Updates & Prayer for Ginny Smith

June 23, 2007

Update June 24

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ginnysmith @ 3:34 pm

Dear family and friends,

This has been a full week. Ginny has gone through it with the help of your prayers and assistance. Here is a look back over the week:

  • On Monday Ginny had to say “farewell” to her sister “Dorthy” from Kansas. She came and stayed with us for a week. Her help and care greatly encouraged us both. When she left it was hard for Ginny to say goodbye. Her sisters mean so much to her.  We also took Ginny back to her school classroom to say “farewell” to her children and her many treasured teaching friends. The children were seated on the floor waiting to see her. When I wheeled her in I must admit there was a huge lump in my throat as I fought back some tears. This was her farewell to 24 years of teaching. We didn’t see this coming. I didn’t know how she would handle this moment seated in  a wheelchair in the midst of her class and having teachers enter the room to give her a hug. She amazed me. She greeted the kids and put them to ease. One moment she was consumed with grief and pain. The next she was comforting her class. She wanted to know about them. She applauded their achievements. She asked if they noticed the puffiness of her face. They said, “No” (they were prepared and taught well). After a short time, she was ready to leave. Her energy depleted. When we got her in the car she cried. It was a huge release of a lot of emotions. Next we drove her to the doctor’s office for another day of chemo. It wasn’t the way she had invisioned retirement. When she completes here chemo process we will think about a more appropriate retirement celebration. Carolyn stayed with her in the afternoon helping debrief the day.
  • On Tuesday she was joined by Barb. They learned Ginny’s spine proceedure had been denied by our insurance company.   This was discouraging since she had hoped this proceedure would not only stablize her spine but help relieve her pain.  We learned it was rejected because they considered it “experimental” which it isn’t considered by many other insurance companies and doctors across the nation. We tried to make an appeal through our doctor. This request was also denied. A further appeal is being planned however her date of surgery had to be canceled.
  • Wednesday she went to see Andrew ( one of her grandsons) graduate from sixth grade at her school. She felt a since of accomplishment since she had accompanied and mentored him there since kindergarten. She did a splendid job. Everyone treated her so well at the graduation. It was a short but a great way to reconnect with the school as well as celebrate her part in Andrew’s life and education. Her friend Beth picked her up from the graduation and cared for her the rest of the day. I was able to resume my duties for the week.
  • Thursday was another long day at the doctor gettng an infusion to strengthen her bones. It took almost four hours. She was accompanied all that time by Arnette, one of the dear friends from the church who care for her five days a week.  I was able to go to the office and carry on a regular and long day thanks to her. Our daughter Carrie stayed with her until I got home late from an elder meeting.
  • Friday was a recovery day. She enjoyed her time with Debby. Together they talked and planned her day. They made a shopping list and went to the store. Gin stayed in the car. In the evening we had a wonderful meal together with our daughter Christy.  The meal was another great gift from our incredible church.
  • Saturday is a day at home and maybe a drive by the beach. It is the day I finalize my sermon for Sunday. I look forward to us having the day together. I will be preaching Sunday from Psalm 119. I have come to realize the messages I prepare and preach are as much for me as others. I will say, “When afflicted God’s Word gives hope in the midst of the impossible, When afflicted God’s Word remains faithful in the midst of  difficult times” and When afflicted God’s Word revives our faint hearts.” Also tomorrow we are looking forward to the baptisms of three of our grandchildren, Luke, Annie Druckrey and Siena Keck. We hope Gin will be able to attend.

 To all of you who so faithfully pray, write and care we both express our deepest appreciation. We are living what we believe to be true. Christ is our hope, Faithful Savior and Life-Giver. Thanks for sharing in our lives.


Don & Ginny



  1. I think of you often. I too have retired this year after 40 yrs. of teaching – along with Marji Jacobs Hall (28 yrs., Jane Moss (25 yrs.), and Katie Kelly (35 yrs.). I’m ready but I’ll continue to teach adult ed. ESL at Laguna Hills High on Monday and Wed. evenings. My youngest son graduated from US-Santa Cruz last weekend. He turns 22 in 4 days. Having your grandchildren baptished is rewarding. I am so sorry that Blue Shield denied your surgery. I have another friend that they denied their son’s surgery. I’m leaving for a camping trip but know that I’ll thinking and praying for your well-being.

    Comment by Suzanne McCord — June 23, 2007 @ 9:22 pm |Reply

  2. Pastor Don- You and Ginny are in my prayers. My parents have kept me informed of Ginny’s health over here in Texas, and I’ve been praying for her. I hope that her desired surgery can happen soon. I have nothing but wonderful memories of your whole family’s love and kindness shown to The Emmons Family when we moved to CA in 1993. I pray that Ginny’s condition improves rapidly. Sincerely, Karen Emmons

    Comment by Karen Emmons — June 24, 2007 @ 1:52 pm |Reply

  3. Good Morning Don and Ginny,

    My, but you’ve had a busy week! I’m so sorry that I was not at Valencia when you came. I miss out on so much because of my traveling from school to school. I’m so glad you got to see your class, go to Andrew’s graduation, and be there for your grandchildren’s baptism! You are such a wonderful encourager!
    I am still trying to get checked out of school. Today I have to finish my Valencia inventory. Hopefully, now I can get to the stage.
    We have three young worship leaders coming to stay with us tonight from WA state. They are attending the Purpose Driven Worship Conference at Saddleback. Jack and I will be helping with the hosting for the 3 day conference. I’m so looking forward to it. We are also getting ready for our trip to Rwanda. We leave the end of July. We still don’t know whether or not we will be able to go to Germany to visit the pastors that we have hosted here. They really want us to come, but it may not work out with our Rwanda team’s needs. God will direct. Our passports still have not come in. We could use prayer for that. They cashed the checks on 4/15, so we don’t know why the hold up. We’ve alreay sent tracers and done everything we can on this end. God knows where they are and what the problems are…so it’s another lesson on faith and trust.

    I am so sorry about the insurance situation. I will add that to our prayers. It is comforting to know that God knows what’s best for us and His timing is perfect. His timing and purpose is covering this too. We always say: “God has a better plan. We just have to wait and trust for Him to reveal it.” As we all know, that’s a hard thing to do in most situations. Like our boys have said many times: “It’s not the knowin’ but the doin’ that’s tough!”

    Know that we are praying for you. I pray that you will have healing rest today; that God will send you encouragers as you need them; that He will ease your pain and stress; that He will give your medical team wisdom and skill; and that He will hold you in His loving arms and grant you His peace that passes all understanding.

    God bless and we love you,
    Jack & Diana Cranny

    Comment by Diana Cranny — June 25, 2007 @ 1:33 pm |Reply

  4. Dear Pastor Don and Ginny, boy you really had a week…a full one. Was really dissappointed that the insurance was giving you trouble about that procedure that might of helped. I am sorry, but even in that there is a reason for hearing no.Mark and I have been keeping you in our prayers each day and your schedule and all the things that you are facing everyday. Your perspective as been encourging and the Lord has been so gracious to answer our desired prayers for you.
    Your message on Psalms 119 was a great reminder to us of His lovingkindess( mercy) that is shown to us each morning as believers.
    ” Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.”Ps. 143:8

    I am reading John Piper/ Justin Taylor’s book ” Suffering and the Sovereignty of God.” It is a reminder to us that God dosest waste anything in our lives, nor does any experience we have not have a purpose. John and Justin bothed dignosed with prostate cancer last year, put a chapter in the back about not wasting your cancer. I love it because they point out that it is designed by God, even a gift, it keeping our eyes on the Lord, and cherishing Him completely, it draws us to spend time with Him, drawing closer to Him in our expectation of seeing Him one day, and deepens your stedfastlove for Him, and as Don pointed out…hope…we have hope that others who do not know Him dont have. He also points out that cancer puts us to being more sensitive to sin in the life and are not as casual about it, and cancer is used to witness as a testimony to others. This part on cancer was in the back of the book though the book deals with all aspects of God Sovereignty in our lives…everything fltered through His fingers that comes into our lives, for His glory our good. And again Ps. 119…God is good and everything He does is good.
    Thank you for sharing all that you are going through and helping us know how to pray for you both.
    Mark and I are encourged by your blog and all that the Lord is doing in your hearts as you face this hardship together. Trusting Him and His promises truly gives us all hope that is founded in Him who gave His life for us.We are thankful for the both of you,your example and your words from the pulpit which brings us more and more understanding of keeping our perspective as the both of you have. We are encourged greatly by you and we continue to lift you both up during this waiting time ” delay” until the stem cell transplant occurs. Even in the delay…His lovingkindness is evident and we find our joy completly in Him.

    In His grace we stand
    Mark and Cherie Day

    Comment by Mark and Cherie Day — June 26, 2007 @ 7:04 pm |Reply

  5. Hi Ginny and Don,
    Praying the appointment yesterday was encouraging. We are thankful for answered prayer in the pain situation. Trusting God and His Goodness, power and promises as you go through this difficult time- Love,Bonnie G.

    Comment by Bonnie George — July 11, 2007 @ 2:48 pm |Reply

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