Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thoughts from Jamie Parker


In Matthew 7:24-27 says “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

Here in Chad they make their bricks out of mud, some are sun dried and others are fired so they are stronger. They build their houses and walls out of these bricks putting more mud in between for the mortar. As you walk through the villages you can see where the rain and the winds have been beating against these walls of the houses and the walls that surround their little compound where their houses dwell. The wind and rain have broken down the sun dried bricks. Some of these walls are half fallen down or they have just abandoned the houses where it is just too far gone. But you can tell when they have a good foundation and bricks that have been fired dried. Their houses and walls stand up nice and straight. Not affected by the rains or the wind beating against them.

The Lord wants to refine us with fire. Maybe putting us through trials, temptation, situations, and places are the refining we need to build a strong foundation. The promises that God gives us is the rebar (metal) in our foundation so that we may stand tall and not falter. We must go through this fire whatever that might be. And when we come out, we will be ready to stand on a strong foundation. Standing straight and tall reflecting Jesus in us. Not reflecting ourselves. Where the trials of this old world will not break us down. Where the winds of strife will not prevail. Where they will know that we are Christians by our love, by our unconditional love.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Dear Friends,

I sit here with alot on my heart and mind for the people. Jamie and I are doing what we can everyday. But there is a few needs that have been coming our way and we want to open it up to all of you to see what God wants us to do.

The Chaplin of the hospital has approached us with several burdens on his heart. He too is trying to help as many as possible but Satan has his hands in everything making life really difficult. There are a few families that are struggling to get their children into school. Sounds just like the states right? Well the difference comes in where the cost is, $32 a year. Jamie and I have helped some but now that school is starting this need is coming up more and more.

Another need here is medical care. There have been so many needs in this department. I could walk outside any day and find several people that need medical care. But so many do not go because of no money. The Chaplin himself has three children at home that are sick. This morning he had to just choose which one would get to go to the hospital. The other two just wait until the money comes in. The unfortunate thing here is that in the meantime if they have malaria it will continue to get stronger. The longer you wait the more aggressive the treatment has to be and so of course the more it will cost. By the way, the one boy that got tested was positive with malaria and it was 3 times higher than what Cory's results were.

The reason I tell you all this is that Jamie and I are doing what we can. We feel like God has sent us here and we want to help when we can. Our hearts say do it all. But the problem comes in with enough money. We just want to open these two needs up to all of you and see what God does. If someone feels they are being impressed to give, praise God! Just send us an e-mail back to let us know what you are being impressed to do and how much. All of our funds are being run through Harrison Seventh-day Adventist Church. You can then send a check to the church and specify to them what it is for. By the information you e-mail to us, we can take care of the specific need from here. Thank you all for your support for the mission we have in Bere. God should bless you all.


The Parkers
Address: Harrison SDA Church
P.O. Box 969
Harrison, TN. 37341

Monday, October 5, 2009

A few photos, much delayed

Sooooo sorry for the delay. Here are a few and more coming soon.
Note: you can click on the images to see them larger. -M

In front of the Parker's house

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cold Water 10/04/09

Dear Friends...


Some of you know that when we moved we sold just about everything we owned. I told Jamie the only thing I really want when I go to Africa is a refrigerator. I just knew how hot things get and I figured if I could just have a cold glass of water then I could make it. After selling everything I didn't think asking for a small refrigerator was too much to ask for. Having a refrigerator here is a real privelage. Well I was very blessed because the first day we got to Africa Sarah took me shopping (if you will) and helped me pick out a refrigerator. I was so happy that I got to get one the first day in town.

As soon as we got to Bere we started chilling water. It was great! We bought these really large water bottles to keep the water cold. As we started making friends we would always offer cold water to everyone and share the wealth. We found these small plastic cups up in one of the closets so we keep them by the door for visitors and then use them over and over and over.

The word got out that the Parkers give out water. Boys come in to play basketball then will walk over to the Parker house for water. If I go out to work the children find me and will ask for water. Cory and Brichelle are asked several times throughout the day to give out water.

After a while Cory and Brichelle started to become annoyed on how much time they are spending giving out water. I told them that at least this is something we can do for the people and it is free. Sometimes it would be very inconvinient but we never turn the children away. I must admit that there have been times that I have thought "oh not now, I'm busy" but I couldn't deny anyone of the simple pleasure of cold water.

The other day Jamie was reading his bible and came across a verse that encouraged us on this mission of giving water. In Matthew 10:42 it says "And if anyone gives even a cup of COLD WATER to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."

Remember this verse when you come across a time that you feel too busy to show someone a gesture of kindness in a small and yet maybe what you may think insignificant way. Nothing goes unnoticed or unrewarded by the King of Kings.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

September 29, 2009

Dear Friends
I can't even believe I am going to write this but it is true, I am falling in love with Africa. The culture shock is going away now and I am beginning to see why people get addicted to a place like this. I am beginning to love this place because of the people. A small gesture of kindness doesn't go unappreciated. And just as I write that I have a glimpse of people in my mind who I have helped one way or another and to see a smile that says a thousand words is rewarding.
This week one of my favorite little boys Tony, had tears in his eyes. He is one I am always looking out for. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he was in pain with a bad headache and a fever which are the top two signs of malaria. Since it was late afternoon, and the lab closes at 3:00, I told him to come back the next day and I would take him to the hospital and have him tested. He lives with eight other children with his grandfather. His grandfather is one at the hospital that has been here forever that started out as janitor and is now doing surgeries. Very sweet guy and I really like him but I also know he struggles financially. The next day Tony did come back and as I headed toward him I found him with another boy that had a finger so messed up it looked like it was broken. I decided to take them both to the hospital. Tony did test positive with malaria so I got him the medicine he needed. The other boy (we call him "By") had an abscess so the grandfather of Tony removed it for him. But he had given By something to relax him then he slept outside on a gurney for an hour and Jamie and I took turns watching him. It was time to take him home so some of the other boys helped me walk him to his home. When we got there his father thanked us like I have never been thanked before. He had us sit down as honored guests. This man is a chef of the village. He has 9 children of his own. He looked at the papers and saw how much it cost. One of the boys interpreted for me and told him it was okay and that we had taken care of everything. He got up and had me wait. He climbed a mango tree and went up so high I thought for sure he was going to fall out. He handed me the most beautiful mangoes I have seen since I have been here. It is not even the season for mangoes. I walked away just knowing the value of the fruit and it just made me cry on the way home. He was giving me the best of what he had. The people here are simple and good. It was such a simple gesture. I loved it and it made it all worth spending the day at the hospital. Every day since, By comes to my house so I can go with him to the hospital to get the dressing changed. It is a very painful process. They have to pack the dressing inside the wound over and over. The poor boy is just pouring with sweat by the time we leave.
Something happens here every day that touches my heart. I feel like I need to toughen up. Today, last minute, my friend Annie invited me to go with her to "my Naomi's house" on a motorcycle. I have never been there because it is so far and I never knew where it was. God had a plan as to why we were to go. We got there and Naomi had another apt. so she wasn't there but her son Sampson was there with a cut foot. He stepped on a piece of glass and it was quite bad. Annie is a nurse and thought a Dr. should look at it and tell us whether it needed stitches or not. We were suppose to go back to her house after our visit at Naomi's house because Jamie had taken a new Dr. to her house to show him around. So it all worked out because the Dr. saw it he said it needed stitches for sure so we all took the boy with us back to the hospital. Sampson ended up having to have 8 stitches. I held his hand and held him close as he had shots put into his foot to numb it. After it was all done I gave him a pair of shoes and we were going to have to have him walk home. (That is just how they do things here) We prayed with him but as I was sending him on his way (about 3 miles in the dark) I began to cry and stopped him. I told Jamie I just can't do it and let him walk. Just at that moment James Appel came over to talk to Jamie so we asked if we could take him home with the truck. James was happy to let us so it all worked out and we took him as far as the road would allow. Divine appointments!
It is almost as though every time you leave the house you will always come across someone that needs help. I guarantee you I could write you a story every day. It is a wonderful thing but also really pulls at your heart.
I have had many friends e-mail me lately and tell me about the crazy rat race of the American way. I know exactly what they are talking about and I'm sure all of you do too. Satan has his hands in everything trying to get us to lose sight of the real fight going on. Keep us too busy for the simple gesture of helping someone and doing a work that lasts for eternity.
A friend forwarded me a prayer from someone, who I don't even know, who prayed for my family and I would like to share it for I felt the power in which it held.
"Dear God, thank you for protecting and healing Cory from the malaria. Thank you for leading Tammy and blessing her as she is your hands, feet, and heart for Your hurting ones where ever she finds them. Thank you for blessing and protecting their entire family, and all the ones they work with and minister to. In the Name of Jesus I rebuke and cancel every assignment of the enemy against them, by the grace and mercy of our Father God. NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST THEM WILL BE ABLE TO PROSPER! Your arm is not shortened that it cannot save, and Your right hand will hold them up and prosper and protect them. I praise You, Father God, for hearing and answering this prayer of faith." I don't know if you felt it, but I did. We are the ones that limit God as to what He can do. I just want to encourage those that are feeling weighed down by anything that is surrounding them in their world today. God can take it all away. God can refocus our goals. God is the One we all need to run to, to keep the enemy away. The enemy is the one who is overwhelming us. I found these words comforting in Isaiah 26:3-4."You will keep in PERFECT PEACE him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal".