Friday, December 13, 2013

This Is Why

This is why we send cards.

This smile, beaming. This joy. This awareness of love...of loving and being loved.

This child we have taken into our hearts to love and encourage and hurt for.

Jonah enjoys opening his cards and packages. There are so many that he's opening a few a day. Molly, Jonah's mom, texted her mother the following:

Jonah is "reading" some of his cards as he opens them [please realize Jonah can NOT read! but here is what he is saying:] "You are smart, Jonah" "You are my hero" "And heaven and nature sing and heaven and nature sing" " J, O, N, H I, Ha-ha Hee Hee."

Heaven and nature sing in Jonah's voice.

For those of you not following Jonah's Facebook page, there was great news this week. Jonah's scans last Friday were free of metastatic disease. Praise God! Praise the healing hands of the doctors! Praise his parents who are taking such great care of him! Praise the brave boy who is, indeed, our hero in this journey.

May this state of affairs continue.

Last week, I had lunch with my friend Mary. Mary had colon cancer, and she's now well three years later.  When I told her about Jonah, she thought about those things people did for her that had the most positive impact on her state of mind. At one point, she and her mom counted the number of states where people were praying for her. The number gave Mary great comfort.

That got me thinking. What if Jonah had a way to keep track of who was sending him cards? Wouldn't that be cool? I went to a local education supply store and bought the map you see in the picture above. The reverse is a map of the whole world. Using a sharpie, I marked the states and countries from which cards had come. Molly can add the new ones as I deliver them each week.

When I made the delivery on Tuesday, Jonah had received cards from 22 states and four foreign countries.

We can now say 23 states.

Let's grow those numbers!

You can check out the list of cards received HERE. If you send something, check that posting to confirm that I received your mail.

The USPS has let me down before. Just sayin'.

If you want to send a card (handmade or store-bought...doesn't matter!), please use this address:

c/o Susan Raihala
7430 Waterway Dr.
Waynesville, OH 45068

Once again, many thanks to all who have sent and all who are sending cards to this family. Know that when I check my mail each day, the kids and I are even more excited about "Jonah mail" than our own...and several of you have sent me some amazingly beautiful Christmas cards! But the Jonah mail is extra special.

I also want to thank all of you who are praying for them. As my friend Mary experienced, prayers mean something powerful and wonderful is happening.

Let's keep them going up for Jonah, Molly, Ben, and the rest of the family. They need them. They need comfort and courage and peace and joy and hope and love.

Thank you.


  1. What a cute picture! The news about Jonah is great. I pray for his continued progress and well being. Your map idea is wonderful - it's also educational and fun for Jonah. Cards do indeed bring joy and happiness both to the giver and the receiver.

  2. Oh how lovely to see his happe face about all the cards. And to read the wonderfull news about the scans. Thanks for keeping us posted about the cards and his situation. Hugs, Ankie

  3. You and the card markers are truly angels on Earth! Your project is giving new meaning to the Christmas carol line, "Let Heaven and Nature Sing!"

  4. A card from Wisconsin is one the way:) Thanks for organizing this for this sweet boy and his family.

  5. One of your followers sent me a wonderful gift yesterday…. Audrie gave me four homemade Christmas cards to use this year! And they are BEAUTIFUL! I have learned so much about ministry this year. It is creative. Personal. Needed. Inspiring. And costly. People have ministered to Jonah and me in so many different ways, but for each there was a cost. Maybe not always in terms of dollars and cents, but certainly in terms of time….and time is a precious commodity. Especially this time of year. Each moment can only be spent once. It is not renewable. Today I was thinking about all those involved in the nativity in a new way. I often think of the mentioned gifts of the wisemen. But what about the time they invested to get to Bethlehem? The shepherds brought nothing of early value…but what about the gift of their time… leaving the fields to follow the star? So I value each person's investment in a new way today… I treasure the cards I received. They are beautiful and it is a blessing to send them to my card-making friends and surprise them with a homemade card this year…but I especially treasure the fact that someone invested time in me -- time they could have spent on themselves in ways too many to be counted… and used it to bless me. Thank you, Audrie. And thank you for each person who has invested the gift of their time to make/write a card for Jonah. Jonah's Nana!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!