Friday, March 14, 2008

Chad Parker, Interview #22

Real People, Real Lives, Real Spirituality...
Name: Chad "Lamaian" Parker, Lamaian is my Maasai Tribal name. It means, "the one that brings God’s abundant blessings."
Where you live: Physically, I was born and raised in Bloomington, Illinois, USA. Mentally I try to live with a global mindset. Spiritually…I live in God’s merciful arms.
What you do as a vocation or avocation?
The work I’m passionate about: In 1999, while still in high school I started a web design company that has become one of the largest design studio’s in Illinois. I love my job!
The ministry I’m passionate about: In 2006, after a brief trip to Kenya, I founded GOYA Ministries; an organization dedicated to radically transforming the slum community of Mitumba in South C Nairobi not only physically but spiritually by assisting and supporting the locals in starting a school, church, community center and a number of other programs run and organized by Kenyan nationals.
Your two favorite books:
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman - I’m fascinated by the way technology allows a person in Bangalore, India to compete for a job in Chicago, Illinois. But I’m equally disappointed in the way that this new "flat world" kills off many traditional ways of life that may be lost forever.
Good to Great by Jim Collins – God has given me so much…I’m always excited about learning new ways to make the most of what’s been entrusted to me…business, ministry, relationships, everything…
James and Philippians if we’re talking about books of the Bible.
Your two favorite cd's:
Are you kidding…can I pick two from each genre???
I’ll give you two of my favorites this week…how does that sound?
Versions by Thievery Corporation – Lush, complex and diverse sounds, driven by deep, rugged rhythm’s. I love it!
Live Sessions by Bonobo – I was the drummer for an indie band called Winter in Alaska for several years and there was nothing better than finding "the groove" with my fellow band members. When I listen to "The Plug" I can feel the groove this band was in when they played the song. There is something remarkable about creating that groove and then recognizing it when another band, playing a different song find it.
Why you are interested in spirituality?
I have a lot of faith in people. Undeniably, people are capable of accomplishing amazing things, however there are many incredible things that cannot be attributed to human achievement and I believe to write them off as random coincidence would be absolutely reckless. I’ve seen so many things that defy human ability…transformations that are so incredible, so far reaching, and achieved with such little human interaction that they simply cannot be attributed to anything other than a spiritual presence.
I am absolutely amazed that something as simple as a prayer can produce results beyond measure. To see, experience and recognize that power and NOT ask "how is this possible?" would be categorically irresponsible. I am interested in spirituality because there is something happening all around us. We can’t always see it with our eyes or touch with our hands but I think that "something" is bigger than any of us may have ever imagined.
Your favorite quote:
"Get Off You’re A** (GOYA)" I know it’s crude, but this is the statement that rumbled through my head over and over again after leaving the slum community of Mitumba, in Nairobi, Kenya. After realizing what little effort it took to make an incredible difference around the world ($6 and a trip across town for a case of 36 bottles of cold/cough syrup for children in desperate need), I simply could not sit on my a** any longer. Previous to that trip, malnutrition, lack of water, poor health and sanitary conditions, malaria, and no education were things I assumed were someone else’s problems. But after realizing that those things are my problem, and after realizing it didn’t take much to solve those problems, I decided to spend a little less (ok a lot less) time pursuing the American Dream and a little more (ok a lot more) time serving those that have not been blessed in the same way I have been blessed. …and all it took was "something" telling me, "GOYA."
Your favorite web sites: (I was invited to a Filipino wedding and I was really excited about the food…until I ate this) …I check it every single day.
A spiritual lesson you hope to learn?
I hope to learn, why God continues to shower me in mercy when I continually disappoint. Hopefully I learn that lesson before the knobs on the "mercy shower" are turned off…come to think of it, hopefully they’re never turned off.
A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?"
The top of Mt. Pulag in the Philippines, the Maasai upcountry of Kenya, the backwater jungle of the Amazon and my families little ole farm house in Ellsworth, Illinois. Do you see a pattern? These are all places where my cell phone doesn’t work and no one can find me. It’s remarkable how spiritually connected we become when we disconnect from everything else.

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