Sunday, November 8, 2015


Dear Friends,

 This is a recap from an email many of you have received already, but I wanted to add some personal notes at the feel free to scroll down to the asterisk line.

Earlier this year I was invited by Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship to attend their Urbana missions conference in St. Louis between Christmas and New Year’s.  This is a conference held every three years and has over 16,000 people who attend and includes Bible study, speakers from all over the world, and hundreds of seminars and exhibitors.  It is a discerning space to discover where your gifts, dreams and calling meet God’s global mission.

As I read the invitation I was surprised to learn that my registration to the event is free of charge and that I was also given a generous hotel discount.  I learned from the donor office that it was a gift to honor all the years that my ex-husband and I had given to the IVCF ministry and the years that I had continued to give since our divorce.  It was definitely an unexpected surprise blessing!

Attending Urbana is my next step in discerning God’s call in this new season of my life.  I am writing to first and foremost to ask for your prayers for my health and safety for the trip and that I would be able to learn more of God’s call for me as I begin preparing for an empty nest.  I am in the process of meeting with some Indiana Inter-Varsity students from the area in the hopes that we can carpool and share my hotel room to help cover expenses.

 I am also writing to ask that you prayerfully consider donating funds to cover my expenses for this ministry opportunity.  You can donate by check by using the address below.  Unfortunately, I am not a non-profit organization, so you can’t consider it a tax-deductible donation.  Please prayerfully consider giving whatever God lays on your heart.  Please do not feel obligated to give…I covet your prayers more than anything else.

 While married, I had ministry dreams and aspirations that God laid on my heart that I was not able to pursue.  Shortly after my divorce, I was surprised to realize that life was a completely open book for me and that now, perhaps I could pursue the ministries God had so long laid on my heart.  Suddenly, being single starting looking pretty awesome!
As a result of the open road before me, I have been able to grab onto a wonderful opportunity to go back to school in January to earn my MBA in public health administration….as many of you know patient advocacy is a great passion of mine….particularly considering all of the health challenges my family and I have faced.  The best gift of all?  My employer is paying for my tuition!  All I have to do is pay taxes on the tuition.

I was also recently blessed by a friend of mine who provided finances so I could travel to London over the Thanksgiving holiday.  I have a dear friend who is in ministry there who is going through some unbearable hardships, and I can hardly wait to minister to her and her family in person...not mentioned an opportunity to tour London!

Also, in January I am starting a training program at my church to continue offering advocacy services to those in my congregation and others who need it.  The program is called “Stephen Ministry,” and the training involves classes that cover a variety of issues from understanding grief and loss to ministering to shut-ins, those experiencing economic hardship, those struggling with illness, those experiencing divorce or trauma, and as well as developing listening skills and participating in assertiveness training.

I have walked this valley of pain, and by God’s grace have come out healed, provided for and with a joyful heart….how can I not in turn share this with others?

Friends, there is not a week that goes by that I am not helping someone in this capacity already…I have helped people find doctors, get free medications, manage their medical bills, write insurance appeals, find lawyers, etc.  I have also simply sat with people and shared their grief as well…God has definitely helped me see when there is a time for action and a time to simply weep with those who are hurting.

And I so want to help as many people as I can!

Thank you again for the love and prayers through the ups and down of the last several years.  Someone commented to me the other day that they were sorry I had had such a hard life. 

I laughed and replied, “I have a wonderful life…all the things you see as downfalls were greatly used by God to make me who I am today….and I would not trade those hardships for anything.  They were the best things that could have ever happened to me because through them I learned joy, contentment and peace and finally fully accepted God’s incredible grace in my life.”

So here is to praising God for what seem to be hardships and prayerfully serving Him today and in the future!


 Liz Craker, 9528 Aboite Center Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46804
Personal notes for my regular blog readers:

I have been in the ER once again with colon issues.  Fortunately, the issue resolved itself without invasive medical intervention.  My sweet Heather and I were driving to church this past Sunday when the fierce pain hit.  I pulled over and she took me to the ER and handled the whole situation amazingly!

Heather has had an extremely tough fall with diabetes' and her rigorous band schedule.  I have been a bus chaperone for many events so I can be there when an emergency arises.  God in his infinite wisdom led me to another band mom who is a diabetes' nurse who is also a bus when I can't go with the band, she and many other band moms keep a watchful eye on Heather.  She has had bronchitis and a tummy bug...all which affect her blood sugar.  She even got so ill during the PSAT that she was unable to finish. 

Also, one day at band she was preparing to compete at our local high school when she experienced extremely low blood sugar.  Amy and Stephen were home from college to see Heather perform.  I had just returned home from volunteering at the event, when we received a call that Heather was not doing well.  Amy and I rushed over to the school while Stephen was on stand by in case things got really bad....and then as we pulled out of the driveway,  Amy hit Stephen's newly purchased used car with my car.

We all had a bit of a panic, but I was able to regroup.....I said, "it's just cars....we will deal with it later...Heather is our main concern."

We got to the school and found her doing better after taking some glucose tabs.  The band director and staff were extremely encouraging and let Heather decide if she felt up to performing.  She decided not to perform, and I took her home and put her to bed after following up with her doctor.

Needless to say, all that transpired was extremely overwhelming, but Stephen and Amy both learned a great lessons about grace and forgiveness....after all, in the big picture it was just two cars with some minor damage that could be easily repaired.  Seeing Heather so ill definitely put it all into perspective.

In spite of her health issues, my amazing kid has marched to a 3rd Place State finish as well as a 5th Place Regional finish.  Now we are onto National competition next weekend.  She manages all of this with all As, two Bs and a rigorous dual credit schedule.  Between study breaks she is teaching herself to play guitar, and I just love to hear her play and sing.  Here she is celebrating her recent State victory...this picture taken by another band mom blessed my socks off!

My job is continuing to do well and I am training under a wonder team leader.  My boss, who is a Christian and who has been a single mom herself, is very gracious about work-life balance and the endless doctors' appointments we seem to have.  Consequently, I am fiercely loyal and dedicate my self whole-heartedly to my work....within reason, of course.  I am learning a great deal about international supply management and expediting for the commodities that I purchase.  I am hoping that experience will pay off in future missions work or ministry.  The job affords me the opportunity in the future to either go into full time missions work or ministry or to continue in this career field as well as volunteer in missions or ministry.  I am excited to see how that all comes together.

As always I am grateful and humbled that you read this blog and come along side me in this crazy life journey.  Things are hard and extremely frustrating at times, but I have been given such contentment and joy no matter...which is priceless in itself.  I just celebrated my 50th birthday and took the day off work...I spent the entire day doing things just for me, and it was AWESOME!