Two years ago on November 4th 2010, about 70 of us gathered at Mariners Church. Leslie Ammerman (with the help of Leslie Casserly and Casi Smith) told us how God had put on her heart the idea of forming a “Share the Care” group to come along side of Peter, me and our family. At the meeting Peter played a message that he had typed into his ipad. He talked about how the ALS was starting to effect his everyday life, and daily tasks like shaving and getting dressed were becoming difficult. He reminded us that its important to focus on what we can do, not what we cannot do. He was still walking, eating, and using his hands and arms; but the ALS was weakening his muscles, he had lost his speech, and was already using a breathing device at night. Leslie asked you to fill out forms on how you wanted to help, and you were encouraged to use your own unique gifts.Then Bucky Dennis led us in prayer, you all laid hands on our family and asked the Lord bless us and to lead our group. Many of you joined our group from afar, there are friends and family from Washington, Idaho,other states, and as far away as Italy. There is even a group of ladies in Maryland praying for us. I remember that Peter and I felt so humbled and overwhelmed by your response, love and willingness to help us in our time of need. You offered to help with meals, housekeeping, yard and garden work, home repairs, handicap remodeling,insurance issues, holidays,family vacations, donations, prayers, visits, back rubs, emails, encouragement, transportation, spiritual support, medical issues, living expenses, work hours, and more.
Fast forward 2 years, so much as happened, and so much has been given… The ALS has progressed and Peter is now completely paralyzed and must be cared for 24/7. He is in a power wheel chair, all his food goes through a Gtube into his stomach, he is on a breathing device about 22 to 23 hours a day, he is very thin as he has lost both weight and muscle mass. He communicates by blinking his eyes on a computer screen. His days are shorter now, he needs to rest more and he is not able to be up more than about 5 to 6 hours per day. Despite all his physical limitations his mind is still sharp, his personality is intact, and he works hard to communicate with family and friends. He doesn’t focus on what he can’t do, but on what he still can do.. He can still pray for others, he can still encourage others, he can still be a husband, Dad, Grandpa, friend, faithful follower of Christ, and he still has that great miracle smile… and a joy from the Lord that shines.
So much has been given…You have helped us in so many ways. Thank you is not a big enough word to express our grateful hearts for all your help. From the many, many daily needs to special events like a rock garden for Peter’s birthday, and even a beautiful wedding for our Chelsea. From caring for Peter and me, to loving our entire family; Ryan,Julie, Ellie, Rob and Chelsea. From holding us in your daily prayers to emails, visits and spiritual encouragement. You have stepped in whenever there was a need, and you have given of yourself. You are the hands and feet of Jesus to us. You are the miracles in our lives! God has sent his people to love and care for us in our time of great need. We are so thankful for you. Thank you for being on this journey with us, and for being a part of the Share the Care group for the last 2 years. You have lightened our load, and made our daily lives brighter and happier. You are treasured and precious.
We continue to welcome you into our lives and on our journey…whether you live here or there. Peter and I thank God for you in our daily prayers, we have been blessed beyond measure. We will continue communicate with you on the website, www.peterhdevin.com and through Leslie Ammerman(she is an angel sent by God).
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20
Love to you all,
Andrea and Peter