S: Susanna - The First 30 Years
FC: Susanna Grace
1: Dear Susanna, This book is a collection of notes and photos from people who have been important to you throughout the last 30 years. It has been a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well.... I've gotten a window into your life that I never had before. I hope you enjoy reading through all the notes from people who care about you and appreciate you. At least 75 people have contributed to this over the course of about 6 months, but I don't think anyone put as much into it as your mom. She was an excellent resource for putting together the initial list, spent countless hours searching photo albums, drawers, and boxes for pictures, and "encouraged" some stragglers to get their submissions to me. This project would not have been possible without her. Not every picture is from the year noted on that page. My intent was to have each page show someone who was a part of your life around that time. Obviously some have been an ongoing part of your life, and some people show up on multiple pages. Thank you for being you! This book represents a portion of the many people whom your life has impacted. Happy reading! Jeremy
2: Before you were born, this 30 yr. old mother wasnâ€™'t sure you'â€™d ever come. Already six weeks before you were due, the Dr. told me not to let Daddy out of reach, because you were positioned to go. I was so eager for your arrival! Then you were overdue by five days, the only one of my babies to go over. (Had you been a boy, you would have been Jeremy Jon.) True to your nature, you started life with adventure. You were born at 6:15 on a Sunday evening, but you had already passed meconium; it burned your lungs and caused pneumonia. The nurses whisked you to ICU before I even got to hold you. Five hours later, after I begged for you, they wheeled me to the IC nursery so I could reach into the incubator to touch you. The next day you were finally placed into my care, but when I nursed you, you gave me the fright of my life by getting phlegm into your airways and turning blue. With you in my arms, I literally ran down the hall for help from the nurses; in my panic I never even thought of the emergency button. You were a beautiful baby, even if Uncle John said you had air vents! I loved gazing into your face, singing, rocking, and thanking God for the miracle he'd given me. | It didn't take long to discover your colorful personality. When you were only several months old, I was in the middle of blanching vegetables as you awoke from a nap, so I couldn'â€™t nurse you immediately. You cried so hard that when I did sit down to feed you, you refused, crying vehemently! From the beginning, you were quite verbal; we never needed to guess your feelings. One evening at around six months, I suddenly realized you weren'â€™t responding; you were in the walker, head tilted back, staring into space. Nothing changed, even when I talked to you. I was petrified! We had been getting ready to go to prayer meeting, but we dropped everything and sped to the hospital with you, leaving Rodney and Elizabeth to Ray and Marty. It ended up merely being a reaction to Reglan which the Dr. had prescribed for you earlier that day to help close your sphincter muscle, but it acted like a seizure and we had to stay at the hospital overnight. At that age, you still spit up profusely and regularly; I think you were the world'â€™s worst spitter... in fact, a gusher! When Grandpa Mast shared his frosty strawberry squares, we discovered you were seriously allergic to egg whites; your lips swelled and you broke out with hives. The rapid reaction was alarming, and from then on I took great care to eliminate any trace of eggs from our food. You were close to a year old when I was making little pink dresses for you girls to wear at Lynns' wedding, and you pulled down the hot iron, severely burning your arm. It required the doctor'â€™s care. Six months later, you pulled a piping hot meat pie off the table; it flipped onto you, badly burning your left cheek and front of your shoulder. The top layer of skin came along as I peeled off your clothing... it was awful. I'd go to bed at night and just bawl; I was beginning to feel like an unfit mother. The fact is, you were unstoppable, no matter how protective I was. A risk-taker, you were curious, quick, independent, and bent on fun. Though you were a floppy double-jointed little girl, you started walking at less than a year. You had poor balance... | Finally out of ICU
3: 1982 | but lots of giggles and fearless determination! I always said the speed of your little legs is what kept you upright. At mealtimes, you entertained us from your highchair. In your actress mode, youâ€™'d put on a terribly sober face while all the rest of us laughed at your clownishness... you rarely succumbed to cracking a smile until you decided to, then in an instant youâ€™'d be laughing with glee while you had us in stitches. You habitually made huge snoots to make us laugh, too. You talked early; at fifteen months you held full-scale non-stop conversations, even if we weren't smart enough to understand much. | When you were around two years old, we were at a park when I discovered you climbing to the top of a big slide. I nearly had a heart attack! I didn'â€™t want to call you; I was afraid you'â€™d turn around to look at me and fall, so I had to let you keep on climbing till we rescued you. Before we got there, you were standing at the very top on the flat part, not holding on to a single thing... looking quite pleased with yourself! Nope, never a dull moment with you! Your motherâ€™'s white hair... believe me, they were earned. But our family would not have been complete without all the comedy and spice you brought us! Still thanking God for you, Mama | Ready to go home | Dedication Day | Cute as a button | Results of the hot iron | (little pink dress) | 1 year old!
4: My first memory of you, besides making your mom miserable while in her womb (you only weighed 9 lbs., 8 oz.!) was in the labor room at the hospital. When the doctor came in to check Mom he got icily professional and started barking out orders. We were rushed to the delivery room; as soon as you were born you were taken to Intensive Care because you had passed meconium and there was danger of lung damage. You later proved there was none, or at least, it wasn't permanent. You were an expressive baby. When it was bad you let us know it was very bad. But you were also easily comforted most times. | Giving you an Easter Day swing ride in our front yard on the Rife Hill, with Rodney pushing us | Time to get acquainted!
5: 1982 | Mom mentioned the urgency of the Reglan reaction; I remember going over the hills on Hwy. 45 north of Carson Rd. at 95 mph in our dark brown Plymouth, and thinking it was slow! We lived close to 388 on the Rife hill at the time, but in October of '83 we cut our house in two and moved it to Whispering Pines Rd. We first had to clear trees and brush, but eventually we did have a nice house site. Winters were tough; we only had one wood heater and the house wasn't tight. Sometimes we'd hang blankets over the windows and doors to keep out the cold. Baths and washing hair were always big ordeals. Dad was so rough. And then, to comb out your hair... thank God for detangle spray! Your bladder was smaller than some, so several times we set up the potty chair in the big yellow station wagon for trips. We didn’t even have to stop beside the road... potty on the go! | ~Daddy | The old brown Plymouth, and trying out Rodney's pogo stick on our fancy walks at Whispering Pines
6: It's been fun to watch your journey from a little bitty baby to a confident, competent godly wife & mother with little bitty babies of your own. When you were 17 months, we babysat you, Rod, & Elizabeth for a week. You frequently pounded on the door & called (out)"side!" because you didn't want to be stuck in the house. Years later we enjoyed having the Gospel Echoes girls hang out at our house swimming, washing windows, etc. I've gotten compliments on your hamburger patty recipe every time I've used it. You may never understand how much we appreciated you & Jeremy coming to spend time with us when Lynn's dad died. That really meant a lot to us. As you reach this milestone & beyond, two words of advice... "be faithful." Love you! Lynn & Doreen
7: As I search for my earliest memories of you, my lil sis, I remember what a disruption you were. I mean, on my 4th birthday, you insisted that we speed over to Grandpa's, leaving my birthday gift behind! When you finally learned to play with me, our house-playing sessions usually ended in a hurricane blowing the blanket walls off the dining room table, and our schooldays in an extremely frustrated schoolteacher wailing at her unruly student not to be sooo naughty. In fact, your dolls were so disruptive in our church services that, before long, they'd be screaming louder than the preacher, resulting in a mighty disciplinary session (amazing their stuffing didn't come out!) and, eventually, your kids kicking the pews over once you were tired of playing church; how could Big Sis argue with imagination? I ratted on you so often, but at times felt so guilty of my part in the episode that I'd go plug my ears in a closet while you got your just desserts. - Elizabeth | 1983
8: What a privilege to have had you, Susanna, for a double niece! One of the memories I recall is the time you wanted to stay with us overnight when we lived on the dairy, so your mom let ya. Later on, we went up to the barn to feed the calves. The first thing I knew, you weren’t around anymore. I couldn’t figure out what happened to you. I found you in the house, on our bedroom phone talking to your mom. You wanted to go home! You didn’t want to stay with us after all. Not sure how old you were.., young enough not to be in school but old enough to know your home phone number. How you went home???... I don't remember, but you didn’t spend the night with us. :( :) Remember that? Then another memory is the time you wanted me to teach you how to bake bread. I felt so honored that you asked and I was delighted to do it. I think you brought wedding plans/stuff along to work on, that day, between the rising of the dough. You were a good learner. I gave ya some bread pans to keep then, that I had bought to use to bake bread for your wedding. Love ya--Aunt Cheryl
9: 1984 | Susanna - the laughable, adorable, little sister who loves to laugh. Where has the time gone? It doesn't seem that long ago that you were that little bratty sister, who waltzed into our lives and captivated the attention. O well, you probably were a little better looking then some of us. And you were the little socialite - cute, smiling, and able to flash your eyes to get what you wanted. It's been a joy to watch you mature from childhood to adulthood to motherhood. Rod
10: Susanna, you always had a special place in my heart and I have some good memories of you. One memory I have is of you walking on your toes, with them curled backwards. It looked painful but you made it look so easy. I wonder if you can still do that and if you've taught your girls to do it? Another memory is when you were at Gospel Echoes. One time you came and mowed Grandma Mullet's yard; another time you and some of the girls came here to bake cookies. And then there was the time when you and Elizabeth stayed here and attended the BMA winter Bible School, and you got mono and had to miss some classes. I don't remember exactly how it all came about but you and Elizabeth fought for some mail that came here from an out of state gentleman! The most recent memory we have is when you and Jeremy, along with Katriel, took us to NY for Jonathan and Annlyn's wedding. We will always cherish that memory. You are in our thoughts and we love you and your family. Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Al | Hi Susanna. I still like your real name best! It doesn't seem possible it's been 30 years that your mom and dad announced the arrival of a new baby girl named Susanna Grace. I thought it was such a beautiful name and now you've become a beautiful wife and mom to three precious children. Since you live in Bangladesh, you've experienced some extremely trying situations which have probably refined you into an even more godly and beautiful woman. We moved away from MS about a year before you were born so I wasn't privileged to see you very often as you grew up, but it was always special to see your family at retreats and weddings. In 1983, soon after Jonathan was born, your family made a trip to WI when you were just a tiny one year old. Our girls got the crazy idea to put you into our mailbox which was big as far as mailboxes go. You didn't even protest and I wish we'd have taken a photo of you in there. I always enjoyed hearing about my adventuresome niece in MS, especially as a teenager and in your dating years. I'm so glad you were sensitive to God's leading and your parent's counsel. The Lord gave you an excellent husband and our prayers continue for you and your family as you serve Him in Bangladesh. I love you, Aunt Mary Ellen
11: 1985 | Susanna, One memory I have of you is when you came to Lisa’s 10th birthday party at our home. You were so excited to come. That evening and the next day they were predicting a snow storm (imagine that!). You were sad to go home early. It did my heart good to know you were having so much fun in our home that to leave early, in spite of the excitement of snow in Macon, caused you sadness. Whenever I think of that, I recall the obedience you displayed. I am sure godly obedience is how you answered the call to serve Him in another country. Blessings, Marty Troyer
12: At age four, you ~exclaimed on your birthday, "I'm heavy now; I'm four!" ~made friends easily, anywhere you went, but... ~felt too insecure to stay the night away from home. ~thought you had it made when you finally got to attend Magnolia's VBS with your siblings. ~decided to slip to the toy dept. in Macon's TWL while I was looking at sewing notions... after hearing my name blared over the speaker, I found you at the front of the store with extra wet eyes and a protruding bottom lip. You hid your face in my skirt and later explained, "I suddent-ly couldn't see you, so I told the lady I want my mommy... her name is Maggie." ~loved having chapter-stories read to you by the hour. ~slept deeply; got up and did strange things through the night. ~needed the Wee-Alert only 1 wk...the first time it went off, both you and Bee screamed so loudly we couldn't even hear the buzzer! ~loved dressing up in creative costumes. ~were convinced your dolls needed frequent spankings. ~loved animals, especially your new "baby" Trixie. (Australian Sheep/Black Lab) ~sat in any position with seeming comfort; were sometimes tied to a chair at mealtimes to keep you sitting properly. ~dawdled over your food unendingly till we'd wind up feeding you. ~would open the frig; (gasp!) a jug of milk was about to be spilled! ~spun the tallest of tales with a perfectly straight face. ~couldn't figure out why Als' Anthony's voice was changing, but later, trying to sound grown-up, informed me, "Mama, I think Mary Ellen's voice is changing!" ~gave your panties a happy-go-lucky kick, flinging them into the church toilet... then called for us repeatedly, increasing the volume until we finally heard you from the next room where Alva was preaching. We left for IN after the services and hung the wet panties out the yellow station wagon window to dry as we traveled! ~made Tim Yoder blush one night with your affectionate good-bye hugs and kisses. ~enjoyed exploring Tim G's muddy lane and watching the progress on their house. ~had frequent ear infections and temps over 104. ~were a bright, impulsive little gal who kept our laughter rolling. | ~Mommy | Trixie as a pup
13: 1986 | We remember Susanna was a three year old cutie who liked to talk. The reason we remember the talking is that she had the cutest little lisp in pronouncing some words. I may have been guilty of asking her questions to hear her talk! One Sunday when Glenn’s were coming to our house for lunch, Susanna rode the twenty miles home with us. On the way she was telling us about a man who could fly. The more questions we asked the more elaborate the story became, to the point where he could just wave his arms and fly! After lunch we asked Glenn and Maggie, in Susanna’s absence, if they had been to a circus, or something like that. They said no, and did not know where the story came from! One Wednesday evening, as usual, we met in small groups for prayer time. I was in a group of six or so in the kitchen. When the last Amen was said, little Susanna piped up saying that a rat had poked it’s head out of a hole in the wall near the ceiling. Sure enough, as we looked a rat did just that, as if to say “What are you doing in my territory?” The old house we were meeting in was the most rat infested house that one can imagine! The reason I remember that evening was the expression on Susanna’s face when Maggie said, “Susanna, how did you see that when we were praying?” Her expression seemed to say, “Oh, Oh, I talked too much that time!” I didn’t laugh out loud, but sure chuckled inside! On a Sunday evening, Edna had children’s class and was telling of the unusual circumstances when we took in two abused little girls the first summer we were married. After dismissal, Susanna came to Edna and said, “I needed to go to the bathroom real bad, but I didn’t want to miss anything, so I just held it!” Another thing we remember about Susanna was her laugh. It was “one of a kind” and very infectious. You could not help but laugh with her! It has been a joy to see Susanna grow to adulthood and to be somewhat involved in her teenage years and in her marriage. May the Almighty continue to guide and bless her and hers in the future! ~Alva | Glenns left you children (3 oldest) with us one weekend. I remember you children were well behaved. When you were about 4 months old, your mother came to help me put up corn one day. You were a very good baby till toward evening, and Mama thought she could get you to go to sleep, but you thought otherwise! Maggie finally gave up and took you home. After Elwaynes and Kevins started coming to our little fellowship, you nearly always had a baby after the service. I’m sure because of your love for babies, you’re a very good mother for your own children. We enjoy getting the Yoder Chronicles and watching your children grow. When you write about the girls they remind me of you. You were a very special part of our little group. Love, Edna
14: Some memories from our kindergarten days together....... Trying to say our Bible Memory to win our prize, which you were good at, while I stumbled through. Remember the verses that began with each letter of the alphabet? Being overjoyed when Maggie was on the phone when I arrived in the morning because we would get playtime before getting to work. Being promised a clippers if we let our nails grow. Quickly erasing when Maggie walked away, since we weren't allowed to so we'd write neatly the first time. (At least I did!) Climbing into a huge cardboard box from an appliance they'd gotten, and bouncing back and forth till it fell over in the yard. We'd do it over and over again during our break time. ...I look back at these days with a fondness and gratefulness for the boost it gave me for the rest of my school years! Valerie
15: 1987 | DO YOU REMEMBER Playing with Charity and having dress up time with the the other cousins too. A purse, a dress, and shoes for everyone. The pinata to break in the garage and then scramble to pick up the candy. The Christmas story the grandchildren would do. You were one of the angels. Climbing the cupboards and finding candy when Grandma thought there wasn't any. Rides on the pony "Thunder" cart with Grandpa. The dress you had like Grandma's because your name was Anna. - Grandma & Grandpa
16: When you were still quite small, I got a black lab-mix dog from Mr. Carson. Trixie became extremely protective of you children. He would take your arm in his mouth and lead you around the yard, but never leave a tooth mark. We eventually had to get rid of him because he was so protective he wouldn't let visitors in the house or even out of their vehicles. You always loved animals. We had a big yellow tomcat named Tabby. Rodney's black lab killed numerous cats including yellow toms, but he never touched Tabby. In the winter of '87, '88, and '89, I drove milk truck for Robert Pool; times were hard for us. You enjoyed going along whenever you could. We'd pack our lunches and eat on the road. I often took big wedges of raw cabbage to eat with the homemade bologna sandwiches. Remember the blue Chevy Luv pickup I drove to work with no window in the back of the cab? Boy, was it ever cold some mornings! When you were five, you learned to ride bike and sheepishly confessed, "I know you're not supposed to be proud, but I am kinda." Remember the chicken pox Rod & Bee brought home from Magnolia when you were in kindergarten? You had a full dose; the biggest one was on the tip of your nose. In May, when Grandpa Mullets stopped in on their way home from FL as they often did, we went to visit Arlin and the Ag Museum in Jackson. Arlin also came up to our house sometimes on weekends while he was in service. He was always your special buddy. Elwaynes and we went to Dallas for an Advanced Seminar in Sept. of '88, and you children stayed at Grandpa's, but you were not a happy camper! | ~Daddy | Trixie | Kristin | Love at first sight! | Chicken Pox | Anthony | Kristin | First real Bible | At the Ag Museum in Jackson, visiting Arlin
17: 1988 | Arlin said he can't remember much. This is what we came up with--- "she was always glad to see me when I would visit.... wanted to play, can't remember what we played.... Susanna was always FUN to be with." - Rhonda | Your love for Arlin began when you were 2 and he was 17. You stayed at Als during Great-Grandpa Uriah Mast’s funeral in May of ’84, but you cried. Later, you’d beg to go back..,“I won’t cry dis time, okay?” In Aug. of the same year, Mullet Retreat was at the Shipshe Center after we’d had a 45th anniversary open house for Grandpa Mullets at Mt. Joy. Through all those activities, “Ahlin” must have doted on you, because he became your hero, and at home, you’d repeatedly beg to go to “Dorsey’s” house. The next year, as we prepared for Mullet retreat at Grenada, I wrote in the Musings, “Guess who Susanna’s talking about the most when retreat is mentioned. Yep, Arlin! He has her ardent devotion still.” When someone (probably Dorothy or Mary Ellen) sent you a b’day pkg. with sunglasses, you quickly asked, “Is it from Arlin?” He did have a special way with you, and you remained fond of him through the years. ~Mom
18: To my cousin Susanna, the one cousin whom I've heard acts just like me. (I'm sorry.) First question is- Would you wait until the 11th hour to meet a deadline? Because that's what I did with this note. Not that I'm proud of it or anything. It's also not indicative of my fondness of you. (because I love you!) The first and foremost thing I would like to say is that I greatly admire you for moving to the other side of the world. That takes an inner strength that few humans possess. In fact, last week I was in Sam's Club and realized that there were only 2 other white families in the store, and only 1 spoke English. The other couple was trying but sure weren't fluent. Standing there surrounded by so many Indians and African Americans all speaking their own language, I felt very alone. Instantly it dawned on me that this is what you face every single day. That takes courage and strength! YOU are that woman filled with courage and strength. Growing up, I guess spent much more time with Elizabeth than with you. However, as an adult, I've come to cherish our little gabfests, whether in real life or online. You've been such an inspiration to me with your total honesty about life. I love the way you're so down to earth about things. You're also fun and hilarious; even though we're separated by an entire ocean, you make me laugh with your Facebook comments. The honesty with which you speak about life is a compelling example to be honest with myself. I can't think of any specific special memory when we were children, other than how I'd marvel that your mom could comb your hair so perfectly - everytime. You guys had these little elastic hair things with giant hard balls on the end. Your mom would twist-y twist them up into perfection! I've tried that with my own daughter. Those little hair things and I do not get along. I hope you're properly surprised by your birthday gift. You deserve it! :) Happy Birthday! Cretora | Dear Susanna, Well, as I think back over the last 30 years and the memories we've made together, there are quite a few that come to mind... I remember staying at your house while Mom would go shopping or to doctor visits, and sometimes we'd even stay overnight. One rather humorous memory is that I'd get just a little disgruntled because you wouldn't let me take the cap off the baby doll because you wanted her hair to stay nice. I just thought it was being too picky. Truth of the matter was, your doll always had nicer hair than mine because of it. Many memories come to mind from times at Grandpa's. Christmas sleep overs... remember the one we girls all slept in the family room and the bedroom by the store room, and the guys slept in the dining room? If I remember correctly, the energy level was quite high that night. Christmas Day at Grandpa's... that always involved us grandchildren acting out the Christmas story in the Family Room. Women's Days... the day we made "Fly Soup" with Grandma's spices won't be forgotten soon, and we could hardly ever pray at a meal before at least two or three glasses of water were dumped. Playing out in the cottonseed, feed room, milking parlor, wood shed, swingset, etc... of course, the Shirk children were almost always a part of those memories... a day you spent at my house and we washed my doll clothes and hung them on the line to dry. Yes, those days have come and gone leaving behind many good memories. As you look ahead into the future, have confidence that the God who has been with you in the past will also guide your steps in the future. Love to you, Rosalie
19: 1989 | Hi, Sanny! Remember when we were on chorus tour with SMBI in New York City?? It was so much fun hanging out at Dunkin Donuts till 3 am with a few other kids... and I think we almost got a motel on Times Square for the night! Crazy fun times!!! Love you, Cousin! And Happy 30th!!!! Shirleen | Hi Sanny, Happy 30th! I have been blessed to be your cousin, especially in our non-child years. I'll never forget when your Mom told my Mom that you and Elizabeth thought I turned out to be a cool cousin. Whether that info was correct or not, it sounded good to me. :) Anyway, so life has changed and you've gone from a carefree single to, from my perspective, a tender-hearted mother and wife. God bless you real good as you serve your family and others for the sake of the Kingdom. Sincerely, Jon | Some of my memories are being over at Grandpas and us cousins going out and playing in the cotton seed, or acting out the Christmas story... going up to your house and jumping on the trampoline, playing in the playhouse, and swinging on the tire swing. Have a wonderful birthday and God bless you as you serve him. Lowell
20: It's so sad that Grandma can't write this note herself, but you and I both know she would love to if she could. I can imagine her saying, if she were still able, "Oh, my, where do I begin; I have so many memories of spending time with you, and you always kept us entertained! Grandpa and I stopped in MS more often than not on our way to and from FL, plus sometimes in between. Grandpa often didn't feel well, so he'd sit in a chair and you'd bring him a game to play, or a book to be read. Your mom always had mending or sewing to be done, and I could never rest till I had it done; I loved helping your family. Your mom thought making pies was a chore, but it was the easiest thing for me, so I often made pies or stocked your freezer with pie crusts when we were there. You were usually by my side, watching and hoping for a bit of left-over pie dough to play with or to bake as a snack sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. We were always excited to have you come to our house too; in FL that meant going to the beach to collect shells, or to places like Jungle Gardens. Before you were married, I already saw what a good husband you were getting.. that guy knew how to take a hold and work! I don't know if I'll ever see you in this life again, but be faithful, and one day we'll meet in heaven!" Mom, for Grandma | First visit | Sarasota Jungle Gardens | Sharing birthdays, March 13, 14, & 15 | Playing Hi Ho Cherry-O | Grandpas' 50th Anniversary, 1989 | Celebrating Grandma's birthday | Nothing in the world like Grandma's strawberry pie in FL! | What would we have done without her help? | 4 generations | Proud great-grandma
21: 1990 | AS I WAS ASKED TO WRITE SOMETHING ABOUT YOU, SUSANNA, I WAS LIKE, NO PROBLEM :) I JUST REMEMBER WHEN I WOULD ASK YOU TO WATCH THE GIRLS FROM TIME TO TIME YOU WOULD ALWAYS SAY, "NO PROBLEM, BRING THEM ON OVER!!" BLESS YOUR HEART :) SURE DID HELP ME OUT. YOU ALWAYS HAD THAT UPBEAT SPIRIT. WISH I COULD BE KEEPING YOUR CHILDREN IN RETURN!! I JUST WANT TO SAY THANKS FOR LOVING AND CARING FOR MY GIRLS. I WANT TO WISH YOU A HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AS YOU STRIVE TO SERVE HIM. LORD LET THERE BE LOVE IN OUR HEARTS, HARMONY IN OUR HOMES, PEACE IN OUR LAND. LOVE, KATHY GRABER | Susanna , I can't believe its been so many years that we've all grown up together :) We had a lot of good times though, and I'll always treasure those memories... Y'all were great babysitters and made growin' up in Whisperin' Pines such a blast, always back and forth at each others' houses... Thanks so much for your friendship... Love, Beth | I always remember us goin' to your house, an all the fun we would have. Always had a blast on ya'lls big swing out back, an loved the Light Brite since we didn't have either at my house. Thanks for taken such good care of us. You have been blessed with a beautiful family yourself! May God bless ya'll as you continue to serve him! Love, Kim
22: July 1, 1991: the day the kittens were born under the lawnmower | ..at least she got along with the kittens. | oh yeah, and that kid named Rachel... | First time we met each other
23: 1991 | I remember one time, probably a Sunday afternoon, you and I felt the need for an excursion. The farm's 4-wheeler was at your place so we decided to head across the fields and find our way over to Mast Farms. We started out with me feeling a little apprehensive, but you seemed sure of yourself. So off we went across the field, along the woods, and through the ditches. One time we came to a fence, but we found a way around it, and kept going. We did make it to the farm and felt pretty accomplished! =) Susanna, your life and friendship has blessed me in many ways. May you be blessed as you continue to follow Him wherever he leads you next. Love, Jolita
24: I can not believe we are both 30. It seems just like yesterday that I was playing over at your house in Crawford. I remember sleeping on the floor in the living room listening to the ceiling fan. It's kinda strange, but to this day when I hear the noise of a ceiling fan it takes me back to your living room. Odd, I know! There was a time that I spent a couple days at your house, and we had so much fun. We enjoyed multiple birthday parties together as you can see in the pictures. It also seems just like yesterday we were at Magnolia together with Ms. Amanda Miller and then at Immanuel together. I was so upset when I found out that we weren't going to be in the same 4th grade class at Immanuel, but I did manage. It seems crazy that we both ended up in Ohio in the same town at one time. Two Mississippi gals marrying Ohioan guys (Ohio sure knows how to grow them!). You are now a mother to 3 beautiful children and living overseas giving of yourself. I know it is not easy, but just think of all the seeds you are planting in people's lives. May the Lord bless you with 30+ more years of happiness. Happy Birthday, my friend! - Lisa Mast
25: 1992 | Rod's Graduation Night | Hanging out with big brother | Shepherd of the Hills | Musings Time
26: It's already been around twenty years since our school days together! My clearest memories though aren't studying or class, but the sleepovers and hilarity of being carefree and pumped up on sweets. Although we haven't seen each other as much over the years, I've been happy for you for each milestone and adventure you've accomplished. Here's to many more successful years! God bless! Rachel (Wallace) Liddell
27: 1993 | I always enjoyed going to your piano recitals & festivals. People would remark how you played with such feeling. It was always rewarding for us to see your hard work (and our countless trips to "Grandma" Frankie's house) paying off. Our tradition was to treat you to refreshments afterwards, but one night at Shoney's you asked if you could get something warm instead of a dessert.. you were hungry! From then on we would go out for a meal. You thought you were big stuff when you learned to climb the door to the utility room. Then you got this notion to curl your toes around and stand on the tops, then walk on them, and then run on them! It made other's toes hurt just to see you do it. I do remember your big eyes of pain and surprise, though, when you jumped off the couch onto the tops of your toes! I don't think you tried that again. Over Thanksgiving of '92 we had a big Uriah Mast reunion at Magnolia School. Gerald Masts stayed at our house and you girls really connected well with some of your 2nd cousins. They still ask about you whenever we see them. Your great-grandma, Lizzie Mast, died in June of '93. After the funeral and burial, you rode to the dinner in a buggy with one of the preachers and his wife. On the way, we learned afterwards, you pumped them with all kinds of questions about the Amish and how they do things. Knowing you, you probably told them a few tales as well. Rod and I built the carport roof at Christmas when Rod was home from SMBI. Were we ever happy to have a carport to shield us from the MS winter rains! When Rod left for Albuquerque the following May, you started doing a lot of the lawn mowing. When you started, you just drove back and forth, not paying attention to the strips you skipped. But you loved mowing and soon learned to do a neat job.. well, as long as you kept the gas tank filled! When you got too hot, Joel was glad to cool you off! ~Daddy | Great-Grandma Lizzie | Fun at Cypress Gardens, Feb., 1993 | The Days of Braces
28: Happy Birthday! Wow, hard to believe we are in our 30's now. I have some wonderful memories of our friendship... All the fun sleep overs, youth camp outs (getting lost on Sunday morning and everyone waiting on us Lol)... we had some good times. I am blessed to have your friendship; thanks for being a friend. :) May the Lord richly bless you, as you serve Him! Love, Deborah Mowry
29: 1994 | Around this age, you started evolving from intruder to tag-along, and even to friend; maybe it was because we no longer shared a room, a scary feat indeed. I French-braided your hair each day, being careful to loosen a little stiffly-hairsprayed poof in the front. We must've thought we were growing into quite the chics, because my pictures of this era include rolls of film spent on ourselves in many awkward poses around the yard. Our independence blossomed, as I had a license and a white station wagon; I hauled you to school, and then later to Starkville homeschool activities and piano lessons, sailing over bumps, screeching around corners, and blaring the music (after we dropped off the Lingleys, that is)! We hung out with Jess, and Walmart was the bomb! - Elizabeth
30: As we entered ’95, we had the fun of having Christmas with Rod in Albuquerque and meeting Christine. From there, we went on to climb the dunes at White Sands, barter in a Mexican Market, and explore the immense Carlsbad Caverns. What memories! One of Rod’s friends- was it Jose`?- must have thought you were cute, because later, after attending Rods’ wedding, you got a letter from him! In Feb, you started instruction class and were baptized in July; Alva emphasized that Christ will not accept divided loyalties. I think you picked out your baptism dress fabric on our March trip to Galen & Hope’s wedding in VA; we also visited SMBI on that trip to prepare Elizabeth for her 1st term. That was the spring you went down our road to pick dewberries and landed in the sewage ditch! It was also the year Buhyee had to have Wendy’s lavatory drain pipes taken apart to find a contact which was eventually discovered on the floor, and you hid your retainers in a napkin at Shoney’s, then forgot them till half an hour after we'd left. We had the gutsy experience of returning to their private kitchen quarters and digging through their garbage to find them! A week later, you dreamed you were chomping on chewy pizza that refused to be masticated and awoke to find your precious retainers totally deformed!! Oh, the stories you girls birthed! Buhyee took you to Brooksville to get gas for the lawn mower, but you forgot to take along money. She warned you not to pump more dollars' worth than her purse contained, but you lollygagged and went over. She made you go explain to the cashier, then a kind-hearted customer took pity and finished paying your bill! In July Rod & Christine were engaged and flew home from Albuquerque to travel to Mast Retreat at Ernest’s WI farm...We are the Masts*from way down South,*comin’ to ya now*with our big mouth.*We saw a little sign* as we came past;*it said “Eat here*and get some gas!” *We passed that up*and came instead*to the Mast shindig*to rattle the bed.*And if you knew*what we did munch,*you would kick out*this smelly bunch!*The sign said “Don’t*run out of gas,”*but goober peas*propelled us past.*Now to end*this silly old rap,*we’ll all lay down*and take a nap! (with sound effects) We spent several days at Dales, and then, to meet Anna, we took Christine home to a scorching IA where the heat index was 126*. We hung out at WalMart the next day so we could be in air conditioning, and left IA before we had planned to, in order to sleep in a cool motel. Rod kept us in stitches; we laughed ourselves silly that night! We came home and he promptly broke his ankle playing softball in Macon; you girls brought him home at 70-80 mph. Your natural nurse tendencies kicked into gear, and you went along to keep him comfortable, putting ice on his forehead as Daddy drove him to the hospital. It was a bad break that required surgery, with plate and screws. That fall, you entered 8th grade (at home again) and you girls did a top-notch job of planning our church home schoolers’ Christmas program, helping to perform it. You were the fussy "mom" wanting a perfect Christmas, and your “husband” disagreed with your ideas. Craig’s long-awaited Valerie arrived in Dec., and in my hurry to meet her, Officer Bell had a little talk with me. I got a serger and sewed like crazy to get our 4 outfits made for Rods’ wedding. Christine came for Christmas, and Bee unexpectedly got an acceptance call from SMBI, Christmas Evening, causing all kinds of stress. In a week’s time we shopped, sewed, altered clothes, and packed for her; plus helped with a baby shower for Shirley, all before we shipped Eliz off to SMBI. Everything happened with dizzying speed. Rod & Christine left for IA three days before Eliz left, meaning Eliz and Rod were done living at home together. There were too many changes way too fast, and I was left an emotional wreck. When I cried on Sun. morning as I realized I didn’t need to dole out vitamins for Bee, you just laughed at me! (Just wait; sometime you’ll understand!) From then till Rod’s wedding in Feb., we were snowed under, finishing sewing for Bee and for the wedding, helping Christine clean their mobile home, going to bridal showers, shopping for Rod’s wedding clothes and for gifts, and preparing for the rehearsal supper in IA. I told you girls you'll have to learn to sew before you get married, and that not till your late 30’s! You just laughed, “Bah, humbug!!” This was the era in which it seemed you and I started connecting more as friends; you had your struggles, but you were also doing a lot of spiritual growing, and your heart was responding to God. It was a rewarding time for me to see God working in your heart. ~MUMSIE
32: Sanny, I knew you must be a fun-loving gal from the first time I met you. You and Eliz hid behind the seat in ya'lls van in Albuquerque when Rod came to pick me up at my host's home. I was so nervous about meeting his family. After Rod and I got married we witnessed more of your fun-loving ways through home invasions (trashy intruders and Y2K bugs), and watching you interact with your nieces and nephews. You are so easy to talk with, and I have always felt a certain connection with you. I love the memories: --Weddings: ours, Eliz's, and yours --Celebrating birthdays --The help you gave me when Rebecca and Joshua were born --Attending EBI in 2001 together with Rod and Eliz --Thriftstore shopping --Vacations in the campgrounds, Smokies, PEI, Virginia Beach, Colorado --Christmas dinners, games, family retreats, laughing (until we cry), just being together You add life to any gathering. It has been a privilege watching you mature and grow from a young teen into a beautiful woman who loves God and her family, and cares so much about others. Getting to visit ya'll and experience your life in Bangladesh was great. You are special to me, and your friendship is a treasure. Love you lots, Lady! Christine
33: 1996 | Sanny, I can still picture you standing over by the table at Rod and Christine's wedding rehearsal. You caught my eye, someone my age AND another Mennonite girl at that!! I was going to get to know you! Moving to MN only 2yrs before that, it took me out of the big Mennonite population and now I was eager to make new friends. I don't remember talking to you a ton at the wedding, but we exchanged addresses. I remember being excited that you were going to the gym after the wedding and begged my Mom to let me go to - to see you one more time. We left for home after the weekend, but I was excited about my new friend. Maybe I took it a little far sometimes and enjoyed singing, "Oh Susanna. Don't you cry for me, cause I come from Mississippi with a banjo on my knee" to Mont. I was quite pleased at myself and the match that could be made here!! =) I remember the tiny twinge of nervousness as I wrote my first letter to you. Would you write back?? And to my delight you did and letter writing was what we did best w/ each other! I mean, I wrote till I my hand was numb. We did like 12-17 pages of handwritten letters back and forth. Then took it a step farther and recorded ourselves talking on tape. I still remember lying on my bedroom floor on a Sunday afternoon, listening to you talk... funny! And the Cmas/bday gifts we would send back and forth in the mail... God sure knew what He was doing when He had us meet though! It felt so good for me, to know I could write you honestly about stuff. I sure had the guy stories to tell you, but I loved hearing yours and comparing notes too. =) The things we had in common, both coming from smaller Mennonite communities, challenges w/ small churches and family life. I remember you telling me one time, that when we're vulnerable and open up about things in our life, we find out that we are not the only people struggling with those issues. There were times when I thought no one would understand what I'm talking about or know what I'm going through, but you did!! You meant a great deal to me over our house fire, your support and caring heart for the things I was going through. I knew you so well - through letters. It was weird. You would often sign your name at the end of the letter with 'Lylas' I think it was. Still can't quite figure out what its suppose to mean, something about love like a sister. =) So I'm at SMBI and hear that you are going to come visit. I remember this strange feeling... will we still be friends? Haven't seen her since the first time, etc..... And around that time I was getting to know Jeremy. I don't remember a whole lot of your visit to SMBI. I think we were still friends, but not quite at the point of writing 15-page letters to each other anymore! =) But to think that all through those years, God was building our friendship and preparing us for life ahead. He knew that I was going to need you in the future and wow!! Thank you God for Sanny and the gift of friendship she's been to me!!!! Lylas, Cindy
34: Aunt Sanny, I remember going to the Smoky Mountains with you. I remember playing with Pippa at your house in Ohio. I was glad to go to your house in Bangladesh. It was fun to eat with our fingers. I love you. Becca
35: 1997 | My Dear Friend Susanna, 1997 Year of friendship. Year of fun. And hopefully some little girls growing up. Leaving their childhood and finding real life. REAL LIFE. One night in Columbus we went on a progressive supper hitting several fast foods, getting different courses and foods at each one. The thing that sticks out to me is at Captain D's we got hush puppies. Of course we ate way too much doing it that way. Then we have Garfield's to talk about and Proffitt's Porch. Sleepless sleepovers that brought more howls of laughter than rest. When we went thrift storing in AL and spent the night over there. Our lives have moved on and changed with rapid speed. What was so important in '97 is nowhere near the radar now. The choices we have made took us on two different roads and countries apart. I would like to think that our years as friends made us more mature, more caring, and a little more knowledgeable. Many people walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. Love, Charity
36: Dear Susanna, I remember you as a very friendly, outgoing teenager that added a lot of life to our youth group. I remember that we did a Christmas play and a puppet show and you always played your part well. My most vivid memory of you is a few years earlier in 1991. I remember stopping at your house one day and you came running out to my van grinning from ear to ear to tell me about your new baby sister. You were so proud that you were the first one to give me all the details! We have your prayer card on our fridge and I’m so glad you’re being faithful to God’s calling on your life. Continue to stand beside your husband and be his encourager! Happy Birthday, With love and prayers, Virlin & Rosie
37: Dear Sanny, Love, Chris | Ok you were actually Suzuki back when we were penpals. I can't tell you how much your friendship meant to me - getting one of your letters probably made me happier than anything else. And then the tapes recorded, the hours- long phone calls, meeting for the first time and not knowing what to say, because here's this person I know everything about but I don't know in person. What great memories! Thanks so much for being such an awesome friend; I don't know what I would have done without you during those years living on the mission with no friends close by. Our friendship was one of the brightest things in my life at the time, and I thank you so much for being there for me. Your life and testimony is such an inspiration to me, and I love looking at your life now and seeing what a beautiful woman you have become! I love you Sanny and God Bless You! | 1998
38: Sanny, I kinda remember when we went to get our bears at Walmart. I got to choose smiley faces to put inside of mine. I remember going to your house in Ohio and playing with Pippa. Thank you for helping me find a souvenir at Aarong. It was fun to visit you in Bangladesh. I'm glad you're my aunt. Joshua
39: 1999 | Hey Girl, Just sitting here doing some reminiscing and looking at pictures of long ago. Wow! I cannot believe that we are old enough now to be able to say “You know way back when I was a kid”. Ha! makes me feel “old”. But we did make a lot of memories. One special memory for me was one day when we were having one of our “girl talks” you shared with me that you had often prayed for a friend that was your own age, and that you were so happy and excited whenever I came along. I don’t know if I ever told you this, but that really meant a lot to me to hear that some little girl somewhere out there, that I didn’t even know yet, was praying for our paths to cross. That is one memory I will never forget. Another memory that I have is about one of our youth campouts. Those were always so much fun! The one in particular I’m thinking about was in 1999. It was at Lake Lowndes Park. One late night about seven of us youth had decided to walk that trail, and somehow we managed to get lost! We were probably goofing off and not paying attention. I want to say we were gone for a few hours, but I am not sure. We had a lot of good times at the campouts and other times as well. What made everything we did fun and awesome, was that I got to do them with my best buddy. I am so thankful that I got the chance to be part of your life, and will always treasure the moments we had as girls. Love ya girl, Jessica
40: 2000.... the year we shared and did everything together! Our bathroom, our clothes, our youth group, ball games to support our Faith guys, shopping, shputting, graduation (yours from High School, mine from the W), PEI, Mullet Retreat, Cre's wedding, SMBI, cruising our way home from there in late December- windows open, music blaring, eyes pried open in a fake of alertness. This year solidified our sisterhood, so tightly that it was tremendously hard on us to part ways the next year. I know many have waxed eloquent on the bond that sisters have; I'm just so glad we've got these memories together and you're my forever friend in a way that no one else will ever be.
41: 2000 | I remember when Susanna was a little girl growing up. She was so cute. She had some of the longest ponytail that little girl have. She had a wonderful smile and it seem like life was so amazing. The Mast Family has always been a part of Carson Store. They enjoyed lunch during the summer when the corn was being harvest, or the soybeans were planted. Oh but just watching Rodney, Elizabeth, and Susanna all getting married, grown-up, and going their own ways make me feel as if I played some kind of role in that. So I say to Susanna, â€œHappy Birthday! Kim | Susanna came to work at Carson'â€™s Store on May 26, 2000. She work in Deli as a cook and clean up person. She worked part time averaging about 17 hours a week at $5.25 an hour. She worked hard, but she enjoyed it. She work until August 31st, 2000. We really enjoyed her helping us out!
42: Dear Susanna, when I think back over the years, it would seem that we have almost grown apart from the friendship that we used to have. Think back to those good'n years, before marriage, the kids, work, school, life sure was different back then, of course the only person we had to worry about was ourselves. Do you remember when you would come up to the shop and drive the grain cart, sometimes we road together and just hung out or the time when Veronica flew into Memphis, I had no clew where Memphis was so you went with me to go get her, on the way up we stopped at a Dairy Queen and got chocolate dipped cones and not to mention all the countless times we went to youth things together. You were all ways my favorite cousin and sometimes I feel sad that we drifted away like we did, kinda like losing something you once had. Probably the most fun time was going to New York on the mission trip that was so much fun, oh and remember going camping at Roosevelt State Park that one year in the fall, I think we went to Jackson one night and played put put golf. Well I could go on and on about all the fun times that I remember, just remember even though are lives have changed, you'll always be my favorite cousin. TOBY
43: 2000 | SMBI | susanna. seriously, smbi was the start of me knowing you, right? i remember you were my roomie and you stayed up all hours of the night and got in trouble for it! i remember being scared about being a "liberal" at this conservative Bible school and not wanting to offend anyone so i was trying so hard to be good and walk the line. i remember sort of wondering about you because you did stuff you knew you'd get in trouble for if you got caught. ha. and then i feel like our relationship turned into something so much more fun and long-term when i learned in bangladesh that jeremy was involved--and you became one of the cvc group! so glad our relationship lasted longer than smbi! -terri | Sanny, Good times, great memories- starting with SMBI- the all nighters, you, Elaine and Marty... You are one of those friends that share a similar vision, and it is easy to connect whenever we bump into each other. Asking the Father to lead you beside streams of living water, and to restore your soul. He will keep [her] in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him, because [she] trusts in Him. (Is.26:3) Love, Mary Roth Yoder | Sanny, When I step into a time machine and ask to be transferred back to SMBI 2000, I mostly want to hide my head in shame at how immature I was. But after the smoke clears, I see a few things clearly. I notice how many people I met that had an influence on me or that made my life as a fun-seeking 18 year old a little better. You were one of them. I really don't remember meeting you for the first time, but I clearly recall telling people from home how cool the Mast sisters were. I remember thinking you were so cute, especially how your nose crinkled up when you smiled. I remember going to your home on choir tour and thinking I had arrived at a new level of coolness; I had stepped foot into the Mast home. That was then, and this is now, and I am still grateful that our paths crossed. Even though we live worlds apart, I still feel some sort of connection with you. I know it would be easy to reconnect; I know I could learn much from hearing your experiences. I love how you have followed His call to the far corners of the earth. Wouldn't it be cool if His call took us to the same far corner someday? Happy birthday, Maria P.S: 30 is so the new 20. | Dear Susanna, Walk with me back memory lane to 2000 in Due West, SC. I believe that’s where we met: at BMA Bible School (EBI). How and why did we clique? Was it because we lived at the same house? Was it because we were experiencing the same things that term? You definitely broadened my world! Then there was SMBI the next year. I remember more times of hanging out – including shoving notes under the door to the guys’ side after dorm time & staying up “all” night in the library – gulp! Such immaturity. Then there was BMA Convention the year we signed each other’s purity pledges – how blessed we are to have godly men in our lives! Sanny, may God continue to bless you and grow you to be more like Him! Thank you for your lasting friendship. Love, Elaine | I had no idea I was seeing my future wife and best friend sitting on the men's side at church that Sunday night, or in classes and the gym at SMBI, or on that cold snowy choir tour. As I got to know you over the next few years, though, I grew to appreciate so much about you. I'm not sure what our bond was at first.... seems like it had to do with nostrils and older brothers, and other such romantic notions. I'm so glad God ordained for us to meet that fall, and there is no question.... I'd do it all again. Jeremy
45: 2001 | Dear Susanna, Hey! Happy 30th birthday!! :) Boy, do these pictures ever bring back memories, huh?!? I must say, that was by far our favorite year as youth sponsors! Such a fun year! Ice cream social, clean-up after a storm, New York City trip, youth campout, taffy pull, Christmas supper, etc., etc.!! Okay, I'll quit reminiscing! :) Although I really should have copied some of those other pictures I found!! ;) I think about y'all so often! You've got a sweet little family!! :) Blessings!! Love ya much, Maria Lee
46: Sanny, several years have come and gone since our glory days ;) When I look back and remember all the good times we had, I wish that for just a moment or two we could relive some of those memories, but wouldn't trade all the things I've learned since then for anything. I'm so glad God made our paths cross, even if only for a year or two. I am blessed to have worked with you and gotten to know you. I am amazed at the different paths God has taken us on. I love hearing about your adventures in Bangladesh and how He is using you, and would love to sit down with you and 'catch up' and swap stories of how God has worked in our lives. I think of you often and send a prayer heavenward for you. Keep looking up! Kat | Hey Sanny! How YOU doin'? ;) Just thinking about you as I write this puts a smile on my face. Did you know it's been 10 years now since we met? You are and always will be one of the highlights of my time at Gospel Echoes. I've been looking through my old pictures a lot lately and girl, we sure had some crazy times together! And as happy as I am with where I am right now - when I dwell on those old memories too much it sure makes me want to go back, even if just for a few hours. Maybe just long enough to get some Papa John's Pizza, go shopping in Mishiwaka, go swimming at your cousins or maybe do some late night "t.p.ing". On second thought, I think I'd prefer a few hours of your time in present day and just catch up over coffee. I'd even make some Lava Cakes at no extra charge! :) Oh, girl, I know things can never be how they once were but no matter how far apart we live or how long it's been, I will never, ever, EVER forget you and the year 2002. Ever. Love, Mary | Sanny, Your friendship has strengthened me on life’s journey. It has definitely been in ‘seasons’ rather than a continuous close friendship, but I know that the Lord placed you in my life for those specific seasons to bring refreshment to my soul. Our friendship began as guest book attendants (weren’t we the best?) and then we lost touch until our SMBI and BMABI days. My heart fondly remembers chats in the dorm room, but more specifically our talks in my office at GET Printing (are those considered the ‘good ol' days’?). It seems like whenever we get together we can pick up right where we left off, and I appreciate that so much about you. You are so real and genuine! I just want you to know that God is using you to make a difference for eternity in many people’s lives – husband, children, Bengali people, and friends like me! Be blessed today! :) ~ Jenni | Dear Sanny, You are one of those friends that will stick for a lifetime. As I think back to all of our memories together, my heart is warmed knowing that God used you to speak so much truth into my life. Thank you for showing me what a beautiful, godly lady is! I have many precious memories of tearing around on four-wheelers and bike rides, but also many times of tears and crying out to God when life brought pain and confusion. I know that God was preparing us for the lives that we are living right now. Thank you for being faithful to God's calling for your life. You have challenged, blessed, and encouraged me more than you will ever know! I love you!! Heidi
47: 2002 | You and Elizabeth were home so little in 2002. Eliz was anticipating dating Nev (he’d come for “the interview” Jan. 3), and you had just found out in Dec. that you had mono. You both returned to your places of service after being home for Christmas and left a huge hole here. You were troubled about a certain relationship, and in Feb., while Phil Coblentz was having meetings at our church, you came home to settle it, on good terms, but once and for all. It was an agonizing experience for you, but to this day I admire you for being willing to do what needed to be done. You were both great individuals, but you just didn’t suit each other. It wasn’t made any easier when Eliz and Nev started dating in March. It warmed my heart to have you call home often and share your struggles with me, or just keep me abreast of what was going on in your life. You had to learn all over again how to relate to guys, now that you were "unattached". I spoke much to our Father, praying you through those days. Meanwhile, at home, Anthony had his 4-wheeler accident, and John & Marilyn came to visit us. In May, you came home again for Jon and Jessica’s wedding, bringing Heidi and Jenny along. It always made me feel good that you wanted your friends and me to know each other. I still appreciate that! June found Rach, Dad & me traveling to NYC by train. While we were there, interestingly, both you and Jeremy showed up as well. (I was impressed by his helpfulness & courtesy while being a totally comfortable guy to be around, even if you claimed it was his ability to speak Dutch that disarmed me! (We even had tapi-oh-kee the day he appeared!)) The silage bunker wall fell on Elwayne in July, Jenny & Aaron got married, and you joined us for Mullet Retreat at Calvary BS in Arkansas. In August, we came to Goshen for BMA Convention at Grace College, as did Rods, Eliz, Nev, and Nev’s parents. That was the time I backed into Nev’s car and was in tears when Grandma & I came to pick you up at Gospel Echoes. You were/are such a comfort to me; you were totally sympathetic. Jeremy was at convention too, and Dad & I had “the interview” with him. I don’t know who was more nervous, he or we! When we were ready to go back to Goshen, we had to wait awhile, because for some strange reason you were no where to be found! Later that month, Jeremy left for Bangladesh, not returning till Dec. 30th and, I'm afraid, in a rather worried frame of mind. You came home from Gospel Echoes permanently in Sept., but were only at home 6 weeks till you went to SMBI again. While you were here, we worked on your bridesmaid dress for Christy Hershberger’s wedding which you attended before you came home for Christmas, and in Oct. our whole family plus Nev went camping in AL. (Did those guys really call Jeff, or only threaten to?) At Christmas, Nev & Eliz came back from CO, engaged, and their wedding plans started full force! Those didn’t culminate before you & Jeremy were already talking to me about your future! What intense & emotional days for me! ~MOM | Their 1st time at our house | NYC | Arkansas Mullet Retreat | at Retreat | Sisterly Love | AL camp-out | "I went to Walmart"
48: So in prances Nev and sweeps me off my feet, though at the rates things were going for a while, I'd have thought you'd get married before me. I remember spending a sisters' wk-end with you in IN before we started dating, knowing that things were probably fixin to change for good. You came to NY twice Spring of 03, once to help fabric shop and once to help me say good-bye (and shop again- wink, wink). We always said I should get someone like you to round me out (one who makes me stinkin mad and then makes me laugh!), and you should get one like me; kind of happened, too. As our wedding day unfolded, we started seeing another one in the works! Things did change, tremendously; and though sometimes I long for those carefree, sisterly single times again, I'm so glad God gave us each such committed, made-for-us men. Doesn't matter how good they are , though, some just don't feel like writing notes in memory books; oh, well, Nev appreciates you and all that, anyway!
49: 2003 | 2003 was quite the year for me. In July 2002, I first talked to your dad about getting to know you better, but was told, "not yet". That Christmas, while I was in Asia, I got what I understood to be "probably not". I got home from BD the beginning of January, only to get a "maybe." I rushed to SC to meet up with you, and left feeling like it was more of a "probably." In April, I got my "yes" and May 2 was our first date.... that long conversation at Johnny's catfish restaurant ("Are ya'll still here from this afternoon?!?!?!"). The next months were wonderful... getting to know you better was all I ever dreamed it would be and more. September 7, kneeling in front of you sitting on that backwoods picnic table, I got another "yes"..... despite having stolen your fried okra only hours before. It's still amazing to me the difference between the way 2003 began and the way it closed.... I'm so thankful for God's hand in it all, and that He led you to decide to spend your life with me... wherever life takes us. - Jeremy
50: 2000: "Who is that pretty girl sitting on the men's side of church?" 2001: "Someone's playing Canon in D on my piano. What? It's Jeremy's cool SMBI friend and she's staying here tonight? Yikes." 2003: CRASH BOOM BANG It's Jeremy's new girlfriend, tripping over the rocking chair, landing on her backside, laughing hysterically. Thanks for breaking the ice, Sanny! You can quit falling down now.
51: 2004 | March 6, 2004.... that day took a long time to arrive. I counted down the last 100 days or so, and it just couldn't come soon enough. One of my favorite memories, ever, is of you walking into an empty auditorium while I stood at the altar. That day, though, was just the beginning of something that continues to get better. I'm so thankful that I married you... someone that I still love to be with and talk to. You are amazing.... moving to a foreign country with a family, and 6 months pregnant to boot. I couldn't ask for a better wife and friend. Thank you for your love, your encouragement, your faithfulness, the way you challenge me, the way you take care of me. It's comforting and encouraging to know that wherever God leads us in the future, whatever He calls us to do, we'll go there together. I look forward to the next years...however many we're granted...to spend with you. I love you. Jeremy
52: Heritage House fittings Spinach balls & cheese straws Shopping, shopping, shopping Bridal showers Ministerial Enrichment weekend Mint favors, nut cups, centerpieces Wedding bulletin construction The day of your dreams Tears & letting go OH reception, organizing your house Rebecca's Tearoom & the aunts Birmingham Zoo & birth of Katelyn Family visit to SC & Your momentous news Brad & Stephanie's wedding Mini Mast Retreat at Goshen Marv & Char's wedding Your doctor's sad news.. painful loss Smoky Mtn. cabin; fits of laughter Mysterious photo, culprit unknown Brian Graber's funeral | What I cherish most is the camaraderie we shared through it all... the fun of planning/working together, and a deep mother-daughter bond that cannot be broken. What a priceless gift from God! Thank you for the kind daughter you are and for your beautiful spirit. I'll always love you and pull for you. ~Mom | You and Jeremy had car trouble on the way to the Birmingham airport, so we rushed the van over and loaded up the car, bringing it back to Columbus... only to find out it was out of gas! At least it didn't cost much to fix the problem! On your wedding day, there was a big conflict of emotions; it was good to give you to a man whom we loved & trusted, but you would be gone from our home. While Mom mourned your leaving, she was also happy for you. DAD
53: 2004 | When you came home from SMBI in May 2003, I thought I had the world by the tail. Sure, we had to get Eliz married off first, but after that, I had a sister all to myself for the first time ever. And we were even able to actually connect like sisters - goofing off, running errands, doing special things with Rod's kids, chasing stray dogs all over the field in your Civic until Mom was ready to make Dad go out and do who-knows-what to those ridiculous "drunks" driving all over her front yard. It was the first time that I ever felt like I was a true "sister," a peer, not just a little tag-along. For once, I was of "the girls," instead of you and Eliz being "the girls" and me being "the kid." And I loved it. I totally soaked it up. To this day, I look back to those months that you were at home as one of my favorite periods of life. | The only problem was, I didn't actually have you "all to myself." See, there was this guy. I wrote his name on a piece of paper and wadded it up and jumped on it and ripped it into shreds and otherwise violently mutilated it.. but when you caught me in the middle of my paper-torturing session, you just laughed at me. And when I insulted him to your face, you took me down and sat on me - for half an hour. It was rather uncomfortable, as I recall. It wasn't really that I hated Jeremy. Actually, I couldn't hate him, no matter how hard I tried. But he was taking my sister away, and that was completely unacceptable. How dare he?!! We had fun getting ready for the wedding though - driving to Ohio in a snowstorm and spending the night in a field, going to Indiana for dress fittings and having grand sister-parties in Al's basement... even stuffing nut cups and making cheese straws was fun, with my awesome big sister involved. But I still wasn't a fan of the actually getting married part. In fact, I remember walking through the gym the night before your wedding, and having a sudden urge to shove all the tables over. I could just see the place settings and centerpieces flying all over the place, with nuts and mints raining like confetti, and I had to physically restrain myself to keep from completely wrecking your reception. And after you were married - oh goodness. That Garfield blanket you left behind pretty much attached itself to me. I cried my eyes out so many times it's surprising I can still see. It took me a looong time to get over you leaving. And sometimes I wonder if I ever actually did. You see, I kinda liked my big sister. ~Rachel K.
54: Dear Susanna, Well, I guess I have no childhood memories of you, but reading your Mom's stories almost made my hair stand on end!! It's a wonder you were brave enough to have children!! (Just kidding)!! I remember the first time I saw you, when you and Jeremy were both with the SMBI chorus at Freedom Hills. I thought you were the prettiest girl on the chorus! At the time, I was trying to "help" Jeremy find a wife. So after the program I told him that I picked one out for him - - - YOU!! But he crushed my hopes when he said you were "not available".(Sigh) But I guess I planted | the seed in his heart, and it kept on growing, and eventually you WERE "available"!! (Aren't moms good match-makers ?) Actually, I'm sure you and Jeremy would have gotten together without my "help", but it feels good to receive some credit for it!! Susanna, I couldn't ask for a better daughter-in-law. You are a wonderful wife and mother, and a joy to be with. I appreciate your godly character. I miss you so much, and am looking forward to having you in the area again. I wish I could be there to help you celebrate your 30th! I also appreciate how you love and accept Wendell. That was always a concern of mine, that my children find marriage partners who will love and accept Wendell. And you truly have! Thank-you SO much!! When you and Jeremy first mentioned moving to Bangladesh, we were NOT excited!! We wanted our children and grandchildren RIGHT HERE close to us!! But we were finally able to "let go" and "let God" lead you. You were so excited to go and supported Jeremy 100%. That was so encouraging to us, and made it easier to let you all go. Thank-you for following Jeremy so willingly to where God called him to go. We so enjoyed our time with you in Bangladesh. It was so good spending time with you and the children. I hope you have a great 30th!! Blessings to you all! Love you, Mom | MEMORIES - camping and sitting around the fire - getting together on Sunday evenings snacking and playing games - baking Christmas cookies with you and Crystal and the grandchildren - going to Columbus thrift store shopping with you, Crystal, and Jess for my birthday - redoing the living room, what a job !! - Christmas Eve together, opening gifts, and everyone staying overnight - I loved if you would call on a Sunday on the way home from church and asked if you could come for Sunday dinner !! I wished you would do it more often! - Katriel's birth... our very first grandchild! - last but not least, the time spent with you in Bangladesh
55: 2005 | Dear Sanny, I clearly remember the first time I met you. I was so excited that Jeremy finally found a girlfriend....and one who was out-of-state w/ the potential of moving to Ohio! I think that we were both somewhat shy and reserved, but still pretty much clicked. I enjoyed getting to know you that evening and had high hopes of getting to know you more. Of course, when you and Jeremy got married and decided to live in Ohio, I was ecstatic! It was so fun to have another couple to hang out with....the guys being great friends growing up and you and I being transplanted to Ohio. I appreciate the great friend that you were to me and thinking about those days gives me warm fuzzies and feelings of comfort. We could "bash" Ohio life together without any judgment or worries of hurting some one's feelings. We could reminisce and talk all day about our own families and what it meant to leave them and move so far away. We got through it together! Camping, Rook, Rook Sequence, Dutch Blitz, Sunday afternoons and evenings, popcorn, shopping, babysitting, moving, painting.....all of these times we spent together were and are such a special time of my life that I will remember and cherish always. Even though our paths seem to have so many miles between them and even though we hardly ever see each other, you will always be one of those friends I never want to lose...the kind that can always pick up where they left off and be "just like old times." I wish you all the best for this year and for always. You are an amazing woman, wife and mother. I wish peace, faith and love upon your life. I love you and am so thankful to have you a part of my life! Love, Becky
56: Dear Mommy, You are a special mommy. I like to play games with you and make food with you. I like it when you read to us. You give great prizes. One of my favorite memories with you is when you took me on a date on a motorbike in Thailand and we got our toes done. I love you a whole bunch. Katriel
57: 2006 | Sanny, When I first met you at SMBI, I never dreamed that the men we would marry would be two best friends from childhood. I am so thankful to God for this, because it means I got a chance to really know you. There aren’t many people out there that make me feel as comfortable sharing anything with as you do- but I’ve felt at ease with you since I’ve met you. Some of my favorite memories with you are things such as shortening hems for chorus programs, howling with balloon dogs, playing rook against our husbands (women always win, right?), Settlers, and just having the best conversations. You are just one of those people that I don’t get tired of! I admire the way you have of encouraging people to be what God wants them to be, no matter what the circumstances are that you are in yourself. You are an absolutely beautiful person through and through, and I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for your lifetime! Dawn
58: susanna. i'm so glad we somehow managed to marry guys who were friends back in the day! i've lost touch with so many old smbi friends that i think sometimes this connection is mostly why i still see you and your children. and i am so glad i do. i'm grateful for the time our families and especially our children have gotten to spend together. i hope so much we will see you in bangladesh on your turf one day. i'm glad the future looks like we will continue to get to spend time together as families with the cvc group! - terri | Sanny, Remembering all those last minute (random) Friday night get togethers with our CVC friends. Our houses weren't always polished, our kids weren't always spotless, and the food wasn't always gourmet but the memories are something I'll always cherish. All of our lives have taken different paths, but the friendships will always remain. Thanks for all the times you listened, cared and invested in my life. Happy 30th Birthday. Heather
59: 2007 | Sanny, I don't know you as well as I wish I did, but growing up with Jeremy, I'd like to think I know him well. You make him happy, that I can see. Your willingness to go on a God adventure with him as a team, working together, is amazing to see. Blessings to you both as you pursue life in the big picture. Shannon | Dear Sanny, It has been such a pleasure getting to know you over the years. You are a beautiful, wise, fun, and kind woman. I especially enjoyed connecting with you after the FFE and just chatting about the things we felt the same on and laughing about certain things. That was fun. :) I think of you often where you are now and breathe P--s for you... You are a courageous woman and I admire you greatly. I hope you feel celebrated today on your 30th (30s honestly are a ton of fun) and just have a blast looking at this book (or whatever it is going to be). I often wish I understood more what your life is like now, but I try to picture it in my own small way. :) I`m sure you have many adventures and stories to tell. Be BLESSED today! Love, Jenny | Dear Sanny, We miss you all and all the great times together. I miss seeing you laugh, I always thought you had a great laugh. We pray for you as you are serving God even when it sometimes seems it takes so much sacrifice. I have great memories of all the years camping and that little pool you all would bring, as well as the time we Christmas caroled for you all at your house. We miss you and love you! Lisa Yoder | First time I remember seeing you was in the back of Sonlight. I could tell that you were related to the Masts and thought that was cool... we had a connection. I once told Brent that out of all us guys that got married, Jeremy did the best. What I meant by that was more or less most improved! Some of the girls Jeremy had interest in, and the one he ended up with.... wow! I don't know you well, but when I think of you, I think of a Godly woman who loves and honors her husband; sacrificial and humble; a mother who loves and teaches her kids in a way that is pleasing to God. Zeb
60: Susanna! A very HAPPY birthday to you indeed! I feel quite honored to have the pleasure of contributing to your birthday book! 30 years is quite a milestone, you know! :) Where do I start? My recollection of meeting you the first few times were at CLM when Jeremy brought you around as his brand new bride... Oh my, I can't begin to imagine the culture shock you must have felt...You, this lovely southern belle, transplanted to Holmes Co. of all places! I didn't know you well then, but you seemed to thrive and reach out to others around you. God must have been preparing you for a much bigger transplant...one all the way across the world in a little Asian country called Bangladesh. As I write this, and think back to those first times of meeting you, there are a few things that immediately come to mind. I knew right away that you were genuine and/or real - I always feel like you are a 'safe' person to 'just be myself' around.Along with that you radiated humility and a heart for the Lord! Another thing that I love about you is your loyalty to Jeremy! I love that and am so challenged. I know that doesn't mean you don't ever struggle in those areas, but I see your heart as being that, by the grace of God! The challenges you've faced living in a strange, new country have been tremendous! ...sickness, pregnancy and childbirth, the whole long process of putting a meal on the table for your family, loneliness, depression, more sickness, heat and dirt, language barriers.. the list could go on, I know. God bless you, my friend, for being faithful...you are a true woman of God. I bless you with courage, grace, wisdom, His Presence, all you need from His limitless store- houses. As you continue walking in the calling God's given you...Jeremy's beautiful wife and help-meet, a wonderful,loving mommy to your precious children, missionary in a strange land...etc, may you feel God's loving affirmation in your very heart and spirit. You truly are a 'real-life heroine' of mine. Zephaniah 3:17 love you! ~Celesta
61: 2007 | I tell you what--the Shantz's & the Yoder's always had a good time hanging out--even when you ruined Jeremy's 27th birthday party! And remember that Pittsburgh weekend? Best trip we went on with you guys. And even though things get crazier the more kids we throw in the mix, it's just always good to spend time with you. We thank God that He brought you into our family-- I don't know where we would be without our level-headed sister-in-law. WE LOVE YOU! ~the Shantz family | Remember that time we almost got a free girl's trip to Cancun??
62: Dear Mommy, You are my favorite. I love you. I like it when you do nice things to me, like when you be nice to me. Thank you for letting me play on the roof and when you let me have gum and when you don’t spank me. I like to go on dates with you to Pizza Hut. I love you very much. Moriah
63: 2008 | Wow Susanna did we really live so close to each other just not that long ago??!! Even though I don't have many pictures to prove it, I cherish many wonderful memories of us hanging out together. I have learned so much from you....and I miss your good cooking!!! Thanks so much for your friendship and I pray God's richest blessings on your life as you celebrate your 30th year! Love you! Rachel
64: Dear Sanny, First off, I just wanted to let you know I miss you dearly! Somehow it seems life keeps getting a little harder and more complicated and I always used to feel better when I could have a good ol chat with you. You have the gift of listening and of just being real and honest about life. I'm so thankful for the times we had of hanging out with you and your dear family playing Settlers, camping, etc. May God continue to fill you with His strength and grace as you serve Him and care for your family! Love you! -Rochelle
65: Good ole' talks no longer transpire undisturbed, but rather as we cook supper, do laundry, nurse our babies, calm tears, or settle squabbles (even while we're on the phone); and their subject matter is often the kiddos themselves. | But the fun of being sisters is that we can call each others' kids down, roll our eyes and heave our sighs, and pray for each other without misunderstanding! | 2008 | As we "matured," our sisterly fun times changed from running around with youth to running around after our youths! | It's so much fun watching my nieces and nephews grow, and watching you be a mom to yours and Aunt Sanny to ours! Thanks goodness it's not childhood church-playing come true!
66: My first memory of you, Sanny, is from over in the Grange...I remember hearing that you were from Mississippi and wanting to meet you because you were a fellow Southerner!!! =) I felt very outnumbered since we had moved to Ohio!! I was so grateful for the group that formed when Heather Heatwole asked us to start meeting!! It was a group that could share lots of things and just enjoy being together to chat or talk about serious topics. I appreciated your ability to make people feel at home and make them feel special. Our group just isn't the same with you gone, so it will be nice whenever you make it home to visit to have the whole group together again! I also am grateful for your honesty and openness with each of us in the group. Just being able to be myself with a group of ladies is so freeing!! One of my last memories of chatting with you was on the way home from serving at the ProVia banquet...you shared your heart and I wanted to comfort/encourage, help you as you prepared to leave for a new part of your life! I hope that I can continue to be a friend to you throughout whatever our lives may bring! May God bless you as you serve Him especially in the difficult times...I miss you and am looking forward to visiting with you many more times!! Happy 30th Birthday, Sanny!!! Love, Heather Falb | Sanny, the kind of friendship you offer is definitely a notch above the norm! I am so blessed to know you. So many great memories.... Times of sharing, caring, praying, laughing, shopping and talking. We have solved so many problems, haven't we? :) Praying you'll continue to follow God and His call for your life. You're an inspiration to many. Love and Prayers, Heather Heatwole | Dear Sanny, What a great opportunity to reflect on our friendship! I have a host of fond memories of you... some of the most meaning- ful for me have been spending time with you in our Bible Study group. How refreshing to find out that other women are about to pull their hair out over a persistent bad trait of their child, frustrations of mothering, potty training, fighting siblings, etc. Other highlights were the joy of finding out one of us was pregnant, discussing ways to be a better wife, or tips to improve on hospitality. I'll never forget the time you innocently volunteered to teach chapter 11 in "The Excellent Wife." :) You were such an intricate part of us and I still miss not having you close by. One of the things I love about you is the way you deeply value truth. You have a beautifully honest soul and you are passionate about living out the truth. That is challenging to me. I know that you sacrificed and invested a lot in the lives of the children involved in Canton kid's club and in being willing to leave Holmes Co to be more involved there. And then even more so when you pulled up stakes with your husband to move to Dhaka. Leaving home while pregnant and giving birth to Caden on foreign soil all show your courageous heart and trust in God. As you celebrate this birthday I hope it's a time of JOY and of reflecting on the goodness of God toward you. I pray that the promises in the following verses from Isaiah 4 will be a daily reality for you. "And the Lord will create over the whole site, over every dwelling place of Mt Zion and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy (a defense of divine love and protection). And there shall be a pavilion for shade in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge and a shelter from storm and from rain." Amp version. You are a beautiful Godly woman and I love you, Sister, Carol Bear
67: 2009 | I remember: the house that always had good food, the small group leader's wife who knew what she believed and felt free to share it, not feeling threatened by that, the fun way that you and Jeremy interacted as a married couple, thinking I would like to have that same kind of fun with my wife when I got married, your passion to reach out and touch others with the love of Jesus, and seeing it modeled by you in your community. Thanks and Happy Birthday. Zach | Hi Sanny, Our thoughts are often led your way! Wondering what your children look like by now? Growing up fast, I'm sure! Matt and I often look back remembering the weekend our small group spent camping at Matt's parent's old house. Which they have now added onto, renovated, and moved into. The property looks very different! The kids loved the big mud puddle in the yard all too well, which is also no longer there:) And Arlin's pony rides. Mariah got a rash on her cheeks from the shrimp and we ran for Benadryl. Still have cute pix on Matt's phone of Mariah chowing down. We don't facebook but Crystal fills us in occasionally on whats happening in your lives. We loved you as small leaders and really miss you! Looking forward to seeing you again. Love, Matt and Ruby | I remember -chaotic evenings watching Gary Smalley -you getting Olive Garden to make a special dish just for you -trying to force Canton people to take our hot dogs -seeing your servant's heart in action as a small group leader's wife Thanks for letting God use you in yet another way of impacting our lives! Love-Jeremy & Crystal | Dear Sanny, I'm blessed to have you as a friend. The short time i've known you has changed our life. Just seeing you adjust to any situation with calmness is awesome to me. Our kids still talk about the girls and if we don't pray for them every nite Megan reminds me, so your covered. May God bless your life as you continue to serve him. We have been blessed to have you as small group leaders, and we still miss you. Blessing to you and Happy 30th birthday. Friends Tom, Inez, Kendall ,Megan, & Alissa | Dear Susanna, I just wanted to tell u were an amazing friend to me in this short time I got to know u. One of the best times I will never forget is when just me n u went to Panera Bread for lunch n had an awesome time just chilly out n talking together laughing. O what a good day that was to me. Miss u. Ruthy
69: 2009 | Sanny, we are so happy that God has brought you into our lives! We miss hanging out with you and Jeremy and playing games and playing with the kids. We hope that sometime we can come and spend time with you all in Bangladesh. Love, Justin and Jess
71: 2010 | -helping you move (and move, and move) -finding out our babies were due within weeks of each other -ridiculous garage sale -finally getting a girl's night out--then sitting through the lamest movie EVER -cramming in as many settlers games as possible, and then quitting while we still liked each other -watching our kids fight, wondering if we will miss that -getting to know Parker and Caden on skype | Dear Sanny, I miss you. I liked when you babysat me. I want to come see you in Bangladesh.I liked ALL the stuff at your house. love-Jackson | It's not a phone call a day anymore (good thing, I guess-we'd be broke). Thanks for all the times you were there to just listen and offer advice when I needed it. I've always looked up to you- even though I'm older, wiser, and taller. Well, older anyways. I miss you tons. Love you! - Crystal
73: 2010 | --learning that unplugging the coffee maker, surprisingly enough, doesn't stop the popcorn popper --staying at your place on SMBI choir tour and weekends between terms --sitting in the stairwell outside the girl's dorm and crying over the phone as you told me about how God had given you a definite confirmation to go --the 5 weeks at the MTC - Ralph the mouse, bedbugs, and all. realizing anew and being amazed at your flexibility and willingness to follow His leading despite the craziness it brought to your life as a wife and mom --you helping me shop for college stuff and move in -- driving to the W the first day of school, bawling my eyes out the entire way there because I had just told my precious sister goodbye for who knew how long --coming to Bangladesh and realizing just how different your world actually is --no longer picking up the phone and calling you every time I'd like to, but treasuring those 1:00 am chats and the giggling fits that my sister can still give me, even from half a world away (never mind the matchmaking sessions) --laughing at you, but still feeling incredibly loved, when you called me in the middle of your night because you'd had a bad dream and wanted to check if I was okay --learning what "sisters" really means and how it's not dependent on location or even country I love you, Sanny, and you'll always be my big sister-hero. Miss you like crazy. Rae
74: To a very special Lady, What a blessing your friendship has been to me! I treasure it. Your sensitive, caring, and understanding ways have warmed my heart many times, and the way you reach out and give to others is an inspiration to me. I love your heart after God and your desire to live your life His way; and your humor cheers me up! I'm grateful for the privilege I've had to get to know you better and I pray God will continue to bless you, guide you into all truth and shower His grace upon you! Gal.6:9 I love you! Deb | Sanny, When I think of you I think of a quirky sense of humor/daring which so often catches me off guard. I love that about you ...not knowing what will surprise me next. :) You are such a comfortable person to talk with because of how open and honest you are and how you like open communication. You're a great cook and researcher and it's fun to talk about how to make good food or learn from you about what vitamins to take... And thanks for scheduling date nights! Thanks for your friendship! love, Lynita
75: 2011 | Sanny, I have so enjoyed learning to know you better here in Bangladesh. I really appreciate your willing spirit, the relaxed manner in which you care for your children, and your input into and support of the team. You have shown so much courage in choosing to live and work in Bangladesh. Keep on supporting and helping your husband. I enjoy our "one on one" times together. Lots of Love, Alice | Sanny, I have been blessed by being on the same team as you are. I appreciate your friendliness. Your ready smile is always encouraging. Sensitivity to needs seems to be one of your strengths. To have our paths cross again has been a good experience. Marland | Silent Echoes of Eden Silent echoes of Eden sometimes sing our souls to sleep, Yet our dreams of joy dance just above a sorrow deep... Ever on the River draws you, as you laugh or softly weep. Upwards may your heart be lifted, Golden may your mornings shine, Ever may you breathe His mercies, Sharing full the Love Divine. Do you dare to go out deeper, Caught up in Love's Streams and Waves? Abba Father calls you gently, Reaches down and ever-saves... Now hear the Whispers of the Heart whose plans for you are Good, Only He who bled your death can claim you as a Lover should... Now hear the beating of His Heart and drink the Song He sings for you As darkness fades and Dawn-Star comes to sparkle-kiss the morning dew... Rest Deeply as you run the race o'er smooth or rugged Ways, And may you always have the strength to meet the Shepherd's knowing gaze... - Dustin Miller | Dear Sanny, Thanks for your friendship and for being one of my Bangladesh sisters! :) It is appreciated more than you know. May these words be blessed by God to touch you in whatever ways He chooses; may He bless you and keep you, and may He make His face shine upon you and give you peace. In Him, Dustin | This picture was taken on Nov. 20, 2011. We were just getting back from Hand and Cloth and Rick's coffee shop. It was my last day in Bangladesh. Sanny even left a sick Moriah at home to be able to spend the last day out with me. I remember thinking all day how blessed I was to count Sanny and Cindy as two of my good friends. The shopping trips, buying fabric at the little shop with the blue floor, talking, drinking iced coffee, matching sari blankets, playing settlers on Saturday evenings, eating popcorn.. Thank you Sanny for all the good memories that bond us.... Karleen
76: How could God bless me so much... just the thought of us living in this crazy bangla land together sounded like a dream and not something that would ever happen! The feelings/emotions of watching you and your little family come through customs that day in 2010 will always be etched in my memory! And again I sit back and marvel at how God always has our best in mind and how He's been orchestrating things some 15-16yrs ago, making our lives cross paths and then bringing us together in Asia. Favorite and not so favorite memories from banglaland... coffee times together, exploring 'the massage' place and laughing our heads off (hey, at least I kept my eyes closed at the appropriate times! =)), camping out in your house a few days after you moved here, counting your contractions on the phone for you, first border run to Agratola and waiting for hours on end for our return train back to Dhaka, Saturday night game nights w/ soft pretzels and popcorn, last minute cookie baking sprees, discovering new items at the market together, late night texts, early morning coffee/prayer times, telling you about my mis, seeing you lay on your bed - sicker than a dog, the times that you've listened to my woes, cried, laughed and prayed together, telling you that I'm pregnant and hearing your scream on the rickshaw, discussing our househelper woes, helping me decorate the house the day my parents arrived, and being able to stop in whenever for a coffee or cold drink when I need to 'get out!' and countless more. You're often in the midst of my memories here. =) You are truly a gift from God to me right now! I value your insight, your sensitive spirit, your sporadic and adventurous spirit, the way you can bring life to a dull day or situation and the way you accept me right where I'm at! I'm excited what God is going to do with your family and your life! Thank you for letting me be myself around you. I know I can call or text you any hr of the day/night and you're ok with it. You've helped to make living in Dhaka exciting!! =) I pray that God blesses you beyond words this coming year, giving you the desires of your heart and many moments filled with purpose and meaning! Happy 30th Birthday dear friend!!! I love you girl!!! Cindy
77: 2011 | Sanny, Your friendship has been a gift from God..In so many ways you have blessed and inspired my life in the past year and become a very special friend to me! The short ten months I spent with your family in Bangladesh will always be wonderful memories of laughing together and talking about anything and everything, crying and encouraging each other thru the hard times, and just learning together how to live in a country so different then our own, many crazy and fun shopping trips to the market, and spending five weeks in the lovely country of Thialand, and spending time and spoiling your cute little children. So thankful for the time I spent with your family and for the memories I now have! You have a beautiful heart and I love the way you are allowing the Father to use you to impact people around you! Love you. Carolyn
78: Current photos of contributors, approximately in order of appearance in the book
83: Ribbon tied to Tootsie's tail
85: This spot is in memory of the Smoky Mountain mystery photo
86: 3 months age 1 age 3 age 5 2nd grade (age 7) 3rd grade (age 8)
87: 4th grade (age 9) 6th grade (age 11) 7th grade (age 12) 11th grade (age 16) 12th grade (age 17) age 20