Don is now off all medications except painkillers and antibiotics. He is getting minimal fluids by IV. They have ceased all other medications, are no longer doing blood testing, and are concentrating solely on comfort. This morning he seemed to be close to crossing over into heaven, but he has rallied at various points through the day. When he is awake he is quite humorous, and can have people in stitches. By dinner time tonight, he seemed a different Don than the one who started the morning.

On the serious side, he said this morning he is “totally ready to go; in the end, it’s still all about Jesus!” He also remarked “Wow, wow,” as if he was already seeing glimpses of heaven. We’re not giving up on beating on heaven’s door, and are still hoping he may yet walk out of this hospital. To those of you who posted on this blog, I have been reading your posts to him. He listens intently, smiling as he listens, and even explains who some of you are and when you came into his life. Please continue to post, and we’ll continue to read them to him. Your words seem to stir his soul, as well as his memory.

If you would like to come by the hospital to visit, please remember not to come during the 1-5pm “sacred” time set aside for Heather and the boys. The hospital also asks you to check in with the nursing station before you go in to his room.

We’d like to begin the food brigade again for the Valencia family. Kristi Brumbaugh will again be the coordinator and contact person. Meals are already spoken for this week. If you’d like to help, please email Kristi for meals beginning next Monday —

Thank you for your prayers and love for Don and his family.

Skip, for Don & Heather

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43 Comments so far

  1. Anna Harrington on December 3, 2007 9:54 pm

    My Dearest Don,

    My heart is beating in time with yours.
    The prayers in my mind are your prayers, your words, your wishes, your hopes and dreams for you and for your dear family.

    You are with me always and I am with you.

    I love you.

    Your cousin Anna

  2. jcolacur on December 3, 2007 10:16 pm

    Dear Don and Heather,

    We’re thinking about you, praying for you, and trusting God with you.
    We love you,
    Johanna Madany and Jennifer Colacurcio

  3. Colleen Price on December 3, 2007 10:24 pm

    Dear Don, Heather and Family,
    This is the first time I have written, but you have been in my prayers from the first time my daughter Katelyn told me of your cancer. As a parent of kids at the UW, I am so totally greatful for how you have opened your heart, your home, your walk with Jesus, your lives with so many. As has been said countless times, your impact is really beyond measure.

    As I have prayed for you recently I was reminded of a study I did a couple weeks ago “Living with Eternal Perspective”. One of the first questions asked, “How would you explain the phrase, eternal life?” My initial answer was about time, forever and ever, never ending. Then the study had us look up the verse John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

    As I pondered and prayed, I realized the Valencia family really understands eternal life – it is much more about knowing, being in relationship, than any length of time.

    I feel blessed to be able to read your blog and be a prayer warrior for your family. You, and those that love you have brought increased love & new understanding of our Lord into my life.
    With great awe and respect of who you are in Christ,
    Colleen Price

  4. Lyric on December 3, 2007 10:24 pm

    Don, I am just one of hundreds who have been deeply touched by your life, by this journey of yours.

    In the last few years I have walked alongside my son, who was diagnosed with cancer at 24 and now also battles the consequences of aggressive treatment and a subsequent bone marrow transplant. As well as my only sister, who just 13 months after her cancer diagnosis, left the pain behind…

    I have struggled with the goodness of God. I have danced on the edge of despair. But I found your blog and found a friend in faith who more times than I can count helped me navigate some dark waters.

    Thank you for your vulnerability. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your willingness to share your journey. Your life has brought forth fruit in mine. And I am eternally grateful.

    He sings over you with joy. And you will hear the Father say, “Well done.”

  5. abdoulaye sarr on December 3, 2007 10:39 pm

    Dear Don, as i open my mail, my heart was beating really fast because i am not ready to let you go, the world is not ready to let you go but my heart is filled with joy and happiness because you know the Lord you are safe. Please remember me when we meet again.
    What a wonderful journey.
    I am praying with you because your heart is pure, i am praying for you because because you are my friend and my brother.
    I love you man.

  6. Deneil on December 3, 2007 10:56 pm

    dear don,
    this is bo’s friend from elementry school, Matt. i haven’s seen you for a long time; but i just wanted to let you know that i have cherished every moment that i have gotten to spend with you and your family. I’ll always remember the times on whidbey island, when i had the pleasure to join you guys at your cabin. Bo is one of my best friends, and i wouldnt have ever met him if it werent for you. Thank you very much.

    Love Matt.

  7. Emily Wilson on December 3, 2007 10:57 pm

    Just as the soft rains fill the streams,
    pour into the rivers, and join together in the oceans,
    so may the power of every moment of your goodness
    flow forth to awaken, heal and lead you along your destined path. May God watch over your journey. May we meet again along the way. Blessed Be
    Emily Wilson, Mike Rich and Garret

  8. Allie Way on December 3, 2007 11:03 pm

    Don, know that you are so loved by so many. This community is blessed because of you. The way you treasure your relationships teaches me about the heart of Jesus. Thank you for all that you have done for us students. You have impacted the lives of so many, much more than you know.


  9. Heather Knapp on December 3, 2007 11:03 pm

    Dear Don,

    Our mutual interest in liver flukes (researched on Blue Dot) served as our introduction one year ago, and ever since then my friends and family and I have so admired your tremendous zest for life and curiosity about the world around you. Your continued vitality and eagerness to embrace the next big adventure are beyond inspiring. Thank you for teaching your hundreds of friends about living life with an open, eager, and loving heart. I wish you a joyous journey to your next home. God bless you, Don!

    Heather Knapp

  10. inga on December 3, 2007 11:05 pm

    My Dear Don,
    I sit here tonight refelecting on the day we just shared. I want you to know that I treasure every single second. When we prayed with you today I truly felt things move. It was a powerful time. And the amazing thing was watching you–the smile that kept spreading across your face as you heard people speak words of truth and hope, your spontaneous “WOWs”, the love you expressed for Heather as you would grab her to give her a kiss, and your repeated praise of “thank you Jesus”. What a new perspective I now have on “rejoicing in our suffering”!
    I am going to forever keep Romans 5:1-5 in my heart, since I now know you are holding those words so close to yours. The closeness you have with Christ is so evident Don. We all see it, and today in your room I felt it. We were all standing on holy ground. I love you and we all are stading beside you continuing to ask our Father in Heaven to heal your body–rejoicing with you that He has healed your spirit.

    I love you.


  11. PamBrooks on December 3, 2007 11:17 pm

    Dear Don,Heather,Johnny & Bo,

    My heart is full of love for all of you. May God hold all your hands and hearts and give you comfort.
    Don, thank you for sharing your undaunted faith, I have learned from you in so many ways.

    You have lived your life to the fullest and with grace. I miss you today and tomorrow.

  12. Jeff Brown on December 3, 2007 11:20 pm

    Dear Brother Don,
    As I continue to read your faithful testimony, I am deeply touched and in awe of the beauty of the Lord shining in and through you. He has indeed armed you with strength and courage, and crowned you with joy and hope. Thank you for your example in this life and as a sojourner on the threshold of our Father’s house.

    Just as I know you wanted to be an architect at one time and truly design places of community and life as it should be, I can only imagine the opportunities you have ahead as a faithful and creative steward in Dad’s kingdom. It won’t be long until we are all together with you and Him, telling stories and planning adventures.

    I love you Don. God is good….

    Brother Jeff

  13. hollythompson on December 3, 2007 11:58 pm

    May you be comforted in Jesus’ love, Valencias. We love you so much and are so glad that the Lord is with you. I wish I could hug you and Heather both and I’m sad we haven’t been in seattle during this time. I miss you guys!


  14. Susan Moulton on December 4, 2007 12:19 am


    You have been such a gift Don, to so many, what a rich legacy of love you are leaving for your boys. I pray for you continually Don, when I wake in the morning, when I settle down at night, and for you Heather, and for you Johnny and for you Bo. Thank you again Don for taking us all on this journey with you, you are an inspiration for so many watching you walk with the Lord. I believe you have been able to give us a glimpse of eternity, a glimpse of Heaven, and for that Don & Heather I thank you, I also thank you for inviting me along this journey with you I have enjoyed every moment. I know you say you are totally ready to go but Don we are not ready to let you go, we will be left behind grieving and wishing for just one more day. I am hopeful I will get to see you today, I have a song I want to play for you God willing I will be there.

    With Love and admiration,

  15. art curtis on December 4, 2007 12:42 am

    Dear Don,

    I love you so much and pray for you during the day. I am so happy to have visited a short time with you and Heather. It was a very special and loving experience for me.

    Your cousin,


  16. Randor on December 4, 2007 12:48 am

    Dear Don, It was a blessing to me to spend just a few minutes this morning. There was so much I wanted to say, but so many have said it all so much better than I could-“ditto to it all!”

    Thank you for sharing your passion for Agros with me! Funny how those short four days of “male bonding time with the boys” changed my life! I promise to carry on with my family, our company, and our friends! Our family continues to pray for you, Heather, Bo, and Johnny; thank you for teaching us all how to dance! We all look forward to dancing with you in Heaven!

    Blessings, Randy and the Johnson Family

  17. betsy b mullen on December 4, 2007 1:14 am

    Dear Don,

    My heart is comforted knowing that Jesus is with you and that you are resting in His wonderful presence. Thank you for showing us what it looks like to say “Yes!” to Him and to live into His great “Yes!” to us. Know that you have my constant prayers for you, Heather and the boys.

    “The Lord your God is with you,
    he is mighty to save.
    He will take great delight in you,
    he will quiet you with His love,
    he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

    Jeff Mullen

  18. ashish2 on December 4, 2007 1:26 am

    Dear Don,
    You have blessed us and encouraged us in more ways than you can even know. I will always hold on to your words of advice during our short conversations while working on your network issues. I remember the day you stood in the kitchen with Bo and taught him how to fillet the fish. Make memories with the family and don’t put off anything for tomorrow… that is what you challenged me to do. Thank you for speaking into my life.
    You have been a pivoting point in our journey to the NW. It all started in the Saturday night meeting at your house in February 2003. Thank you. We value your friendship. Your journey has inspired us.
    We love you Don.
    Ashish and Cammy

  19. Larisa Kaukonen on December 4, 2007 1:57 am

    Dear Don,

    Your walk with Jesus in your life and through this illness have been a powerful inspiration to us all. I can feel the presence of Jesus better, more clearly because of your transparent love for Him. Your vulnerability and openness in your blog have been a gift for us all. May the legacy you leave continue to shelter and comfort your wonderful family. Thank you, brother.


  20. thestockstads on December 4, 2007 5:04 am

    Having lived in the Vision 16 housing for two years, I know I am just one of many who have been so deeply touched by you and Heather.
    Your love, support, generosity and open arms (and open house) truly allowed me in the crazy beginnings of college, to deepen and
    strengthen a relationship with Jesus and other friends who desired the same. The year that Heather was my small group leader was also the year Scott & I began dating You cannot understand how much your “realness” or as you put, “transparency” even at that point meant and still means to me. Heather’s counsel and guidance at that point in our relationship is something I will also cherish. The story of your marriage and the redemption is something both my husband and I cling to as an example of grace in reality You are such a blessing to so many.

    Thank you for it all.
    Sarah Tuell Stockstad & Scott Stockstad

  21. Millie on December 4, 2007 5:27 am

    Dear Don-
    This is my first post on your blog, but I have thought about writing many times! Sometimes I’m not near the computer, or whatever, so I’ve just lifted my thoughts as a prayer, but I hope I can be an encouragement to you now as you have been to us. First I want to thank you for your transparency, your total vulnerability and submission to God through which He has blessed so many! Hardly a day and hardly an hour go by w/o God bringing you to mind which always gives me the opportunity to “stop, drop and pray!” Ok, I don’t literally drop to my knees every time, but it gives me a chance to let go of everything else in my mind and my day and enjoy our Father who walks alongside us, every step, whose Spirit fills us, every breath.

    When I read the 11/26 post, there was audible rejoicing here and much of it!!! 🙂 I couldn’t contain myself, nor did I want to! I still rejoice, but now as if your dance on the edge of heaven is on the edge that is less and less visible. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t wish for more time… I selfishly want many many more years for you to share with Heather and the boys… and yet what are a few years compared to the eternity that God promises us? You have had such an impact in James’ life, and mine too, and our family has been blessed in ways that we will still discover years from now. I still remember the first time visiting your beautiful home in Bellevue for a Christmas party. Jonathan was just a baby. Now he’s 13 and only a glimmer of that little one… how time flies.

    God’s ways and thoughts are so beyond mine, and I can’t even pretend to comprehend. It’s been so timely (as God’s Word always is) in my BSF class to be studying the many healings recorded in Matthew and the gospels. How I long to have the faith of the centurion, that you would be healed! Yet last week, I was reminded that God teaches us that our spiritual health is more important than our physical health. Still, I continue to pray, to not let God rest… When all we see are impossible circumstances, and we claim God’s promise that all things are possible, all the glory and honor are His. The greatest miracle is every lost sinner that comes into saving grace and relationship with Him.

    Don, what you remind me to do is in every step of that walk, to let go and really dance! It’s not about words or knowledge or understanding (although, those things are mighty nice) but of really being in God’s presence, One in the Spirit, His will, my will. To see you so at peace shows the extent to which God is totally infused into your being.

    My all-time favorite recording artist (Steven Curtis Chapman) released his new cd “This Moment” a couple of months ago. Every time I listen to it, the songs seem like they were written with a glimpse into your life, and for you, especially “Miracle of the Moment”, “Yours”, “You Are Being Loved”. I’ll try to come visit on Tuesday, or if James makes it over before me I will send along the cd. (in the meantime, here are the lyrics and you can listen to the title track here:

    Miracle of the Moment
    It’s time for letting go
    All of our if only’s
    ‘Cause we don’t have a time machine
    And even if we did
    Would we really want to use it?
    Would we really want to go change everything?
    ‘Cause we are who and where and what we are for now
    And this is the only moment we can do anything about

    So breathe it in and breathe it out
    Listen to your heartbeat
    There’s a wonder in the here and now
    It’s right there in front of you
    And I don’t want you to miss
    The miracle of the moment

    There’s only one who knows
    What’s really out there waiting
    In all the moments yet to be

    And all we need to know
    Is He’s out there waiting
    To Him the future’s history

    And He has given us
    A treasure called right now
    And this is the only moment
    We can do anything about

    So breathe it in and breathe it out
    Listen to your heartbeat
    There’s a wonder in the here and now
    It’s right there in front of you
    And I don’t want you to miss
    The miracle of the moment

    And if it brings you tears
    Then taste them as they fall
    And let them soften your heart

    And if it brings you laughter
    Then throw your head back
    And let it go, let it go
    You gotta let it go
    Listen to your heartbeat

    I’m sorry I know this is like a novel, probably why I shy away from the whole blog thing. Guess I’m not often known to be at a loss for words… 😉

    Know at this moment, you are loved!!!!
    Millie and the boys

  22. Polly Urquhart on December 4, 2007 6:34 am

    Dear Don,
    Like one of the previous comments, I’m struggling to let you go. Your life has meant so much to so many…myself included. But I also realize, as my daughter-in-law once said to me, “There are things much worse than death….like NOT knowing HIM.” She is so right and I ache to see Him…to know as I am known…to be at His feet. Heather my prayers are with you, Bo and Johnny. What a rejoicing that will be when we are all together again in perfect love and unity.
    Love you,

  23. scott hightower on December 4, 2007 6:51 am

    Dear Don

    Yes, Don, it is all about Jesus….in this life and on into eternity. And you are seeing the face of Jesus in all its beauty, glory and majesty….and that indescribably beautiful smile of His is shining upon you.

    I remember you sharing when Jesus first came into your life at Fremont Pres, under the teaching of our beloved Darrell Johnson…..and I was sitting in the pew next to Heather when she invited Jesus into her heart during Darrell’s Easter sermon.

    We’ve sort of lost touch, in a physical sense, since then, but not spiritually. It has blessed our hearts to see your witness of faith and trust and hope and your great love for Him. You’ve touched so many lives with the love of Jesus.

    And we love you and continually hold you, Heather and the boys up in prayer before the Throne of grace and mercy, as you walk towards the arms of Jesus on the feet of faith.

    We love you

    Scott and Betty Hightower

  24. Lynnee on December 4, 2007 8:50 am

    Sending love and prayers always. Smiling with the memories of spelunking in the mud (our socks never did get clean) and rafting with you and Heather. We love you.

    Lynnee & Bob

  25. is.32red on December 4, 2007 8:59 am

    Hi Don,
    Yesterday was “Don Day”. As Cindy and I headed up to see you we shared verses that reminded us of God’s good work in you. One verse that touched me was 1 Peter 1:8 “and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,”. Greatly rejoicing with joy inexpressible. That will always define a “Don Day”.

    Kissing your fuzzy head was a blessing for us. I have probably never expressed my appreciation for your impact on my life so I wanted to do this in hopes that you would get a chuckle out of it. Your walk with Heather and the boys has changed my view as a father and a dad.

    Many years back I spent my life in worship to work. Brother, your life broke my flawed view of what I thought I was to be. Now I cherish what I have because of Jesus and watching you. Thank you for making a generational change in my family. I shared with my v16 guys last night your story. It was a sweat time of rejoicing with the God about a life transformed by Jesus.

    Yesterday morning I watched Heather, with her beaming smile, brighten the room. I thought about how cool she is and how she and the boys have a foundation of strength in Jesus that will last all their lives. You my friend have let Jesus, through you, do His work to change the world. I know you have changed mine.

    We love you. Buzz & Cindy Leonard

  26. paulsong on December 4, 2007 9:19 am

    I know Jesus is by your side as He always has been. I wish I could be by your side as well. My thoughts are with you every day. You have been a true friend to me through good and bad. I am praying for you, for Heather, Johnny and Bo.


  27. Dee Dee Rauscher on December 4, 2007 9:32 am

    Thank you for your honesty and your open walk with Christ through a valley of suffering. Your smile and your heartfelt testimony have blessed me richly in the last month, since I found your blog through Heather on Especially Heather. Thank you for sharing your walk with strangers, that Christ may be glorified and his body of believers strengthened. There have been times in my life when I have sat at the bedside of elder believers as they neared the throne of Christ, and I have tried to encourage with God’s Word, how the inner man is being renewed as we grow stronger in Christ, and I have felt that my words did not encourage them, so I have felt I shouldn’t say such things for fear of seeming flippant in the face of their hardship. Maybe they just didn’t know how to communicate their faith. Yet you have shown me the picture of a man who truly draws strength and excitement from His Lord as he possibly draws near to seeing Him. That is a picture I was thirsty to see. May God strengthen you, no matter which healing He chooses to bring in your life. Either healing is totally within His power, and either is good for the believer. Praise be to God! And thank you from the depths of my heart. You are in my prayers here in North Carolina.

  28. Dee Dee Rauscher on December 4, 2007 9:40 am

    Praying for you in North Carolina, Don. You are a blessing to my life. Thank you for your honest walk and sincere love for Christ and for your family and your friends.

  29. Steve Bell on December 4, 2007 9:59 am

    I find myself at a loss for words. Full of love, distress and a deep sense helplessness. Please forgive me in advance but I’m reminded of my last day with father. Three hours before we met Jesus he looked up into heaven and said “Thank you Jesus, you’ve confirmed that every one of your promises is true and I’m locked in, I’m locked in, I’m locked in”.
    I know that you’re locked in.
    Carolyn and I send our love and prayers to you and your family.
    You’ve been an inspiration to so many. I only regret that I did not get to know you better.
    Steve Bell

  30. Gary on December 4, 2007 10:00 am

    My dear brother,
    You are an inspiration to so many. Your warmth, your authenticity, your spirit, and your laughter, have touched my soul. I have such wonderful memories of the excitement we shared as we began to put together the first prototype GUI for Simio. The times in the dog house, the kidding Mike about the superiority of Apple over PC, the craziness trying to get things put together in May 2006. I remember fondly getting to know you and sensing a growing friendship as we shared that journey.

    The beautiful wrapped stone that you gave me is on my desk at work. Everyday it’s a reminder of your friendship.

    I have shared your journey on my blog and there are many people across the country who have also come to love you as I have shared about your courage and your faith.

    It was such a privilege to visit with you a couple weeks ago. It is a privilege to call you my friend and my brother. You, and your family are in my prayers.

  31. andydavidson on December 4, 2007 10:11 am

    Dear Don and Heather,

    Andy is hoping to be with you later this morning, but I also wanted to take a moment to write the “note I’ve been writing in my head” over the last few days.

    I feel like I was in on one of your early investments in groups of young people – back when the Lis were still thinking about moving to the U-District and Camilla, Alexis, and I were holding down the fort at Student Leadership. I first met you at a Board Room luncheon that you hosted at Starbucks – Brownie had invited me along because he could sense the Spirit at work and knew that I would be blessed to be along for the ride.
    I like that I knew the “old Don” because you are one of the reasons I believe in Jesus. You are evidence to me of a changed life. A heart softened by love. An gradual abandonment to the Kingdom that I got to witness during my years at the U. So many of the same mentors and friends were teaching and discipling us at the same time that I felt like we were coming alive together in that special season.

    You have a way of making people feel like you are “for them” in every way. Andy and I have certainly felt that solidarity, even though our times together have often been few and far between.

    So thank you for your friendship and your love. We are for YOU and YOUR family as well.

    We love you,
    Nikki and Andy

  32. danwick on December 4, 2007 10:17 am

    What a blessing it is for us to walk with you on your journey. It’s also a pleasure for us to be able to prayer for you, Heather and the boys both personally and with all of the gringos here in our Bible study in Cartagena.

    Your walk in faith has been an inspiration to us since we reconnected with you and the family 7 years ago before we became missionaries.

    Dios le bendiga, hermano.

    Dan, Berit and Kristina

  33. Sean Sheridan on December 4, 2007 10:18 am


    I’m thinking right now of the time that you took Greg and I and the others out to Whidbey for that “weekend with Greg.” On the way out, we were packed into your Range Rover, Greg in the far back. You gunned it around a couple of turns, and Greg was slamming from side to side. Poor guy. I looked back at him and we just kind of laughed, like “Holly cow, Don is CRAZY!”

    So that is the spirit in which I know you and will always remember you–not afraid to take on life, or death, or anything for that matter, and always willing to reach out a helping hand and do what you can for people. I’m so thankful for our friendship, and for the special times, like that weekend on Whidbey, that we’ve shared.

    Remember that time about 12 years ago that you and Heather and the boys were at that beachfront park over in Bellevue and I randomly rode my bike there, only to see you guys? We were the only ones at the park. It was one of those fun times that God brought us together unexpectantly. I am certain that before long, we will meet up like this in some fun way on the other side, in Heaven, and look at each other and say something like “What took you so long to get here!” or “Well it’s about time we meet up again!”

    I can’t wait for that.

    I love you Don! Your friend,


  34. David Carlson on December 4, 2007 11:15 am

    Don & Heather,
    Last evening Vicki & I were with two other couples, neither of whom you know nor they you. I shared some of your story with one of the couples who is going through a fiery trial at present, and how you’ve so courageously and honestly opened your lives in this battle. This buoyed them and helped open up a very candid dialog among the six of us which ended late as we bowed in prayer together. I thought to myself on the way home, “How good you are God that our brother Don, though physically not present with us tonight and closer to you now than most of us have ever known, ministered life from his hospital bed to others in need. Indeed Lord, you are good.” As the comments from so many herein attest, this is not unique, nor will it be from this point on, for your life has been, is now and will continue to produce 30,60 and 100 fold as you’ve let Jesus sow well your life!

    Thank you Don for generously and graciously loving your family, friends and any who, by God’s choosing, have intersected your path, and thereby have had Christ’s light & love shed upon them.

    We join with the heavenly host and all here too, exclaiming our praise and gratitude to God for giving us YOU, while still petitioning Him on your behalf, and saying too, “We love you!”

    David and Vicki

  35. Julie on December 4, 2007 11:24 am

    Thank you so much for being so transparent with us. When we come up against challenges, it is easy to try and use our own strength to fight back, but you have reminded all of us to rely on the strength of the Lord. I know for myself that life is certainly without hardship and challenge, but you have exemplified to me that it is possible to find joy and happiness in the midst of our struggles. You have lived life to the fullest, and are leaving an everlasting mark on the lives of so many people. Thank you for sharing your story.

  36. sorensona on December 4, 2007 11:49 am

    Don and sweet family,
    We have only met through the Spirit, who has prompted me to pray for you, a father I do not know, a brother in Christ who is suffering, yet with joy. My teenage girls have held you up in prayer, even as they are grieving the loss of their father to sudden cardiac death just a few years ago. You have been a companion on OUR journey with Jesus, as we continue to discover that He is indeed good. Today as the veil is thin, we pray from St. Patrick’s Breastplate:

    Christ be with you, Christ within you,
    Christ behind you, Christ before you,
    Christ beside you, Christ to win you,
    Christ to comfort and restore you,
    Christ beneath you, Christ above you, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
    Christ in hearts of all that love you,
    Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

    May you bind yourself to the strong name of the Trinity, The Three in One and One in Three.

    You are in the good and gentle hands of The King,


  37. Dan Stachofsky on December 4, 2007 11:51 am

    Thank you for taking such an interest in me while I was beginning my career. That transition from college to work was difficult and the company I worked for had it’s quirks. You reminded me of how God is God in every aspect of our life, not just segments or portions. You are a dear friend. Tara, Jane and I are continuing to beat on the doors of heaven with you and your family and friends – maybe that beat is the beat to which you dance.


  38. jimtroyer on December 4, 2007 12:34 pm


    I have been counting on you to hold on until I can use that coyote pin. I know that you and Art have been waiting.

    God bless you my brother. I am in D.C. this week, but continue to send you all my prayers.


  39. tarman on December 4, 2007 1:12 pm


    I love you. I am with you in spirit- delighting in your astonishment in Jesus.


    Bart (and Linda)

  40. Cyd on December 4, 2007 2:29 pm

    Dear Brother Donaldo.

    It has always been so–you are bigger than life. No story is like yours. Through you we begin to feel the merger twixt heaven and earth, yes, eternity. You say you are ready to go, but are we ready to let you go? Our hearts bleed, “Stay! Stay with us!” Our prayers plead, “Oh Lord, heal Donaldo!” In the midst of it all your eyes compel ours to follow your steady gaze and yes, there is JesusGod in the room with us all! Your unwavering belief in his goodness washes over us and transports us. The Lord is your beloved and he asks you, his beloved, “Shall we dance?” You say, “Yes!” Every time. It is a dance, you say, on the edge of heaven. In keeping with your generous heart, you invite us to dance with you. To the best that we can, we do, but who can keep up with you? No one is like you–you are still bigger than life. I love you, Senor Donaldo Valencia. I love you so very, very much.


  41. Kris Hodge on December 4, 2007 4:51 pm

    As you know, owning a beach cabin at whidbey island has always been our dream. How perfect it is that you, Heather and the boys are a part of that. I now know that the real dream come true is that it brought our families together..forever. We’ve only been neighbors a few short years but you have taught me so much about life, love and faith.
    Whether you are sitting next to me on the beach or are somewhere up in the beautiful sunset, you will always be near.
    God bless,
    Kris Hodge

  42. lauren kaith on December 5, 2007 2:35 pm

    To my uncle,
    I love you so much, words couldn’t even describe all the life lessons you have taught me, and what I learned about myself. You mean so much to me, and not 1 day has gone by that I have not thought of you. I can not thank you, and Heather enough for inviting me into your home, and taking a chance on me. I couldn’t see it at the time, as you know, but I know you only had the best of intentions for me. I got to see why Pam absolutely adored you. I am so happy that when the time comes for Jesus to take you home, you will be reunited with your sister and your mom, amongst all the others….I am praying always for you and all the family. I am here anytime for the family, no matter what it is…
    all my love always,

  43. barryrowan on December 11, 2007 10:15 pm

    Mr. Valencia,

    You probably don’t remember me since we only met once, when you had my family over for dinner, but I wanted to share with you how you have impacted my life.

    When my family went to your house for dinner, I did not know what to expect; and you exceeded my expectations far beyond what I thought was possible. I entered your house a complete stranger, and felt like a friend upon leaving. You cooked an amazing dinner that was the basis for our discussion.

    Meeting to talk about Agros, and what our family could do for Agros, I was overwhelmed by Agros. The opportunity to help people so distant from the city of Seattle was monumental. Our discussion revolved around what Agros did, how they helped, and dreams of the future that left my mind racing. I was thinking of all the great things they could accomplish. In addition to meeting your family, we met Greg Rake, who has also impacted my life in a monumental way.

    Without your consideration of us and your desire to follow God’s will, my dad and I would not have been presented with the chance to share similar dinners with great people within the Agros community in Central America. Last May, my dad and I had the privilege of visiting some small communities that Agros helped build. While we were tucked up in the hillsides, so far away from civilization, I thought of how wonderful it was for these people to own land, and to actually have something in they could call their own; something no one can take away from them. They now have the ability to pass on their knowledge and skills to their children, who will one day do the same work as their parents.

    The trip with Agros in Guatemala has made me realize that I yearn to learn Spanish. I do not know why, but I do know I too want to help people in need, and I feel like God is calling me to work with people in the Spanish speaking countries of this world. With your hospitality and introduction to Agros, you helped me to realize this.

    The long and short of it is this: Thank you. I wanted to thank you for impacting my life. Although you did not directly show me what to do, or how Agros operates up in the hilly terrain of foreign and distant countries, you provided a door; the portal to see great things in this world.

    You gave me hope that people of the world do not have to live in the world. I will not forget Skip Lee’s words about Agros when asked why he wanted to help. At our dinner, full of discussion, I distinctly remember this, “Just because we live in the world we do not have to be people of the world. If we love God and follow him, sometimes blindly, then we will become great people doing mighty things for Him.”

    Hopefully you can see how you have helped me, even through our brief encounter of a single evening. Even though we did not speak for a great length of time, you did not have to. I just wanted the chance to say thank you for all that you have done; and all that you have put in place. Thank you for simply inviting me, a stranger, over for dinner one summer night in Seattle. I feel blessed that I was there.


    Mark Rowan

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