought gas was expensive then !!
God Bless you all and thank you for your prayers.