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)