Tim’s Blog

Howard and Susan – ON THE ROAD!

Susan (I assume with the help of some firemen) loaded up Howard this morning in Kelowna, BC onto the motorhome and they are well on their way. They crossed the border without issue (other than the border official didn’t know what encephalitis was and had to look it up before he let them enter). Howard is snoozing away in his bed as they make the miles down the freeway and are already already into Oregon. Susan texted and said how relieved she feels.

Jerry and I installed a hospital bed into Howard and Susan’s bedroom yesterday. We await their arrival and the road to recovery for our brother Howard. There is a fungus here which is breathed into the lungs (fungal spores in the air) called Valley Fever which doesn’t bother most people. In talking with others here, we got to wondering if that may be part of the underlying issues complicating Howard’s condition as in a small percentage of people it does cause severe issues and even death. A neighbor here died from it just two weeks ago. The good thing is that if it is, there is an anti-fungal treatment for it. Reading online it says that with about 1% of people that get it, “the infection spreads from the lungs to other parts of the body, such as the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)”.

If all goes well, they should arrive here at the end of the day on Friday the 6th. Many thanks for all your prayers and loving support for our co-workers. Lots of unknowns for Susan. She had to forego their medical insurance to come back home. That was a big blow for her, but she feels strongly this is the place to be. To be back home. The doctors in Kelowna said there is nothing more they can do and that Howard should go home. These are big steps of faith for her with a large task of home care ahead of her and a life going forward without medical insurance.

Howard’s condition began at the time of his brother Murray’s passing. I believe he heard the news, but it was right about that time that he himself slipped into a severe state of encephalitis and wasn’t even able to consciously grieve the death of his brother. I’m reminded of the Proverb which says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.”

Who knows, maybe the combination of the West Nile Virus Encephalitis together with Valley Fever and a Broken Spirit has resulted in this severe condition he suffers today. Once he’s back here and I’m back from Colombia, I hope to see him reguarly and read him words of life and hope from the scriptures… daily if I can, because a merry heart goes a long way. It does good, like medicine.


Tonight after tennis was over, I sat down on the bench while the other players left. Arturo lingered behind as well to pack up his things. As we were putting our rackets away, he began to ask how long I would be around. Arturo is likely in his 60s, a very polite and good hearted soul, always respectful, joyful and kind. I told him I’d be gone to Colombia for a couple weeks, which led him to ask me what I would be doing there. After about a 15 minute summary of the history of our work, the hunger of the P’s and especially the presence, purpose and meaning of life in God at the core of all we do, he sat perplexed a bit and pondering. He then, gently but honestly, confessed in a mild voice, “I’ve read parts of the Bible. Genesis, Exodos, Leviticus, Numbers etc… but I have never felt that presence that you talk about. For me, I’m an agnostic. I can’t deny the presence of God, but neither can I prove it and I just have never felt that which others talk about.” He went on to give more reason for his agnosticism based on some of the horrific things he has seen people do in the name of Christianity. He said, “for example, 5 people get killed and the one standing by who survives says, ‘oh thank God that it wasn’t me'”. He looked up and said, “Where is the love for the people who got killed? Where is the compassion of the mothers of them?”

I said, “Very good Arturo! So true!” I went on to acknowledge and compliment his honesty. I said, “I respect that you say you are an agnostic. It’s one thing to say you’re an atheist. In that case, one must be able to prove the absence of God which is really impossible to do. So the fact that you say you are an agnostic is respectable and honest.” I could tell he felt affirmed that I recognized the virtues that he valued. Yet then I said, “But I do have a question for you. What is honesty? Where does it come from? What is the honesty that you desire to have? Why do you have it? Is it biological? What is it and why is it in you? Likewise, the justice that you require for the person who only cared for himself when the five others died, where does it come from? Actually, what is it? Is it muscular? or cellular? or in the blood or brain? Is it physical at all? What is the conscience and why is it there? These are things that are non-physical. They are beyond the material realm, but no one would dare say that they did not exist. My question is: if there is no God, then what are these things and where do they come from?” His eyes lit up and said, “Yes, there must be a God. Nothing else makes sense. But I just don’t have that feeling myself to know for sure.”

We went on to have a very nice conversation about spiritual things verses physical things. Then all of a sudden in the middle of the conversation, an expression of interest came over his face. His eyes lit up, he looked me in the eye and said, “You know! I’m going to read the Bible again!” I said “Good. Read it. That is great. But you know what is the key to knowing God yourself? It all comes down to whether you yourself call out to Him. It’s one thing to study about God and contemplate. But it’s another to cry out to God yourself and ask Him directly. Cry out to Him yourself and ask Him if he’s real or not. I guarantee you, He will reveal Himself to every heart that cries out to him with a genuine heart.” He said, “Maybe I will try that someday.” He went on to ask me what religion I identified with. I told him, “With none of them, but rather with every person who calls on the name of Jesus Christ in sincerity.” I said, “Read the gospel of John. It says right at the start of the book that Jesus Christ was in the beginning with God, the eternal Word. He is the declaration of the invisible God. He changed the entire world. There’s no other person in the history of all the world that has influenced the world like He did.”

We made our way off the court and as I was saying goodnight and that I’d see him again on Thursday, he said, “Yes okay. See you Thursday.” But then I could tell that more than tennis, he was appreciating the conversation we just had and he said, “Yes, but thank you for the talk. That was a very good conversation.” I smiled, agreed with him and said goodnight.

Pray for Arturo as the Spirit leads you. I really enjoyed getting to talk to him tonight and sense he’s on an awakening journey.


PS. More on my trip to Colombia and the P’s in the next update!

Greetings from Mexico

We rolled into town on Monday the 19th. After 5 weeks of meetings, and wonderful visits with people from all over, it was nice to stop rolling and sit for a spell. We are still getting set up, though most of our unpacking is done.

RADIO STUDIO: I went to the studio to start setting it up and opened the door to a musty smell. Looking at the marking on the door, it appears we had a pile of rain and some flooding in the studio, so unfortunately the carpet got wet and I will have to move all the furniture out of the way to pull out the carpet. It’s not like a permanently installed carpet, I will just have to roll it up and get it out on the drive way to sun and bleach, both of which we have plenty of! The weather has been very nice at about 25C or 77F, sunny and calm. Robin and I went out to turkey dinner on Christmas eve which is a nice break for her at this time of year.

CAR: As mentioned previously, our plan was to purchase a car while in AZ. Unfortunately, the used car market is so high with limited availability we could not find what we were after, so we decided to just buy a new one since Ford has a 0.9% interest on their financing. So we were about to buy a new one, but there was a stipulation in the financing which won’t let you drive across the border to Mexico. LOL. They will let you go to Canada but not Mexico, so we decided to just order one and pick it up potentially on our way home and leave the old car in AZ. Such is the auto plan for now.

However, that left us with the dilemma of what to do with all of the supplies we had ordered which were going to get packed in the ‘new’ car. It’s kind of funny how the Lord provides things. A brother in our Riverview church had donated a bicycle for me to use down here. When I was there, he said, “here take two” and then he said, “here, take a bike rack too!” I wasn’t planning on taking all that down, but I thought since we would be getting another car, I would have room. Anyway, long story short when we got to Tucson where Bill Odom was waiting on the side of the highway with two bundles of acoustic insulation batts for the recording studio, I wasn’t sure how they would fit in our packed car. I thought about it a bit and figured out a way to strap them on the back of the car and hook the ties straps onto the fenders. That was us… one of those Youtube videos you see of people coming out of Home Depot with materials tied onto the roof… But, like I said, we made it.

Thanks to your prayers and the kindness of the Lord, we drove all the way here without a problem, even at the border. I had prepared my heart to spend two hours unpacking everything at the border if need be, but the kindness of the Lord waved us on through.

COLOMBIA/VENEZUELA: We have scheduled a P conference along the border of Colombia/Venezuela for January. I will fly from here on the 10th and be there for about 2 weeks. Reports from E say there may be about 500 coming. They will have to pitch their hammocks along the river. More on that trip later. The Lord is impressing on my heart to have the theme of the conference titled “The Unity of the Body of Christ” as there has been brewing division and sects creeping into the P nation now for some time. I have invited everyone and would like to give delegates from every group to have a turn to speak. Pray for unity. The more I grow in the Lord the less picky I seem to become about where people are in their faith. Somehow that makes sense. There has to be a lot of room for people’s individuality and stages of growth in which they are at.

HOWARD and SUSAN: I continue to hear Howard to be about the same, which to me is good that he isn’t worse. I really feel for Susan. What a trial. They’ve been trying to raise money for a medical flight down here, but their insurance company won’t cover them if they leave Canada. Yet the doctors say there’s nothing more they can do and encourage him to go home. The flight was $68k CAD to get them here, so Susan has decided to go back to the RV plan and save their money which they have been raising to help pay for his recovery since they will be out of insurance once they cross the border. I just heard that someone from here in Mexico who has a 40′ RV is heading up this week to get them and drive them back down.

JORGE and SOLE: It was so nice to see Jorge and Sole again. They are doing so well, growing in their faith. They are such an encouragement to me. Jorge is now working regular hours at the orphanage and also pastoring the small church here.

BIBLE SCHOOL: Bible school starts on the 23rd of Jan. I will get back from Colombia and start teaching likely the next day.

Just wanted to briefly check in. Thank you so much for all you do for us. You are much appreciated. I will be in touch with more details as they develop.


The final leg before Mexico

Greetings. Sorry it’s been a long while since I’ve updated you. We’ve been on the road and it’s been difficult to find a quiet time with wifi. I will say that we have had such a rich and full time with all that we have seen. The Spirit of Christ is present wherever we go and we see Him and experience Him in all and in every place.

Our meetings are over. They all went so well. We are now at our final destination before heading to Mexico. Today, we met with the staff at SOM and again were richly blessed by people who are full of the Spirit of Christ.

We are lingering a few days here as we are trying to purchase a replacement car. The plan was to purchase a newer car here and drive both cars to Mexico, leaving the old one there to use and then return back to Canada in the Spring with the newer one. Prices are higher than expected and availability is low on the slightly used cars (the covid lockdowns and microchip shortage increased the prices of used cars and depleted the amount of available cars considerably).

We are just trusting the Lord with this. If we don’t find anything, we will continue on with our older car which has served us so faithfully and continues to do so. Thanks for your prayers for us regarding this need.

Today I received a hand written letter from E which he expressed gratitude on behalf of the P churches for the generous giving towards this next printing of 15,000 more P bibles. He’s delighted that now everyone will get their own copy.

Here is the translation of the letter which was written to those who gave towards the printing of the P Bible. Though this letter was inspired by the recent giving towards the second printing, any one of you who gave or prayed for this project whether the first printing last year of this second one now, please receive it as to you:


Even before the heavens and the earth were ever brought into being, you were set in his mind, all of us Huottöja (P) of Venezuela who are saints of God, together even with those who still do not have faith, and also together with the Huottöja (P) people of Colombia, we, greatly rejoicing at this time, greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This book of our Creator’s word, which we on our own could never have purchased, you by His Spirit, have given your huge gift according to your faith in the name of your Lord, just as He had planned to do through you, being set in His mind before the heavens and the earth ever were.

Even before the creation, our Creator knew that through you He would bless every single Huottöja (P) person that was left without the book of His word so that all would receive their own copy. As we reflect with great joy on the blessing of our creator God through your offering which you gave in the name of your Lord through prayer on our behalf, we know that the one who gives rejoices even more than the one who receives.

When we, the members of Christ’s body, watch you rejoice in heaven when you receive your rewards, we too, being right there with you will rejoice before our Lord, in the brightness of His shining light. That joy will be even greater than the joy we now feel by receiving a Bible. Our creator God knew of this future event even before we existed.

We are in prayer to our creator God according to this word (these verses) which are fulfilled in what you have thought to do in the name of your Lord; 2 Corinthians 8:12-15, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, also James 2:21-26 and Philippians 4:18.

Though we are far away from each other in this world, we will forever be before our Lord in His shining light without end…

May it be just so by the name of our Lord…

Update on Howard

Howard continues in Kelowna Hospital. Susan is very tired. She said to me two days ago this is the biggest trial of her life, and she’s had many. I can’t imagine how exhausting this is for her sleeping in a hospital cot next to Howard for months now. Unfortunately, they were just moved out of their private room and now share a room with others. Susan is hoping to find a small suite somewhere near the hospital where she can rent and go there to sleep at night.

The inflammation has gone down but only a little bit. If it goes down enough for Howard to not need to be in the hospital then they would return asap to Mexico to recover there. If that happened, they would be neighbors with us and we could help out too. As it is now, Howard can’t even sit up in a chair and hold up his body weight, nor is he able to be consciously present very much at all.

Here is a small update on Howard which was written by his brother Merrill yesterday,


“Many of you have been asking about how Howard is doing so I’ll give you all a little update here. Let’s just say that since the last report, it has been somewhat of a roller coaster affair. Things are up and down, discouraging and encouraging. Some days, Howard is sort of bright eyed and bushy tailed, and the next day he spends the whole day asleep. One day, his little Howardisms rise to the surface and the next day there is nothing. He continues to eat well without choking for which we are thankful. And today was his third day of his second treatment of IVIG, so we are trusting that this treatment will bring about some good results. So yeah, the road is long and challenging, especially for Susan. Thanks so much for your prayers for her and Howard, and their two daughters. Yes, a crazy time for sure. This journey isn’t easy either for my 96-year old mom, especially since we already said goodbye to one of our brothers on October 3rd. So yes, thanks so much to all of you for your continued prayers and encouragement. We are weak, but our Lord is strong! Thanking God for all of you.”