Archive for Heatwole Family

Heatwole Gathering-2017

For those interested in our family, this post features pictures from our family get-together this weekend at Sparking Springs. This year Phil and Ev Borntrager were in charge. We had church together this morning, followed by good food and fellowship. Each family prepared something to share for the service.

Phil Borntager leading us in singing

Phil & Ev Borntrager reading scripture. (Ev was wearing a bear on her head to create interest for a later children’s event)

Melanie Neiss leading her family (following picture) in blessing us with special music.

Jake Niess with children; Kyra, Taya and Lucas.

Kendra Landis with her children; Blake, Austin and Macey singing Psalms 100, a song they created to help learn the Psalm.

(Girl in red just wanted to sit on Kendra’s lap)

Heidi Nolt with three of her children; Grace, Julianna and David saying some verses.

 Kerwin and Rhonda Borntrager with their children; Ana, Josiah,   Leah and Katie singing a song.

Mother (Fannie Heatwole) sharing some verses that are special to her.

Pat Hertzler had a children’s lesson on “Kindness”.

 

Gene, the pharmacist, giving a “kindness prescription” and two cards with the following verses to each child.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

“Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as Christ forgave you”. Ephsians 4:32

Evelyn played some games that we as kids played when we were young: Dentist, Button button who has the button, Smelling with yardstick, Treasure hunt and New Orleans-Here I Come.

“Dentist”

“Button, button, who has the button”

Then off they went on a treasure hunt….

Then Phil read a bear story to the children and they all went out on a bear hunt.

It wasn’t long until the excited explorers came back with the bear in tow….

 

Daddy (Dwight Heatwole)

Micah Heatwole

Ed Heatwole

Phil Borntrager, Gene Hertzler and Micah Heatwole

Calvin Nolt

Kerwin Borntrager

Marj Heatwole

Crystal and Eric Blosser

Eileen Heatwole

Kendra Landis

Jim Landis

Mom and daughter sharing a moment; Melanie Kniss and Marj Heatwole

 Jill Hostetter, Ryan and Karla

Heidi Nolt and Nathan

Pat Hertzler singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to Maude Heatwole…over and over and over…it was great fun and she was my friend for a long time!

Then we learned “I’m squishing up a baby bumble bee. Won’t my mama be so proud of me, I’m squishing up a baby bumble bee….”

“Ouch, he stung me….”

Ryan Hostetter and Marj Heatwole

Gene Hertzler, Obe Hostetter, Kerwin & Phil Borntrager, Dad Heatwole and Rhonda Borntrager

 

Nathan Nolt

Grace Nolt

And the uninvited guest who garnished some attention of the photographers in the family….

A Most Delightful Afternoon

I have these cousins, well actually we are my third and a half cousins, who are very special and this afternoon I was invited to join them for a visit at their ladies annual sewing retreat as they are in the Gum Springs (my) area this year. Every year they choose a different state and location.

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Back: Emily, June, Me-Pat, Julia, Polly

Front: Coleen, Margaret, Barbara

The eight gals, who I refer to as the Heatwole sisters, along with their mother who is 91, get together once a year for ten days to sew.  Yes, sew. They gather from Georgia, Texas, Delaware and Virginia with their sewing machines, irons, tables, sewing projects and set up shop at a “retreat area” to visit, laugh, reminiscence, sew, quilt and even check out a few of the local eateries and thrift stores.  Their sister, Sheila from Alabama, was not with them this year and sister-in-law, Cheryl, from Harrisonburg, came later in the week. Through out the week various daughters and granddaughters come for varying lengths of time.

Margaret, the matriarch, is very industrious for her age. She can still sew up a storm and this week was busy making potholders. Margaret’s artistic eye has been passed on to her daughters who are professional quilter designers and fabric artists.  She has painted china, many pictures and even a mural on a wall in her house. And I was impressed with her use of technology. This lady may walk with a cane but she knows how to use her ipad!

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 She showed me how she made these beautiful, soft potholders. Tucked in between the layers of cloth and batting was a heat resistant sheet. She sewed lines across the pads maybe half an inch apart and then took scissors and cut the top layer of material the entire length.  After they were washed and dried the raw edges were soft and fuzzy.

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June was working on finishing a Dresden Plate quilt that came from her husband’s side of the family in the late 1800’s. All the pieces were hand stitched together and in excellent condition. What a treasure to preserve this piece of family history.

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Another of June’s handiwork: Hummingbird wall hanging.

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I was really partial to this quilted wall hanging by June. I love photographing sunsets and this quilt was almost as pretty as the real thing!

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I thought these three wall hangings by June were exquisite-and no, she will not sell them!!!!  The design pieces were laid on a background piece and stitched with a million stitches!!! There were rows and rows of machine stitches going horizontal and vertical as close together as you could stitch. The texture of these quilts begs to be lovingly touched.

Coleen is one year older than me and she was my pal when our families got together. Here she is pictured with her mother, showing the lovely pillow covers she was working on for each of her children. The brightly colored pieces of velveteen were stunning and each square was framed with fancy embroidery stitching giving it an elegant finish.img_2369

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Another project of Coleen was a series of small quilts using her dad’s (on left) and father-in-law’s (on right) shirts. She plans to also do one using scraps from her mother and mother-in-law’s dresses.

Julia is an “artistic quilter” and loves to recreate a quilt from a photograph or design an abstract quilt such as the sun rays in the picture below. She is a blogger (Life As a Quilter) and has received wide-spread recognition for her handiwork.

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One of Julia’s traditional quilts she is working on.

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A quilt Julia is making for one of her grandsons.

Just an interesting note for the Powhatan folks…. Julia supplied the cotton seed planted in the historical garden at the courthouse a year or so ago. She and her husband raise cotton in Georgia and I wrote to her asking how we could get ahold of a few seeds. She generously gave us some!

Polly and I both share someone very special. She is grandma to little Jase (my great-nephew)  that I occasionally write about who has SMA.  One of Polly’s creative works of art was a butterfly wall quilt. It is made with lots and lots of small rectangle pieces strategically laid side by side. She also is a blogger and her writings can be read at Pollythepatchworker.

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One of Polly’s projects begging to become something special.

Barbara is a quilt designer, author and teacher. She has a website, Delightful Piecing, where you can see her schedule, purchased her books and view her gallery of pictures. She was working on a beautiful soft, natural colored quilt for one of her children’s wedding.

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Emily was working on a “Moo Cow” quilt using multi-sized, multi-colored bits and pieces strategically laid together to form the picture. Each tiny piece of fabric had adhesive on the back and was carefully ironed into place when she had obtained the desired look.

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Another view of “Moo Cow”.

Katina, Coleen’s daughter, showing me her flannel quilt.

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Several other of the next generation gals were there-but I failed to get their names. One  was working on a leaf quilt with rich, rustic fall colors and another was working on a princess dress-up outfit for her daughter.

These pictures only represent a portion of their work this week.  There were quilts folded on chairs, laid out on the floor, stashed in bags and containers under the tables. Let me tell you, these Heatwole sisters know how to quilt and how to do it fun!

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Finished projects:

I snitched from their fb posts some pictures of the finished projects I have featured above. Their personal fb posts reflect many more projects and I suspect their blogs will have lots of pictures soon. Enjoy….!!!

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Heatwole Gathering-2016

This year our family gathering was at the home of Jim and Kendra Landis. They have a beautiful home site nestled on the edge of Shenandoah Mountain with National Forest all around. Jim is very creative and their place was better than a park with a zip line, playground, walking trails and picnic area.  The pictures and video clips will tell the story.

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My parents, siblings and spouses started Saturday morning with a delicious breakfast at the home of Rich and Marj.

Back: Ed & Eileen Heatwole, Marj & Rich Heatwole, Gene & Pat Hertzler

Front: Mother (Fannie Heatwole), Phil & Ev Borntrager and Daddy (Dwight Heatwole)

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Midmorning we begin to gather at the Landis home. The kids had a blast climbing on the monkey bars, swinging and sliding on the play set, and riding their bikes.

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The zip line was a favorite for kids and a few brave adults.  The “take off” perch was on a cliff behind the house.  There was an adult at the station to ensure all safety precautions were followed and the harnesses properly hooked to the cable.

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After putting on the harness,  you had the thrill of a 500 ft. zip across the lawn to the “landing station”. Two adults were there to receive/catch the “zippers” and help them unhook.

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Some of the smaller kids rode tango with another but each had their own harness

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Spectators!

Jase

I think most of us were anxious and excited to see little Jase. It has been awhile since we had an update on him. He is now 14 months old, cute as a button and a specimen of health.

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He had a heart warming smile that made you just want to snatch him up and cuddle on him. He had a strong preference for this parents and preferred you visit from a distance!

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No SMA baby ever dreamed of standing like this.  What does the future hold? No one knows. He is on an experimental drug for two years. Because he has participated in the program and shown huge results, he will be able to continue the drug.  Other kids his age have crawled and are toddling around.  So far he has not achieved that feat. He wants to crawl and rocks himself forward but can’t quite get his body into the right position. Is he just slow? We hope so. But standing on his mom’s lap he definitely has strength in his legs.  The movement in his arms is strong and there is nothing floppy about him. It is truly a miracle and gift from God that modern medicine has gotten this far.

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I had the privilege of holding him while his mom worked with lunch.  Let’s say “he tolerated” me with a whine!  But whenever I got too close after that he would watch me with those huge brown eyes and get that worried look on his face with a hint of a twinkle in his eyes.  What a charmer!!

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I could hardly get enough of the little fella!  He has no idea how unique and special he is.

The Lazy Boy Chair

Gene has had a rough summer with four surgeries (one on his shoulder and three for a kidney stone). He is still trying to get his strength and energy back.  He was struggling this weekend with extreme muscle soreness.

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He started out in his lawn chair but behind the scenes Jake and Jim were busy carrying a recliner from the house and up the hill to the picnic area. When the time came to move to the area for lunch,  Jim offered to carry our chairs and walked with him.

This video clip tells the story!

 

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This was really, really a very thoughtful and much appreciated prank!

A while later the sun popped through the leafy overhang and the guys immediately pulled out a patio umbrella for shade!!! How much more loved and special can you get? Jim and Jake’s mother-in-law wondered aloud if she would be this special and cared for when she was old! (The answer is on the video clip!)

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The Picnic Area

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A funny adornment-I guess just in case you are brave enough!!!

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The Faces of Us!

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The youngest of the clan.

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It was a fun, relaxing and absolutely perfect day with good food, fellowship and weather.

P.S. We missed the families of Keith, Jill, Brian, Jeannette, Aaron and Karmen. One of these couples was in Ireland on vacation and another is expecting their baby any day, any hour!

Heatwole Family Reunion-2015

Life has been busy and full this summer and I think all the big major events have now taken place!  This weekend was our Heatwole family gathering here in Powhatan. Each of us siblings (Me, Rich, Evelyn and Ed) take turns hosting. Every four years it is my turn.

My siblings/spouses and parents arrived on Friday evening. We enjoyed supper on the deck and as a side benefit watched six turkeys grazing in the field behind the house.

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On Saturday the rest of the gang arrived.  There were 40 present with several not able to attend. The kids had a great time playing in the wading pool and playing kick ball and  corn-hole. The adults were content to sit and talk and catch up on what is happening in our families and life. I didn’t get very many pictures this year.  (I’m not sure what happened to me-the camera buff that I am!)

 

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In trying to pump up the soccer ball with more air the needle broke off in the valve.   Obe tried his best but could not get it out.

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The “pirate” boy (Ryan Hostetter) collided with another boy a day or so early and took a hard blow to the eye.

 

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We had lots of good food including smoked beef brisket.

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Filling the wading pool with water.

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 Cheryl Yoder and Jase, the newest member of the family.

 

Let me tell you about Jase…..

Jase was born 4 weeks ago. Remember our journey two years ago with little Ariel who had SMA?  This is her little brother and he has been diagnosed with the same disease. This is devastating news not only for Jeremy and Cheryl but also for the whole family and a host of friends and loved ones who love and care for the Yoders.

Jeremy and Cheryl shared with the family where they are at in their journey with Jase and there is exciting developments in research to find a cure for SMA.  Forty years ago when our two children died, there was no research, no diagnostic test, no hope.  It was a death sentence with no survivors. Then came Truman in 2011 and Ariel in 2012.  At that time there was a blood test to reveal the dreaded diagnosis but still no exciting medical research to embrace.  I have been keeping a  journal as we get information on Jase’s journey.

Family Connections:  To those who are reading this and do not know the family connection…. Rich is my brother and his wife is Marj.  Cheryl is their daughter and Jase is Rich and Marj’s grandson.   The disease first showed up in our family when Gene and I lost 2 children with Werdnig-Hoffman disease, now called SMA: Karla in 1978 and Greg in 1982.   Gene has a sister who also had a child with the disease.  Years went by and then came little Truman, son of Micah and Krista Heatwole. Micah is Rich and Marj’s son.  The disease had once again reared it’s ugly head.  Jase.

Jeremy Yoders-July 2015

Jeremy and Cheryl, Max, Bo and Jase

 

July 16, 2015: Cheryl

He’s here! Jase Marius arrived yesterday – all 9 lb 9.5 oz of him! – arrived yesterday at 3:36pm. Jase means “healer”. Marius, a take off of Mark in honor of Jeremy’s Dad, means “manly”. So grateful for this gift!

Jase Yoder-birth July 16 2015

July 25, 2015

Richard called to tell us that the blood test has come back and little Jase has tested positive for SMA.

July 26, 2015

Richard & Marj sent the following note to family and friends: Jase’s blood test results came on Fri. His DNA shows the same gene abnormality as Ariel’s. He tests positive for SMA. This is an unexpected blow. Thanks for your prayers for us and ours.

August 4, 2015: Sharing our journey… from Cheryl

We’ve already introduced Jase Marius here. We’re enjoying him immensely!

We learned on Friday the 24th, half of Jase’s lifetime ago, that he is missing both copies of the SMN1 gene – just like Ariel – and is expected to be affected with SMA. In spite of fully knowing our “odds”, we were not prepared for this report. It was extremely disappointing to say the least. Many of you have been praying for our family. You carried us through the journey with Ariel and anticipated this baby (Jase) with us. Here we are in a vulnerable, heart-breaking position and find that we’re able to stand, over our heads in grace. God is with us. You can rejoice in answered prayer!

We maintain that now is the time to trust and to savor life for it is truly a gift. Look at these pictures – can you acknowledge with us that our God is beautiful and kind?

Yesterday we took Jase to the same neurologist who saw Ariel. I was not super excited about the appointment. Jase is not showing symptoms of SMA…”Why are we even going? Just to have him scrutinized and look for the problem we’re praying not to see?” But I did have some questions and it can be difficult to land an appointment, so when they had an opening yesterday we took it.

There’s a lot I could say, but to get more quickly to the point, Jeremy and I – and Jase, but he isn’t concerned one hoot about it. We left the appointment hearts throbbing with hope, kind of floored into silence, with big silly grins on our faces. We had just received really good news for Jase!

There is a lot of research going on right now regarding SMA. Up to this point it’s been, “We’re learning really exciting things, but there’s nothing we can do yet.” That was our experience with Ariel. But yesterday the doctor, for the first time in his career was able to say to someone, “There is a promising drug that is in clinical trials. There is a trial open right now. Your son looks like a perfect candidate.” That someone was us!

There is hope that this therapy could prevent the onset of SMA symptoms. There are no guarantees – this is a clinical trial. Eligible infants are those who have been diagnosed but are not yet symptomatic (which is uncommon). That’s Jase. So! We are extremely excited and grateful. We have blindly placed our hope in our strong God and it is exhilarating to feel like we very likely are beginning to glimpse His answer.

God’s fingerprints are all over the timing of test results, appointments, the clinical trial itself…. We rejoice and worship and continue to trust and pray. The medical people are in a flurry to get things moving so that Jase can enter the trial before he develops symptoms. My mommy heart has urged, “hurry, HURRY!” My heart that has been tucked pretty hard under the Father’s arm says, “He’s got this one. You don’t know how, but everything is going to be okay.”

We will probably be traveling to Chicago this week, yet, for initial screening and possibly the first treatment if everything clears. Probably. Possibly. If. That’s exactly how sure we are about what’s next. Please continue to pray. And be sure to direct all praise to God!

 

August 5, 2015: A note from Marj

I’m assuming ya’ll have seen the latest developments concerning Jase on FB. We’re about to leave for church, but I wanted to let you know that Jeremy, Cheryl & Jase are flying to Chicago this evening. Jase’s first app’t is at 8:00 tomorrow morning. They’ll be doing a screening to make sure he meets all the qualifications for this experimental test. Jeremys were told to go prepared to stay until Tues. Max & Bo are at Jeremy’s folks in DE. Thank you so much for your interest and your prayers. We wonder what God is up to, what may come of this; what His plan is for our little Jase. It’s pretty exciting, and a bit surreal.

 

August 6, 2015: A note from Marj

I just got off the phone with Cheryl. They’ve had a big day, are weary and ready for a good night of sleep. But pleased and excited with Jase’s performance today. Like Jeremy said, “he passed his tests in flying colors.” They drew blood for a chemistry panel, checked his urine for whatever, did an EKG, an EMG (shock to his funny bone to test his response – which will frequently show SMA before any other symptoms. His strength is good, they see no manifestations of SMA, and unless something shows up in the blood panel tomorrow they plan to give him his first injection on Mon. They’ll return to Baltimore on Tues.

Just for interest sake, they were picked up at their home last pm. Rode in a shiny black Suburban to the airport. Plane left over an hour late so it was 11:00 when they arrived in Chicago. They were met by a man holding a placard with Cheryl’s name on, were escorted by him to another shiny black SUV to the motel. And were at the hospital for Jase’s appointment at 8:00 this morning. Now after the blood test tomorrow, far as they know, they’ve got the rest of the weekend to wait out (while test reports come back) in the big city. I guess it’s good they’re more used to that than I am. I think I’d be inclined to stay put in my room so I wouldn’t get lost!

Praise the Lord for whatever His plan is and how He is working it out. Thank Him for the strength that Jase has today, for this opportunity, for hope. Pray that they’ll all get a good night of sleep tonight.

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August 16: Pat

We do not know the future implications of the clinical testing for Jase.  This opportunity is brand new and Jase is the third infant in the world to be admitted into the program since the trial opened two weeks ago.  Jase will receive a series of 10 shots over the next 2-1/2 years. At this point Jase is symptom free even though blood test have revealed a grim diagnosis. Each healthy person has a SMA1 and SMA2 gene.  Jase is missing SMA1 and has 2 of SMA2. Our family carries the most acute form of the disease which means the symptoms start showing at or soon after birth and their life expectancy is only 1-2 years.  There are so many questions. Will God use this as a miracle cure or will it just prolong the evidence of symptoms? What happens at the end of the trial? What are the side effects? Can it really be possible that Jase could live a symptom free life? Why has this disease hit our family so many times? What is the genetic path in our family line?

Our family gathered around Rich, Marj and all their children and prayed for them. This is not just their burden, it affects us all. Micah and Krista are expecting in November and we stand with them as they wait and anticipate the birth of their little one. We value life.  We know that God is the creator of all life and we do not take health for granted. In the midst of great sorrow and disappointment we have found the peace, mercy and love in our Heavenly Father in whom we can trust.

Jase means healer.  We ask God for the desire of our heart, that He will heal little Jase. We know that good can come from all of our earthly struggles and trials. If Jase is not healed, we pray that his young life will at least help grant healing to thousands and thousands of other children in the future as the medical world searches for a cure.  We truly desire for God to receive glory and honor regardless of the outcome.

 

Links to my blog posts on Truman and Ariel

Heatwole Family Gathering-2014

Each year my extended family gets together for 1-2 day weekend-usually in the fall. Each of us siblings takes turns hosting the gathering. This year Ed and Eileen were the gracious hosts in their spacious house.  The cool, damp, misty weather kept the adults from sitting around the fire on their patio but the children still enjoyed playing outdoors.

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Scotch tape and sticks kept the children busy and creative for quite a while.

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Our train fanatic!

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Do you think she is taking a “selfie”?

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We had a pantry shower for the newlyweds-Aaron and Brittany- and grandmother gave them a quilt she had made.

She made each of the 13 grandchildren a quilt and Aaron, the youngest, was the last to receive his.

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Someone is cleaning up his spill!

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We had a catfish fry and homemade hush puppies for supper along with lots of other good food and homemade ice-cream (chocolate, grape-nut and butterfinger).

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True southern Alabama style hush puppies, made by Krista Heatwole,  ready to fry.

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 My siblings & spouses, along with my parents, met for breakfast on Sunday morning.

This has become a special time for us.

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Mother and Daddy (Dwight and Fannie Heatwole).

They had 4 children.

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Pat and Gene Hertzler

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Rich and Marj Heatwole

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Phil and Ev Borntrager

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Ed and Eileen Heatwole

Now we are a family with 13 grandchildren and 23 great-grand children.

Note: to those who couldn’t make it…you were missed and hope you enjoy the preview of the day.

Ebola in West Africa – Too close home

(Journal of events as they have unfolded for our family this week)

There is much unrest and very dangerous situations happening in the world right now. They sometimes are hard to grab ahold of,  understand and feel compassion for until they hit home and you have family and/or friends there it can suddenly feel very personal. Right now this is happening with the Ebola crisis in Liberia in West Africa.

See my blog post “The Battle is Not Ours” for more of my personal thoughts on dealing with difficult circumstances.

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Sunday-July 27, 2014: I don’t know if you are following the news but there is a very serious situation in Liberia with the Ebola outbreak. It is getting worse as the day progresses…. Here is the situation my brother’s (Richard) family is dealing with.

My niece, Melanie, and her husband, Jake, are serving with Samaritans Purse (SP) in Liberia. The outbreak has now hit their compound and their house. They live in a duplex and the doctor next door who shares the duplex is the one making world news today. He is the lead doctor and now he has Ebola. He is from Texas and they were due to go home for a family wedding and much needed vacation. His wife and children flew home last week and he was due to leave today.  Now today word has come that a nurse also has contracted Ebola.

Yesterday morning Mel talked to Dr. Brantly on their front porch.   Later in the day on Saturday he realized that he too had become a victim of the dreaded disease. Yesterday Mel & Jake were given 5 minutes to evacuate their house. They are temporarily living with another family. Their home will probably be turned into a hospital unit and probably their possessions burned. It is questionable if they will be able to retrieve anything else.

Mel and Jake have 2 children and are expecting a third. This is a scary time for everyone and particularly for family back home waiting, watching, worrying  and praying.

Tomorrow morning SP is having a meeting and it is highly likely that only essential personal will stay and everyone else sent home before doors close and the country does not allow anyone to leave. Much is at stake. You probably haven’t been really following the situation as we have. Here is a little clarification.

The compound where the Neiss’ are at was not a medical compound. Jake works with maintenance keeping all of SP helicopters in the area running for the larger ministry. When the first wave of Ebola hit this spring SP sent Mel and the children home for six weeks until it abated. (It was only in their area) In the mean time SP felt that they were there in Liberia “for such a time as this”. They set up a hospital on the compound and have been on the front lines helping the Liberian people. From Mel’s fb page it sounds as it the hospital just started receiving patients a week ago.

This disease is brutal and swift. They will know in several days if Dr. Brantly will live or die. There is a 90% death rate. It is unreal what they have to do to work in these conditions. Here is a link to a SP video from that unit that is a real eye opener.

http://video.samaritanspurse.org/samaritans-purse-responds-to-ebola-in-liberia/

This is a huge blow to SP ministry there and a dangerous situation for all the workers. Please join us as we pray that SP will have wisdom how to proceed and move forward and how to protect their workers.

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Monday July 28: Here is word from Rich & Marj this morning…… Keep praying.

This is the word from Melanie after their meeting this morning. Samaritan’s Purse is evacuating their whole team from Monrovia. They’re leaving for the airport today at 3:00 their time (11:00 ours) and flying to to an undisclosed location. They will all be together at a motel for the next 21 days, which is the gestation period for the Ebola virus.  She didn’t know how much they’d be able to get from their house. Someone does need to go in for their passports, at the least.   I didn’t think to ask what they’re doing with Dr.B. In answer to my question as to how he’s doing this morning, she said, “very bad”. Keep praying for him!!

Marj wrote to family…”One may wonder (here where we’re nice and safe) about Christians pulling out at a desperate time of need like this. However, the culture there is quite different. Superstition and distrust often supercede truth and the reception of assistance. The clinic has been receiving serious threats and last p.m. there was an attempt to take life. Please continue to pray for mission agencies who have tough decisions to make, and for the individual people like Jake & Mel who are there because the LORD led them there. We are confident that none of this is a surprise to Him. May He be exalted, even now.”

PS: An informative article about ebola is http://www.vox.com/2014/7/23/5930311/ebola-virus-disease-outbreak-africa-facts-guinea. There are many other sites you can google if you’re interested.

Here is a blog from the sister–in-law of Dr. Brantly.   http://www.carrollcrossroads.com/blog/urgent-prayer-request

 *****

Tuesday-July 29: The prayer concern today is not only for the doctor (last evening the word was he was in grave condition) and nurse but also for the safety of the rest of the SP staff that did not make it out of Liberia. After the group that Melanie and Jake were in was evacuated the border closed. It’s a bit more tricky now and they say to stay could be a life and death situation. This is being taken into consideration. You will find more info and details about what’s happening at this at

http://bit.ly/1rv5RcR Samaritans.Purse link.

The word from Melanie this morning is….”we made it out of Liberia this morning. We had no hassle at the airport except for temp checks and some new forms asking us how our health is and where we are staying. Lucas slept for only 1 hour during the flight, so we are super tired!!! Both kids did very well. The plane food was delicious—meat!! SP put us up in a small Christian hotel and it has a restaurant. The temperature here is very cool for us sea level people.:)

I’m overwhelmed with gratefulness to be able to have my most precious people with me- my family. Jake was able to get some things from our house, so we have clothes and money etc. There are many more SP staff that still need to be evacuated. They flew oxygen machines in for Kent and Nancy but we have no updates on their status this morning. We are trusting and hopeful.”

 *****

 Wednesday-July 30: Last evening word came that the doctor’s status is deteriorating.  My heart aches for his wife and children as they watch, pray, and worry from a distance.  All the staff was involved in helping in some way; washing clothes, sterilizing, recording, etc.  They are monitoring their temperatures and we are praying that all are safe. As of last evening SP has not yet been able to evacuate the remaining staff. This is a very dangerous situation because of death threats and attempts on the lives of the staff. There is much superstition and distrust of the native people as they think the Americans are bringing them Ebola. The article below explains that situation.

Death and Denial in the Hot Zone:

Update today from Samaritans Purse:

Slight Improvement for Doctor with Ebola

 *****

Thursday, July 31:  There is a very informative update today from  Samaritian’s Purse on the status of Dr. Brantly and Nancy.

Samaritan’s Purse physician gives experimental serum to stricken colleague

*****

Note from Pat:  Samaritians Purse website and fb page and Franklin Grahams fb page are posting updates on the situation. Follow them for more information.

 

Related Posts:

 

Ariel Joy

 

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Ariel Joy

(Hebrew name meaning Lion of God)

A little over two years ago I posted several blogs about my nephew Micah’s son, Truman, who passed away from SMA Type I or Werdnig Hoffman disease. SMA is a severe genetic disease attacking the nerve and muscle systems.  Children born with this disease are known as “floppy” babies.  As the nerves quit functioning that control the muscle movement from the spinal cord they lose the ability to move. It eventually affects their breathing and swallowing.  We also had two children with the same disease in 1977 and 1982.

Fifteen months ago this cruel disease surfaced in the Heatwole family again. My niece Cheryl has a little girl, Ariel Joy, who is fighting for her life.  It is very unusual for it to show up in a family this many times as both parents have to carry the genetic markers for the disease.  Just to understand the family connection…Micah and Cheryl are brother and sister and their dad, Richard, is my brother.

September 2013

Ariel has huge, imploring eyes and an angelic smile. She has never rolled over or taken a step. She can’t turn her head but she can turn her eyes. She is very aware of her surroundings. She loves her family and feels very insecure when others try to touch or hold her.

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Here she is celebrating her one-year birthday-December 26, 2013.

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Time is running out for Ariel unless God performs a miracle.  Her parents, along with family and friends, have diligently and persistently implored God for a miracle to heal their little sweetheart.  It truly is amazing she has made it this far. Normally they do not get to celebrate their first birthday.

April 2014

Ariel is very tiny, weighing a mere eleven pounds. She is a fighter and several times has had a very close call.  Her swallowing is now being affected which makes it very difficult to even eat pureed food.  I quote from Jeremy and Cheryl’s March 23 facebook page….

“Well friends, it would be impossible for us to make up the kind of hope that we are experiencing right now. Two days ago Ariel choked on a bottle, stopped breathing, became blue and we thought we had lost her. But she came back! The last two weeks or so, she’s been borderline sick and “on the edge” health-wise. The choking event wiped her out and yesterday we truly felt we were looking at the end. We kissed her last night and put her to bed feeling like we had said “goodbye”. But this morning…. ! She woke up early and took some water. I was just trying to make her comfortable but she liked it and wanted more. Then she wanted breakfast. She polished that off, gave us tiny smiles and was interacting some, looking around with bright eyes…more herself than she has been in days. She has been sleeping, now, all morning. We are so encouraged and are, like I said, hopeful. I have to admit that my soul has been suspicious of such hope. After all, I feel I’ve been looking death in the face. But I have said to my soul, “Bless God! To Him belong escapes from death. Hope in God! Rest and receive hope.” What if we have been walking through the valley of the shadow of death and we’re actually, like He said, walking THROUGH. Please continue praying! (We cannot express how grateful we are!) We are so dependent on His presence, protection and touch.”
It was 37 years ago today that we laid our own little Karla to rest.  I remember and my mind is very much on little Ariel and her struggle to breathe, eat and live. I think of Jeremy and Cheryl and their struggle to cling to the threads of hope. Hope, that just maybe, they will be granted a much desired miracle.
I am reminded of my Heavenly Father’s deep love for his children. I am reminded of His presence, His peace and His comfort. Maybe He will yet miraculously choose to heal little Ariel in this life. But if He doesn’t we know that she will be perfectly and fully healed in her new life with Him.  God tells us to bring our sorrows, our desires, our needs, our petitions, our joys and our worship to Him.  And so we enter the throne room of heaven and ask for a miracle for little Ariel.  God hears.  Regardless of the outcome I will praise His name and thank Him for His goodness. I can trust Him.

I remember when….Our Faith Journey

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When Evelyn asked me to share “I remember when…. our spiritual heritage” I found myself trying to come up with a clever title such as “Give Me That Old Time Religion” but I found a richness of our heritage that goes much deeper than frivolous, cutesy sayings.  It is a “tried and true” faith with a solid foundation-rocks to stand on.  But, it still has to be our own.  We can not get to heaven on “the faith of our fathers”.

I am going to call this our “Faith Journey”.  The memories I share will be from the 1950’ and 60’s.

History gives us something to look back and reflect on. History gives us a second perspective on life events.  History gives us our story to share with our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  History shows us our journey; some of it is good, some of it is tough and some of it we prefer to hide or throw away. History can not be changed but we can change the outcome of the future.

I am going to try to reflect on memories of our family’s faith journey.  Obviously it is from my point of view and it may reflect differently for my siblings.

One of my very first memories and it had to be before I was four, was sitting in the dining room bay window at Penn Laird, looking at the clouds and thinking about Jesus coming back-wondering if He was going to step out from behind the beautiful, fluffy, white clouds. I would assume there was preaching about it that had touched my tender heart.  I have always had a love of prophecy and to this day enjoy studying and talking about it. I know Ed also shares that love and it often is a source of conversation for us.  On the farm at Edom we had a path to the barn though a field.  One time daddy mentioned that every morning as he went to the barn he would look up to see if the power line was in  place and then his gaze would go to the sky and he would wonder, “Is today the day?”

We were taught integrity, truthfulness and honesty. I remember finding a penny on the school bus and turning it in to the driver.  If we were caught saying an untruth the punishment was swift and we did not repeat the offense.

We were taught to guard our words. Unnecessary words were not allowed-not even “mercy, great day or goodness”.  I remember daddy telling us that when he was a little boy, one time he got something he was so proud of and he said, “hot dog” as he sat down under a tree. He was punished.  I am glad that today my conversation is not filled with unnecessary words.

Family devotions were an important part of breakfast-teaching us to start our day with God. We ate all three meals together, sitting down at the table as a family. For years we would sing a hymn-working our way through the Church Hymnal, then mother would read from a devotional book, daddy would read scripture and we would pray. This was not a fast-food meal!  If I remember correctly we were in our teens before the hymn was dropped.   At bedtime, mother had devotions with us kids again.  I remember when I told her I wanted to have my own and she was ok with it.

Church was the center of our life.  We went to church every time the doors were open-no questions asked, no discussion about it. And we were always early-the first ones there-at least 30 minutes early.  Besides church on Sunday morning we also went every Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Youth meetings were at least once a month.  I remember loving our church.  We attended Zion Hill, a small  church at the base of Little North Mountain behind Singers Glen,  and Glendon Blosser was our pastor. He was outgoing and we all loved him. His sermons were passionate and I remember at an early age that they spoke deep to my heart. I remember how he often told a story to go with his sermon.

Zion Hill-1969

(Picture was taken 1969)

I started teaching Sunday School and Bible School at an early age-when I was in the 8th grade. We also learned to lead singing at an early age. I remember round robin song services on Sunday evenings and topical programs where we as children often had to give a poem, or expound on a topic.  Once a year we had evangelistic meetings usually lasting for 2 weeks at a time.  The evangelist was usually a powerful speaker calling the people to repentance and holy living.

I remember enthusiastic, joyful, heartfelt, 4-part accapella singing. The church windows were open-we didn’t have air conditioning- and it was said that the Kislings that lived up on the hill could sometimes hear the singing and preaching.  We sang from the Church Hymnal and Life Song books.

Another memory that has deeply impacted my life…. Remember Ruby Knight and Elsie Donovan?   Each year the Sunday School superintendent would ask, “How many read the Bible through this year?” Those two ladies always did. I decided I wanted to be like them. I started reading my Bible so that I could raise my hand. This is a routine-habit-practice I have continued to this day. (I have read it through approximately 40 times).

I remember when the men sat on the right side of the church and the women on the left. I remember kneeling to pray.  I remember the church been respected as a place of reverence.  We were not allowed to run or play in the building.

We read books from the church library and had contest to see who could read the most. Teachers used flannel graph, film strips and hand-held pictures to tell their stories. There was no separate “children’s church” or nursery for the children.

 I remember mother telling mission flannel graph stories for children’s church (this was between Sunday School and preaching) to the children.  Daddy had his special little thing he liked to do for the children.  Occasionally he would hand out suckers!  He became known as the “Candy Man”.  He would put them in a little brown bag behind the pulpit and after church he would get it and hand them out.  I remember at Christmas time the Superintendents would hand out a bag of candy and one orange to each person. This was very special and super exciting. We could hardly wait for the service to be over to receive our coveted gift.

I remember canvassing the community, singing, handing out tracts and inviting people to church.

I remember the out-door Johnny houses!  For some strange reason as soon as we got to church after our 20 minute drive to church we had to go!

We did not have fellowship meals, bulletins or sharing time.  There could be as many as 3-4 Sunday School classes in the auditorium with curtains pulled between them.

I remember the local church’s connection to the broader district and conference churches and structure. This is different than it is today. Now the local church is almost an isolated unit to itself. We had Bishops and they had the ultimate say in the direction of the church.  As a family we attended many of the other local churches.  We always went to Weavers for district services on Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings. I loved to go and the see other young people.

Probably as I look back on that era of time in church history, the one word that would best describe it for me is “conviction”.  The plea was for the people of God to be faithful, to stand on their convictions, to be separate from the world, and to know what they believed.  I remember my heart pounding with conviction.  I remember prayer meetings where we prayed for the lost in the community.  I remember invitations to accept Christ, heads bowed in prayer as we sang the soul- stirring song “Just As I Am”.  We were asked to raise our hand, stand, or walk forward.  The decision was purposeful, and it was a public statement of our decision.

I keep thinking of the song “Give Me That Old Time Religion” which we occasionally sang…”It was good for Paul and Silas… it was good in the fiery furnace…. and it’s good enough for me.”  Each generation has its own opportunity to pass on to the next their faith stories; stories of God’s goodness, stories of mountain top experiences and dark valleys. It is so important to tell theses stories to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Each generation has its own history, and its own uniqueness.  We live in a totally different world now than we did “back-in-the-good-ole days” , but we are still people of faith and our God is still the same.  The words of the Psalmist still ring true, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.” (Psalms 23)  Like a Good Shepherd, the same God still walks beside us.

Proverbs 30 talks about a generation of people that…

  • Curses their fathers
  • Does not bless their mothers
  • Does what is pure in their own eyes
  • Are not washed from its filthiness
  • Whose eyes are haughty and glances disdainful
  • Whose teeth are like swords

Psalms 45:17  talks about a different kind of generation of people.  A people that remembers God and praises His name.

            “I will remember your name to be remembered in all generations. Therefore the people shall praise you forever and forever.”

We can choose.   Joshua, the man God chose to lead the children of Israel after Moses death,  spoke pointedly when he said, “Choose today whom you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”   (Joshua 24:15)  Our decisions will have a profound impact on the generations that follow. Which generation will you be?  What heritage will you choose to be remembered by?

My challenge today and to the next generation….claim the faith of your fathers and make it your own.  Pass on to your children the goodness of God. Praise the name of the Lord, remember Him and you will raise up godly offspring that honors and serves Him.

Heatwole Gathering-2013

This weekend was our annual Heatwole gathering-that is my siblings, offspring and parents. We had a great time at my sisters cabin at Sparkling Springs at the base of Little North Mountain behind Singers Glen, Virginia.

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My parents, Dwight and Fannie Heatwole

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Saturday Afternoon & Evening

We gathered on Saturday afternoon and had a wonderful picnic supper furnish by Phil and Evelyn Borntrager, our host this year.

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Daddy, Marj Heatwole and Eileen Heatwole

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Cheryl Yoder with her children…Max, Bo and Ariel

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This dear, sweet little Ariel is 8 months old and she is an SMA (Werdning Hoffman) baby which is the same disease as two of our children and little Truman Lane Heatwole who passed away last year.

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My brother, Ed Heatwole, and sister, Evelyn Borntrager, holding her granddaughter Julieanne.

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Lauren Hertzler and Karla Hostetter

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Cornhole game….Jeremy Yoder and Rich Heatwole

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Ryan Hostetter

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Ryan Hostetter

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Uncle Phil reading a bear story to the children and then then went on a “bear hunt”. It was great fun and they came back with two stuffed bears they found; one in a tree and the other in the bushes.

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Julieanne Nolt

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David Nolt and Bo & Max Yoder

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Children playing cards.

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Obe Hostetter, Rich Heatwole, Phil Borntrager and Calvin Nolt

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Marj Heatwole, Mother and Eileen Heatwole

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Brother Ed……Just can’t disconnect!

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Brother Rich

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Sunday morning mother fixed lunch for us siblings and our spouses. This was a special time together and mother served us a scrumptious egg casserole, sticky buns, cantelope, tomatoes, and sausage.

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Our Sunday Worship Service

We had our own worship service in the outdoor pavilion nestled among the cabins and trees. It was a special worship service.  Richard led us in singing several old hymns.

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Ed and Eileen read scripture.

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Evelyn had a children’s lesson about the shepherd who had 99 sheep and one was lost.

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The shepherd counted his sheep…95,96..97..98…99

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And he looked until he found the one that was lost!

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Uncle Charles (daddy’s brother) shared their personal tragedy;”Journey Through Grief” during the illness of Marlene and accidental death of their son Jay,

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Brian and Kerwin Borntrager led us in a medley of hymns…Oh Happy Day, When Peace Like A River, When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, and Shall We Gather at the River.  This fit perfectly after Uncle Charles’ sharing and was very moving to me.

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Kerwins family singing “Alive, Alive”.

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I shared “I Remember…Our Faith Journey”.

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A very special treat for us as a family were the Aunts and Uncles-Daddy’s siblings-that joined us.

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Charles and Doris Heatwole

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John Reed

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Carolyn Reed

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Ruth Heatwole and I failed to get a picture of Liz Yoder.

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Great Aunt Nancy Heatwole (This would be my daddy’s aunt) also came.

And a few other random pictures….

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Brian and Donna Borntrager

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Donna and Evelyn Borntrager

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Rhonda Borntrager

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Obe Hostetter

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Gene and Pat Hertzler

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Rich Heatwole

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Jill Hostetter holding Macie Jo Landis, Kendra Landis and Lauren Hertzler

A spirited water balloon fight between the grandpa’s and their grandchildren.

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It was a fun and relaxing weekend and good to be with family.

God is good and we proclaim His faithfulness.

Daddy’s Hands

Our dads are special men in our lives.  They gave us life, nurtured, provided for, taught, and disciplined us. In this blog I  want to pay special tribute to Gene’s and my dad, two godly men, who taught us God’s Word, took us to church and Sunday School, prayed for us and lived the Christian life as an example.  It was not religion that they modeled but a real, living faith in a personal God.

Gene’s dad: Oliver W. Hertzler was born on September 26, 1918. He has a twin sister, Osie Ziegler, who is also still living.  Daddy had nine siblings and they lived on a dairy farm in Denbigh, VA.  Tragedy struck their family when he was 16 years old. An older brother drown in a tragic accident on the Warwick River. On September 30, 1939 he married Anna Mae Keffer who is also still living.  Daddy and Mama will be married 74 years and had 3 children.  They were dairy farmers and when the boys left home, moving the dairy operation to Powhatan, they turned the barns and land into a horse boarding stable.  At 95, he is still boarding horses!

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Daddy enjoyed hand-craving wooden ducks, collecting antiques and rooting plants and trees.

Daddy loves studying the Word and has written notebooks full of his spiritual ponderings, his life journey and prayers.  In his younger years he taught a Sunday School class of sixth grade boys and then later turned his shop into a “men’s den” for weekly Bible Studies.

*****

Pat’s dad: Dwight S. Heatwole was born on June 24, 1930.  He has 12 siblings.  When he was 17 tragedy struck his family. His parents took a trip to Florida which was a very special and rare opportunity. While they were gone his one-year old brother died from a heart disease. There was no way to contact his folks and they didn’t call home.  They didn’t know their little son had died until they arrived home three days later.

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Daddy grew up on a dairy farm.  On December 6, 1950 he married Fannie Showalter, his mate of 63 years.  Daddy and Mother were also dairy farmers and had 4 children.

In his retirement years, daddy blessed his family and friends through his skillful woodworking; making grandfather clocks, footstools, plant stands, high chairs, and other beautiful pieces of furniture.

Daddy loved teaching and preaching the Word and was very active in church as Sunday School teacher, superintendent, youth leader, and later as pastor.

*****

Here is a fitting tribute to our dads…..lyrics to the song

Daddy’s Hands

By Holly Dunn

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Dad Hertzler’s hands

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Dad Heatwole’s hands

 

I remember Daddy´s hands, folded silently in prayer.
And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare.
You could read quite a story, in the callouses and lines.
Years of work and worry had left their mark behind.
I remember Daddy´s hands, how they held my Mama tight,
And patted my back, for something done right.
There are things that I´ve forgotten, that I loved about the man,
But I´ll always remember the love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

I remember Daddy´s hands, working ’til they bled.
Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed.
If I could do things over, I´d live my life again.
And never take for granted the love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love …..
In Daddy´s hands.

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