Romans 5:3-5

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems or trials, for we know they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disapointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." Romans 5:3-5

Thursday, 26 May 2011


Dear friends and family,                                                                 May 24, 2011

We have something to tell you.  Something we are still having trouble grasping.....

 Last fall, we enrolled Jake, Zach and Olivia into Living Waters.  It is a private Christian School here in Spruce Grove.  It has been amazing!  Our children are surrounded by not only a dedicated, caring staff but also by wonderful, compassionate families. 

During the course of the year it has been exciting to watch our kids getting to make new friends.  This has always been a fairly easy task for Jake, Olivia and David....but not always for Zach.  Friends have been hard for him for several reasons, the main one being that he often misses school because of illness, doctor appointments, tests or hospital stays.  While everyone is "learning" and "socializing"... he is in the lab getting his blood taken.  In 2010, we travelled 11,300 km taking Zach to and from appointments. However, this school year has been a bit different...

Within the first few weeks of school we could see that this group of grade one’s was different. 
(Like Zach says, “I have been stranded in Grade one forever!”)  These kids were genuinely concerned about Zach.  They would ask "Does Zach have to go to the doctor today?”  "Does Zach have to get blood done today?"  "Why is he so sleepy?"  "Is Zach going to be at school tomorrow?" It was so sweet, they really cared for Zach and for the first time since Zach had started attending school, we felt that he was safe.   

Caleb, Zach and Jacob

At home, we began to hear a lot about "Caleb S." and "Jacob C.".  If Zach missed school and the boys saw me, they would come and ask me if Zach was ok.  In January, when Zach had a Hypercalcemic crisis, we had to call an ambulance to the school.  His class huddled in the corner while I tried to get Zach to wake up.  I remember looking up and seeing their concerned faces, and then I realized that Caleb was not more than 5 feet from us.  He looked straight at me and asked me if Zach was going to be ok?  His genuine concern for Zach was evident.

Caleb and Jacob are cousins.  Their moms, Ashley (Caleb’s mom) and Jessica (Jacob’s mom) are sister’s in-law.  We now know that a LOT of their cousins attend LWCA (LOL!)  We began to really get to know each other this spring.  They are busy, energetic women and each have 3 kids.  On Monday May the 9th, I dropped Jake, Zach and Olivia off at school and in the parking lot I bumped into Jessica.  She asked about Zach and within minutes was sharing her story with me.

Her husband, Derek, died at the age of 32 from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).  This is a devastating disease.  She shared with me how some people would ask if she needed any help and she would say ”no” and how others didn’t ask....they just did.  She told me how herself, Ashley and their families had been thinking and praying for Zach.  They knew grief and wanted us to know how concerned they were for him.  I got into my truck, called Perry, crying my eyes out and told him her story.  She had to care for her dying husband and raise their 3 children. The enormous blessing of God’s grace in her life astounded me.   About 40 minutes latter I got a call from Ashley.  She said a lot of stuff that just spun around my head...but one phrase in particular stuck “WE KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!  WE KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!”

On July 1st 2011 

At Sandhills Community Hall
they are putting on a fundraiser to help us with the cost
of taking Zach to the U.S.  to see the doctor’s
who are most familiar with Zach’s rare condition.

Idiopathic Hypoparathyroidism

“Wow” is pretty much what Perry and I say to one another.  We are truly humbled by their generosity.  We have always pushed for Zach to receive the best care...and as Ashley and Jessica have said too us, “now you can keep on pushing”.
So many people from different areas of our life have blessed us and extended God’s grace to us.  Our Church, our school, Perry’s work and of course our family and friends.  We are truly thankful for everything you’ve done to help us.
God’s care for us, His attention to every detail of our lives is amazing.  When we reach the end of all we can do, that’s when we realize that we can do nothing.  God alone is Sovereign and in control of all things.  The trials we face on this earth are to bring us to our knees so that our lives can do one thing...give Glory to God!   All For Him!
Perry and Tanis
Jacob, Zachary, Olivia and David


  1. Hi Perry & Tanis and Family,

    We've never met, but I've been following your blog for a couple of months now. I'm friends with Stan and Jody and pastor the little church in McBride. I have been praying for Zach and for your family and will continue to do so. You have encouraged me so many times by your stories of God's goodness and grace in the midst of the many and varied difficulties that you've all faced. Thank you for sharing this post about young Caleb and Jacob and their families. What a blessing! That's what the family of God is supposed to act like! Thanks for sharing.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you all today.


    Dan Carlaw

  2. Dear Dan,
    We are blessed to have the prayers and concern from so many. We know that those prayers continue to sustain Zach from day to day. Although there are really hard times, we now see that trials have one purpose. To bring us to repentance, submission and that our sufficiencey is in Christ...not ourselves. Godn Bless you! Tanis

  3. God bless you and your family zach.