This weekend we had big plans to tube down the river with our church’s youth group in Helen, GA. We were invited to go up to Helen early and spend the night at the cabin (we went here this last fall) with our friends and their three kids. Our children all love being together and piled into one car with the two dads, leaving us moms in a car all by ourselves for the two-hour trip up there. You didn’t hear us complaining about the seating arrangements!
We had a great day and were playing a game with the kids when we got a phone call that our good friend and church member Joel (who was on vacation with his wife and two kids) had gone into the Snake River after his 11-year-old son who had gotten swept up in a current. Joel was able to get his son close to some nearby kayakers who pulled the boy to the safety and then they went back to retrieve Joel. That was around 5 pm Wyoming time Saturday evening, and he still hasn’t been found.
They only had about three hours of light left that day, but resumed the search at first light on Sunday. Search parties have gone up and down the river and surrounding land… but no sign of him.
It is now approaching 48 hours missing. We are still praying and believing that this wonderful man will be found alive. He is such a jewel and this world still needs him. His little boy and girl need him. His wife needs him.
Please join us in prayer for Joel and his family. His little boy (Joey) isn’t doing very well at all. He is feeling like it is his fault. We just ache for this precious boy.
Joel’s wife and the two kids are coming back home to Georgia tonight… with very heavy hearts.
The tubing trip for Sunday was cancelled.
We stayed up in Helen with our friends and walked around town a little bit the next day. Went to lunch, played games with the kids and tried to stay positive. At two o’clock in the afternoon, we joined our church members in prayer for Joel, with both of our families kneeling in a circle together, on the living room floor of the cabin.
Our emotions are up and down. We are hopeful, but hurt so bad for the family. There is disbelief that it happened. Not to Joel.
Today (Monday), the boys decided at worship this morning, that we should fast for the day. It brought tears to my eyes that they thought of that. They chose to only eat fruits, nuts, and vegetables today. They have done incredible. Nobody has once complained or asked to get out of their decision. I can honestly say that I am impressed with my own children. I hope I don’t sound like I’m bragging or anything… that is not my intention at all. I am just so in awe of how far this family has come in the last 5 or so years! It is an emotional thing for me… and I am inspired by them.
Well, we left the cabin in the late afternoon and headed back home. About 40 minutes down the road I had a tire blow out. It didn’t lose the air – but ALL the tread on that tire. It was loud… and scary. But I made it over to the side of the road okay and we called the guys who were way ahead of us to come back.
Tire was changed and all was well.
But I’ll tell you… I was very glad to get home.
Unfortunately, our oldest son misunderstood what I had told him on the phone and had turned OFF the air conditioning while we were gone… so our house was an inferno when we walked in at 8 pm last night. BLECH.
Too hot to sleep, Harrison had come and gotten in bed with me and we talked and talked and talked. He had lots of questions… and some just chatter. He didn’t doze off until 1:30 am… and then a BIG storm hit. I mean, we haven’t had that much lighting so close together and for so long in… well, ever! I got on the weather radar and saw this huge cell just sitting over our county. And it just didn’t move! For almost two hours it pounded us. (I got a picture of the cell over us off the radar site, but it won’t show up on here. I’m bummed. I wanted to show you how it covered our whole county.)
Anyway… it’s been an interesting, sad, happy, fun, scary and rough weekend. Not at all what I had prepared myself for. Once again proving that even the best made plans…
Another storm is converging on us as I type… and you know how I like storms… but maybe I could go for just a little less drama this evening. I think I may have already used up my adrenaline quota for the week!
Please, please, keep Joel and his family in your prayers.
Thank you all.