Monthly Archives: October 2019

Summer Day Camps

2019 was the second year that God’s Appalachian Partnership held Day Camps during the summer at three different locations. It was the greatest year yet for our summer children’s program at GAP. This year we focused again in three different areas, holding three week long activities at each location: Left Beaver Townhouses, Weeksbury Community, and Ivy Creek Townhouses. Our biblical theme came from 1 and 2 Samuel entitled “A Kingdom Created”. Children learned that God was the nation of Israel’s first king but that the people wanted a human king to follow. Then they learn about Saul, Israel’s first human king. Finally, several days was spent looking at the life of David and how God used him. Throughout the study, the Gospel was clearly shared each week with the children. 6 children & youth accepted Jesus Christ!

The summer started off with a bang with three wonderful teams leading at Day Camp at Left Beaver Townhouses: Dallasburg Baptist Church, Wayne Association of Baptist, and South Orlando Baptist Church. We averaged 14 children each day and was able to build some wonderful relationships with the families there in the complex. Two weeks during camp, the kids were taught about puppets and on the last night of the three weeks they performed a puppet skit for their parents and community at a community cook-out! On the second week of the camp the team held a digital camera class for the kids where they learned how to take photos using a camera. They even played a scavenger hunt game with the cameras that the kids absolutely loved and are still talking about. Most of all, these children experienced the love of God first hand while they heard the Gospel message. Several children wanted to talk more about salvation and 4 accepted Christ!

June 24th through July 12th we had an amazing time in the Weeksbury Community. Barlow First Baptist Church, Heartland Church, and Blackrock Baptist Church loved on the children and shared the Good News of Jesus Christ! The first week of Day Camp began with an Olympic Games theme were the children were encouraged to run the race with perseverance. Heartland Church brought the stories of David to life through drama that kept our children wanting to know what would happen next. They also taught the kids some awesome truths through archery. Blackrock Baptist finished our time at Weeksbury sharing the Gospel and ended the week with a family cook-out event. The children had learned a few interpretive movements to songs which they shared with their families during the cookout. We averaged 13 children during the course of the three weeks at Weeksbury. The summer ended with Paducah First Baptist Church, Lawndale Baptist Church, and New Hope Baptist Church ministering to the children and families at Ivy Creek Apartments. The awesome aspect about this ministry site was that it consisted largely of youth instead of children. We averaged 17 youth at Ivy and they connected immediately with each team, forming bonds that allowed for the Gospel to be shared easily. Several Gospel conversations were had throughout our time at Ivy and 2 youth accepted Christ! Both of them have been baptized and them and their families are regularly attending church. Praise be to God!

Families are so Appreciative

Wednesday, October 9, 2019, was the last day that God’s Appalachian Partnership’s Thrift Store was open this year. Last year, we decided to open a Thrift Store just a couple days a month for only our families. 2019 was the second year of this ministry and today in preparation for closing for the season we held our annual $5 fill a bag. That bag is a 13-gallon garbage bag filled till it can’t close. Today was the busiest ever with 17 people waiting at least 30 minutes till we opened.

What we heard over and over again from our families was how much they appreciated the Thrift Store and how much they were going to miss it over the next few months while it will be closed. One pointed out that everything she was wearing she had gotten at the store some time before this year. So much appreciation and excitement for the great things the Lord had provided.

As they would say thank you we just reminded them to thank the Lord for it was He who provided all these wonderful things because He loves each of them so much! Shaughanessy and I would like to say thank you to all the volunteers that have worked so hard this year keeping the Thrift Store looking so neat and organized. We appreciate you more than we could ever express.  We would like to also thank everyone who has given supplies to the Thrift Store. Thank you for giving good, useable things. We appreciate your generosity and know that the Lord has used it.

NEW STAFF – Tanya Parker

Parker Family

I love God’s Appalachian Partnership.  Every time I hear the scripture “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me…” (Mt. 25:35-36a) I think about GAP.  They helped me and my family 14 years ago with food, clothing and encouragement in the name of Christ.  I have volunteered every chance I could over the last 10 years.  I have prayed for God to guide the ministry and bless it so they can continue sharing Christ and meeting needs. 

Around a year ago I began praying for God to send missionaries to help John and Shaughanessy carry out all that God had planned for GAP.  In March of 2019 I volunteered at the annual Easter Egg Hunt.  I remember exactly where I was standing that I felt the Lord tell me, “this is it.  This is where I want you.” I didn’t immediately obey.  I started second guessing myself and I was becoming miserable.  I finally gave in and called John at GAP and asked him questions about the “missionary life”.  After a time of fasting and prayer I confirmed that God truly was calling me to serve at GAP. 

For over two years Shaughanessy and I have been praying that the Lord would “send someone like Tanya Parker to GAP”. Who knew that He would send the one and only Tanya Parker! Praise be to God! We are so excited to welcome her to the Lord’s team here at GAP. She brings a wealth of gifts, talents, and experience to the staff. She was raised here in the McDowell area so many already know her and/or her family which makes building relationships for Christ easier.

Tanya has been married to Joseph (Joe) Parker for 21 years. They have three wonderful daughters, Makayla (20), Grace (18), and Allison (16). Joe is a deacon and Sunday School teacher at their church and the Lord has blessed him with a full time job at Prestonsburg City Utilities. Makayla is currently pursuing a nursing degree. Grace is in cosmetology school expecting to graduate this summer. Allison is a sophomore in high school and is currently being home schooled.

(Italics written by John Morris)