Monday, September 19, 2011

Need Sponsors

Well school is starting in two weeks for our small village of Bere. It
is that time of year again to open the door of opportunity for any of
you who would like to sponsor a child or several children to be put into
the Seventh Day Adventist Christian School . The children that we would
like to help would be those that are orphans or very poor and would
never otherwise ever have an opportunity to get a christian education in
a private school without some financial help. The vice principle at the
school will screen the applicants with very strict regulations. We are
wanting to make sure that the children that are going to be sponsored
are going to be ones who really need the help.

The cost to sponsor a child this year is $12 for the primary school and
$36 for 7-10th grades. This cost is for the whole year.

I want to thank all of you who have helped us with this mission in the
past two years. It has been a blessing to so many. This year we are
going to be able to start the year off with new bibles for the students
to use while in school. My church family has worked very hard to make
this possible but with God's help the goal has been met. Praise God!
Please keep all the children in your prayers. They are so vulnerable
and are looking for something better in life. With God I know they can
find some answers. Pray also for the teachers and the leaders of our
school. Please, really, put us on your prayer list and bring it before
God everyday.

Here is how you can be involved. Make your checks payable to Harrison
SDA Church and send a note with it or earmark it for Bere school fund.
Send to our church in Tennessee and our church is really good at getting
it to us with all the details.

Send to:
Harrison SDA Church
P.O. Box 969
Harrison, TN 37341

Thank you and may God bless you all!
Tammy Parker

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

 Our 19th Wedding Anniversary, September 6th.    We woke up early to be ready to leave by 6:00 am.  The day started with all the student missionaries meeting us at our house to leave to go have a day on the town in Moundou.  We all had several things on a list to get. for there is not much here, and we are lucky to go to Moundou once a month.  Bibles for the school and a pump for a well was a couple of the important things on my list.  But mainly we were going because it was our 19th wedding anniversary and not much else to do in Bere.  We were happy to share our day with everyone which we thought would just make it more fun.   On the way to Moundou we were almost an hour away and the truck slid out of control with the slippery mud beneath us.  Jamie is a great driver and knew what to do to keep us from flipping over.  He let it go the way it needed to but in return we ended up on the side of the road in knee deep of water.  Jamie tried to continue to drive it threw but we were stuck.  He put the van in reverse and went a few feet but we were stuck now either which way.  Everyone got out of the van, rolled up their pants and got into position to push.  They tried from the front and then from the back, but still the van was not getting out but only deeper. The whole time Jamie kept the van running but we could hear that we were loosing it and then it was gone.   All of a sudden we realize we are going to be in trouble with the rain as we could see a black wall coming our way.  Several Chadians started to come and asses the situation. There was many different languages.  I felt like we were in confusion at the tower of Babel.  We were all feeling like we needed more help and everyone got together and formed a circle in the middle of the road and prayed for our Father in heaven to help us.  We had Danae the new doctor and her two children with us and one is only 2 1/2 months old.  Finally some big branches were found to help lift the van and some big stones to put under the van wheels.  With many people helping but now everyone is in the rain, they were able to get all four tires jacked up.  Jamie tried and tried to get the van to start.  And there it goes the "scalded dog," which is the name Jamie gave the van, was back in business and he was able to drive out of the ditch.  Everyone clipped and very excited but now we had to come to an agreement of how much to pay all the men that helped us get out of our trouble.  They wanted a lot but we settled after a counter offer.  They seemed to be happy and Jamie just said it was a lot cheaper then AAA.  We go just a little further and now we are in Kelo but the van now sounds like it needs a tune up.  We got to the post office there to see if there are any packages, Jamie looks down and sees that we now have a flat tire.  The spare is flat too.  So Jamie, Tony and Simeon, a guy from the hospital, roll the two tires into the market as the rest of us wait for their return.  Everything went smooth with the repair but now the car is still running funny.  Jamie takes it to one place to get a new part.  Then we go to another place were he knows a guy that he has worked with a lot in the past when he was repairing all three cars for the hospital when we first arrived in Bere.  The man was very kind and drops everything that he was working on to help us out.  The get inside the engine and realize what part they need and he sends someone to get it.  Then they discover that there is water in the oil and so it too needs to be changed.  Again, he sends someone to get the oil and filter. Jamie looks at me and says, "well the car needed a tune up before James comes back to town."  James Appel will probably be taking the van with him to Moundou which is where James will be living and working in his new surgery clinic.  After another hour we get back on the road toward Moundou.  It is getting late and we are realizing that there is not going to be much time for shopping.  As we go along the van is still not running at top speed.  At the late hour of 3:45 pm we get to Moundou. We are all starving and stop at Jame's surgery clinic first to drop off more of their personal items for their house then we go just down the road to a little restaurant that we get egg sandwiches and banana shakes.  While we are eating one of the Arab men that we know spot us and stop and says hi.  He is the man that made all of the desks for the school last year.  After filling our stomachs we are starting to feel a little less grouchy but Jamie is worried about the van.  The decision is made that we will just have to stay over night at the surgery clinic. The very nice Arab man says that he will take one person to his house to sleep with him and he will meet us back at the clinic and give us a mosquito net.      When we get to the clinic we start to see what we have to work with to sleep there.  We all use the new mattresses for the clinic and find a few sheets and mosquito nets around.  The only thing is that there just was not enough for me and Jamie so we went without.  The Arab man came by and not only brought us a net for Brichelle, Danae and her kids but also a huge watermelon and cookies.  Everyone goes to bed at an early hour of 8:00 pm except for Cory, Tony and one of the 20 year old volunteers, Linden.  We could hear them stay up and talk and talk until we finally said that was enough.  I doze off for a little while and wake up just sweating profusely and the noise of the mosquitoes buzzing in my ears keep me awake.  I am covering myself with a sheet all the way over my head but the buzzing is too much.  I use my phone as a flashlight and turn it on under the sheets and I see a mosquito inside with me.  I move the sheet and let him free and catch some fresh air.  I am fighting like this over and over with the mosquitoes and now it is almost midnight. My fingers are now covered with mosquito bites and I have one on my face too and it swells my cheek.  I wake Jamie but realize he is not sleeping either.  I look over with my light and see that he found a mosquito net but it is ripped in shreds and he has it hanging from a pipe that he jammed between other things in the room and there the mosquito net hangs over his head only.  Oh, honey this is terrible, I tell him.  I just can not do it any more I feel like I am going crazy.  We have to do something.  We get up and look in a couple boxes for another mosquito net.  After some time and some prayers that I prayed in my mind, yeah! We found one!  We take the mattresses outside on the back porch with the boys and set up the net and the two mattresses put together.  Ahhh now we can get some sleep.  It is a lot cooler and I don't hear one mosquito.  I am so excited.  Before I can completely fall asleep I lay there thinking about my anniversary.  By now it is 1:00 am and I just lay there looking up threw the trees at the half lit sky thinking about the day and can't help but laugh.  Crazy day!  I close my eyes and my exhaustion covers me and just let myself begin to doze.  I am suddenly woke up out of my half sleep state by lightening and a big gust of wind that will not stop.  Moments later comes the rain and I just shake my head and think of course it is going to rain now that I am outside.  I try to allow the rain to lullaby me back to sleep.    The morning came way too soon but we had a lot to clean up and Jamie still needed to fix the van and we all had things to buy before making our way back to Bere.  The morning went smoothly and the van got fixed by the time everything was cleaned up and we were finally on our way for some "shopping".  But now we have concerns with a couple of patients at the hospital that need Danae's immediate attention.  Olen is trying to keep an eye on the two women and is keeping her informed on their progress but time is ticking and she needs to be back.  With this in mind we all scatter to do different things to get as much done as possible in such a short amount of time.  But in Chad everything takes forever no matter how fast you try to move.  We all are very tired and ready to just be home.  We make it back by almost 4 pm and Danae jumps out of the car to go change before we can even get the gate open.  Duty calls and she is over there with Olen until 8 pm.  What a trip!  I must say that we did not get to do much celebrating for our anniversary this year.  But Olen and Danae are such good friends that they didn't want to leave it like that.  The next evening they were able to sneak a cake into our house to encourage celebrating anyways.  And these are the pictures we got.  The little flying animal at the bottom is a mosquito, Danae is so creative!  Happy Anniversary!    

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

Several Different Stories

I still get shocked by the things I see in Chad.  This is a country so poor that it is evident everywhere I look.  Some of the things that I see people do I can't accept and get use to, these are things I think need to change.  The sickness is so much more because of the conditions and the people are suffering all around me.   Once in a while we do get to help people and get to see how we are making a difference in the lives of people.

One Monday I was walking threw the market place.  I was crossing through a big open lot and noticed a couple ladies sitting in the dirt.  My mind could not understand at first what they were doing sitting there in the middle of this big open space.  As I began to get closer I could see that they were scooping up the dirt in places where rice had fallen during the busy Saturday market.  Naomi was with me and she explained to me that they were sifting the sand out and trying to get what rice they could for their families.  I quickly got out my iPod and took a picture inconspicuously so they could not tell that it was a camera.  I just knew that this was something that I needed to show others, not to make fun but to open people's eyes and help others to be grateful for what you do have.

One sabbath morning our whole family was walking together to go to church.  The church is just a couple hundred yards outside our compound.  Half way to the church, in an open field, right in our pathway, a young girl got up from squatting and left her business right there in the middle of everyone.  I was so shocked.  The Adventist School public bathrooms were right there in sight yet it is excepted here that what she did is perfectly ok. 

Last week was a sad week because a friend of mine died of Aids.  I don't have many friends here but I always considered her one.  Her name was Dina and she worked in the hospital at the pharmacy.  A very kind lady to everyone and she was always one I enjoyed talking to.  She was only really sick in the hospital for a couple of weeks.  I went to visit several times and helped the family, that didn't want to leave their dying sister's side, with food.  I would also pray with the family almost every visit and they were so respectful and appreciative.  This last sabbath morning Jamie and I got woke up by the loud wailing coming from the hospital and we just knew that her suffering was over.  Jamie made her casket sabbath morning and we attended her funeral.  She was loved by so many,  I am guessing that there must have been three hundred or more people.   The drama of funerals here are so different from what we are use to in the states.  There is loud wailing and drumming and singing and dancing.  Everyone stays there with the family and the body all threw the night and the drumming never stops.  The men all sit together and all the women sit together.  If someone new comes walking in it is heard by everyone that is there because of the loud crying that almost sounds like screams.  This can continue for a week, day and night.  Jamie took the van with Dina and the family to the burial sight the next morning.  I didn't get to go because I had an infection on one of my feet from some kind of a bug bite.  (which I am on an antibiotic and it is much better)  But my thoughts were with her and I will miss her.

I wanted to give an update with a picture of the boy that fell in the well.  He is doing really good and his eye is great.  He is quite the character but brings so much sunshine to my house every Friday.  This is a picture of him and his brother, on his last visit here.  Someone donated the clothes the little boy is wearing.  The little jacket he has is actually for a girl but he was so happy with it to be able to have something to keep him warm in the next months to come in the evenings.  They just don't care about things like that here.   We have also been able to help his brother with some of his own medical problems that he has just been living with for some time because they just didn't have the money to get help.  He has had stomach problems with blood in his stool, which is diarrhea.   With medication he too should be fine.  I think that it is situations like this that we can use to become friends with them and develop trust to be able to help them to learn more about what Jesus is preparing for them.

We have been here over two years and I am still trying to get use to my environment.  I guess the day I am okay with things here is the day I should move.  God is really teaching our family more than we realize just by being in a place like this.  I want to thank everyone for all the donations that flow to allow us to be the "hands that help".  It is not always a fun place to live but I love my job and love so many of the people that I come in contact with.  It is a risk to love them because I never know if I am going to loose them but to never love is to never live. 

Love and blessings,