Beatrice Klingensmith, USA — Looking Back
Dear Prayer Partners, We have come to the middle of the year already. I praise the Lord for His guidance thus far and want to share some things with you. I continue to pray and encourage by writing to several missionaries in the Amazon Basin who are serving the Lord. Their Bible Schools for children and young people are well attended with many receiving Christ as Lord and Savior. Churches are being built as God works in hearts. Seminaries are having to add on so as to receive more students. God is blessing. Praise His Name. Dick Parker was honored on his 86th birthday in June with his new wife, Janet, at his side. They will return to the States and live in Florida. I sent a letter of thanks to be included with others which is the following. There were three men of God who influenced my fifty years in Brazil a little bit more than others and Dick Parkers was the last one. “My life started in a western Pennsylvania Christian home where my parents raised their three children on a farm. We had our pew in a little Baptist church where I was saved and baptized at an early age. My Bible School teacher awakened my interest in missions. I chose Bob Jones University to prepare myself to serve the Lord. A former graduate visited us to find teachers for his school in Pensacola, Florida. I signed up to teach the fall after graduation. I also taught Bible Schools in the New England states in the summer. But I was in Pensacola for the fall to teach the 20 fourth graders. With two years of experience and training of Beka Horton, I resigned and joined a mission. I was able to raise support and arrived in La Paz, Bolivia, April 17, 1961. After studying Spanish in Cochabamba, I ended up in Padilha with two women responsible for a church. After two years in service of the King, I believed God would have me resign and join another mission. The new mission accepted me but wanted me to have a companion which I had, but while I was home raising funds for us, she introduced her husband to me who didn’t want to leave his mission so I was without a companion. Anyway, a girl applied to the mission but wanted to go to Brazil and so the mission wanted me to go, too. To cut a long story short, I went without really wanting to learn another language. The Spanish helped me to learn Portuguese quickly as they are both in the same range. In the end, I fell in love with the Brazilians and have a Spanish accent and spent 50 years with them. We arrived in Sao Paulo by train on May 29, 1965 as we went by way of Bolivia to pick up my trunks which the airline wouldn’t take for me so we had a long ride by train. My telegram to the Rich Denham family arrived after we did. They became very good friends and helped us find a residence and get settled. Our friendship continues. He has now gone home to glory. His son carries on the publishing company in Sao Jose dos Campos. When the publishing was located in Atibaia, I worked with them a few years. It was in 1980 that I moved to Atibaia where Word of Life Fellowship had their headquarters and a Bible Seminary. The publishing company bought a new printer which needed air conditioning. My boss, Rich Denham, made a deal with Harold Reimer, the leader of Word of Life and I started working at Word of Life doing the typing of their magazine. I was the only one who had air conditioning. At first, I wrapped up in a blanket but got accustomed to not use it. I enjoyed working with Harold Reimer and learned a lot from this man of God. Now his son, John, is head of Word of Life Brazil. While there, I met Dick and Harriet Parker who went to Atibaia to learn how to manage a training school in the north for Word of Life. Dick was born and raised in Wisconsin on a dairy farm and met his wife, Harriet, at Prairie Bible Institute In Alberta, Canada. They worked in northern Brazil with the Wycliffe Bible Translators for 15 years. He returned to the States for 10 years helping his Dad on the farm and started a Bible church in Ladysmith but had the dream of returning to Brazil to start a training institute. That’s when I met them at Word of Life. They became my neighbors and our histories built a friendship. They talked about the school all the time and invited me to help them start it. So in 1992, I moved to Benevides, Para, at the mouth of the Amazon River. What a family I had become a part of. I praise the Lord for the privilege of working with the Parker family. Their two sons with their wives came plus a Brazilian couple and myself making a total of 8. Harriet died of cancer and we started without her with 8 students. Each year, we got more students and staff. I got the library going and visited the public schools. Gary was made the director. Dick remarried and went up the river to start a boat ministry. In 2002, Rick and Kim moved to Itacoatiara to help his Dad with his two boys. Gary and Sandy had two more children and the school continued to grow and so did the library. I started having Bible classes in the schools in 1993. In 1998, Gary asked me to start a Christian School with the help of Denice Deganhardt. That was a real difficult task but we did it and opened the school in 1999 with 3 classes and 30 students. Now we have some 400 students with all 12 grades and kindergarten. In 2002, Rick and Kim moved to Itacoatiara with their two boys to help his Dad and Cleide. I sure did miss them but there was a need there. They’ve been there 25 years now and have a floating seminary with graduates. They have more on their staff than we have in Benevide. Their boys have gone to Moody and have their families. Greg married a girl from the river and now have two children. They work on the river with his dad. Matt married a girl from Ecuador and is working for HCJB doing a great work on radio in Spanish and Portuguese. They have a boy. Now its down to 3 generations working there. Four generations working together! What an example you set for many people to follow. Parabens Dick Parker. May God bless you and Janet in these years to come. Thank you for inviting me to share this ministry with you and your family. It has been a joy and I praise God for you. You have been a real live missionary. May God continue to bless and use you for His honor and glory. Thanks for letting me have a part. Remember a real live missionary is God’s man or woman doing God’s work in God’s way for God’s honor and glory. You are a real live missionary. Continue to live for Him along side of Janet. May God bless you richly. You are loved by many in the States and in Brazil. God bless you!” Proverbs 3:5-6 Love in Christ, Bea P.S. Hope you enjoyed this letter. Do write to me and share your thoughts with me so I can pray for you.