Well, it has been about a month since I reported the “All Clear” and my life is beginning to be more “full”. Many have been asking about the latest happenings so I will try to get you caught up on our activities and thoughts this past month. I continue to pray that as I am more and more able to engage in “life”, I remain fully aware of the blessing of my health….and seek daily to use it for good purposes and abundant living. With so much “available” to us, I must always pursue God’s voice and direction and wisdom in selecting my priorities. So must we all.
Right after returning from Houston, we were asked to address a global Amway management conference in Chicago, and two days later we were asked to go to Michigan for a special taping with Rich DeVos and a few of us “long term” stakeholders in this business. What a unique and special time. Whenever we are around Rich, we are reminded of how much love and respect we have had for so many years as we have followed him and his vision in life. it was a very special day indeed. Amway provided one of their Gulfstreams for the journey and it made it very special. Dave and Jules joined us in Chicago as Dave was asked to be a part of the marketing and partnership presentation. Busy days, but honored to be asked and grateful for the ability to do something other than medical tests.
Then we immediately went to Panama City Beach for a BBS (we do certain things for our “kids” that might be otherwise off the calendar). Down and back the same day on Dornan Air. The very next day we scheduled to go to Pebble Beach to participate in the John Maxwell Golf event for his Equip Foundation of which I am a board member. We have attended this wonderful fund raising event for 10 years and thought we would need to miss this year. With my health OK (but my “swing” questionable as usual) we decided to join in. Dave and Jules have been regulars there too for four years now (contributing their own money of course). So it was off to Calif with the grand kids in tow. Gosh we love that place!! It is always a high point of our year to see what God is doing with great ministries around the world, and to be with people who are making it happen. This year we heard from a man who is leading some amazing ministry activities in Iran!
The trip was “extended” due to an opportunity to spend a few extra days with Amway execs and discussing business of the future. What a treat…..8 days in one of God’s most beautiful spots. Shopping in Carmel, dinners etc in the quaint town, world class golf (trust me, it is truly a golfers paradise), and even some great ministry time, and business chats. A very powerful, restoring, and even productive week or more…. and I was so grateful to be experiencing it after recognizing how easily it might never again have been the case. God has been so good to me. As we sat by the fire pits at sundown and watched our little granddaughters marvel at the bagpiper, and then head out to dinner or a ministry event….we were overwhelmed with God’s grace and fully aware of the magic of places like Spanish Bay and the privilege of being there. I hope each of you has a place like this that you can feel the presence of God. If not, let’s go to Pebble Beach together sometime. ;-))
In the middle of our Pebble Beach days, Jules got a call that her father was extremely ill in northern Canada and might not “make it”. As many of you may know, Jules was raised by her mom and hasn’t seen or heard from her dad since she was about 2 years old. A long and unfortunate story of course, but although he was ill for many years, you can only imagine the emotion of this contact. Jules and Dave immediately went to Canada to see him. It was a huge blessing! There were also her two half brothers and one half sister to see, and, as you can only imagine…. it was quite a “reunion”. Jules was able to offer God’s special love, forgiveness and grace, and was passionate to share the gospel with all. After returning to Atlanta, she got a call just a week or two later that he had indeed passed away. Back to Canada she went for the funeral and such, and is only now returning to share with us the details of her final visit. I know that during the service, her words would have been truly of the Lord, and the “healing” and closure would have been something that only God could engineer and allow her to be a part of as he did. she was not only allowed to see him unexpectedly before he died….but to assure him of her love (and God’s plan for salvation) and to share with him that she had “turned out great”. I know that this was a miracle indeed.
We were marveling and chuckling a bit about the crazy family we have spawned. After returning from Pebble, we realized that life had indeed reversed a bit (Everyone traveling and mom and dad at home). Last week we noted that Dave was in Moscow speaking to about 9000 Network 21 Russian IBOs (one of 7 locations this month in that country alone). At that same time, Eric was in Paris France attending the Power Soccer World Cup matches. We just learned yesterday that the USA has indeed won the World Cup again (held every 4 years) and has retained the title by beating France in the semi-finals and beating England in the final match Sunday.
While Eric was in France, Abbie was in the Philippines visiting her extended family and her mom. She has been enthusiastically running among the relatives and praying for people and sharing her passion for the Lord and what He has done for her and all of us. She was even able to have some great and fruitful witnessing moments with her mother who has been ill for many years there. We hope you join us in lifting Abbie up in prayer as she connects with these dear people and tries so hard and wants so much to be a “light” in their world. It is so obvious when we are in these environments what people really need. With all of that, Heather is also about to leave for Europe with Ashley-Kate. A wonderful story as well! We will have more to say on that in my next post when she is back. And on the business front, we were unable to make the long trek to Australia (our first miss of a National Convention in 20 years!) so Bob Andrews and Louie and Kathy Carrillo were kind enough to “fill in”. They were a big hit! Mike Wilson and Ray and Karla Keller went to S Africa and made that one a huge success….. so all was moving along while I am still recuperating. Russia, Australia, Africa, and all around the world we have seen family and friends keep the ship afloat and do the work of our Lord as is His perfect design.
So….we are at home, smiling…..and all of our loving family is scattered around the world! Who knew?!
I am so proud and happy for all of them. Jules has been heroic in finding a way to handle this potentially difficult time in her life as she so suddenly both re-connected with, and “lost”, her dad after a lifetime of no contact. People are complex and so often hurting in ways we don’t know…..and there is always a reason when relationships break down or communication ceases, and we have learned not to judge anyone or anything too quickly. Jules was able to use and rely on her wonderful faith, and beautifully approached this time as a time to heal and show His love….both to her dad, and to those around him that she really didn’t know either. I believe she was and will be a wonderful light and healing presence in their lives. God is using her mightily.
Dave was his usual irresistible self I am sure, and I know Jules was happy he was able to be there in Canada with her (no pesky job or “boss” to keep him away). I was also so proud of him as he represented the Dornan family at the big event in Russia. I have heard great feedback as always on his visit. The speaking is always great as Dave is gifted there. But he also shares his clear love and vision for the people and the future, and he exhibits humility and an obvious serious “work ethic” as he shares from his life to add value and hope to others. Just the month before, they were both in Kiev, Ukraine representing Nancy and I again, and acting as featured speakers for our European Emerald and Diamond Forum. Imagine nearly 1000 top leaders from 19 countries in Europe, along with the Nussholds, Salas, and Angie Somers and the three Founders Council members of Ukraine spending days learning and dreaming together about the future plans and strategies. We have a photo here of the Kiev Opera House where the event was held. It was a blazing success “without us”.
Eric continues to see the fruit of his activities and passion for Power Soccer and we are grateful to those of you who have shared this passion and vision with us and Eric. Your prayers, encouragement, and financial contributions have indeed taken this idea to a global level. 14 countries were there and Eric was cheering them all on. Dave Ruelas as always is right in the middle of it all. This year, Aleksey and Vera from the Ukraine came to the World Cup along with the new Network of Caring rep for their country and a future Power Soccer player looking on. We have been so grateful to Aleksey and Vera for deciding to work and invest to bring Power Soccer to Ukraine. Can we even imagine the changed lives that can result?
One more thing as I brag on my kids…..Heather has recently decided she would get “in shape” and began a training routine about 4 months ago. The change and results are truly heroic. This was never Heather’s strongest area of interest so it is even more impressive to me. She entered a fitness competition with hundreds of competitors (most of whom are in the fitness profession) and just this weekend she placed impressively high …especially as a “first timer”. Those of you who know our daughter will cheer her on and know this was a great accomplishment for anyone…but especially to see this new “Heather 2.0”. I am actually intimidated as I only lost weight but as yet don’t have anywhere near that muscle definition…. and she has inspired me. How about you?
One more personal note: Eric and Abbie are now planning to adopt a child (or children) so the process has begun. We are praying for this whole situation big time and perhaps you will as well. It is always complicated, unfortunately, and the delays can be significant. Also, there may be other hurdles do to Eric’s health history, but we know and believe God already has a plan. Perhaps even some of you may know of a situation that would fit well. They will be excellent parents as they both love kids, are around our grandkids all the time and have their full-time focus ready to roll. Imagine the world they could bring a child into! Color, gender, or nationality don’t matter as the Dornan world is already like the United Nations! We ask you to join us in prayer for this. God will provide….but he also uses people like you…and we know so many who care! Remember how Eric “found” Abbie. A friend from the business simply suggested one day that his wife’s sister might be a great fit with Eric. What a long shot! She was living in Belgium, and we had not ever expected such a suggestion…and the next thing we knew…they were getting married. We see their quest for a child in the same way. What miracles await? Maybe even one of you will be God’s instrument in placing them with a child.
So, as I reflect on this past year and especially on these past few weeks of “release”, I am fully aware of how blessed I have been on so many fronts. The Amway management team and ownership have been very kind and supportive throughout. Lately, it seems we have been playing “catch-up” and that is actually pretty healthy. My global team of leaders and staff has been heroic and the ship has been sailing smoothly. I am eternally grateful to all of them and you for being so dependable and solid and faith-filled throughout the recent difficult months. My kids are living their lives and growing in all areas and are always ready to drop it all when Nancy or I need something. And Nancy has been “wife of the century!”… A prayer warrior, and a rock as you know. I have loved seeing that she can finally do some of the more “normal” things that make life full and interesting, and to see her with a lighter heart and us having chats with each other about what we want to do “in the future!” I must commit to making her more of a priority than ever as this year has shown us both clearly what matters. We have done life in all its ways together for 44 years (since college days)…and we pray daily that the Lord will see us through many more. This is just one more “notch in our belts” of life challenges and life-changing experiences that God has used to help us grow in our faith and our awareness of Him. I truly hope we don’t need too many more scary ones tho. When you see Nancy….thank her for me. And when you see either of us…keep praying as we may need it more than ever to not miss the harvest God has planned.
This will be another busy month as we host some leaders from around the world at our home, and as we see many of our US teammates in Orlando in a few weeks. My strength and original vitality (energizer bunny) gets better each week so I am encouraged in so many ways. Health is so very precious and so very fragile. Take care of yourselves!
Final thought……I pray that you are gaining as much as we are from the scripture memorization challenge. Please let me know what you are experiencing. I love reading all the messages you send or post in my Guest Book.
Thanks and God bless you all!