By Rob Parker
Here is a clip from 2014 of Charlie doing what he loved most - Praying.
The first time I met Charlie was in August 2006. We were both freshmen at the Forerunner School of Ministry (later called The International House of Prayer University). It was orientation week, and many of the activities were designed for students to meet one another and get acquainted. Charlie caught my attention, and I approached him, introduced myself, and said something to the effect of, “I’m looking forward to getting to know you and running with you in these next couple of years.” I think Charlie was a little surprised by how direct I was, but over the next few weeks, we began to get to know one another. I don't remember exactly how it happened, but within a matter of weeks, Charlie and I were hitting it off. Nearly every day after the prayer room and before class, we would have conversations about the Lord, prayer, class content, and our journeys with Jesus. Not long after, we began to talk about family, parenting, and the challenge of raising children to love Jesus well. I don't know if Charlie and I hit it off so well because of a common passion for Jesus or the fact that we were both older freshmen beyond the normal college student years. Either way, I'm glad the Lord connected us. Back in those early days of Forerunner School of Ministry, they often had classes at night, 7- 10 PM. I offered to come by and pick up Charlie and carpool with him. This way, his wife Megan, who was pregnant at the time, would be at home with the vehicle. This enabled Charlie and I to talk on the ride to class (and often after class). And as we pulled up to their apartment, we would stay and talk for several minutes every night. A few things that stick in my mind are still so clear. I was taken aback by Charlie's sincere passion for Jesus and a deep desire to engage the Lord in prayer. Charlie had a clarity, conviction, and real knowing of the Lord that compelled him to pray at length effortlessly. We've all known people who were passionate about the Lord, but Charlie was a little different. His relationship was deep, internal, not immature or overly excited, but a very steady anchor that gave his life purpose and focus. I was surprised at Charlie's depth of the word but also the faith he had to believe it and to act on it. He was a man of the Word, loved prayer, and was sincerely devoted to Jesus, and it showed. It was evident by the way he conducted himself, spoke to his wife and children, and the way that he talked about Jesus. Many of our conversations were about Charlie's desire to be in full-time ministry. He cared about people, and he wanted to make an impact. He loved prayer and the House of Prayer, and he wanted to help build it. There were seasons that Charlie and his family were able to do this for periods of time, but most of Charlie's ministry was as a schoolteacher. I was always amazed at the way that he would talk about his role as a teacher, his relationship with students, and the influence and the impact that he always tried to make on them. He was very focused on the gospel and wanted to share Jesus as much as it was possible. Some people refer to their job as their ministry and they might kind of do that, but Charlie, it was a real deal, he did it, his classroom was his place of impact. I was always encouraged that after Charlie had been a teacher for some years, summer break would roll around and I would see him in the prayer room early in the morning. This was a
pattern, spring break summers and the last few years it was often every morning before work. With the workload that he had, the large family that needed his time and attention and all that was pulling on Charlie, I was just stunned that he would still find time to get up at 6:00 AM and make his way to a corporate prayer meeting. This tells you a little bit about how much Charlie cared about prayer, his relationship with Jesus, and being a godly man. Charlie was a good man, a faithful servant, a devoted husband, and an excellent father. His smile was infectious, his joy was contagious. I'm happy to say that Charlie was my friend. - Rob Parker
Rob felt a call to full-time ministry and answered that call by raising a support team in 2010. In addition to founding and running Partnership Development, Rob is the Director of Partnership Development for the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO. Rob has trained over 2000 missionaries in Kansas City and around the country and has also authored 2 books. Those who have gone through his training have raised a combined 70 million dollars for global missions. He resides in Kansas City with his wife and son (and nearby daughter, son-in-law, and their three children). If you are a missionary or need help learning about raising support for your calling, check out Rob's online training platform: https://www.fullyfundedmissionary.org/