Saturday, August 22, 2009

From Parkers August 20, 2009

From Parkers August 20, 2009

Dear Friends,

We have really settled in now and we are well on our way with a bit of a schedule. Our duties start as soon as we wake up. Sometimes we have people knocking on our door and those duties start before we are ready but that is just something we are getting use to being on a campus. Especially right now we seem to be a little busier with James and Sarah gone. They will not be back until mid September. I told Cory and Brichelle that they are not allowed to climb any Mango trees until they get back since there would be no one to fix them up if they fell and got hurt. JK! I am finding that it takes a lot of energy to manage a home here. I guess in the states I was busy too but it is so different. I wake up to making sure the door is unlocked for the cook to get in. (He gets here by 7) I have to make sure Brichelle gets up by at least 6:30 to feed the horses before the guard takes them out to graze for the day. Then breakfast and dishes have to be done. By then I always have someone knocking on the door either to sell me some food or ready to work doing laundry. Also there are volunteers coming in for this reason and that. Mornings seem to be very busy. The lady that has helped me with our laundry since we have been here just lost her baby to malaria this week. I was so sad for her. She had 7 children and last year her 6 y/o died and now this one. She is trying to feed 5 others all on her own. Unfortunately this is very common here. The lady Naomi I have mentioned before is going to have to be a name you remember like part of our family. I love her so much already. Without a doubt God sent her to us. All of us love her but I spend the most time with her. She is so good at getting me out to meet people. As I have said before she knows every language here and is always interpreting for me. We go to the market together every Monday. This last Monday we were walking to the market and crossed paths with another lady she knew that was Arabic. A young girl but very tall and slender. When we stopped to say hello I noticed a very distraught look upon her face as Naomi was talking to her. I found out that her 6 month old daughter is very weak and tiny due to the fact that this woman is having problems nursing her baby. She has been to Bere hospital but they had to do surgery on her breasts and now she is only able to feed her baby on one side and even that is very painful for the mother. My wheels are always turning trying to think of ways to help people and when I heard this I just knew the answer. A couple weeks ago Jamie and I were in Kalo a town about 30 min from Bere. While there we were able to go to a store that had a few items that we thought were recognizable. After getting home we noticed the item that we thought we got lucky to find was not Nestle strawberry milk mix but baby formula. We were disappointed at the time but we knew with all the children everywhere we would find someone that could use it. God is so good! I have been able to see Him so clearly here in so many situations. Obviously this was the lady that I was to help. Everything worked out perfectly in Gods amazing timing. I knew I had the formula but I had no bottle and they just don’t seem to have things like that here. While in the market God showed me a bottle to buy. I couldn’t believe it. I really didn’t know if the child would take the bottle or not and I showed how the mother should give it to the baby holding it close to her body. The child drank a whole large bottle and was ready for more. This may seem like such a simple thing and it really is. But the people here just can’t seem to see simple solutions like this. It was really great to be used by God to help another mother in need. She was so very grateful and happy. Something else happened recently with us that I believe worth mentioning. Last Saturday night we were preparing our passports and extra pictures for Stefan, another volunteer, to take to the capital to get our visa extended for a year. He was going to be leaving Sunday morning. Everyone had two pictures except for me, I only had one. I thought one was all I was going to need but I was told there was a possibility that two would be needed. Well here it is Saturday night and people don’t get to the capital all the time because it is 6 hours away and also the rainy season. I thought that the only other picture I had was one on my international drivers license and it matched the other picture I had available. Jamie and I tore this house upside down that night trying to find it. It was to the point of frustration and just being overly tired. Jamie still had malaria so he was really feeling bad. We had both prayed about it and thought that there just wasn’t anywhere else to look so we decided to give it to God. If anyone knows me would know that things like this bug me and I would rather stay up all night looking for it. But I have been reading the book Passionate Prayer by Brenda Walsh and decided to put it in Gods’ hands and just not worry about it any further. I actually had peace and just told God that I give it to Him and if He wants us to find it He would have to show us. So we went off to bed. As soon as we woke up, in silence, the first thing Jamie and I did in the morning was look for the license. I checked the one place I could think of where there were papers, my bible. No, it was not there. Jamie said he was led to Brichelle’s room. He looked on the floor almost behind her door and there it was. Praise the Lord! That was such a great lesson for me. I learned to give it all to Him. God is taking care of us with all the big things and what is amazing to me even more are the little things. God is working miracles in all of our lives. We just have to look for them and give God the glory.

From the Parkers August 13,2009

From the Parkers August 13,2009

Dear Friends,

We just wanted to send a note and let you all know what has been going on here in Bere. We are busier than ever. There never seems to be enough hrs in the day to get things done. Jamie is now working on his 2nd vehicle. The hospital van is running now with a new motor. The next challenge has been the 2002 Toyota truck (that was rolled a few years ago) the motor had to be rebuilt. Good thing there is another volunteer (David) that is helping out with the vehicles a lot esp. since Jamie is now experiencing malaria for the first time. Fun! Fun! But oh no! This is not the first person to get it. Brichelle just got over it a week ago and it really hit her hard. This is the peak of the rainy season which means more mosquitoes which means more malaria. Please pray for our health it has been a challenge for us.
Cory has had a lot going on in his life. He was able to experience his first surgery, which was a man that was on a motorcycle that got hit by a car. The man was paralyzed with two broken legs. One leg was really torn open. It was pretty bad so Dr. Appel wanted pictures taken and that is where Cory came in. He now says that he really wants to be a Doctor. Cory also saved a boys’ life from drowning in the river. The kids and some adults were going to go swimming and before the adults got there the children all went in. Well the water was higher than usual and a small boy went too far. All the kids were yelling for Cory to help for he was the oldest and the only one who knew how to swim. The young boy had already gone under. God really had His hand in helping Cory to remember the rules when someone is drowning and he pushed the boy with all his might over and over to safety. But before they were both safe Cory experienced the boy pulling him down with him. It was very traumatic for Cory but God was there and all is well.
Brichelle has had an adventure as well. Last Friday afternoon she went on a horseback ride with another volunteer here (Michelle, RN- 21 y/o). After they left I was outside getting the laundry off the line and all of a sudden I saw both horses flying by without any riders. Of course I freaked out! All the kids that Cory was playing with (about 10 of them) helped get the horses back in the compound and they also ran around looking for Brichelle. They all knew I was upset. Fortunately Dr. Appel was driving the van helping some people move into their new home and saw Brichelle running out in the field. He brought Brichelle and Michelle back in the van but the van went straight over to the hospital, someone was hurt. When the children told me to go to the hospital my heart dropped and I just prayed. That walk was so lonely. I was afraid of what I was going to see. I walked around the van between all the people and there was Brichelle standing next to Dr. Appel while people carried Michelle out of the van to the hospital. I hugged her and didn’t let go. We both began crying. Michelle ended up getting a head concussion and she stayed with us for 3 days and we took care of her. One lesson was that Brichelle is never to get on the horse again without her horse helmet on. Both of the kids want me to tell everyone that we invested in a young monkey for the weekend. We thought we wanted a monkey for a pet. It was a good experience to get out of the way in the beginning of our journey. We kept the monkey in our breezeway. The children here can be very cruel and would pick on it daily which would upset it then the monkey would scream at them. Having the extra attention around our home is something we have learned you want to avoid. The monkey would otherwise be very gentle and purr almost like a cat. The torment the children were giving was too much so we took the monkey for a drive in the country and let it go free. Things are now a lot more peaceful around here. My new job here is to get the new pediatric ward ready for patients. There is an overflow at the hospital of patients and they need the room. “This is their slow time” huh! I will be creatively painting cute things on the walls and sewing privacy curtains. It seems like such a simple task but nothing is simple here. There is one roller with a brush and limited paint and colors of paint. But I have already learned that we work with what we have and God will be with you. I can’t believe the roller has lasted. I have about 70 feet of wall to paint and it is all raw cement so I have to go over it 3 times. “God is good”! As you all can tell life is an adventure here. It can be scary at times but we know God has sent us here and He will be with us. I can’t tell you all enough how much we miss you. The distance is really setting in. Continue to pray for us. A volunteer took some of our pictures back to the states and will be putting them on our blog soon, hopefully. Watch for them.
Love, The Parkers

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Letter from Tammy & Jamie

We just wanted to let everyone know that we are safe adn having new adventures every day.

Jamie has been extremely busy working on campus doing may things. He has already put in a new motor in the hospital van, fixed many plumbing issues, put power in the garage with 110 power to be able to work with his tools, and made a couple of new beds. His list is really never-ending.

Cory and Brichelle are making many new friends. Cory has been playing basketball every day. Brichelle has a new name, Boochelle, given her by the native children. She never misses a day with the horses.

Tammy is doing all she can to keep up with learning how to cook with such a limited variety of food, and she is cleaning all the time. She is also working with the children and helps where she can with whomever is in need.

Many of our stories will be coming soon. There are so many already.

From Tammy and Jamie Parker

Monday, August 3, 2009

News from the Parkers

Hello. I am Margaret and I was with the Parkers for a few weeks in Bere. I returned to Chicago a week ago, but have been ill (unlike the Parkers!) since then. I have photos and a letter from Tammy that I need to enter into the blog, and I will do so as soon as I can.

In the mean time, I wanted to write a short note to tell everyone that they are well and getting settled into new (and very different) lives.

Though the adjustment continues to be challenging, everyone is busy, healthy and safe. Cory and Brichelle are exploring and making crowds of new friends. Jamie and Tammy are unbelievably busy, yet their broad smiles brighten everyone they see. In a very short time, they have brought so much to the Hospital and the community.

I promise more info and lots of photos very soon and apologize for the delay.


View Larger Map