Sunday, June 1, 2008

from kit and shelly

From Kit:

Today was the most awesome day of my life...Shelly and I headed home to Maui from Honolulu. Buddy had brought Shelly's car over on the we went back on the ferry...not only did the Lord give me strength all day for the trip, but just as we headed into the channel between Molokai and Lanai towards Maui, God again set His beautiful rainbow across the if to say...remember my promises! When we got to Maui we drove our car off the Ferry and received a call from our dear friends Marla and Dickie McManus, they wanted us to just drive by the church to wave hello to a few people. As we approached the corner of Piilani Highway and Welakahao Road, (the road the church is on) literally hundreds of people were lined up down Welakahao Road, with signs saying "we love you" and "welcome home" and we are "still praying for a miracle." As we turned down the road to cheers and blown kisses and welcome homes and we love you(s) the tears began to flow from Shelly and my eyes. I took off my sock hat to expose my bald chemo head and waved it in the air, like it was some kind of battle cry, all the while honking the horn! It was a home coming like I have never experienced! One face right after another of people I love and care about deeply, there was family and all our wonderful seemed like the whole church family showed up. Through the tears, I told Shelly that no man deserves this much love! Then I realized, it wasn't just Shelly and I they were loving and cheering for, it was the LORD working in us, in them, in our church...His faithfulness to bring us home, His faithfulness to keep me alive for today...His faithfulness and goodness and love and mercy and grace that sustains each of us that believe and trust in Him. We believe and trust in the promises of our God, our God that died a horrible painful death for us to give us eternal life...our God that makes us fearless in the face of death because He gives us life everlasting even if we die (John 11)...our God that meets us in our darkest moments, that covers us with His peace and strength and comfort and hope...God almighty, the creator of the universe in whom we live and move and have our being...HE was being cheered today, He was being lifted up, He was being honored. I said to myself, "I have either died and gone to heaven right now or God has healed me right now." The power of Christ's love exhibited through the Body of Christ lined up down Welakahao Road, I believe, could have healed anyone of anything right then and there and perhaps that love has healed me physically today:)...I know it has healed my soul... Shelly and I were overwhelmed by the whole thing. No one has ever loved us like this...we simply didn't know how to respond...we turned around in the Church's parking lot and drove by the line of loving faces and beautiful hearts once again, trying desperately to take each person in as deeply as we could. Again, all we could do was cry! But, I know that very moment, God stood up in heaven and told the angels to look at this!...look at my children...look how they love one another even in the face of this fallen and evil world ...even when the enemy hurls his fiery darts at them...even in this face of their own horrific suffering...look how they love each other, look how they love me, their God and look how their faith has grown! I think the angels and all the heavenly host just stood in awe...not being able to even speak or comprehend it. But, I know one thing...God was unbelievably glorified in this event on Welakahao Road...I also know that I will forever stand in awe of this event ( just like the angels, unable to fully comprehend it). I couldn't be any more humbled by such an awesome act of love. When Shelly and I got home, there was more crying!!! It seems whole teams of people had completed all my "wish I could do projects" around our little cottage we moved into in order to rent out our main house for income... we walked into new beautiful dream trellises and planters planted with beautiful flowers, and finished gates and new gutters (copper!!!) and unpainted parts painted and doors hung and trim finished and a beautiful new ceiling of bamboo matting and trim with gorgeous fans in our deck covering...inside loving hands and hearts cleaned, hung painting and pictures, place flowers, organized drawers and even left a photo album documenting the gifts of was all too much to take in for one day...the Body of Christ is an amazing thing...the love of Christ poured out upon a part that is hurting...a healing touch, the gift of love that overcomes the world...a light that can not be hidden that brings glory to the Father of lights from whom all good thing flow. Let it flow beautiful ones...let it the world will know that we belong to HIM!

With great love and appreciation beyond words, we love you...
Kit & Shelly

From: Shelly

After saying good-bye to our special friend Larry, whose condo I stayed in these past few months , while Kit was in the hospital…..we drove my car on the Super Ferry ….We really enjoyed the ride on the ferry…and Alex, Annushka and Mikaela were coming back from Oahu too and that was a great surprise to see them . I was told by Marla and Ben that we should drive by Welakahao Street on the way home and that some people were going to be waving to us… But NEVER did I imagine the amount of people that were there. It was OVER WHELMING!! The signs..the happy faces.. waving arms.. cheering… the families… the kids..running… yelling… everyone cheering… it was like we were some very important people…the president and his wife or some VIP..… I kept worrying that we would hit Dawn as she was running down the street taking photos…
(Ray .. you would have been proud of your wife…) I went from hysterically crying.. to hysterically laughing… and back again… I wish that I could have been invisible.. and walked along the street.. .very slowly…. really seeing all of you there and all your sweet faces… but it all happened so fast… I really could not handle my emotions.. I just want to thank all of you who came out …making the signs.. waving … making that effort to show us that you love us… and we REALLY felt the LOVE!!!!!
Then.. we came to our house.. ANOTHER BIG SURPRISE!!!! All these wonderful friends and relatives (Lauer power) made our house and patio look FANTASTIC!!! Pictures were hung on the walls… and the office was organized and beautiful...there were lovely flowers in the house and the planter box was full of colorful plants.. the ceiling on the patio.. the outside fans.. the trellis gutters…. new doors…it was all… just TOO MUCH!!! We felt so loved by all of you who came and cleaned…. and worked…. and organized…. and created…. to make our coming home so wonderful!!!! I love all of you and I really appreciate your friendship!!!
It is so good to be home. I am so thankful for the family and friends that I have. Thank you for loving Kit the way that you do… He was so touched by all of your efforts!!! The Lord is really being glorified by your love and support… I know that HE is so proud of all of you … I am proud to know you and be loved by you. Love,shelly


Anonymous said...


As I was standing there waiting for you to arrive, looking at the body of Christ out coming together, I thought, this in itself is like a healing balm. So, funny that you mentioned something to that effect.

It was so wonderful to see your smiling faces and we're overjoyed to have you home.

We love you both so much!

Jeri & Cliff

Liza's Eyeview said...

Photos posted in my blog - welcome home! :) It's so good to see you. It's a blessing to see our church together welcoming you. We love you Kit, Shelly and all the Lauer family.

Anonymous said...

Love you Kit & Shelly!

What an amazing moment, to see your smiling face and tears..on everyone's faces!

We know what real love is, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. I saw, tasted and experienced that love tonight in our Hope Chapel family.

As I think about You and Shelly driving past us tonight the scripture that came to mind was from Malachi 4:2 " But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall."

Not much else I can add to that, but we are so happy to have you back home and are ready for a miracle. Bring it on Lord!

Love Ben, Tiff, Luke & Zachary.

Bill and Lu Kepler said...

It was a wonderful, big, loud, raucus, loving party, waiting for Saint Kit and Saint Shelly. Lu and I refused to leave our house overlooking the harbor until we saw the ferry coming. Then we high-tailed it for Hope. What a great sight, Kit, you waving your cap and "crying for happy." We all love you so much. We feel better now. You're finally home.
Love, Bill and Lu

HopeForTheIsland said...

what an amazing body of believers. Reading this story made me cry so hard, I can only imajine how you guys (kit and shelly) must have felt.
You have poured into so many people's lives, it is wonderful that you are being filled now with so much love.
Still praying for healing.
Love Jenn and Derek

Anonymous said...

Wished we could have been there...but in spirit we were. Soo
glad you are back in Maui, we are happy for you. Continued prayer is offered to you all as the days ahead lead you to strength and healing as God see fit. We went to a wedding, our pastors daughter, and he did the vows. It was awsome and when he explained the word love it seemed so personable. It is what we all know God gives us in many ways. As I sit here very early Monday morning and listen to the birds I am preparing to go get our daughter
home from the hospital....yea! It will be a long struggle with this tumor but we will forge on. We pass all our love to you, have a most beautiful day
Nick and Sharon

Anonymous said...

Yes, Welcome Home!
Kit & Shelly,
How could you not be healed now!!! I thought that when you were on Oahu; what love, prayer and support from the body of Christ can do for a person soul and body, it truly must bring healing. Praying for a good report soon!!!
Love, Pierre & Cari Coetzee

Anonymous said...

it was sooooo good to see you two last night!!! and joining with everyone else i say welcome home! i feel like our love can reach you better now that you're on maui-as if it can blanket you, surround your home as you heal. your smiles and tears and joy radiating from your faces-God's love revealed, and His glory around us, thanks be to God!

ElderChild said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Welcome Home Lauers!!
Being apart of your homecoming last night was priceless. Even in the midst of so many trials and sorrows lately the Lord brought us indescribable joy through your faces. We feel so blessed to be a part of this church family. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness.
We love you guys!!!
Don and Laura

The Pat Blog said...

Awesome! Wish we could have been there!

Smiling in Germany,

Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Kit and Shelly! It was awesome to see you guys yesterday! Even if it was just as you inched by in your car:) Glad you guys are back.

Thank you for the awesome blessing you both have been over the years - more than you will ever know.

Praying always!!

Marlene Ortiz said...

Welcome Home Kit & Shelly,
It was awesome to be part of the "welcome home greeting event". I was just speechless to see the body of Christ coming together to welcome you. You have been such a blessing and you are loved soooooo much.

Josh said...

You both deserved it! Welcome home!

lorensaved77 said...

Dear Kit and Shelly
Wow!It was so Awesome last night...
So beautiful to see the Love poured out to such Loving people as you two!
John turned to me and said "You just got a Kiss blown to you from Kit"
And I said Yup! That was special!
I will never forget it, The excitement of your return Home to Maui, where you belong,
Can't wait to see God's Miracle!
Love you guys
Blessings, Hugs, and Many more Kisses Blown your way today and always!
Love, The Loren Family
John, Nancy, Jonathon,& Michelle & Sophie too, she was there, I know how much you both love her!

Love said...

Welcome Home Uncle Kit and Shelly!!!!!! We are beyond excited to have you both back!!!! When I told Mikaela that you were coming home yesterday, she clapped her little hands and said "yea!". WE LOVE YOU more than you know!!!
~ciara, michael and mikaela

Anonymous said...

What a great boat ride yesterday with you guys there ,Shelly, I was so glad I could help you keep you mind of getting seasick:) .Alex loved talking to you, Kit .When I saw the pictures this morning on lizas eyeview (thank you liza) from the big home coming ,Wauw ,I wish we were there as well ,I am so glad we got to spent a little time with you guys on the boat , we will pray for good amounts of the right bloodcells so you can continue building your inmume system up and have a great summer with the kids ,and that you will be up there on friday night again,and seeing and talking to you yesterday I am confinced that that will happen !!!love you both
Anuschka,alex and Mikela

Anonymous said...

I am speachless after reading all of this...I love you and your whole family, Kit. I wish that I could have been a part of this. I had just been text messaging back and forth with Maisha as I was walking though Walmart today. She did mention any of this...not that explaining this in text messages would have possible...Luckily my mom sent me the link... Please know even all the way in San Antonio, I am still thinking of you and your family- as I'm sure are other people around the world.

with lots of love,

Anonymous said...


Welcome home brother. You are another answered prayer.

I recently re-read a story I would like to share with you Kit. It has always reminded me of you. This is a true story about a Grandmother named Edna. When she died in her mid eighties, she had already been senile for several years. What was the essence of this ladies life that made her so loved in the eyes Jesus and others? And why does it remind me so much of you? The best example was whenever she was asked to pray before dinner. She would reach out and hold the hands of those sitting beside her, a broad, beautiful smile would spread across her face, her dim eyes would fill with tears as she looked up to heaven, and her chin would quiver as she poured out her love to Jesus.

That was Grandma Edna in a nutshell. She loved Jesus and she loved people just like you. She couldn’t remember others names, but she couldn’t keep her hands from patting others lovingly whenever they got near her. I have always looked forward to your gentle loving pats on my back every time I saw you. It would just rub in and complete the messages and teachings God blessed me with through you on Friday evenings. Oh how I miss them so. And now Kit as with Grandma Edna, as life whittled her down to her “essence”, all there was left was love; love for God and love for others.

When life has whittled us down to our essence, whom will we most resemble? The difference in the “essence” that emerges as life wanes for each of us is defined by the priorities each of us chooses as we go about our daily business. Kit you have chosen God because of your love for Jesus, your family and His people. May your inner life in fellowship with the Holy Spirit give you the strength you need to continue being a useful vessel in the household of God. I look forward to seeing you, hearing your next message and patting your back.
Love, eddie and Stephanie Kim
By the way having grown up in E. LA, I must say that was the most memorable drive by I ever saw.

Charlie and Doreen Barnhart said...

Kit & Shelly,
It was so great to see you come home to Maui yesterday! Charlie and I were so impressed by the happiness and energy from everyone! There was quite a bit of "Happy Crying" in the crowd as well. I truly believe it was a miraculous event from our Lord and there are many more to come!
We continue to pray and we are so happy you are home.
Doreen and Charlie

Mele said...

Welcome home Kit & Shelly!

What an amazing ride to be apart of your home coming. Our family wouldn't have missed it for anything. It was a feeling like none other. It was like we were one, one body, waiting in anticipation, looking for your red car Shelly and then there it was. Your faces so radiant. Yes you are V.I.P.'s and you are even registered as such at Mama's. So enjoy ever minute of it. As you have taught us all that very lesson to appreciate the moment and every opportunity God has given us to love and give. Not just what is easy to love or give to, but to love the unlovable and give all that you can. His pockets are never empty. How much more rewards it that.

I would like to bring you a meal when you are settled and have adjusted back to Maui life. In the mean time you can guarantee that the Strickland Ohana's prayers are with you.

We are expecting new beginnings because we have hope.
We are expecting healing because we have faith.
We are expecting miracles because you are here and we have love.



Thought for the day: Did you ever notice that all is like a chain reaction?

Anonymous said...

What a hereo's welcome home for you and Shelly!!! I wish we could have been there, but the pictures on Liza's site say it all. Glory be to God!

Welcome home guys...we will continue to keep you in our prayers.


The Baltrus Family

Robin said...

Kit and Shelly,
Aloha my friends . Ivan and I looked at your home coming pics and it just made us ache that we were not also in that crowd cheering you both on.It would have been quite a hike and paddle trip to have been there that day.We are still in Utah enjoying the change of seasons. our kids are getting big as they all do. We are attending a mini form of a hope chapel... It is call Alpine Church if you want to see it. We do miss our family in Maui but is is amazing how time does not change love... things happen , kids grow , we all get old but love is still there. And we do love you. our prayer for you has been Be strong and courageous and Know that the Lord your God is with you. You know Kit I may have never told you this But you have always reminded me of Caleb.The day Jonathon Orpia collapsed I remember being in the ICU waiting room and the doors opening seeing you ,Buddy, Criag M and Kurt come through those doors and I felt a chill go over me because I felt I was in the presence of 4 might warriors...sounds dramatic but Ivan and I felt Gods protection through you all. Thank you for serving Him. It has made this family reach for greater thing in Jesus than we ever imagined...
May you know Gods presence as Caleb did and live every moment with absolute vigor as that might warrior did. We love you and We all are praying. The Barbadillos Ivan ,Robin, Jordan , MaKena, ad Abby

Anonymous said...

Welcome home Kit & Shelly,
Our prayers have blanketed you from the beginning and although an ocean separated us from standing in the welcome home line, our prayers were with the body of Christ on that street. Thank you for your beautiful description of driving down the street, the tears are running down my face, tears of joy and gratitude to all who were there...Hope Chapel...the body of Christ....a safe place to be....
What a blessing it is to us to witness God's Love through your journey, people you would not recognize, but have been touched by your faithfulness for the last 2 years. Praise God for bringing you home.
In Christ's Love,
Tamara and Robert Auster

Lori said...

My family is one of the many who have had their lives changed by God and Hope Chapel. Your sermons have always lifted us up. Our whole family is praying for you! Welcome home!!!!

The Wilsons

Kathie said...

Dear Shelly and Kit:
I am just now reading your Sunday home-coming blog and- WOW! I can't stop the tears for the sight of all of the people that love you lining that street in Maui waving and cheering, and seeing the two of you crying and laughing in your surprise and joy at such an awesome sight!
Though my physical body was not there with all of you, my spirit and love was...waving and cheering!

I am so glad that you are both home and so happy that your home was made so special for you by friends and family.
What an amazing day in such an amazingly rich life.
Love you both, Niece, Poop

Sanchez Family said...

Dear Kit and Shelly,
it was such an honor to be a part of your welcome committee! I too was overwhelmed with God's love. To be able to witness the reaction from the two of you was such a blessing. A moment I will never forget. Thank you for coming by a second time! We miss and love you from here to the moon and back and forth and back and forth!

God Bless you!

Sanchez Family said...

Dear Kit and Shelly,
it was such an honor to be a part of your welcome committee! I too was overwhelmed with God's love. To be able to witness the reaction from the two of you was such a blessing. A moment I will never forget. Thank you for coming by a second time! We miss and love you from here to the moon and back and forth and back and forth!

God Bless you!
Rhonda, Scott, Marina and Celia

Beth said...

Kit and Sehlly,
Wish I could have been there! Lots of tears coming all the way from in Europe for some tennis tournaments, will be home in July and can't wait to see both of you!
Just finished the book 'The Shack' per your recommendation, Kit. Definitely a life change book, I recommend it to any and everyone! I believe that what you are experiencing with the Body of Hope Chapel is almost as good as the Shack... Aloha, Beth

the hoovers said...

I just knew that Hope Chapel would do this, but I was picturing the massive crowd at the airport meeting you. I was wishing I could take a flight from over here on the Big Island to just be among the people I thought would turn out to meet you at the airport and then fly back home. We were there by the road in spirit.

Welcome home.

Love you guys, Greg & Linda Hoover (and family)

SusieQ said...

Hi Kit, Shelly, and family-
We have never met, but I am Linda Hoover's sister in Florida. My husband leads a home Bible study here as part of Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale, one of the biggest churches in the country. We have had you on our prayer list ever since Linda told us about your journey a few months ago. I have had the pleasure of forwarding some of your thoughts via the blog to some of the folks in our group who are dealing with medical issues, grief, and other trials. Thank you for being so transparent and helping our friends to see what the walk of faith can look like when we are totally convinced of God's love for us-that despite the ups and downs, hopes and disappointments, He is for us, and that is all that matters. I was so happy to read of the welcome you got upon your return...once in a while, even this broken body, in this broken world, does something worthy of our Lord! Please keep writing-God is using it to teach His people.
Though we are far away, we stand with you now and in the days to come. In Christ, Susie Roberts

Anonymous said...

Dear Kit and Shelly,
Your description of your homecoming was so detailed and vivid I felt like I was there experiencing it! What a manifestation of the love of God's people for one another and a testimony of the appreciation that the church on Maui has for both of you. Kit's previous entries, where he wrote about the impact that he has had on the hospital staff, further shows what God can do in the worst of circumstances. God works in such mysterious ways but we still see the results: lives changed, the gospel message going out and lived out, the meaning of life being made known (to love and serve God; and to love and serve one another), the goodness of God meeting us where we are (Kit's experiences of being touched by the beauty of flowers, seeing the outpouring of love by God's family), and through all that he is still analyzing theological treatises -- just like him! I've been praying that God demonstrates His mercy and lovingkindness not towards Kit, because if He did that the Kit would go on to be with the Lord in a very short time. Paul clearly said that such a course would be better for him. But that God would show his lovingkindness to the church on Maui and to Kit's family: May His divine healing power fall!!!
Craig Rogers