Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September 21, 2009

Dear Friends,
There is always so much to write about sometimes it is hard to choose what should be the topic of the week. I would like to share a little bit about our health situation because we need prayer warriors. Then I will move on to what I believe God taught me this week.
First of all Cory got malaria last week. It started on Monday September 7th the moment Jamie walked out the door to go to NDJ 6 hours away. Cory started on the malaria pills then he couldn't keep them down so he was admitted into the hospital and started on an IV. He was suppose to have three bags of medicine within 24 hours but he was only able to get through 1 1/2 bags due to swelling in his wrist. The nurses were unable to start another IV so he was sent home with a shot and several other medications. One of the medications were suppose to help with his nausea. After three doses of the nausea medication, we figured out that he was having bad side affects from that medicine. This was something that got a little worse after every dose. But by the time Jamie got home Thursday night, Cory was hallucinating, talking none stop, changing subjects at a blink of an eye and on top of all that getting out of bed walking into walls and flushing the toilet for no reason. At this point I was exhausted and scared. The sicknesses are different here and so are the medicines. I cannot talk to anyone at the hospital to be able to get a straight answer. I hated seeing him like that. We finally decided he needed rest so I went over to the hospital and got one of the nurses to come to the house and give Cory an injection (which we had to sit on him to give) of Valium. One hour later he fell asleep and so did I at
3 in the morning.
Now it is Tuesday night at 11:00 p.m. I once again find myself at the hospital. One of the missionary nurses, Michelle, is here with malaria. She started with malaria on Sunday and she has been staying with us ever since. She tried her best to do everything possible that was right to keep herself from coming to the hospital but it was inevitable. She is hooked up to an IV with the medication to fight this malaria that seems to take control of so many lives here. I am sitting in the dark with bugs all over my computer screen. I am covered in clothing from head to toe to keep from getting bit by a mosquito. Believe it or not but I am actually wearing a hoody. It seems like everyone has a horror story to tell about there first time with malaria and Michelle has been no exception. I am determined not to get bit and I would rather be covered and burning up then go through what I have seen. I am the only person now on campus that has not gotten malaria. I praise God everyday.
One day as I was going about my daily duties I saw a woman sitting outside my door. She had been sitting there for about an hour. I asked my Naomi if she would go to her and ask for me what it is she is here for. As we went out together the closer we got I realized the bundle she had in her lap was twins a boy and girl. The twins were only about a month old and very tiny. As the young girl sat on the ground looking up her answer was that she was hungry and so she decided to come and find a "Nasara" (white person). This young girls husband died and so she married his brother who is paralyzed and cannot walk. After listening to her story I came in the house and asked Naomi and the cook Sashae "what do I do"? We decided together that I would put together a bag of food and gave her 500 franks which is about one American dollar but a days work here. I told her she could come back and I would give her jobs to do to help her provide for her family. Since then we have built trust between us. One day after she worked I asked her, as well as my French would allow, how her babies were. Somehow God allowed a conversation to take place between us with my English and broken French and she spoke some local language. I figured out that she felt as though something was wrong with the baby boy. I wasn't sure what so I called over one of the American nurses (Carson) and he checked the baby out. Also unsure of the situation he called over one of the senior nurses. This nurse advised the mother to get the baby tested for malaria. Now it is a Friday afternoon and the lab closes down early so we knew we had to move fast.
Have I mentioned before that nothing here really moves fast? Well after getting others involved with this and insisting she be taken care of the job got done. One of the nurses Michelle can be as stubborn as I can and she was not going to take no for an answer from any of the lab guys no matter what they said to her. The baby was tested and the test was positive. Praise God it was caught in time to do something about it. With a child that small it very easily could have taken the child's life if we waited. I was going to pay for her medical bills because I knew she would not be able to pay. But because others got involved I found out that one of the young volunteers that was here two months ago (Megan) had left money for situations just like this.
It was so exciting to be used like that and just realizing how important it is to really listen to others. I feel like that is what this is all about. PEOPLE! I believe all the volunteers have been sent here to play a part in reaching others. Touching their lives that show them we care and that something is different with us. I believe God has given us all gifts. Gifts that come naturally. Gifts that when we put them all together the job gets done.
I have questioned before why it is that I am here. Someone sent me an e-mail and said just be patient and God will probably bring it to your front door. I believe He has not just with this situation but many others that come daily. Maybe it is not going to be a big bang. Maybe I am here to play my part with my sensitive heart for others. I unfortunately feel like I have to choose everyday who I will help for there are so many. It just kills me to see children starving. The children suffer. They seem to be on their own at such a young age. I see three year olds taking care of their baby sister or brother. How is it that they can do this. Oh how I just can't see God taking too much longer to save His innocent people from all their suffering.
Food for thought!
With Love, Tammy
The Parkers
Jamie, Cory and Brichelle

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11,2009

Subject: Guy Stuff
Dear Friends,

I thought it was about time to share some of the things Jamie has been doing around here and some of his experiences.

Jamie has been busy from day one. Before he could really even think about fixing anything the garage was a mess to the point you just can't think or if you had to find something it would be a chore. So that was first and of course he got Cory involved with that one. He said the bat guano was about an inch or more thick in there. He has created a tool room to store all his tools that the Lord brought here. Those of you who have seen our garage in the states would be very impressed with his new organization skills.

As you all know he is now working on having the 3rd and last vehicle finished. That has probably consumed most of his time but there is still oh so much more then that. He has put plumbing into the staff squat pot bathrooms so they do not have to carry a bucket of water with them anymore. Of course while he was working at that a request came through for a toilet paper holder. So Jamie right away put his creative cap on and made one out of wood and plumbers pipe.

He has plumbed water over to the TB ward. And plumbed a new sink in the new pediatric ward which use to be the old church. He also put a new sink in the garage. He made and welded IV poles on the beds for the hospital.

Jamie has also been approached by the principle of the Bere Adventist School to make desks. It sounds like a great idea but a lot of work since they need 60 of them not including the teachers desk. The desk will seat 3 children each and use about 40 foot of metal per desk to build them. They will have to be welded together the problem is the square tubing to build the desk is really thin wall metal. Which comes to a really nice project for the church or a Sabbath School class to take on. What Jamie needs here is a small mig welder to satisfy this project for our SDA school here. All they have now is just a 2 foot little wall of homemade mud bricks and a little bit of cement on top to sit on. They have no desk to write on and I know your derrière (French word for behind) would be hurting and that would make it hard to concentrate on learning.

Jamie took a trip to Mondue and picked up a lawnmower that was sent in a container from the states. It was a lot of fun to watch the people here gather around to watch the crazy "Nasara" take the grass down with a machine. For them this is cattle food so they do not understand why. But of course the hospital cannot have that so we want to present a more clean and orderly campus. I even joined in the fun and I can honestly say that it is the first time I ever mowed the lawn in a skirt and flip flops. The second time we mowed a few brave nurses wanted a try at it. We were more than happy to share the work on such a hot day. The job got done by three of them and you would think we did them the biggest favor as they came in from their turn all worn out and sweaty.

Another interesting adventure for him was that there was a very large tree that had fallen. Jamie noticed men from around spending hours just hacking away at it trying to get wood for their cooking fires. Jamie decided to show them how it was done and got out his chain saw that he had sent from the Parker garage in the states. He started up the chain saw and started cutting that tree up like butter with a butter knife. He said it was so much fun to see the amazement on their faces. But they did not understand how he was doing it because they couldn't see the chain move so they would try to grab the wood before the next guy would get it. (that is how it is here, survival) Jamie had to stop them and try to show them that he could take their arm right off and that they would have to back up.

Well I hope this gives some insight to what Jamie has been up to. He works very hard every day and never complains. The hard work here is very rewarding. His hope is to help improve the life of everyone around here and make a few things easier. He defiantly has been told what an asset he has been to the hospital and the for the living quarters for the volunteers. We just know God has had a plan for him for some time now. Jamie has just been willing to do whatever has been asked of him. I praise the Lord for putting him in my life every day. I have learned many lessons from his patience and willingness to help others.

Love, Tammy
The Parkers
Jamie, Cory and Brichelle

Sunday, September 6, 2009

From the Parkers August 22,2009

Dear Friends,
August 22,2009
I felt very impressed to share with everyone my experience today for church. A group of us went to a village church about 5 miles away from the Bere’ hospital. As we drove up we were greeted by several children that gave us such a warm welcome, each one had to shake our hand. The day was warm and sunny with a few breezes. The clouds that hovered overhead helped keep things from being too warm. As we followed others to where we would have church we followed a path that had 6-7 foot tall stalks of corn and millet on either side. We came to an open area where there were three grass huts. The dirt area had been neatly swept and there were a few trees to give shade. A man was sitting under a tree that was going to be giving the sermon. As others began to talk with him I just looked around and really took in the atmosphere of Africa. I began to wonder where the actual place was that we would have church. I thought that maybe it would be here under this tree. We were soon brought to an area that had a covering with straw overhead held up by large pieces of wood. Underneath were a few very short benches that were very old. As I followed behind everyone I took my place where I was going to sit. Before I sat on the bench that was about 8” off the ground a sweet young boy took his hand and brushed it clean for me to sit. You could just see the happiness in the faces around that today they had visitors. The attendance consisted of eight American visitors, six other adults and about 30 children all under an area of about 12’x15’. Let me tell you I was greatful for the few cool breezes. The services began and we sang a few songs. Annie, one of the volunteers, gave a children story with felts. She told it in French then it was translated into Nigeria. Next they gave the children a chance to say the memory verse. They have been learning Psalms 23 and today it was the 4th verse. There were two boys that made the effort and received a sticker on their hand. You could just see the proud look on their faces. So far it was like having children Sabbath school and I enjoyed every minute. As I looked around I noticed how happy the children were to be there. I also noticed how dirty each one was with something wrong with all of their clothes. One boy had a shirt that was half ripped down to the middle of his back. A little girl was wearing a dress that was 2 sizes too small. And most of the kids wore only one piece of clothing either a shirt too small or a pair of shorts that were ripped in several places. This is such a primitive place. I cannot believe I am here. My heart goes out to the children. I want to make a difference in some way and I am currently praying that God reveals His plan for me. God brought us out here for a reason. I feel like I have not quite figured out what He has for me to do. As church continued the sermon was given in French and translated in Nigeria then English. I am so glad I got to hear the message in English. The simple idea that God controls everything was a comfort for me being here in this place. But during the sermon we had distractions of a hen and her baby chicks wondering around between the corn and millet in front right behind the speaker. It was a reminder to me of exactly where I am. But listening to the sermon sitting with all of the natives something within me moved. It was almost like what we have read in mission books but I was the missionary what a humbling feeling as my eyes swelled with tears. As I was listening I looked around at the grass huts. There is a real beauty to this place. But unfortunately, this place is not always kind to the people. It makes me sad that so many have no knowledge of hope, the eternal hope with Jesus. Right now the people doing this church are doing what they can to teach the children that there even is a God and that even the food they eat comes from God. The One that brings the rain and brings the sun and without it there is no food. For the people here food is everything. For some it is what consumes their whole day. Working in the fields, or selling in the market, or even just what it takes to cook the food is time consuming, gathering sparse wood for a fire or getting water. I guess what I want everyone to know is that there is a lot of work to do here. Jamie and I are hoping that we can help be a part of this church and help in any way. Annie and Jeremy Smith, the volunteers that have been helping at the village church every week, are going to be leaving in October. We would like to be able to fill their shoes but because we don’t know French that will be a big disability. Please continue to pray for us. We need wisdom to learn the language, and the courage just to be able to do whatever God asks of us.
We also want you to know that we are getting e-mail once or twice a week. We need you to write us for many reasons but one being that we cannot get our e-mail addresses out of the AOL account we had put them in when we left the states. If you write us we will then have your address and can write you back. We are really missing everyone a lot.
My next entry will be about a lot of Jamie’s experiences in Africa. Hope to hear from you all soon!

Love, The Parkers