Friday, July 29, 2011

Responce

Through every experience we have here it always seems to be a learning
and growing one. I want to thank you all so very much for all of your
encouraging words. Sometimes I think that God uses our friends and
family to speak to us during the dark times that are hard for one to
hear Him.

Some of you shared with me some of your own "out of the country"
experiences and told me how you could relate to what I was going
through. Then some of you told me that you could not relate or even
imagine going through the things we go through day in and day out.

One part of me feels bad for expressing my frustration. I think some
people took it the wrong way thinking that I needed or wanted out. But
that is not it at all. I can not imagine the day I will leave the
people here. The other part of me thought why not let the American
people know what bad days are like in a place like this. They can be
very discouraging and overwhelming among the extreme conditions which
can make a day even more dramatic. I think from the very beginning of
my journey I have always been extremely honest about the ups and downs
of missionary life. Someone wrote me that most missionary story letters
are ones about success, conversions, saving lives and exciting
experiences. I think that we have seen and experienced all of these but
we also have experienced bad days and sometimes need our support system
to help lift us up. And that was exactly what happened.

Another thought that concerned some people were my children. Thinking
that it is too much for them and I need to think of them. But then
someone else would write that I should think of the benefits we are
giving our children being here learning self-sacrifice, hard work and
compassion. I weighed this one out and I think my children are exactly
where God wants them for right now.

One of my favorite thoughts from one of you was this:
Most of the time we as humans miss the forest for the trees, this seems
to me to be one time where we have to ignore the forest and just focus
on the trees. The forest is God's problem. He has just asked us to
deal with the trees He puts in front of us. Every life you touch, every
little bit of suffering you ease, every time you teach the people in
Bere, Adventist or not, that there is a better way, shows God to them.
And each of us can only do that one person at a time Remember Matthew
26. Whatever you do to the least of these you have done to me.

This was exactly the way I was feeling, just overwhelmed with sin all
around me. I know it is everywhere we all go but when you are here
helping the way I have committed myself to help it is almost like I am a
therapist that listens to problems all day.

Another thought someone sent me was, "if He leads you to it, He will
lead you through it". Just encouraging thoughts!

To wrap up the lesson I have learned from God and all of you is this.
It is time for me to take a couple of weeks to recharge and spend time
reading and praying and meditating on the good things that God has given
me. I have already begun to do this and I am telling you that this is
exactly what God is telling me to do right now. Many of you put that
little bug of advise in your letters and I thank you for that.
Sometimes it is hard for a "missionary" to do this without guilt because
there is so much work all around you all the time. But for now I feel
as though it is necessary to be a better missionary. Even Jesus needed
to get away from the people and spend time with His Father alone.

The last thing I want to share with everyone is something else that
someone sent me to encourage me. I am forwarding it to see if maybe it
will help you on your own journey. Thank you all for being the best
support system any little missionary could have. God bless you all and
we love you.

Love, Tammy

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly
in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and
My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Promises from God

You say: "It's impossible." God says: All things are possible (Luke
18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired." God says: I will give you rest (Matthew
11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me." God says: I love you (John 3:1 6 &
John 3:34 )

You say: "I can't go on." God says: My grace is sufficient (II
Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out." God says: I will direct your steps
(Proverbs 3:5- 6)

You say: "I can't do it." God says: You can do all things (Philippians
4:13)

You say: "I'm not able." God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8) You
say: "It's not worth it" God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28 )

You say: "I can't forgive myself." God says: I Forgive you (I John 1:9 &
Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage." God says: I will supply all your needs
(Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid." God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear
(II Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated" God says: Cast all your
cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I'm not smart enough." God says: I give you wisdom (I
Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone." God says: I will never leave you or forsake
you (Hebrews 13:5)

Dear Friends and Family

Sabbath Morning

To be completely honest I don't like to go to church here. I still do
not understand the language so it is sitting on an uncomfortable bench
for 3 or more hours not being able to understand a word. The heat this
morning happens to be ridiculous and I was sweating without a break.
Sitting on a hard bench with nothing to rest my back on and feeling the
sweat drip down my back. You can't seem to focus on too much else than
how uncomfortable you feel. I spend my time praying and thinking. I
try to write down the bible texts so that I can try to put a sermon
together but sometimes just look around and my thoughts drift.

I miss my church in Tennessee so much that it almost pains me to tears.
I hate that so many of my letters or stories are bad ones and miserable
experiences but that is the kind of country this is. It is hard to live
here especially when you have seen a better life. A couple people have
written me back about my last letter and have told me that Satan is
attacking and I believe it to be true. Please pray for me.

My thoughts in church are drifting to the people that I know sitting all
around me. I think of all the experience of their lives that I have
written about with all their drama. I am drawn to a young girl that I
taught in school. She became pregnant and her family sent her away.
She is back now and her daughter is about 1 year old. I am looking at
her cute little girl that is sitting so nicely in church with her little
legs just hanging down from the bench. The mother shakes her finger at
her daughter for no reason other than to make her cry. I have been told
that she hits her in the face all the time even in church. The young
mother looks up at another female adult next to her and she laughs as
her baby girl brings her sweet little hands up to her eyes and begins to
cry. I just can't believe that she would think that it is funny. I
begin to swell up with my own tears as I am listening to a sermon about
how we should not be having sex with animals. I am discouraged thinking
is there not anything else to preach about or is this a problem around
here? I just shake my head and look around again at the number of
people I am sharing a bench with that I know have abuse in their own
families. Just last week one of the volunteers had to argue the point
in
sabbath school that hitting your wife and children is wrong. As soon
as the final song begins I told Brichelle that I was leaving church
and going home. As soon as I get home I start to share with Jamie
(he didn't go to church today but stayed home and listened to a sermon)
and my tears begin again.

Dear Friends and Family

Sometimes I think moments like these are the best times to write and
then sometimes it may be the worst. I don't want to sound like I am
complaining but today was a very frustrating one. It was a typical
Monday but without Naomi. Naomi called in sick today so I had to go on
without her. I don't know if God allowed me to do it all alone because
I need to see how it would be without Naomi. Friday was a bad day with
me and Naomi and our communication. It was so bad that I spent a lot of
time in my bedroom trying to compose myself. We pray every morning that
God will be with us and that the communication will go smoothly but
Friday was just a terrible day for that.

I had many people come and need this and that. Two people needing milk
for their babies that have no mother. It is $6.00 a can for baby
formula and that will last about a week so it is very expensive for
here. I would say that about 85% of the people with this issue would
not be able to come close to affording that. So part of my mission is
to help them with that. But in order to weed out the ones that really
need it from the ones that are just trying to get free milk, well I have
them work for 4 hours per can. I must say that it is working too. I
have had some not come back for the milk that don't want to work that I
figured had money. You can tell they have money by their clothes or
shoes or earrings and purse. Most women don't even have purses around
here. I just ask God to give me wisdom to know how to run things in the
best way around here for the people and to use His money in the best
way.

I had a girl that came from about 5 miles away. She looks to be about
15 years old. Her mother died 2 weeks ago and she has her 5 year old
brother and 3 year old brother and her 7 month old brother that will not
stop crying. Her eyes are just pouring down tears. She is overwhelmed
and has no food for herself or for the siblings. My heart goes out to
her as I ask her to go ahead and meet me in the market. After seeing a
couple more people I meet her in the market on my motorcycle. I go and
get her a big bag or rice and some other things that will help with
preparing sauce. Then I get her a motorcycle taxi so she can get home
right away.

The last person I helped was a women that waited all day at the hospital
hoping that someone would help her get her baby some medical attention
because she had no money. The Chaplin at the hospital brought her over
to me to see if I would be able to help. By this 4:30 p.m. hour I am
tired and just want some peace but here she is sitting on the ground
before me and I realize that I just can't run away but need to sit and
listen to what is going on in her life. I ask God to give me strength.
Sometimes Gods work is more tiring then I ever thought it would be. I
ask her a line of questions like "Where is her husband"?
He left her and went to N'Djamena.
"What do you do for work to feed your family"?
She works in the rice fields. (for about .80 per day)
"How many children do you have"?
Four children, one is 9, one is 7, one is 3 and the one she brought to
the hospital is 1.
"If I help you go over to the hospital with this child the hospital will
probably hook him up to an IV who will take care of your children for
three days"?
They will take care of themselves.
"Did you leave them any food"?
No
"Did you leave them any money to buy food"?
No
"I can't help you until I know you have a plan to help your other
children".

I just don't understand how people can even think of leaving the
children for that many days without anything. I get frustrated at the
mothers and then I try to look at her situation. She looks as though
she is starving herself and here she is with four kids and trying to
feed them on less than a dollar a day. No one to help her. The sad
thing is that I see this almost everyday but it just doesn't make it any
easier to deal with.

I gave her a paper saying that we would help her and pay for the child's
medical care after she had set things up with someone to care for her

I finally get time to go into the house and spend time with my family.
Ah h!

I just want to throw out a plea for help. We are running out of money
to do the things just like this. If your heart is in it to help me help
people like this that really do need help please donate. Right now I am
going to have to close up shop like this for a while until things start
coming back in for projects like these. I don't like to ask for money
but if God is speaking to you please help the people of Bere'. It makes
for a very tiring day but the need is great and that is why I think I am
here. Maybe God has something else for me. Maybe this isn't my
mission. I don't know. I just thought I would share with everyone what
it is like here in one day and see what happens. Should I keep going?

I also want to share a letter I just got from a lady that I helped to
start her own business selling things in the market. Her husband is
abusive and the whole reason I went to visit with her in the first place
was because another volunteer said that there was some child abuse going
on with a 7 year old boy that I am buddies with. When I went to visit
she just opened up and started crying about her situation. Long story
short I was able to pray with her and then help her start a business of
her own so that she can help herself and her children when the husband
is not feeding them. This was the letter I just received.

After you have given us two visits of moral, material and spiritual
assistance in my foyer, I and my family offer you our sincerest
gratitude. For this encounter and visit that has happened in respect of
us we are unforgettably honored.
May God the almighty bless you and give you health, courage, enjoyment
and spirit of realizing all you physical and humanitarian activities.

I just felt blessed to get a letter of gratitude like this. I know we
are changing lives even though I have bad days but a letter like this
and other thank yous I have received make it worth it. God gave the
lesson of "thank you" with the story of the ten lepers. Thank you is
important. I know that God is happy with the work we are trying to do
in His name. Thank you for making it all possible.

Love, Tammy Parker

Any donations can be written to Harrison SDA Church.
And send to: Harrison SDA Church
P.O. Box 969
Harrison, TN 37341
Send a short note saying that it is for the Parkers in Chad for the
"giving fund".

Thank you