Insights into these Shoes' Soul

Welcome to our blog! You'll get glimpses into the fabric of our lives... find out what is happening in our family, learn what our latest adjustment is to life in the US, find out what is going on in our minds, see what makes us smile, and hear what makes us tick. You'll also get ministry updates! We hope these insights into our souls will make you smile, keep you informed and challenge you to pray for us.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Verdict is in: torn rotator cuff

"What is a rotator cuff injury?

Swimming, throwing a ball and heavy lifting are among activities that can lead to a rotator cuff injury. The problem is stress placed on the joint by these activities. The muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff can also be torn by a fall onto the shoulder or arm. (How about lifting a cat??!!)

Definition: The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint with a wide range of motion. Because of this mobility, the shoulder can also be very unstable. The "rotator cuff" is actually a group of four muscles that help stabilize the shoulder joint. These muscles hold the ball-shaped top of the upper arm bone (humerus) in the socket-like area known as the glenoid. A rotator cuff injury occurs when the muscles and tendons, which connect muscle to bone, become overstretched or torn.

How Injury Occurs: The muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff can tear due to a fall onto the shoulder or onto an outstretched hand, or by slow wearing from repeated overhead arm movements, such as throwing a ball or swimming. Heavy lifting at home or at work can also overstress the shoulder joint.

Symptoms: A torn rotator cuff commonly causes weakness and pain in the shoulder. Arm movement may be uncomfortable and limited. (More like extremely painful when I do certain movements?)

Diagnosis: Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and the history of the condition, and will conduct a physical examination of the shoulder and upper arm. X-rays may be obtained to view the joint and rule out the possibility of broken bones. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) (Yep, just had that done) and arthrogram may be used to take a more in-depth look at your shoulder and surrounding soft tissues.

Treatment: Conservative treatment usually includes a period of rest and immobilization for the affected shoulder. Anti-inflammatory medications are useful for decreasing pain and swelling. Ice packs can also be applied to the area 3 to 4 times per day for 15 to 20 minutes until swelling disappears. Your doctor may have you participate in a rehabilitation program guided by a physical and/or occupational therapist. The goal of rehabilitation is to restore function in your shoulder and help you return to regular activities. (Been there, done that, didn't work unfortunately.)

Surgery (Yikes! Bummer!! Tell me it isn't so!) may be recommended if the tear is large, if the patient is young and very active or if the tear causes continued weakness or pain. Repairing damaged tissues helps restore function and reduce pain. A period of rest and rehabilitation will follow the surgery.

Long-term Outlook: Your recovery will depend on your age, overall health, the extent of the injury and the treatment recommended by your doctor. A mild injury may require just a few weeks to regain strength and flexibility. Patients who undergo surgery usually need approximately 6 to 8 months for complete recovery."

And all because of a stupid cat. (To get that story, refer to the blog entry "A stupid cat and frozen peas", March 24, 2008.)

I have an appointment with an orthopedic doctor who specializes in shoulder reconstruction in a couple of weeks. I will let you know what the results are and what plans we have to deal with my right shoulder. In the meantime, pray for God's guidance and healing.

Meanwhile, the cat remains in the family.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


What a cool show!  If you like rhythm you will like the show, STOMP! Check out their web site. I had no idea you could make all those noises with regular household items!  Dawn and I had a great time as we watched them use brooms, garbage cans, toilet plungers, various hand tools, and even empty water jugs to make music! 

They had some great comedy routines as well.  The one actor was a riot!  It was great.  Sorry you missed it!  They had some fun audience involvement as well.  A very different concert experience.  I have wanted to see this show in person ever since I saw a special on TV with them.  Very cool. 

Monday, April 28, 2008

To Haiti and Back Again

I’m back! My trip to Haiti went great. It was a first in 2 years for RMI. For the first time in over 2 years that RMI has driven a team from the capital, Port-au-Prince, to Cayes. Teams have flown from Port to Cayes and back, which has worked great. However, this time due to many issues, we had to drive the team to Cayes. Thankfully the Cayes road is now in much better condition. They’ve done a lot of repairs, so we arrived at a reasonable time.

Sunday a.m. services with our Haitian brothers and sisters is always a joy. I love being able to look out the windows or doors of the simple church structures and see palm trees or mango trees. There is something about that whole tropical ambiance that is awesome as I worship the Lord in that setting. It is so cool!

And the food! The main reason I go back – the fantastic Haitian food. Well, it’s not really the main reason, but it is a good one! I enjoyed the various rice dishes, the fried goat and pork, chicken in sauce, fried plaintains, bread fruit and sweet potatoes. Mmmmmmmmmmm yum! My doctor asked if I was going to lose some weight while I was gone and I told her “Nope! I like that food too much!”

The team itself was awesome. We had a great time together. They were from Trinity Bible Church in Lafayette, Louisiana. They are celebrating 18 years of relationship together! We are talking about having a great party in 2010 to celebrate their 20 years as sister churches. Should be fun. How long has your sister church relationship been going on?

What about the pain, you ask? Actually my back did fine. Thanks so much for praying for me. Your prayers and Dr. Glen’s (my chiropractor, a friend from church) gifted hands did wonders. I was very careful with my shoulder and the pain was not debilitating. I did come to the conclusion that there was something wrong inside, though.

Gary, Marilyn, Jenn and the rest of the RMI staff (Jules, Pastor Jean, Sam, etc.) took good care of the team and me. I was happy to have some time with all of them.

All in all it was a very profitable trip.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The case of the vanishing dollar

It's a real mystery. We can't figure it out. We have looked under the couch cushions. We have searched all our pockets (only found lint). We've thought and thought, trying to figure out where it might have gone.

Our dollars have vanished!

In our search, we have figured out a small part of the mystery. Not all of it mind you, but a portion of it.

As the economy encounters difficult times and people have financial setbacks, the first thing that gets cut from the budget is giving to church and to missions. We, and RMI, have experienced this first hand. Giving has drastically fallen off - both giving for our personal support and for operating RMI. RMI has cut back and streamlined significantly. There are folks who continue to faithfully. We have also instituted a new giving program named Impact Partners. God has blessed this initiative and a number of people have responded. This sacrificial and committed giving has been such an encouragement to us personally and to the RMI leadership. We could not continue in this ministry if it weren't for you.

Pray that we will continue to experience God's provision. We are confident that He will bring those dollars back. And if you'd like to be an Impact Partner, please contact us or contact RMI at

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm Going to Haiti

I am looking forward to going to Haiti this Saturday. I am going in with the Trinity Bible Church team. Due to a late arrival we will be driving from Port a Prince to Cayes. This will be the first time we have done this in quite a while! Should be fun!
Please pray for me as I go. I having been struggling with a problem with my sciatic nerve in my left leg. The last couple of days it has down well, but pray that it does not act up while in Haiti. I also have torn my shoulder rotator cuff muscles. This causes some real pain when I make certain movements that aren't always predictable. So pray for good health and especially good sleep!
You might have heard that Haiti has had lots of rioting and unrest due to the high cost of living. That was very true. But things have returned to normal. Pray that it will stay that way!
I will be back April 24th, Lord Willing. Thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Ring!

A letter, a pin, a bar, a certificate, the special Coach's Award and a State Championship ring!!! The Volleyball Banquet was Tuesday night. We parents proudly watched while the Freshmen Team, Junior Varsity and Varsity players received their awards. But the moment the Varsity girls, including Dawn, were waiting for was the presentation of their State rings. They were very excited and proud of those rings!! And they earned them! The whole season was a special experience for Dawn. She received the Coach's Award for her special spirit, her character, and her dramatic improvement during the season. She went from feeling that she was in way over her head to being a killer blocker and hitter, with a drive to win. We are so proud of her. These are some pictures of the evening.

Friday, April 4, 2008


We all eat leftovers. Last night we had leftovers: sushi (from Dan's lunch in Ft. Lauderdale), mexican (from Deb's lunch in Ft. Myers) and homemade Haitian rice & beans with chicken in sauce (from Ft. Lauderdale, too) . We topped it off with a Dan's special yogurt shake (usually made up of leftover ice creams, yogurt and milk). We had to laugh at the very odd meal!
What kind of leftovers do you have?