Sunday, October 31, 2010

A memorable day

51 years ago today in the Peruvian town along the Amazon River called Iquitos, our daughter Joy was born. We were guests of Jerry Russell an ABWE missionary who worked in that area.  Little did we know that Joy was developmentally disabled.  From our base in Benjamin Constant, Brazil, we traveled by airplane to the town of Bogota, Colombia to have her checked when she was over 8 months old.  By that time she was having breathing problems and some other things that alerted us to the fact she was a special child.  The doctors in Bogota thought she was Down Syndrome.  Later it was verified that this was not so.  In the providence of God, years later, Shepherds accepted her as a resident where she has been ever since. Our gratitude to God and Shepherds for the wonderful care they have given her these MANY years is more than we can adequately describe. Some of you have followed our journey with Joy and we thank you for your prayers for us and her and our son Rawlie.
This afternoon on our church parking lot, I will be speaking 3 different times to 3 separate groups giving Gospel object lessons to the trick or treaters who come there.  It is an evangelistic outreach ministry of our church.  Please pray.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Delightful reunion

Margie has been unable to see her brother and sister for some time due to her illness.  But as I reported yesterday, we had a wonderful time at a restaurant in Bellingham.  While there we met 3 friends from our church and it was nice being able to visit with them for a short time.  Margie did all the washing, drying, folding and ironing yesterday and will do some more today. I was occupied most the day organizing my plan for the 3 messages I will be giving at the Sunday night parking lot evangelistic outreach.  Please pray for this event and my participation in it.  I appreciate it so much.  

Friday, October 29, 2010


Margie had a good night and so did I.  My early morning walk went well also.  We meet Margie's two siblings at noon in Bellingham.  We haven't seen them for quite some time.  I am in the countdown for Sunday evening when I speak 3 different times to the trick or treaters on the church parking lot evangelistic outreach program.  I appreciate pray for this as I use object lessons to present the gospel.  The outdoor setting is not the easiest for attention span in children, but we know the Lord is able to use His Word to reach their hearts. Thank you for praying.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Yesterday morning at the clinic we received shocking news that we had arrived too late for them to do it. They apparently only have a 15 minute window in which it can be done.  So Margie's "fast" prior to giving blood was all in vain (no pun intended) that night.  So last night she repeated it and this morning we wernt very early to the clinic and to our surprise it only opens at 8:45.  What a deal.  We live and learn.  But now it is history and Margie was mighty happy to get home and have some breakfast after that long "fast".  Yesterday the dental office called me to change my appointment to an earlier hour.  That was nice because Dr. Meyer was able to do the reconstruction of a molar filling that had partly fallen off during a flossing process.  There's never a dull day.  We attended the evening prayer meeting also and always enjoy that time together with the folks.  This afternoon we have another at 2 in the afternoon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Positive report

Margie was checked at the dental office yesterday regarding the extraction she had.  She was told that it was healing nicely and she was doing well in her care of it.   We appreciated hearing this.   This morning, in just a few minutes, we leave for Margie to have some blood work done.  This is in preparation for her appointment with the rheumatologist soon after.  So the medical trips continue.  We have had plenty of them and are now hoping it will diminish from this point onward.  Thank you folks for praying.  We appreciate it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


All was well last night with the laptop computer.  This morning when I booted up, the screen was different and all the files were gone.  I went immediately to Carbonite (the computer owner's best friend) and started the RESTORE process and went to the chat support for further help.  To make a long story short, the printers didn't work either, so I knew if I turned them on and rebooted, Vista "reads" the signals of the printers and installs the drivers. When all came back, there were all the files and all as it was yesterday.  It's a mystery. We are just glad it works.   I had my early morning walk in the dark with much wind and cold weather.  Margie had a good night with the exception of a near breathing problem again. Praise the Lord it was not serious.  But it causes us great concern.  We don't know the cause.  She has been on special medication to prevent them but they still returned so that leaves us with many questions.  Thanks for praying

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weather report

I usually start walking in the early morning before the sun comes up. Today I awakened but it was raining and I decided not to go.  I need to walk and will probably learn from Margie.  She walks in the house from one end to the other - family room to bedroom.  It is actually a pretty good distance and that's how she gets her walks in.  She longs for the day she will be able to go with me. Yesterday we went to our church and it is always a blessing to have the fellowship and good preaching from the Word from our pastor. At home we also listened and viewed a pre-recorded program. Margie did not use the TENS machine (for pain) after her tooth extraction but last night wore it for over an hour.  She declared this morning that it helped her sleep much better last night.  We are thankful.  I will be reminding you to please pray for my participation in the special outreach at our church on Halloween.  I will be speaking three different times.  Please pray for attention and clarity as I present the object lessons.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Privilege of worship

We never take for granted the privilege given us to gather with others today in our church for worship.  We earnestly look forward to it.  For many months we did not have this opportunity.  Even though Margie did not have the best of nights, she is anxious to be in church today.  Thank you for praying.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


We are careful how we report Margie's progress. We are encouraged with any increase in strength and ability to do things.  Yesterday she did all the washing, drying, folding and ironing of clothes.  For almost a year I did this (cheerfully) knowing it was helping her by conserving her strength.  In fact she was unable to do it for a long time. Margie wants to do these things to free me up to do more of our Shepherd's ministry work.  We need wisdom about our attendance at the end of the year activities at Shepherds the first week of December.  At this point in time, Margie does not feel she can make the trip.  She really wants to go, as do I, but if she is not strong enough to travel, we will gladly stay here.  Thank you for praying about this.  We appreciate it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Extraction report

Margie is "healing" nicely, we believe.  She has an appointment Tuesday afternoon to have a check up at the dental office in Bellingham. The only negative part of this process is her reaction to the antibiotic medication.  She did OK last night so apparently has this dosage figured out. Yesterday she was able to attend the Thursday afternoon prayer meeting.  The afternoon meeting allows some to attend who don't drive at night or are otherwise unable to attend the Wednesday evening prayer meeting.   We are happy for all who come to pray.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Medication woes

As many already know, Margie has experienced serious allergy challenges through the years.  Even now with this medication for the tooth infection, she is not sleeping like she has for quite awhile.  She is trying to adjust the dosage to maintain  its effectiveness but at the same time allow it to do what it is supposed to do - fight infection. Please pray about this.  She was awake for a couple of hours due to this imbalance.  She is hoping she will be strong enough to attend our afternoon prayer meeting today.  Last night we were unable to attend that one.We appreciate your support. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dental report

We asked you to pray and we saw the answer because Margie did well in her tooth extraction.  The paper Margie signed said this about the tooth:  "infected and decayed lower right 2nd molar - tooth # 31". And simply put it said the doctor would do this: " surgical removal of tooth # 31".  It's history now and she is doing fairly well. She took it easy yesterday, eating  at first only a liquid diet.  We stopped at the drug store to pick up two medications she takes.  Thank you so much for praying.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

No boring days

Yesterday was a busy day.  We had several things that had to be done in town ( Bellingham ).  Margie stayed in the car for several of those things as I cared for the business. We are happy she was able to do some grocery shopping with me.   Thankfully Margie had a good night and we are glad because today she faces that critical tooth extraction. We appreciate your prayers for that.  We'll report on that tomorrow.  I will take the laptop computer and work on Shepherds business while Margie is having her dental appointment. On this morning's walk it was gorgeous to watch the sun come up over Mt. Baker.  I always carry a camera with me and took some pictures of it.  Perhaps I will post those next Monday on our photo page on the web site.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Prayer reminder

After a wonderful time at our church yesterday, we spent a quiet afternoon at home enjoying some pre-recorded programs on the TV.  At church, it was the final Sunday of our missions conference and we were blessed hearing the reports from the mission field.
We never know how many people look at the blog, but in case you do, please remember Margie's dental appointment tomorrow where she will have a tooth extracted.  She opted out of the root canal for that tooth, because the one next to it that she just completed is ok but an X-ray showed a problem in this one. The root canal in the adjoining tooth was difficult for her - about 4 hours in two different sessions, so decided to have this one taken out.  The dentist admitted it was problematic anyway so we feel better going this route.  We thank you for the prayer support. With her fragile health we don't want this extraction to complicate things.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Frosty morning

As I looked out side this morning the roof of our neighbor's house was snow white with frost.  It's getting colder each day.  We are looking forward to attending our church service this morning.  Our son called yesterday and we had a nice visit. We appreciate being able to talk to Rawlie and Gina from time to time.  Our neighbor offered for me to put any waste material in his utility trailer, so I cleaned out most of the garage yesterday and boy does it look better. I have been wanting to do it for at least a year.  Finally I got to it. Out DirecTV went out last night and a call to technical indicated it was an antenna problem.  I didn't think so. In fact the technician said we could do the usual routine of unplugging the receiver for 30 seconds and reconnect.  I did and it now works. I was fearful of doing this, like the good old days when the receivers were simpler and not so high tech.  We preset the recorder to capture some of the good Christian programs we enjoy, so after church we can view and hear more good sermons this afternoon. We trust you all have a good day at church also.  We are so glad Margie slept well and is ready for the trip to church this morning.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New milestone

Margie had a very busy day yesterday.  She paces herself carefully so she won't get too tired. I was doing my Shepherd's work and Margie did all the washing, drying, folding and ironing.  This is a first for her and reflects the Lord's answer to prayer for her well being and ability to do the things she wants to around the house.  I have been most happy to do them all, but by degrees she is taking on more and more.   She still is weak and has to be very careful and I tell her daily, "Let me do it !".  But she earnestly wants to be doing more. We are so thankful for the progress thus far.  Thank you for praying.  We appreciate your concern and ministry of prayer for her.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Plenty of activity

We have to pace our activities carefully because Margie's strength is the governing factor. We are grateful she is doing quite well but she has to pick and chose some activities.  We are thankful we were able to make two visits yesterday to elderly folks (older than us). We also attended the afternoon prayer meeting.  The number who attend varies because it seems everybody is busy.  And we discovered another thing: medical appointments often coincide with the time of the prayer meeting.  We are always happy for those who are there. Today the weather is beautiful. This morning's walk was 42 degrees.  It's getting cold.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More missionary blessings

In prayer meeting last night at our church we had the privilege of hearing missionaries Everetts and Ovenells.  It was encouraging to hear how the Lord had brought them through their first term and now they are visiting the churches, telling of the blessings of the ministry on foreign soil.  Today we have the afternoon prayer meeting and we are always pleased with those who come to pray.  Margie and I will also be visiting two families who need encouragement. We continue our ministry with Shepherds of preparing computer files, etc for the next representative will take the position we have had for 11 years.  Would you please pray about that?  Shepherds needs God's wisdom as they choose that person.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A great evening

As mentioned yesterday, we were invited to join two other missionary families at the church for a delicious meal prepared by Kathy Golay.  She and her husband, Glenn hosted this wonderful time.  It was special to hear from the other missionaries and contribute a few ourselves.  In typical Kathy style she had prepared food that Margie could tolerate on her gluten free diet.  She is so considerate and the greatest hostess one could meet.  We were so happy Margie felt up to the occasion.  Again last night she slept well and in fact told me this morning she slept through the alarm.  That's great.  I walked a mile and saw the sun come up-even though slightly hidden by clouds.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Getting stronger

Yesterday we had to be in town to do some necessary things.  I was encouraged to see that Margie could endure the trip. Prior to this, many times she sat in the car in the parking lot while I went in to do the errands, shopping, or whatever.  Now she goes and helps.  This is progress and we rejoice in it. The hard time she had Oct 3 has left us wondering what provoked those attacks.  She is on special medication that previously prevented those spells.  We appreciate prayer about this so that we can figure out this mystery.  We will update you tomorrow more about today's activities.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another week

Actually our week started yesterday and what a great day we had at church.  It was the start of our Missions Conference.  How great to hear the missionaries. We were particularly blessed upon hearing Portuguese spoken by the Everetts, missionaries to Southern Brazil.  This morning, I walked a mile, starting before sunrise and saw the sun come up silhouetting Mt. Baker.  It was also colder and promises to increase as the days pass. Today, besides our regular Shepherd's work, we have to make a trip into Bellingham.  Margie slept well last night. Yesterday at church so many were happy to see her after being absent last week with that set back in her health. Today is a bright and sunshiny day.  Fall is here and we are ready - sort of. (Ha)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Church attendance

We truly hope and pray you don't take for granted the privilege given us to worship in church today.  For many months of this year Margie and I were not able to attend because of her illness.  We never will forget that wonderful day when we stepped into the church for the first time after about 5 or 6 months of being absent.  We enjoy our church family so much and look forward with anticipation to being there.  Pray for your pastor as he preaches and teaches God's Word.  Today our Missions Conference begins.  It will be a delight to hear the missionaries.  Oh,by the way, Margie had a pretty good night.  Thanks for praying.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No monotony

Life is filled with so much to do there is no time for monotony.  Or is this a problem of age? There is so much to do and it takes US longer to get it done, therefore the day is filled with much activity.  Either way, we are happy we can be busy.  Margie is gaining strength daily for which we rejoice, especially after her bout last Sunday (you can read that on last Sunday's blog)  I conducted a grave side funeral for our dear friend, Sadie Struiksma.  She is the mother of missionary Esther Neufeld.  Esther returned from Mango, Togo to attend the service.  It was good to see her.  Last night I received a call from Brazil from a former member of our church here who was in the Armed Services stationed in Blaine, WA ( nearby) . He was looking for John Harder, our son's father in law. We had a nice long chat on the phone and are now connected via email for further communications. So life is filled with interesting happenings and these take place DAILY.  Isn't it great !

Friday, October 8, 2010

How quickly they pass

Needless to say the days rush by quickly.  We are grateful to be "mobile" - as an elderly friend of ours use to say. Yesterday afternoon prayer meeting was well attended.  Last night I visited a lady who was just taken to ER.  Our pastor also saw her. Today I have a part in the burial of another good friend of ours.  So the days pass with plenty to do. Some things don't get taken care of to our satisfaction but we are grateful for what we can do. Margie is gaining back her strength which was suddenly taken from her through those three physical mishaps she experienced last Sunday.  Margie slept well last night and each report of this, gives us hope for future days. Thank you for being with us in intercession.  We deeply appreciate it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Getting stronger

Margie's three crisis attacks last Sunday (see former blog for details) left her very weak.  It has taken all his week to gain back her strength  Thankfully she was able to get her glasses yesterday and they are such a blessing. She can now SEE.  What a blessing.  Last night she was strong enough to attend the evening prayer meeting.  We received a phone call from Brazil at noon, assuring us of prayer from our friends there.  That was comforting to hear.  Today we will be back to church for the afternoon prayer meeting.  Thank you so much for the prayer support for Margie.  Without it she would never be as well as she is.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


We received word late yesterday afternoon that Margie's second pair of glasses are ready.  What a blessing this will be for her to be able to see things at a distance.  Up until now, her distant vision has been very limited.  I will drive her into Bellingham this morning to have these new glasses fitted properly. It is rewarding to think that finally this long journey of eye surgeries has ended and now normalcy returns with the added bonus of being able to read and see much better.  The severe attacks of last Sunday have left her pretty well washed out, but gradually she is returning to the pattern she was enjoying prior to this.   Thanks for praying for her and her need for daily strength.  We need much wisdom and direction about a scheduled trip to Union Grove, Wisconsin. We will not attempt this if her strength level does not improve. We appreciate your help in pray about this.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A huge response

I sent out many e-mail notices regarding Margie's health problem Sunday morning.  On Sunday and Monday we received "scads" of beautiful responses promising their prayer support.  We truly appreciate this.  What a wonderful way to get prayer support quickly.  We can remember our days in Brazil when we lived down river (Amazon) from the Peruvian and Columbia border about 100 miles.  A letter requesting prayer would take weeks from the time you wrote it and drove your boat 100 miles to Leticia, Coloumbia, to mail it.  Once my brother was sitting at his computer in Singapore when I sent a request and he calculated it took 20 seconds to reach his desk.  What an electronic age we live in.   Margie had a good night, thankfully but is still pretty washed out after Sunday's happenings.  Thank you so much for your prayers.

Monday, October 4, 2010

God will take care of you.

Please read yesterday's blog for the background for today's blog.  I felt I should send out an email to many of our friends who can't read the blog each day.  Margie & I were listening to the Old Fashion Revival Hour and the quartet sang God will take care of you.  It was so beautiful, emotional and ministered to us both as we realized how much God is in control of our circumstances.  We never desire a repeat of yesterday's happenings but we rest in His providence.  Marge had a fabulous night and we are so grateful, especially after the horrendous day Sunday. We are receiving an amazing response to our email prayer request.  It is very encouraging. Thank you so much. An amazing sidelight is also how many people change their email addresses.  We have "loads" returned undeliverable.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Surprise attack

For a long time Margie has not had a severe breathing spell.  This morning as I was just about to administer a drop of medication in her newly operated eye, per the doctor's orders, she had another violent spell.  We learned years ago through a doctor that Alka Seltzer Gold ( a product unknown to most people) helps in such cases. Well for the first time since she has had these attacks, we had to give her THREE doses at 3 different times. As I write this I have a bell by her side and if she needs me she will ring it and I'll go running. As she was gasping for breath and also gagging on what we presume to be a build up of mucous, I prayed asking the Lord to give her relief.  One more time she called me.  This is a first as far as the severity of her condition is concerned.  I was moments away from calling 911 but she decided against it.  Please pray for dear Margie.  She has suffered so much and I feel badly to see it continue.  We appreciate your prayers so much.  She had complained yesterday of feeling so tired and saying that if she didn't improve, she would not be attending church today. But she had her clothes all set out that she was going to wear to the service. Well, for sure we won't be in church.  We'll have to take the second best and watch some programs on the TV.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

After a busy day

Yesterday we spent almost 2 hours with the doctor relative to Margie's scheduled exam Oct 19.  That coupled with the necessary shopping made us very late in getting home.  It was 4:30 in the afternoon.  One real bright spot in the day was a call from the eye glass company with the news that one pair of Margie's glasses was ready for pick up.  The other will be ready next week. She is so delighted to now be able to read and really see well the words.  Before she was using an old pair of mine that actually got her through this phase and she was thankful for them.  In just a moment our grandchildren and daughter-in-law will be dropping by for a visit so I better publish this and be ready for their arrival.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Medical appointment

Today Margie has another consultation.  She certainly had many of these this past year.  We will take advantage of our trip into the neighboring town of Bellingham to do some necessary shopping.  Our son may spend the night with us today.  He has family business matters to tend to related to his father-in-law who recently was moved to the lovely Merrill Gardens in Stanwood, Washington.  I know they would appreciate prayer for John Harder in his new living quarters.  Yesterday Margie was able to do some cooking, gluten free things she can eat, also delicious clam chowder for our lunch.