**** THIS MESSAGE IS FROM THE HEART. I HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO EDIT IT NOR TO TRY TO SHORTEN IT BUT INSTEAD SIMPLY TO SHARE WITH YOU FROM MY HEART TO YOURS. THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ IT! ****
I would greatly appreciate your prayers as the Lord leads you. I would also greatly appreciate your help with something very important.
As some of you know, last Saturday night, I tragically and unexpectedly lost my beloved paralyzed streets ministry dog Mr. Simeon who died right before my very eyes in my hotel room. My vet’s office was closed until Monday, and I ended up keeping his body in my room on his dog bed with paralyzed ministry dog Miss Mercy lying right by his dead body. Monday morning, I dragged his body out the door and lifted into my car. The very car I have used for 3.5 years now on the road full-time for Jesus with my handicapped ministry dogs. The very car I used to take the wheelchair dogs to the beach on Hilton Head Island countless times which they dearly love(d) and where we did much beach ministry. The very car that kept running by God’s grace despite having about 250,000 miles on it.
I confess before you that I am 100% crushed and heartbroken. If you know my story, I have had a pretty challenging life & have among countless challenges faced many, many losses. This loss of my Mr. Simeon is one of the greatest losses of my life, and I cannot describe to you the depths of my sorrow.
I have lost many dogs because I did dog rescue for about 20 years, but this has been one of the two hardest ever for 4 reasons. Mr. Simeon was 100% dependent on me for everything given his paralysis and inability to move more than inches without me; countless people from around the world heard about the Lord Jesus Christ and were ministered to through Mr. Simeon’s streets ministry work; Mr. Simeon was part of my immediate “family” as I am on the road full-time and have a tragic family situation as well as was abandoned by 2 husbands and had 2 unwanted divorces the 2nd husband of which died last year of COPD and an opioid addiction and I have sacrificed a social and entertainment life to be wholly available to the Lord and for ministry despite being a people person and now spending much time in solititude thankfully with my sweet doggies often by my side; and God gave us an absolutely phenomenal bond.
Compounding how hard this loss is for me is that for almost 8 years, I sacrificed more than imaginable to care for him due to his paralysis, numerous medical issues that created challenges every day for all of those years, and an exceeding longing on his part to have me give him love & attention excessively which manifested in some behavioral issues. I am sad to say that at times, I lost my patience and temper with him as well as with the other dogs simply because I became so unbelievably burned out. But I would always say to him and the other dogs something like this, “Please forgive me! And when Mommy says [acts]like that, don’t listen to me! That’s Mommy’s sin. It has nothing to do with you. I’m sorry!” I would become so exhausted and exasperated with his behavior which in part caused much noise when I needed quiet that I would tell him and/or them to pack their suitcases I was sending them away. But I would always say to my beloved Mr. Simeon, “I don’t care how much work it takes to take care of you, Mr. Simeon. I will never given up on you. I want you in my life for as long as the Lord will give us!” The last night of his life, I had no idea he would die. I was exhausted and complaining and kept trying to push him on his bed where I wanted him to be thinking he was just being spoiled as he often was. Little did I know. His vet had just given him a wonderful health report about a week before. Before my very eyes, he died.
One of his few symptoms was his neck was stretched up and his head looking upwards. He couldn’t seem to get it down. His breathing seemed fine. I figured his neck was in pain. I gave him his medicine. He wouldn’t bring his neck and head down. I finally got into bed and turned out the light thinking he would go to sleep. Suddenly I heard a noise. He had lost his voice for days and had been very vocal for years. He had “talked” and never barked nor howled. I called him “preacher boy” as he was very vocal on the streets when I talked to people about Jesus. Though he had lost his voice, suddenly that night he looked upward and made some very excited typical Mr. Simeon noises. I came off the bed, went to him, panicked, ran to the bathroom to get water and a towel not even sure why, came back, his neck was still upward, and then he collapsed in my arms and died. I believe I said, “you are one of the greatest blessings God has ever given me,” but I barely remember much because of how intense it all was.
I believe in this little heart of mine Mr. Simeon was looking upward because that is where the Lord God almighty is. I believe God was telling him his assignment on this earth was over. Years before, the co-founder of my ministry Red a German Shepherd found near death whom God used to help save a homeless man’s life had looked over at Mr. Simeon with a look on his face like, “My job with her on this earth is over. It’s your turn.” Mr. Simeon had taken over in my life where Red had left off. Not for me, mind you, though God blessed me with them beyond measure, but both God used immeasurably in my ministry work for people to hear about the Lord Jesus Christ and be ministered to.
If you have ever cared excessively for someone or something for years with not a single day off and no physical help which was the case with me concerning Mr. Simeon, combined with being on the road full-time for the Lord & ministry and having other handicapped dogs to care for, I am sure you understand the physical and mental extreme exhaustion. And the enormous change that comes when you face the loss of your loved one combined with the all of a sudden free time.
The Lord in days past spoke to my heart He took Mr. Simeon when He did so Mr. Simeon wouldn’t suffer like so many dogs do for long periods at the end of their lives, so I wouldn’t suffer watching him go through something awful for a long time, and so I would be more free and available than I have ever been to serve the Lord in ministry with my whole heart without the physical and mental exhaustion of caring for my beloved Mr. Simeon any longer.
If it were not for the Lord, I would likely quit – ministry and given my history of suicidal thoughts probably life. But the Lord in His mercy has given me a stronger desire than ever to fulfill my ministry calling to help people worldwide to find and forever follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Already, even in my brokenness, He has compelled me to be writing & to minister to people as He leads me. You can find my writing in my Good News Daily and on my website at www.GoodNews.love.
Earlier in this message to you, I shared about my car. I also made mention of my need for prayer and help.
The Lord has made clear I will continue to be on the road full-time for Him. My last major location was New York City, my current location is coastal South Carolina, and I am awaiting marching orders from the Lord as to where He is sending me next. I have been to a bunch of other locations already and look forward to learning where He is sending me next. As a woman with handicapped dogs driving long distances, I believe it wise if and as the Lord leads to get a vehicle with lower mileage so I don’t end up with car problems in a rural area and/or in an area where I don’t have a good mechanic I know to help me.
I do not have a salary, I have only a few regular Monthly Sponsors for the ministry, donations come in once in a while but not very often, and I try to reserve my emergency savings for food and personal needs. The Lord has always provided and will continue to provide so long as I stay in His will.
Some of you have graciously given donations in memory of Mr. Simeon over the past week. I asked for this not knowing what I would do with them other than to use them for the ministry. Then I began to wonder if there was something significant I could do in his memory. While my flesh could so easily quit right now, I am choosing to take some time to rest as the Lord has called me to do, to do some writing, and to get refreshed and restored for continuing down the road. Mr. Simeon would drive from location to location in the passenger seat because he was happiest there. His legs were so long I would have to be careful they wouldn’t move the gear shift. He loved being as close to me as he could be. He often reminded me with his hunger and longing for me and dependence on and trust in me as we should be with the Lord.
I started thinking, what if the donations coming in could be used for the next Good News Ministry vehicle? Though Mr. Simeon won’t be driving in the passenger seat, he will be strong in my heart. what if instead of quitting as my flesh could so easily do, the donations coming in could be used to help enable me to safely go forward traveling through the United States to talk to people about Jesus? The ministry is international via the Internet, but such a huge part of the ministry, too, happens through my being on the streets of America.
I do not often do typical fundraising. If someone wanted to do a crowd-sharing fundraiser or something at the Lord’s leading to bring forth the funds for a new ministry vehicle, that would be awesome. But whether or not that were to be case, I would LOVE prayer for the following:
* for me as I go forward in life & ministry & to include my healing from this great tragedy as well as physical healing from a recent flare-up of a long-time eating disorder and a digestive issue
* for my 3 other handicapped ministry dogs
* for all those the Lord is reaching worldwide through my ministry
* for more helpers to print, produce, and ship my Gospel tracts, devotionals, and lara love’s Good News Magazine which goes out to prisons, homeless shelters, jails, rescue missions, street preachers, via me in my streets ministry work, a Christian pregnancy center, a Christian medical clinic, etc.
* for more Monthly Donors & donors
* for a vehicle chosen by the Lord in His timing for His glory
I am leaning heavily if it’s the Lord’s will toward a Ford Transit Connect small van which would enable me to travel with most of my life’s belongings which are few, the doggies and their veterinary equipment & wheelchairs, & the ministry printing and production equipment.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love & prayers!