Quiet Heroes

by Laura on May 23, 2011

{Staff of Breanna’s House of Joy:  Wipada (accounting), ChatChai (director), Matt (chairman of foundation), Judah (maintenance and driver), Leah (cook), Gay (house mother), Ahlameet (house mother), Ben (exec. assistant, English teacher)}

We celebrate the beautiful and the famous and the ones on stage.  We admire the ones with graphic-blogs and lots of fans on twitter.  We give money to causes that are feel-good dramatic, and we jump on the band-wagon of the coolest new website.  We call them heroes with the loudest voices.

And sometimes they are.

But, other times, maybe oftentimes, it’s not the known, but the unknown–  not the standing-tall, but the stooping-low that is the stuff of the true heroes.

Because there are people laying down their lives for the Kingdom on every latitude, without a website or a twitter account.  There are selfless men and women who are loving in radical, sacrificial ways that will never be known on facebook or have a blog.

I got an email from a missionary the other day who serves in a closed country.  She can’t get public applause about their family’s work, for fear of government eyes.

I know a ministry here that is literally rescuing girls from brothels, but they don’t have a website that would catch any one’s eye.

I think of the single-mom and the teacher and the good friend, who pour out for the sake of another, without notice or fanfare.

And I watch six national staff work harder than I ever have, and I know to the core that so often the loudest applause in this world goes to the wrong people.


*This photo was taken before a staff lunch, celebrating the promotion of ChatChai to the position of Director of BHJ Children’s Home.We are continually impressed by his work and ability.

Your Turn.  Know a quiet hero? If superficial things didn’t matter, who should be the real heroes in our society?


  • Amy

    I absolutely love to hear stories like these…its so amazing to me the people that want to constantly tell everyone how much they’ve sacrificed for someone else or how much good they do in their community for the less fortunate. It’s like they are bragging using Facebook or twitter so that everyone knows how fantastic they are and so everyone else thinks they are a great person. I’ve always felt that actions speak louder than words. And if you have to TELL someone who you are then, maybe you’re just trying to convince yourself. Kudos to those folks who give anoymously and love generously when no one is watching b/c you are right- those are the REAL heroes.

    • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura

      Totally– the bragging thing. I get that. And I agree that ‘actions speak louder than words.” And for me, with the blogging thing, I struggle. Because I want people to hear our journey and be encouraged, but I don’t want to come off like I am the one doing the bragging or don’t want to slip into that in my own heart in any way. But with writing about being here, it’s flirting constantly with the line, ya know?

      • http://drgtjustwondering.blogspot.com Diana Trautwein

        But you are never bragging, Laura. You are telling your story – that is totally different.

        I thank you for this beautiful story, by the way. And it is right on, accurate and needs to be said over and over again. There are indeed people serving our God in obscurity and devotion and they are heroes, everyone.

        But those who tell their stories in a public forum like this one are also heroes – if they’re brave enough to tell the truth, including the hard and messy stuff. And you are doing that so very well.

        So I thank you for their stories – and I thank you for your own.

        • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura

          Diana, thank you. Really, THANK YOU. I so appreciate your kind words and your grace-giving comment. Really, really encouraged me this morning, as I was chewing on throwing in the towel a bit with blog-stuff.

          This was a perfect encouragement.

          And I agree it is hard to “tell the story in a public forum” but I think the temptation to “spin the story” in your own favor is always waiting there to give in to, ya know?

          Really, thanks, again.

          Hope you’re having a great week . . .

          Love from here, Laura

  • http://www.angiewashington.com @ngie

    This is so good, Laura! I have been working on a post in my head along the same lines of the unsung heroes. You say it perfectly here.

    • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura

      Thanks, @ngie. Will look forward to reading yours . . . :) I am sure you are surrounding by such heroes there.

      • http://www.angiewashington.com @ngie

        Oh no you DI’N’T!!! You DID NOT say up there that you were ‘chewing on throwing in the towel’. Spit that out of your mouth right this instant, young lady! Your blog is one of my very most favoritests out there. I like it so much I subscribe to the comments because they are just as good as the blog! So glad that Diana spoke up. Whew! Glad she was able to speak some sense into you. :-)

        Ok, be still my heart. Laura is staying in the blogosphere.

        An email is coming your way from me today…

        • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura

          oh. my. word.

          i am smiling more in this moment than i have all day i think.


          you are, like, amazing.

          and if i am EVER on the South American continent, expect a visit.

          for real, tho, thanks so much for your happy comment, friend.

  • Lisa L.

    A to the men.

    Thank God He doesn’t need Twitter or Facebook to see the hidden ones, or the quiet heroes.

    I wonder if not being more “out there” helps people to keep their focus. There’s a book called The Rejection and Praise of Men I read once about the potentional traps of rejection and praise if people’s applause is important to you, especially in ministry.

    I’m intrigued and inspired by the immediate “exiting off stage” of Francis Chan recently because he sensed people were starting to make it more about him than Him.

    • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura

      “Thank God He doesn’t need Twitter or Facebook to see the hidden ones, or the quiet heroes.” I loved this line, Lisa. And you are right in that so often we clamor for the approval of people more than the smile of God. So easy to slip into, isn’t it?

  • http://kendalprivette.blogspot.com kendal

    so true, laura. our world is puffed up on pride, but it the humble, the stooping-low people who will be lifted up in the end. i know one of these. she quit her job, sold her car and moved in with another family to pray. to pray for our church, she gave up everything. amazing.

  • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura

    Kendal, wow, that is an amazing story. All of that to pray. That is so beyond inspirational. I mean, just, wow. Thanks for telling her story . . .

  • Amy

    You are definitely never bragging, sis. ESPECIALLY b/c I know where your heart is and where it comes from. I guess I was more referring to the folks who try to fake it- that is sooo not cool.

    And, you better not stop blogging. I check it every morning (it’s actually the first on my list to check daily) and I LOVE reading it. Your writing is like a little light to my day and you gotta let it shine. Love you!

    • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura

      That last line made me smile. Had me thinking about sunday school in Hickory and singing “this little light of mine” with our index fingers up in the air. ha ha.

      Okay, okay– I’ll keep it going for now. I just want to always be aware that any of us has the capacity and probably the tendency to serve and share for the wrong reasons. I just want mine to to be right ones.

      Anyway . . .

  • Amy Stewart

    BTW- just realized that in exactly two weeks from today, I will be stepping off the plane in CO and running like a crazy person thru the airport to see you. can’t wait!

    • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura

      I think I like that image. :)

  • http://jeremymckemy.bandcamp.com Jeremy McKemy

    First of all, I agree with everyone who says that you should keep writing about your all’s story there in Thailand. I don’t get the impression that you are doing this blog for attention, though I have gotten that impression from others (myself included).

    That is why I say very little about the work that I do for God – my pride kicks in waaaay too fast, and I start yearning for attention. Maybe some day I’ll have the maturity to write about what I’m doing without bragging.

    But until then, I am thinking of what Jesus said about John the Baptist. “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” God’s grading system is frequently upside down.

    • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura

      Jeremy– You said so many good things in this comment, dude.

      “God’s grading system is frequently upside down.”
      “That is why I say very little about the work that I do for God – my pride kicks in waaaay too fast, and I start yearning for attention. Maybe some day I’ll have the maturity to write about what I’m doing without bragging.”

      Absolutely true and I completely relate to both the statement and the pride kicking in fast. Maybe that’s why so many “christian famous” people fall– in part because our humanity WANTS attention and when we clamor for the attention of people, we tend to fall into insincere Christ-following. And then that just screws everything else up.

      I do think that in God’s economy– the quiet people whose names we have never heard of will probably be at the front of the line.

      I mean, if there was a line and all.

  • http://butbyfaith.blogspot.com Nicolette

    Laura, you and the other’s there at Breanna’s House are such a source of encouragement for those of us not overseas and your blog is one of my very favorites! Please don’t feel like you are bragging ever…Although I know that “promoting self” can happen with the use of the internet, it is the connecting of hearts and minds that can (and do) happen when you bring a piece of Thailand and your life into my home.

    Thank you for your work and your writing! I am blessed because of it! =)

    • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura

      Oh, thank you so much, Nicolette. Truly. I am grateful to be “bringing a piece of Thailand and life into your home.”

      Maybe the web-world isn’t so bad after all. :)

      Again, appreciate the encouragement, friend.

  • Tamara

    To answer your question: YES I know many quiet heroes. I want to honor the heroes for God who are truly and self-lessly bringing His Word to the world, no matter if they are quiet or loud.
    AND – I would say more but agree so whole-heartedly with all of the above comments, especially Diana, Amy, Angie, Jeremy.
    Keep this up or we’ll all have to come get you and force your little fingers onto the keyboard!

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