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Samaritan's Purse and the COVID-19 Response. "Helping in Jesus' Name!"

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
April 18, 2020 11:37 am

Samaritan's Purse and the COVID-19 Response. "Helping in Jesus' Name!"

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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April 18, 2020 11:37 am

Melissa Strickland (Sr. Director of Communications for Samaritan's Purse) called the show to share the work of Samaritan's Purse in NYC (and other places). Melissa's also a caregiver herself for a husband with high-risk issues going to NY was not easy task.

Listen to: Why she did it, and what she discovered there about:

  • the people they treat
  • the reception from New Yorkers
  • the push back from a small but VERY vocal minority
  • but most of all...what's she learned about faith in Christ. 

After listening to this podcast ...PLEASE share it with everyone in your social media world, and commit to praying for Melissa and all the folks at Samaritan's  Purse ...and then consider supporting them financially at 



"How can you laugh ...given what you both live through?!"

Peter Rosenberger often hears that question when people learn of his 34+ year journey as a caregiver for his wife, Gracie, who lives with severe disabilities(80 operations & the amputation of both legs).Yet, Peter and Gracie draw hope from their deep faith which strengthens their hearts—and the couple brings a contagious inspiration that lightens weary hearts struggling with challenges.

Peter’s weekly radio show, Hope for the Caregiver, is heard on more than 180 stations, and on Sirius XM’s Family Talk Channel (131).Through his show, books, commentaries, and speaking events, Peter addresses life’s caregiving challenges with candor, compassion, and even comedy.

Educating, entertaining, and empowering audiences across the country, Peter Rosenberger offers poignant insights into the life of a caregiver. Weaving his deep compassion for fellow caregivers with his outrageous humor, Peter assuringly points others to safety and helps them develop plans to live a calmer, healthier, and even more joyful life as caregivers.

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Don Green

Well, this is a fine howdy-do, isn't it? I've been taking care of a woman who has the COVID-19 and now her doctors are saying there's no way that I don't have it. And they're going to test me on Monday. I've tested negative a month ago, but they're saying there's no way you could be in proximity to her like you are as a caregiver and not have it. And so we're going to test you on Monday with this new test that tells whether or not you have the antibodies. And then we want your blood if you do.

I'm Peter Rosenberg. Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver. I am so thrilled to have you with us.

888-589-8840, 888-589-8840. If you want to be a part of the show and we're glad to have you with us. This is the nation's largest radio program for family caregivers. And for the last little over a month, I've been caring for my wife through this process. She got it. We think that she got it when she went to see a specialist in a city actually a couple hundred miles away from us. And it's one of those things where we had to spend the night over there.

This was in March. And you know, it's just one of those things that happened. And evidently this thing is so contagious that, uh, you know, she picked it up over there. I have not been symptomatic for this except for a bad cough for, you know, a while.

But then again, I get out and feed horses every day too. And so it was like, okay, is this hay fever? Is this a cold?

Is this the regular, you know, life stuff or is this whatever? So they tested me and I came up negative. But um, she would, my wife was talking to her doctor that day and Gracie's doing fine. I mean, she's really coming out of this thing now and she's done well. She hasn't had to be hospitalized and I've taken care of her through this process. And you know, um, they said, well, she told him, she said, well, he has a headache every so often and he gets tired. Well, I've been a caregiver for 34 years. That's part of the journey is having a headache and getting tired.

And I've only had two headaches. Uh, but they're just convinced that 100% certain that I've got the COVID-19, but that I've built up anybody. So they're going to test me on Monday with this new Abbott test that has the, um, uh, you know, that you could tell whether they've got antibodies and so forth. And they're going to do that on Monday. And then they said, look, if you got them, we want your blood.

And what that means is, is that they take stuff from me to distribute out to the masses means there's going to be a lot of people who have TV preacher quality hair. Oh, I'm just kidding. 888-589-8840. I've got a special guest on the phone that I wanted to have at the top of the hour here. And that is Melissa Strickland. She is the senior communications director for Samaritan's person. You've been reading a lot about what they're doing. And I wanted to have her here on the show and talk about this, talk about, you know, her journey personally through this.

She's also a caregiver, but also just what's going on with Samaritan's purse there in central park, Louisiana, Tennessee, and all over the place that they're working in this. So Melissa, good morning and welcome to the show. How are you feeling today? Oh, good morning.

Well, I'm a little worn out to be perfectly honest, but I'm, I'm happy, happy to be on with you this morning. Well, now you are where physically right now? I returned home to North Carolina late yesterday. So I was in New York city for three weeks with our team there at the emergency field hospital that we have set up to treat coronavirus patients. So right now I am isolated in a corner of my home for 14 days for my quarantine period. Well, I get it because I'm isolated myself. And as I've taken care of my wife who has it and now they say I have it.

Oh my goodness. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. I mean, I'm not symptomatic.

That's the thing. She has been, my wife's a high risk individual. I mean, she's had 80 surgeries, multiple pulmonary emboli and multiple MRSA infections, both legs amputated.

I mean, she's, she's, she's a high risk individual. I didn't really have much in the way of symptoms other than I had a persistent cough. And and so I've been, you know, thinking, okay, I didn't even have a fever. And, and so that's, that's been my journey with it.

But now they're saying, okay, there's no way you could be in proximity to her like you are 24 seven as her caregiver and not get it. So we're going to test you on Monday with that new Abbott test. Did you guys have those tests? Those five minute tests? We did not. Yeah, we, we did not do any testing on our site.

And so I have not been tested. Like you, I have a high risk individual in my home. My husband has multiple sclerosis. And so even going to New York and serving was a big decision for us. And it took a lot of prayer and just a feeling of peace that we both knew that we unanimously had to have so that we would feel good about the decision to go. But in the end, he said, you know, this is what God is calling you to do. I feel that in my heart. This is what God has gifted you to do. And so, uh, go and, uh, we will just, um, pray that the Lord will protect our family and protect me through it.

You know, I've had a statement cause Gracie and I have worked, um, over in West Africa for years with our prosthetic limb ministry, uh, standing with hope and, and it's, um, taking her over into Africa, you know, that's, that's no small thing. And, but I've also come to the realize that we use common sense. You know, we're all, you know, equipped with some common sense here or, well, some are more than others, but evidently put, uh, but we follow good medical counsel. But then when you're on the King's business, your safety is the King's business. And that's, that's kind of the way we've, we've adopted that. It's just, okay, we're going to do everything in our power to be smart about this, but then we trust God that he is going to work through these things providentially.

Uh, we don't, we don't put him to the test or do something stupid, but at the same time we understand that that risk is part of it and this is, this is part of the journey. And so, uh, well, I know that did not come easy to you guys when you got on the plane and went to New York. That, that must've been a very difficult thing for you personally. It was a difficult thing.

It was a difficult thing. You know, I, I travel, uh, I've been with American's Purse for 15 years and I've traveled around the world, traveled to earthquakes and, um, war zones and, uh, you name it, uh, disasters, uh, here in the United States, tornadoes and that kind of thing. And, and even as I travel, there's always some element of risk when you go into a disaster zone. Um, especially when it is a war zone or that kind of thing. But, but, um, this was a different risk because, uh, this one was one that I could possibly bring home. And that's a real different kind of thing. Um, knowing that this is something that I could affect my family with.

So it was a much bigger decision. What, um, were you, by the way, were you in Tennessee with the tornadoes? I was not in Tennessee. I have been with Samaritan's Purse on, um, many, many tornado responses, but not that one in particular. I used to, we used to live in Nashville.

We did, we just moved out to Montana, um, last summer, but we were in Nashville for 35 years and then we've had this stuff going on in Louisiana. The Samaritan's Purse has been there. Normally when you guys show up, you know, it is a, um, it is probably a very deeply moving thing because people are so devastated and to hear and see friendly voices and faces come in, in the name of Jesus, what you guys do, it's got to be deeply rewarding. But in New York, you guys have been met with some, some harsh responses, uh, not necessarily from the patients, but from the environment there. Talk a little bit about that and what that, what that does to your heart and, and, uh, what are your thoughts on that?

Well, you know, I, yes and no. I would say that, um, there has, has, there has been a small but very vocal group that has, um, really waged war against us. And that was, um, disappointing and hurtful, uh, at the beginning because we just felt like we're just there to help.

Why, why are you, why do you hate us so much? Um, but ultimately, you know, we, we're bringing Jesus to Central Park. We, uh, you know, we are, we are there to share the love of Christ with people who are suffering. And so as Christians, we'll hold that thought. We've got to, we've got to go to a quick break.

Hold that thought. We're talking with Melissa Strickland from Samaritan's Purse. This is Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger, 888-589-8840. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the nation's number one show for you as a family caregiver.

And we are thrilled to have you with us. 888-589-8840, 888-589-8840. If you want to be a part of the show, we're talking with Melissa Strickland from Samaritan's Purse. She has been on the ground in New York as they've been battling against this virus and trying to minister to people in Jesus' name and not just trying, do.

And I wanted to have them on the show this morning to just talk about it. I was so moved when in one of the president's press conferences, he was talking, they were asking about, you know, all the people of faith and so forth the president interacts with. And he was talking about Franklin in particular, Franklin Graham. And he said, you know, this is a man who loves what he does.

And then the president turned and looked at the press and he said, and this is a man who loves Jesus. And I thought that was just a profound moment. And I knew that you guys, Melissa, were getting pushback from this small but very, very vocal group that just want to create trouble.

And that's got to be difficult because you really are truly there to just help. Talk a little bit more about that. Sorry I had to interrupt you to go to the break. No, no, that's fine.

That's fine. It's, you know, it's heartbreaking because we have doctors and nurses in this hospital who are working 12 hour plus shifts, seven days a week, who are pouring themselves out for these patients, providing top notch medical care, showing incredible love and compassion to these patients. And they've come from from all over the United States. And the reason the reason that they're there is their faith. You know, like we talked earlier about, you know, praying and going and they've risked themselves because it's their it's their Christian faith that has compelled them to come when no one else will go.

And to see them under attack like that is truly heartbreaking. But but, you know, not necessarily surprising, because we know that when we bring the light of Christ into any place, there's going to be opposition. The Bible tells us that the the the first disciples experienced that. And so why should we be any different? He experienced it. Yes, well, exactly the ultimate example, right, the ultimate example.

And so, you know, so it's hard to absorb. But but we have through much prayer, just been able to walk one step at a time each day in and and face that fire, even as even as the medical staff is facing the fire of the Coronavirus. And I have to tell you that, again, this, you know, this was a very, it was a small but focal minority, but but the counter offensive was not waged by us.

It was it. There have been so many, so many ordinary New Yorkers who have brought us cakes and signs and you know, a Girl Scout troops that brought us cookies and just every night at seven, people gather around the perimeter of our hospital in Central Park at seven o'clock every night and just applaud these healthcare workers. So we have been touched by the generous spirit of York. And despite this challenge of these groups who who just truly hate us, we have felt very warmly welcomed by the people there.

Well, the good news is they don't know you enough to hate you, but they hate who you serve. And the one you serve is able to take it. And he did take it. And that's the whole point of the cross. And, and, you know, and I look at the example that his first disciples set for us when they were persecuted and beaten.

I remember Paul and Silas in prison, beaten and singing hymns. And so, as you guys look to those individuals as your model of, okay, you're going to stay the course. That's why I wanted to have you on the show.

Because that type of bravery and conviction that you are keeping your eyes firmly fixed on Christ as you minister to other people. And you guys are elbows deep into the suffering of not only New Yorkers, but of our country and around the world. And the world as a spiritual entity is not going to understand this.

They're not going to even like it. But as I said to somebody when, you know, we put prosthetic legs on Gracie's fellow amputees. And I said, and I remember talking, I talked about this with Franklin one time we were at Walter Reed.

Gracie went up to Walter Reed a lot to meet with Wounded Warriors. And, and we were, I probably shouldn't say this on the air, Melissa, but so this is just you and me talking. But we were talking, Franklin was asking about our work. And we, sorry, I said, Franklin, we got so many people standing over there.

It looks like a Benihan crusade being played backwards. And he didn't quite know how to respond to that. But I, but one of the things Gracie and I came to understand, because we treat people of all faiths, doesn't matter or no faith or whatever. But it's hard to hate someone who's helping your daughter walk, you know, and that's what we've learned. And we just stay on mission, stay on course. And, you know, we, we just keep doing what we do and we're not responsible for results.

We're responsible to be good stewards. We're responsible to stay on mission for what God has done and let the Holy, I mean, I can't convert anybody. I can't change anybody's heart and put it, we could put a leg on them and you guys can minister to them.

But ultimately the heart is way beyond our skills and that's where the Holy Spirit comes in. So we trust and, and you guys are doing this beautifully. And my hat is off to you.

I know that the listeners of this audience are also praying for you and I'm going to encourage them to continue doing so and to go out to Samaritan's Purse and get involved and help this work. It's a great work that you guys do. Every time I turn around, there's, if there's any kind of disaster anywhere, you guys just show up. I mean, y'all just, y'all are on it like a pack of dogs on a three legged cat. I mean, y'all just are there and that is extraordinary. And the level of volunteers and the staff and everybody, I mean, you just got, you guys mobilized. I remember one time I was somewhere and I saw one of your planes and I was traveling.

I can't even remember where it was. And I just looked at that and I was, I was just so moved because there you guys are and you're doing it. And, um, what are your thoughts as you interacted with people in New York who were struggling with this, who were suffering with this? Um, what did you take away from that personally as you just watched families and individuals go through these things and what, what did you take from that? Well, it's, um, it's a devastating disease.

Um, it's, it's, it's unlike anything that I have seen in the world. Um, I had the great privilege of going into the ward, uh, with the medical staff, um, on occasion and worked a night shift, um, with one of them for the full 12 hours and just to observe, uh, their work. And the one minute, um, you would have someone who, uh, was on a ventilator and appeared to be, um, getting better or at least, uh, you know, had some level of strength and within the hour that person was just crashing and the nurses, you know, uh, and doctors, uh, would just surround them and, and work feverishly to bring them back from the brink. And, um, then an hour later that person would open their eyes and not even be aware, um, that that had just happened to them. But, um, to walk into one of those tents and see that many people just struggling for air, just gasping and, um, frail, uh, it does affect you.

It does affect you. And, um, you realize how life can turn on a dime. It's just, we are really just a vapor and we never know when our time has come. And so it just, the mission of Christ is so critical. Uh, it's, it's, it's just another reminder and I'm reminded of that so much in my work, but, um, that, uh, that people need that hope.

People need to, to, to see him and know him and experience his love and forgiveness. Uh, there, there's a tremendous urgency in that. There are times for me as a caregiver and I've been doing this for a long time now for, I'm in my 34th year of taking care of a woman with a broken body. And there are times when you become so enraged and frustrated because you feel so helpless.

Um, you cannot, you can't, you can't stem this tide. I mean, there's Gracie has to live with extreme pain all the time. And then she's dealing with all these other ancillary issues and now this, the COVID-19 and all this stuff. And you, you feel helpless and you want to rage out. And I know that you guys see so much tragedy that you can't help but feel these moments when you just feel so frustrated that you can't do more. Where do you go to reorient yourself? What, what does in your time with Christ and your prayer time in your scripture or when you're just venting out or what, what, what kind of reorients you with that?

And if, by the way, if I get to the bottom of the hour, just hang on because I'm going to keep you on as long as you'll stay on until you just hang up on me. Um, cause I love having you on here and I love your heart on this, but how do you, how do you restock your, your own heart on this? Well, you know, um, years ago, almost 20 years ago, uh, when my husband was diagnosed with MS, um, we actually were living in New York city. Um, so it's a city that is very close to my heart and I, and I love it very much. And, um, but the truth is we, we attended church there, but we were not living as believers. And my husband was a, uh, was a raging alcoholic. Um, I had my own issues with, um, financial recklessness and, um, and then he got MS. And within a couple of years we, um, we were back home in North Carolina, which was devastating to me.

Um, I really just didn't know how I would survive it. Um, moving from this city that I loved because of his stupid MS, you know, and, um, uh, but the truth is we, we, we were on the edge of divorce when we were there. And in that two years, uh, MS made us rely on the Lord so fully. And, um, one day back in North Carolina, I was praying and just begging God heal him so we can go back to New York, please heal him. Uh, and the Lord, um, just really spoke to my heart and said, you know, I have, I have healed him. He's not drinking anymore. And you guys are focused on me again. And, um, your priorities are back where they should be. And, and I'm not saying the Lord gave him MS, but he has used disease to heal us.

Well, and he often does. Don't, don't, I hate to cut you off on that. Don't go away with that thought. Please hang on to that thought.

We've got to take a quick break. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver. We're talking with Melissa Strickland from Samaritan's Purse.

Don't go away. 888-589-8840, 589-8840. Welcome back to Hope For The Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

That is my wife, Gracie. I love that when she sings that he'll give you strength, hope for tomorrow. And if you want a copy for a record, go out to and just look at the music tab there and, and, um, you, you can get one today. Um, it is a, it's an extraordinary project that she did. She's been singing for a long time and then she's even singing now while she is fighting back from this virus. And, uh, it's just, she's an extraordinary woman and, uh, we're just, I'm just very proud of her.

888-589-8840, 888-589-8840. We're talking with Melissa Strickland from Samaritan's Purse. She is a Senior Communications Director and, um, she's also a caregiver. She gets the journey and she understands it. She understands what it's like to, um, have those late night conversations with a ceiling fan, you know, when we were struggling, but, but she, she gets the journey. And, um, Melissa, one of the things that we do on this show is we include any type of chronic impairment, any type, and that includes alcoholism, addiction.

Uh, if you're caring for someone who has any type of chronic impairment, you fit in the club to be the caregiver. And so you understand that journey as well. And, and you, you see, um, the, the impact it has on people around when someone suffers, whether they're suffering from addiction or in your husband's case, uh, alcoholism and multiple sclerosis and, you know, whatever we have autism to Alzheimer's and everything in between, we deal with it all on this show. And so you bring an enormous amount of wisdom.

So you moved back to, to North Carolina after living in New York. Uh, and then all of a sudden God started moving things around in ways that you didn't expect and tell us a little bit more about that. Well, um, as I was saying, um, you know, what, what I have learned, um, through our journey with multiple sclerosis is that, um, you know, uh, God can use disease to heal and that, and that always surprises people when I say that, but, um, he has used it in our lives. Um, because without this, um, we, we were not, um, we're not relying on him daily.

And so this is a, a forced, forced reliance. And, but we see great blessing in it, great blessing. And, uh, I, I would never have been, uh, at Samaritan's Purse, I never would have been in New York city for this COVID-19 response and seen all of the miracles that, that we have seen personally in our journey with multiple sclerosis, as well as professionally in my career at Samaritan's Purse, I would have missed out on the fullness of what God had for me in life. Uh, if I had not been given this journey of caregiver and my husband, uh, would, would, and has said the same thing, um, that, you know, MS, uh, saved his life, uh, kept him from going down into a dark abyss of alcoholism.

Um, he, his first attack, he was actually struck blind. Um, uh, his MS, um, came on very strongly and he, he lost his sight and he calls it his road to Damascus moment. Um, because he, he was in the hospital and I brought him, of course, this was 20 years ago, so there were no iPhones, but I brought him his iPod and, um, which the Bible still have one of those, by the way, they were great. I don't even, I didn't even know they still existed, but, uh, but his, you know, he, we loaded the Bible onto it and he, because he couldn't see anything, he just laid in the hospital bed and listened to the Bible and, and the Lord drew him back, uh, to himself. And, and now he is, he is truly the wisest and most godly man, uh, I think I've ever known. And it's such a privilege to be married to him and to learn from him.

But, but none of that would have happened without disease. And so as I go, uh, and this is actually something I shared with our medical personnel. I did one of our morning devotions, uh, every morning, uh, and every evening the staff gathers together for prayer and devotion and, and just to encourage them that the care that they're providing, that, you know, the Lord will use this in ways that we can't imagine. He can use all things for good and he's the God of the impossible and, and even coronavirus he can use to touch a heart and, and draw them into his kingdom, draw them to himself. And so I, I'm excited to see what God, uh, will do, uh, as people journey through this. You know, my, my pastor back in Nashville, um, for many, many years, Jim Bachman, I just love him, dear friend. He often says to me, he uses sin sinlessly. And isn't that a great statement?

Uh, there's, there's nothing that he does not weave into his Providence and his sovereignty. And, um, that's comforting me. A lot of people get real weird about that. They're like, how could, how could, you know, I think this is something that people struggle with, you know, how could a good loving God and, and Gracie, you know, missing both legs, all these kinds of things.

Her, um, she and Johnny Erickson taught her very dear friends and they were on my show last week and, and, um, you know, they've been friends for years and between the two of them, they got almost 90 years of disability. And you think, and people ask them the question all the time, you know, how can you trust in a good loving God? Because they don't understand that there's something far greater than amputation. There's something far greater than COVID-19.

There's something far greater than quadriplegia that he has saved us from. I heard, um, Max and Kato say on, um, Easter weekend, um, COVID-19 is a, is a travesty. It is, it is, it is a horrible affliction, but the virus of sin is a disaster. And that is something that we, we, we don't, we don't think this way because we want to feel better. And one of the things we talked about on this show for family caregivers, we're never going to feel better about a lot of these things. Gracie's certainly not going to feel better. I'm not going to feel better watching her go through it, but that's not the goal. The goal is not to feel better.

It's to be better. And your husband has modeled that. You have done that. What changed with you? What, where did it, where did it flip with you?

I know he had to sit there in the, in the, in the hospital with the blind and listening to the Bible on the iPod. What about you? What flipped with you? I think, um, you know, just, um, losing everything that I thought was so important.

Uh, you know, our apartment in, in, uh, in New York city, my life, my, you know, my, my stiletto heels walking down the street and, you know, weekends in the Hamptons with friends and, and I had to give up my stiletto heels too. No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. Just kidding. That was just a joke. Oh goodness.

But um, one time and you're labeled for life. No, I'm just kidding. I hope you have pictures of that. No, I do not. No, I mean I can understand that giving up those things, I mean, and, and, and, and having your whole life up ended. I get it. That's right. I get it. That's right. So everything that you thought gave you meaning and purpose and identity was stripped away.

Um, just completely stripped away. And so, um, you know, it was, it was heartache and suffering, but it was also opportunity. Um, and it was opportunity to, to find my true identity as a child of God. And, um, and that's, that was a real journey, uh, for me.

And actually I think my husband, his name's Robinson, but Robinson, um, Robinson, you know, I, I, because his was, um, physically devastating in the way it was, um, he, he got on track a lot faster than I did. And I, I guess I'm just a more rebellious spirit. Um, uh, but, but it, it was a journey for me to, to really understand where my identity was. And, uh, even going back to New York, you know, these past three weeks, um, there was this sense of, of nostalgia and, um, at first, and, oh gosh, I really miss this city and I wish I had never left. And, um, and then in my prayer time, you know, the Lord, the Lord said, no, look where you are now.

Look what you're doing. Look what you have the opportunity to be part of and look at the miracles you would have missed out on. Um, and, and really, really realigned by thinking, you know, even in that first week, just a few weeks ago in New York when I was feeling nostalgic now, now don't get me wrong. I pray every day that Robinson will be healed. Um, and I still believe that that, that is within the Lord's capacity if that's his will.

Um, but, but if it's not his will, then, then our prayer is just, you know, keep us steadfast in the journey. And, um, I was talking with Gracie about that last night. She never turns down a prayer for healing.

Uh, Johnny's the same way. And, and, uh, we've had lots of, um, conversations about this on air and privately. And I, um, but I saw something in Gracie. I took a picture of her last night. Um, and it's an extraordinary picture and I noticed how beautiful she, she is. And this is a woman who has taken it on the chin, uh, with a lot of suffering. I've been there.

I've been there 34 years and more hospital rooms that I want to count. But I think the difference is, is that, and I looked at Johnny, I saw a picture of Johnny when, when, when they were coming on the show and we FaceTime went on and I, and I look at these two women who have grown in beauty in the midst of tremendous suffering. Uh, just take a moment to go out and just Google Johnny's pictures or Gracie's pictures and you'll see two women who are just getting more beautiful as they age. And I think part of that for Gracie, I told her that is that she has made, she has wrestled with this and come to the understanding that she is not fighting with Christ to deliver her from this, but she has made peace with the fact that he's in this wheelchair or in these prosthetic legs in this suffering with her. And because of that, she's not striving for him to take this affliction from her, but to sustain her in it. And she's certainly willing to have her body healed and wants to, but she's not striving against it. And she is, she is trusting God in it. And it sounds like that's the same thing with your husband and now with you and with me way back in the back, cause I have, I'm a slow learner, but when we come to the point where we stop fighting with God to make it better for us and realize that he already is in it with us, that's an extraordinary thing, isn't it?

Oh, it's amazing. My husband says suffering has a shelf life. Uh, and so we will be whole someday.

And in the meantime, he's with us. That is just beautiful words, Melissa. Melissa, thank you so much for taking the time. I'll let you go here. It's it's a, you need to rest and relax after all your journey here, but I really appreciate you being here with us on the show. Melissa Strickland from Samaritan's Purse get involved today. Melissa, thank you. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you. Thanks ma'am. This is Hope for the caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger in Oklahoma.

We got one more segment, 888-589-8840. Have you ever helped somebody walk for the first time? I've had that privilege many times through our organization, Standing with Hope. When my wife, Gracie gave up both of her legs following this horrible wreck that she had as a teenager and she tried to save them for years and it just wouldn't work out. And finally she relinquished them and thought, wow, this is it. I mean, I don't have any legs anymore.

What can God do with that? And then she had this vision for using prosthetic limbs as a means of sharing the gospel to put legs on her fellow amputees. And that's what we've been doing now since 2005 with Standing with Hope. We work in the West African country of Ghana, and you can be a part of that through supplies, through supporting team members, through supporting the work that we're doing over there.

You could designate a limb. There's all kinds of ways that you could be a part of giving the gift that keeps on walking at Would you take a moment to go out to and see how you can give?

They go walking and leaping and praising God. You can be a part of that at Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

I am Peter Rosenberger. This is the nation's number one show for you as a family caregiver. Did you like the interview with Melissa on Samaritan's Purse?

Wasn't that great? If you want that, you can go out and please and share it with others by going out to our podcast. We podcast the show. We podcast special videos of music, all kinds of stuff. It's free. And you can go out right now to it and follow along and subscribe and share this with people. It's a powerful message.

We try to have interesting interviews on here and perspectives and things to help strengthen you along your journey as a caregiver. Now, as I say these things right now, for those of you now just joining, my wife has the virus. She was tested positive for it. She has struggled through it. She has come through it. She's doing okay.

She hasn't had to be hospitalized. We've taken care of her here in the home, but now they're convinced that I have it. And so they're going to test me with that new antibody test on Monday to see if I have antibodies. I have not been very symptomatic other than, hang on a second, a really persistent cough. And I've ordered a cough button here for the show and it hasn't gotten here.

I don't know where it is, but we live in rural Montana. So sometimes the dog sleds take a while to get here with the mail, but they're going to test me and see if I have antibodies for it. And if I do, they want my blood and they're going to distribute those antibodies out to other folks. And then the good news is a lot of people are going to get great TV preacher quality hair out of that.

I'm just kidding. And so it's quite a journey to go through these things. And as caregivers, this show is all about you staying healthy and strong. Now, my cough could be the COVID-19.

It could be the fact that I get in the barn every day and feed horses. I don't know. We're going to find out on Monday. So stay tuned for next week. How about that?

And I'll let you know for next week's show. I haven't had a fever and every now and then I get a headache and I get tired. But then again, I've been a caregiver for 34 years.

What do you expect? That's kind of part of the journey. I mean, I would imagine as a caregiver, you're tired and you get a headache periodically. And maybe I just thought about something. Maybe I need to turn off cable news more and it'll help my headache.

That's probably it. So I just appreciated her coming on and talking about what they're doing in New York. Would you commit to praying for them? I mean, they're doing it, man. I mean, everywhere there's a disaster, they show up. And so I was just really moved when I saw the president at one of those press conferences that have turned into basically WWE SmackDown and it's kind of funny to watch. And these guys, these reporters just keep showing up for more.

I mean, they just love a beating. And it's, but the president was talking about Franklin Graham and he said, this is a man who loves what he does. And he turned and looked at him directly at the reporters that he said, and this is a man who really loves Jesus. And I thought, wow, it was very moving. And so I think we as believers have a responsibility to pray for them and support them if we can and in whatever way we can do, they're doing it.

They show up and they do this. And I've had the privilege of meeting Franklin. We did a service with he and his team some years back at Walter Reed to mark the 50th anniversary of his father's big crusade there at Walter Reed.

And they came back and Gracie sang for that. And it was, it was real meaningful time. And these are people who are serious people who do a serious work and they need your prayers and support. So I would, I would highly recommend doing that. And but, but do take advantage of the podcast and send this interview out to folks and let them know about it. I think it'll be a source of encouragement. If it was encouraging to you today, then go out and subscribe to it. You go to It's all there.

And you could see some of the others. We had Joni Eareckson-Todd last week. We've had Shonda Pierce recently.

We've had, we had Larry the Cable Guy. And so we're trying to do things that are help strengthen and enlighten caregivers hearts through tough times. And I think, you know what, if it helps a caregiver, it's going to help someone else. So share it with others at And while you're there, look around the site, see what you can glean from it.

And if you can be involved in what we're doing and support what we're doing, do that, get involved. And, uh, and for any amount, I'll send you a copy of Gracie's CD. Um, my friend Homer in Oklahoma. Homer, thanks for waiting so long. How are you feeling?

Peter, I'm well. Your radio show and interview with Melissa just elevated my spirit, raised my spirit mightily. Um, I am encouraged as are many, many more by her witness because Franklin Graham at Samaritan's Purse is a group of volunteers, uh, not going out into the degree field to pad a resume or gain compensation. It's strictly to help, uh, putting, uh, boots to the gospel. And I can't praise you enough for partnering with her and putting that on the air this morning.

Thank you. Well, wasn't she, wasn't she just as, uh, inspiring and as insightful and as meaningful as you would, would imagine they would be. I mean, it was just, it was, it was, you could just tell it's almost like breathing to these people to minister.

Yes. And, and yes, they're just, they're just extraordinary group of individuals who do this. And now, you know, normally when you go fight a tornado or something like that, you're not dealing with all the, the, the politics of it, but now they got this, uh, very vocal group that has come out with just, just hate and, and, and members of Congress have joined their voices with them. And, uh, there's so much hate that we have, uh, we've that has just been unleashed in our society. And, um, so we, I think we have a responsibility to help support these people in any way we can with our prayers, with our financial support, whatever we can do. I think we have a responsibility to do it because they're, they're literally walking into war zones and, um, and they're bringing the hope of the gospel and that in a profound, tangible way. So Homer, thank you for saying that.

And you behave yourself out there in Oklahoma. All right. Oh, I'm standing in the fray. I'm still on my feet and God is using me in mighty ways.

It's a blessing. So thank you. I told him, somebody said when, when they saw Gracie was up walking after a long time, uh, cause she'd had a problem with her limbs and, uh, they said, it's so good to see her on her feet.

And I said, and her feet on her. Uh, okay. That was funny to me. Uh, listen, Homer, thanks so much for the call and, uh, keep listening. Thank you very much for taking the time to call this morning. All right. God bless you.

Okay. And this is what this show is all about is strengthening equipping you with, with tangible help as a caregiver. What does that always look like? It's hard to know.

It is truly hard to know. And I speak fluent caregiver here. So I want to make sure you have in your, in your hands and in your heart, uh, something that is pointing you to safety and okay, we were dealing with this as a nation. Now we're dealing with these, these terrible things. It's very real and personal. It's personal in my family now.

I mean, it doesn't get much more personal for us than it does right now. And Gracie keeps telling me I'm denial. And I said, well, I don't feel much different about it. You know, when she said, well, you got it. And so evidently, I don't know, I don't maybe a carrier.

I don't know what I am. Um, who knows, but other caregivers right now understand that we are at risk for this. And it's important that you keep your immune system strong. And I do that by the way, and I work hard to do a work hard to eat healthy and drink a lot of water, a lot of vitamin C, you know, I take out some nutraceuticals that have really helped me a lot. You can see more about that at hopefully and um, whatever I do, you know, I'm trying to be active and healthy. And so, because if I'm not healthy, what happens to Gracie?

And if you're not healthy, if you're not healthy, what happens to your loved one? And it's always about stewardship, always about it. Are you being a good steward of you? And during this time while we're quarantined, you can get, um, uh, there's, there's, you could stream music from our songs from the caregiver. My audio book is available and you can go out and get it, uh, at audible, Amazon audible. It's, you know, you can listen to that. The podcast is free. I have over 400 episodes on the podcast. Take advantage of it.

Listen to it. Um, we try to be goofy. I have a lot of standup comedians that come on the show. Um, we try to do a lot of things that are going to help strengthen and equip you for this journey. Keeping a lighter heart, keeping a sense of humor about these things. These are important things.

Don't think that they're not because they are, you don't survive something as long as Gracie and I have without keeping a sense of humor. And it's, it's really important that, that we do that. And I remember when I first started doing radio, Jeff Fox, where they told me, make them laugh, Peter, you know, more than most how difficult this journey is. And they need to have that pressure release valve of laughter, not stupid laughter where we're just, you know, laughing insanely, but, but we could, we could have a lighter heart in this, even while we face difficult challenges, we've got plenty of tears, but do we have a, um, a good supply of laughter in our hearts?

Do you have that? You know, and, and that's why I do what I do on this show. That's why I'm here is to help us all as caregivers get to a place of safety, because if our hearts and our heads are squirrely and they get that way, then our wallets, our bodies, our jobs, everything are soon to follow. But if we can get our hearts and our heads, right, we, the rest of us have a rest of our life has a fighting chance.

You're going to make terrible financial decisions if your head is squirrely. So this is why we do what we do here on this show. And I'm very grateful to American family radio for letting me do it. And I'm grateful to you for giving me an hour of your time on Saturday morning. And I hope we've left you better than we found you. Okay. Go to We'll see you next week. This is Peter Roseburg. Thanks. Hey, healthy caregivers, make better caregivers.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-23 11:57:12 / 2024-01-23 12:16:27 / 19

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