Giving to Guatemala

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Our plans are not always HIS plans

I'm still in the States.

Our flight was cancelled and rescheduled for Wednesday. The airport in Guatemala remained closed yesterday and is still closed today. Delta was gracious enough to work with us and put us on the next flight they had and that is Wednesday. So now we are praying that the airport re-opens.

Right now, it has been raining for about 6 hours in Guatemala. Mix that with all the ash and it makes for a MESS. These are the types of rains that cause mudslides in the mountains. I think back to La Pinada and remember the stories of the houses that sit on the side of the mountains and how they could easily be washed away in torrential rains.

Please be in prayer for those that are being affected by the volcano and the rains.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Praying for a flight

I leave tomorrow morning for Guatemala. I am beyond excited. Right now though, the airports in Guatemala are closed. Pacaya, an active volcano, erupted yesterday and has covered the city in about 2 inches of ash. Flights into Guatemala are cancelled for today but right now are at a go for tomorrow. Our team is driving to Atlanta tonight and will find out in the morning or later tonight if our flight is still on. Please be praying that we can get into the country and also for safety next week.

While we have already planned what we are going to do with the tremendous amount of things we are taking down (24 HUGE suitcases packed FULL of clothes and shoes for the people) God may have other plans. Several of the villages around the volcano were evacuated and lost everything. Pray for divine appointments next week. God knows that in our house alone there will be 3 groups there going out and sharing about Him. He knows the people there will be looking for answers...and the only answer is Him.

I'll be able to update here and there, so check back for updates! I'll probably update my Guatemala blog more so click here for that link :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cleaning, Organizing, Laundry...OH MY!

Today I have been SO productive. I woke up with plans to run a few errands, maybe meet up with a friend. That never happened and I'm really glad. The cleaning fairy must have flown over and sprinkled a little cleaning dust on me because I have organized my closet by color, finished 4 loads of laundry and put it all away. There are 2 more loads left and there will be NO dirty laundry in this house (save the clothes that I am wearing). I love having all the laundry caught up. It feels so good to know that there is nothing dirty and it is all put away. I am notorious to folding and sitting. I'll fold it up and sit it down on a chair, the back of the couch, the end of the bed...basically anywhere that it doesn't go! 

While I was doing all of these things I had my iTunes playing. One song in particular made me stop what I was doing and just thank God for all He has done in my life. Everything to Me-Mark Shultz always brings back memories of when Davy became a part of our family. His birth mother gave us the most precious gift----him. I spent the day with him last week when I was home and enjoyed it so much. His laugh, his hugs, his sweet little face. We had so much fun playing in the park, eating a cupcake at PapaBoo's and drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. Simple things but they meant the world to him--and me. I am so thankful that he is a part of our family. He is the best little boy ever. I don't think much of how he got here, only that he is here. Every now and then, like today, I think about what would his life be like if his birth mother didn't give him up. I don't like to think about it, because the reality is overwhelming. I am so thankful that God placed him with my aunt and uncle. He was made for our family long before we knew he was. 

Day at the Lake

Sam, Konnor, and I spent the day on the dock today. It was such a pretty day so we enjoyed the sun and the nice breeze on the dock. It was nice getting some sun. It's always a fun day when I get some good hugs and laughs from sweet Konnor and some girl time in with Sam. I've been so busy lately, girl time has been limited lately. Super fun day today!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Circle of Friends

 Saturday night some awesome friends joined me for dinner to celebrate my birthday. We had such a great time and I was once again reminded of just how great my circle of friends are. It wasn't a huge dinner, a few special people were missing because of work schedules, but it was still a great time. I have been so blessed to have some really great friends. As I spent the evening surrounded by about 10 close friends, I couldn't help but think about each one of them, and how truly special they are to me.
Sam and I have been friends since the summer I ended up in Knoxville. We have been through some crazy times. We have been through some growing times. It's been a journey, but it's been a great one. I know that no matter how crazy the decision is at hand, she will be behind me 100%. Everyone needs a friend like that.
Van and Michele are great. Michele is the one that I known the longest besides Sam. We had a great time together when we worked together and have remained close. I'm so excited that she chose me to be in her wedding in a few weeks. Van is such a good guy to her and I'm so glad they found each other when they did.
Tregg, Sam, and Konnor are some of the greatest "family." I love the Thursday nights that I get to spend with Konnor, and the girl time we have on those nights as well. Sam will always, always be a sister to me and I love that we met when we did. We have shared many, many tears and many, many laughs...and I know that there are more to come.
Whittani and Skylar have been a part of so many memories I have. Whittani was the first friend I had when I started Cosmetology school and we have been friends ever since. She is such a great mom and is such a strong girl. I am so proud of the changes that she has made in her life and to see her walk with God grow and grow is amazing. I am so blessed to call her friend.
Josh and Amanda are some great lunch buddies! Amanda and I were the only ones who shared the same values and morals at school towards the end of our stint there. She has the sweetest heart and is truly a great friend. Josh has listened to so many crazy stories that we would talk about when he would come eat lunch with us. Such a trooper!
Candis has been my most recent addition to my happy, positive world. She has been a God send at the most needed time. Someone there to speak a little truth into my life when I need it the most. Beautiful inside and out. A woman of God with a servants heart. Such a blessing and a beautiful flower in my garden of friends.

I am so thankful to have such great friends. I fully believe that they have all been hand picked by God, sent at just the right times, with exactly what I need.

Friday, May 7, 2010


This is my mom. She's a great mom. I don't get to see her as much as I used to. Living three hours away from home makes that hard. I can't even begin to start on all the things that she has done for me. While it is quite true that I am my daddy's girl, I  love my mom so much. She is one of the strongest women I know. Her love for God and her family shines through her. She is a great Sunday School teacher-her children love her. She has instilled in me many of the values I have today. True, we used to butt heads on occasion  a lot when I lived at home. We still do some today. But it doesn't change how much she cares about me, it doesn't change how much she loves me, and it doesn't change how much she loves me. She raised me in a great home. Drugged me as a child...drug me to church on Sunday mornings, drug me to church on Sunday nights, and drug me to church on Wednesday nights. Maybe now that is why I can't stay away from working at the church. Either way, I love my area of ministry, so thanks for the drugs, mom! She is a great Army mom. She has taken care of so many families, putting on dinners, picnics, outings and more for them. She's one of those do-it-all superhero moms. I'm thankful to have a mommy like her. She has given me the world and I try to take what she has given me and use it to make her proud and use it to my abilities to 'save the world' as she says. Sometimes I think she thinks I'm kidding when I say that I'm going to save the world...other days, I think she truly believes it. Maybe that's what mom's do best. I'm not sure. What I am sure of, is that my mom is way cooler than your mom

Totally kidding.....sort of

Thanks mom, for being that superhero mom. 

Blessed Beyond Measure

Prodigal- Gungor

I’ve tasted Your glory and I left it there.
Your poured out Your Spirit and I didn’t care.
Still you loved me

I’ve lived for myself with nobody to blame.
I took what You gave me and squandered Your grace.
Still You loved me.
Nothing compares to what You’ve done for me
Nothing compares to what You’ve done for me.

I could live for the broken and share in their pain.
I could die like a martyr or live like a saint just to love You.
I could sing like the angels and gather Your praise:
Be blessed beyond measure and give it away just to love You.
Still nothing compares to what You’ve done for me.
Nothing compares to what You’ve done for me.

My heart has been broken; I’ve laid out my shame.
Because of Your mercy,
All I can say is I love You.
So I’ll tell of Your story
I’ll carry Your name
I’ll live for Your glory Lord,
I’ll share in Your pain just to love You.
Nothing compares to what You’ve done for me.
Nothing compares to what You’ve done for me.
Nothing compares to what You’ve done for me.

Nothing can separate us
Nothing can separate us
Not death or life
Or depth or height
Or unseen power
Now or ever!

I found this song today. It was real to me. It spoke to me. I checked my mail today and for the third time this week there was a letter from someone who is praying for me, loving me, and supporting me financially to spread the love of Jesus in Guatemala. Wow. I was over come by the sweetness of the people in my life, those that have watched me step out and take this leap of faith and totally trust that God will provide. It's amazing to me. God is providing and even though these are days of cereal and staying home more, I'm ok with that. Because a sacrifice for being able to leave for a week to love on these children and to share the Word of God, is worth more than any meal out is. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

3 weeks and counting

I am so EXCITED.
In 3 weeks I will be on my way to see this handsome boy.
A boy that took my heart and stuffed it into his backpack.
I don't want it back, he can keep it forever. It gives me an excuse to somehow make it to Guatemala every year now.

Clubhouse Guatemala is where you can read all about the Parker family, their ministry, and how YOU can help!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Why This Waste

Sunday morning at church, Pastor Scott shared the story in Matthew 26. Specifically the story of the woman with the alabaster jar.

A woman from Bethany came to see Jesus while he was at Simon the Lepers house. It was right before passover. She brought with her an alabaster jar of expensive perfume. She anointed Jesus with the expensive perfume, and the disciples questioned her. Why this waste? You could have sold it for a lot of money and given the money to the poor. Jesus then explained to the disciples that when she poured the perfume over his body, she was preparing him for burial. Certainly not a waste in Jesus' eyes.

I'm preparing for a trip to Guatemala in 3 weeks. I am beyond excited. For a week I will get to love on the people of a country less fortunate then I. I had the opportunity to love on these people this time last year and it was an amazing experience.

When I returned last year, I had several people ask Why would you want to go to a poor country? What could be so great about a country that has nothing? Why waste your time...

I was floored by some of the responses I got. Most of the people with these responses don't know the love of Jesus like I do. They don't have the same desires on their hearts that I do.  They don't understand that it's not a waste of time.

When I go to Guatemala, I have not wasted a thing. I have spent a week out of my busy life loving on people and showing them the love and grace of a God that will never leave them. Showing them a God that wants to give them eternal life through Him. How can that be a waste?

So, Why this waste? Because it is what God has called me to do. It is what God has laid so heavily on my heart. To show His love and spread His word to a nation. To follow Him... to be used by Him until His work is done

(To hear the words to the video, you will have to go to the bottom and pause the music player)

Monday, May 3, 2010


I have spent the last few minutes looking through pictures of the flood back where I am from. It is crazy. Never in my life have I seen areas that I have walked through, sat in, and driven by flooded by waters. Barely flooded by snow in the winter....and NEVER by water.

This is a picture of the inside of The Opryland Hotel. It has closed its doors for the following months to rebuild. Seeing this picture, and others of the hotel, brought back so many memories for me. This was a regular date place for Dustin and I when we were in high school. Now, it is all under water.

So many people have lost their homes, jobs, cars, and personal items. I can't even begin to imagine. I have been in constant prayer for them the last few days. Earlier while I was looking through pictures I thought to myself, even through all the devastation, my God is still the same. He is still here. Some may even feel His presence more than ever before.

Please pray for those that have been affected. That they may feel the unending love of Jesus that can never be washed away by a flood or ripped apart by a tornado. That they will run to Him and trust in His mercy to carry them through the coming days.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Guatemala 2010

Dear Friends and Family, 
Hello! I hope this letter finds you and your family well. It seems as this year is flying by already. As you may know, I am preparing for another mission trip to Guatemala and it is quickly approaching! I am so excited that God is leading me back to a country that I fell so in love with a year ago. This trip is a complete step of faith for me and I'm praying God will provide greatly for it.
I have been actively involved in my church here in Knoxville (Northstar: for a little over 2 years. Last summer I was given the chance by members of Northstar to go to Guatemala and serve with Clubhouse Guatemala ( While we were there we put on a VBS for close to 500 children. This was the first time many of these children heard about the love of Jesus and for the first time they were given a glimpse of grace and hope. Many of the teachers let us do our thing the first and second day. By the end of the week, many of the teachers were asking for copies of the songs we were teaching the children, copies of the materials we were using and they were reading the Bibles we provided for them. The principal of the school we were in was non-existent the first day we were there, and by the end of the week had asked God to come into his life and was begging us to come back again soon. The last day we were there we held a block party for the village to minister to the families of the children we had been pouring into during the week. Many men and women came and heard the story of Jesus and many came to receive Christ. It was an amazing experience and to be sharing it with you now is taking me back and I can hardly wait to be back in May. We did a few other ministry projects while we were in the village. Our group started 'Carl's Coops'-you can read all about the name and the meaning behind it on the Clubhouse website. We built a huge chicken coop out of wire and PVC pipe and the night before finishing it we sat at share time and prayed that God would provide us with the money to buy enough chicks and have enough money left over to buy some feed that would last a long time. The next day, our pastor went out to buy the chicks. We were able to buy 20 baby chicks and 100lbs of feed...10 more chicks and about 50lbs more than what we thought we were going to be able to purchase. How great is our God?! There were so many other things that we did and I would love to share them all with you, there just isn't enough paper to write it all out. I started a blog before I left on my last trip and have been recollecting memories. You are more than welcome to check it (
-Building the first chicken coop, kicking off Carl's Coops
Our team will be doing many of the same things this trip and I can't even begin to tell you how excited we are. We will be leaving May 29th and return on June 6th. We were able to get some great deals for flights there and back and will be able to actually have more time to minister since we have direct flights that are going to allow us to arrive earlier and leave later. The expense of the trip is right at $1,000. A large number, but very small when you take into consideration the lives that will be changed. Right now, I have close to $500 that I have saved to put towards my trip. I know that things are tight for many people, but will you take a leap of faith with me and ask God if this is something He would have you give to? Your gifts will be used to bring people to Christ and to give them a glimpse of love that they may have never seen before. After I have raised and saved the amount of the trip, any left over gifts will then be added to the ministry area. This will allow us to build more chicken coops, buy more chickens, buy supplies for families, and to help purchase food for the feeding centers we will be working with.
-Kids at the Feeding Center in La Pinada-
Thank you so much for your prayers, for your encouragement, and for your support. I can't even begin to imagine how God will bless this trip. Our team has been diligently praying since January for God to provide and we are overflowing with His blessings daily. Ever since my last trip my prayer has been for God to give me a heart that breaks over the things that break the heart of God, and I truly believe that He has done just that.
-My sweet boy, Edgar. I am so excited about seeing his sweet face again!-
 Thank you again for taking the time to read about all the things that God is preparing me for and for being willing to pray for our team.If you feel led to support this trip financially, please feel free to email me at  No matter the gift, monetary, words, or prayers, please know that it will be used to further His kingdom!
Love in Christ,