Tuesday, 06 October 2015 14:03

Vi Zaner, Broker with Parker Development Company

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RRJ:  Has Jesus been a part of your life as long as you can remember?


Yes, I was taught in Sunday School and by my parents who Jesus is and what He did.  I was taught that He is the son of God, born to the Virgin Mary, lived on Earth as a perfect man, died on the cross and rose from the dead after three days, and ascended into heaven where He lives now.  I learned all about the miracles He performed and the parables He told.  I have believed that all of my life.

RRJ:  So you’ve known about Jesus for a long time, but when did you come to know Jesus and what would you say is different?  


Well, after my child was born, I began listening to Way FM, a Christian radio station.  I did this because my child was getting older and starting to say words, so I didn’t want her to listen to the songs on secular radio.  As I listened I heard them talking about inviting Christ into your heart, and the prayer that you were supposed to pray to do that.  They would say if you don’t believe in Jesus, then you need to pray this prayer. But I did believe in Jesus, so I really didn’t pay much attention to it until one of them said the prayer on the air.  And the words, “Lord, I am a sinner,” really hit me.  As I closely listened to the prayer, I began to really understand that even though I did believe in Jesus and who He was, I was still a sinner and I needed to pray this prayer.  So I did, right there driving down I-85 in my brown Chevy Blazer.  And that is when the hunger hit.  I wanted to learn more.  I began listening to the programs on Faith Radio and reading devotionals.  And the more I read and listened, the more I wanted to know. 


RRJ:   You had already been attending church for years before you came to know Jesus personally.  How did that encounter change the way you approached going to church?


Yes, I have been going to church from the time I was born.  My parents took me to church as a child, and I was active in my youth group as a teenager.  I grew up in the Episcopal Church, which is a very ceremonial, high liturgy type worship service.  I knew that service like the back of my hand.  I could recite the Nicene Creed, and all of the prayers and songs with the best of them.  I had been baptized as an infant and confirmed as a 12 year old just like I was supposed to be.  But I was just going through the motions, so to speak.  

After my encounter with Jesus, that service took on a whole new meaning.  I felt God’s presence in me like I had never felt it before.  It was the first time I actually experienced worship in church.  We are now members of Christchurch here in Montgomery, which is a part of the fairly new North American Anglican Church.  We began to learn about the Word of God and how it is a truly living Word and applies to our lives right now in the present times, even though it was written thousands of years ago. These past five years at Christchurch, we have made some great new friends and I thank God all the time for guiding us there.


RRJ:  You are the Broker for Parker Development Company.  You oversee the Tax Credit Apartments your company builds and manages here in the River Region.  How does your faith infuse your work?


My father, John Parker, started Parker Development Company over 33 years ago and built it over the years to be the company it is now.  I am the Broker for Parker Development Company, but I have co-workers who really do the actual “overseeing” of the Apartments.  Because they are Tax Credit Apartments and there are multiple investors and governmental regulations involved, it takes all of us working together as a team to make it work.  Luckily, all of my co-workers are followers of Jesus Christ.   We all have different God-given gifts that make this team work.  Our goal is to provide housing for our tenants that is well managed and well maintained for a fair price. Our faith is infused in our day to day life here at Parker Development Company.  Periodically my father brings and shares copies of devotionals that he reads with my mom in the mornings to encourage us.  My co-worker, Kathy Estrada, always has Faith Radio playing in her office.  One of our onsite managers, Debra Tubbs, prays over the Apartments she manages daily.  We have one tenant who prays with us when he comes in to pay his rent.  We have another tenant who sends encouraging spiritual messages with her rent.  Those are just a few examples of things you see daily at Parker Development Company.


RRJ:  I know you encounter many challenges that could leave you angry and bitter as you help meet the need for low income housing.  What are some tools of the Christian faith that keep you focused on loving God and loving others?


Yes, in property management, as with any business, there are challenges.  My father likes to refer to them as “opportunities”!  We deal with so many different individuals and entities, and each have their own “opportunities” at times.  And some of them can get very emotional and frustrating.  We have learned that several things help us to get through difficult times and situations.  I lean heavily on prayer and Scripture to keep me grounded, and I also turn to my co-workers and fellow Christians for their support.  We work through problems together as a team and as the Body of Christ. 


RRJ:  Finally, so many people find it difficult to live out their faith beyond the church walls.  What words of encouragement would you offer our Journey readers who are struggling in that area?


It is difficult in our society to live out our faith beyond the church walls.  There are laws and government regulations that restrict us in almost everything we do outside of the church.  We are viewed by the public as self righteous and judgemental.  We are called as Christians to live our faith on the outside at all times.  Not just in the church building.  I think the most efficient way we can do that is to treat everyone we come in contact with, whether at church, work, or even the grocery store, with the love of Christ.  Ask Him daily to give you His eyes and His heart to see others as He sees them.  It is also important to let people know that we Christians are far from perfect.  Share with others your story... how Jesus loves you even though you are far from perfect. 

I am a volunteer for Childhood Evangelism Fellowship, which is an organization that has programs doing exactly that for children right here in our community.  I love being able to share the “Good News” with the children at Wilson Elementary every week!  I encourage all of you to go out and get involved with any of the many ministries in our area.  It will strengthen your faith and transform your eyes and heart to be more like Christ’s.


Vi Zaner is married to Tony and they have one daughter, Maggie.



Last modified on Tuesday, 09 February 2016 08:54
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