Riley Gortsema


76 Responses to Riley Gortsema

  1. Heather Noordyke says:

    Praying for you! I hope you have a great week! Enjoy yourself, and be ready for what God has planned for you! Mrs. Noordyke

  2. Shelley Postema says:

    Riley – We will keep you in our prayers this next week! We know that God has wonderful things in store for each one of you throughout this week – soak up every opportunity to be used by Him! Have fun! Mrs. Postema

  3. Kristy van wyhe says:

    I am so excited for you! You are going to make such a difference in everyone you meet! Your contagious JOY will be such an asset to the team. May God bless you and keep you healthy and safe. I will be praying for you all week long!

  4. Lynn Elders says:

    Hey Riley

    We will pray for you and the team to have a safe and wonderful experience on your mission trip. Treasure every moment!!! And spread God’s love!!!!

    Morgan’s Grandma

  5. RILEY! You will love Guatemala!… and If you could do me a favor and hang out with graham (he is the quiet introvert who doesn’t like people or talking)… that would be so kind of you

    -Spencer Vanderheide

  6. Sheri Tolar says:

    Hey Riley,
    Keeping you in our prayers as you see how God will be working through you and the team this week. Have a great time.
    God Bless
    Mrs. Tolar

  7. Bob and Sue Westdorp says:

    Praying for you this week, Riley! Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus to those in Guatemala! We are praying for a fantastic mission experience for you.

  8. Connie Stegeman says:

    RYRY, so glad you and liver could share this trip together. It’s going to be so amazing to see God at work in you and through you during this trip. Take good care of each other. I will be praying for you all.
    Love, Mrs. Stegeman

  9. Laurie Brower says:

    Riley… you are off! I hope you have the best week ever. God is in full control and has called you for this experience. He will watch over you and protect you, I am sure of it. You have an opportunity to give strong… My prayers continue. XO

  10. Lynette Dooley says:

    I thought I recognized your voice last night during prayer time at church (pretty sure it was your voice). You prayed that pride would not get in the way of your service in Guatemala. Know that I will be praying that same prayer with you this week: that your team will be humble before God, before others on your team, and before your precious brothers and sisters in Guatemala. And in that humility, and total lack of pride, may you find joy beyond measure!!!!
    Lynette Dooley
    Col.3:12, 14
    “…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

  11. Laurie Brower says:

    Riley… You made it safely. Praise and thanksgiving for that! I hope the days ahead are productive and you persevere with lots and lots of energy. My prayers continue…. P.S I also pray the bed bug bag does what it should. XO

  12. Brenda Goodyke says:

    So excited for what God has in store for you this week! Our prayers for a safe trip have been answered and we just let your dad know. I will continue to pray for you everyday especially that God uses you in amazing ways this week and that you are a blessing to others.

    Mrs. Goodyke

  13. Hi my Riley, Praising God with you and for you! All the God spots already! He has a plan and you and your team are in it! Grandpa and I will be “standing in the gap” holding you up in prayer. I will put you under my pillow asking God to give you rest and strength needed–and that your touch will be His touch! Hugs!

  14. Randy Goodyke says:

    Hey Riley!
    Sounds like you made it safefully as we prayed for. I will pray for you too each day as you begin this week filled with God by your side. Hug the kids a lot and tell them Jesus loves them, just as he does you! God will make you gifts shine this week!

    Randy Goodyke

  15. Kristy van wyhe says:

    Good morning Riley,
    I hope that you had a good night sleep and that you are ready for a full day of work. You are going to be loved by all those kids! Your smile and joy will draw them to you. Have fun with them! Remember that, yes, you are supposed to work hard you are also there to build relationships with others. Know that there are hundreds and hundreds of people praying for you today!
    big hugs,

  16. Carole Pettijohn and Bob says:

    Riley, Have a wonderful day today, and try to keep Dixon in line and keep him working, not playing with all the village kids ! Anxious to hear all the news, God bless ! The Pettijohns

  17. Michael Roskamp says:

    I haven’t really “met” you before, but I know you have touched Katelyn’s life as much as she has touched yours (I hope!). Have a great week there and give Katelyn a hug for me every once in a while. Have a great week!

  18. Connie Stegeman says:

    You have such a gift for leadership. I especially appreciate how you keep an eye out for those who might be “standing in the background” afraid to join in and you go out of your way to invite them to join in. I saw you do that at Starlight and again the night you left. I pray that God will bless you in all you do on this trip. We love you! Connie and Steve

  19. Emilee Cnossen says:

    Hey Riley!
    I hope you’re having an awesome time in Guatemala! Know that I am constantly praying for you. I’m excited for you and for your walk with God. Remember he is with you every step of the way. Beaners date when you get home =)
    Love you!

  20. Abby Brower says:

    I hope you are having an awesome trip! I miss you and I can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂 I am praying for you that all goes well… You are surrounded by amazing people doing amazing things! Come back soon so we can all go swimming again!
    ~I love Riles

  21. Lara and Matt says:

    Hi Riley!
    We are so happy that you have made it safely! Hope you’re having a blast-enjoy playing with those adorable kids! Benny misses you-he’s been sulking. Praying for you every day. God will do amazing things through you!

    Matt and Lara

  22. Riley Gortsema says:

    HEY everyone!!! Guatemala is a blast, and it is SSSSSOOOOO BEAUTIFUL!!! The landscape is amazing! There is mountains, valleys, hills, and forrests. Like something you’d see in a movie! We went to build our houses today (finished structure, dry wall, outside walls, plaster, & etc.) It was a blast! The people there were outstanding. They were so welcoming, although the language barrier can be a hassle, their smiles let you know it was okay. They made us lunch, which was delciious..& gave us everything that they had. You did not need to know spanish to know what the children wanted..DULCES!!-Candy…!! =) They crowded us, and wanted everything! They were helpers and loved taking pictures. They were hilarious to say the least, and I’m pretty sure everyone on the site fell in love with them! They are such beautiful people, and are so greatful for everything they have, but yet are willing to share their all. The meals are delicious, the people are good, environment is awesome, and God is Great…this trip has been amazing so far! Tomorrow we paint && spackle?-idk what that is..but i’m sure we’ll find out! We go to villages where some have never seen a blond person, and never heard about JEsus. Pray for us. Your prayers and comments are needed and loved. Thanks for the support back at home! Check out the pictures =) ❤ Love: Riley Gortsema…
    ps. Dad, if you woulc write on my wall, so I know your okay, that'd be awesome! miss you-love you! ❤ xo…&& their coffee is AMAZINGGGG.

  23. Brenda DeVries says:

    it’s great to hear your enthusiasm about the beautiful scenery and the people there! They really capture your heart, don’t they? And you’ll never forget the word ‘Dulce’ ever again. 🙂 Hope that the next couple of days are really good for you and your team as you share the love of Jesus in new and exciting ways!


  24. Kristy van wyhe says:

    Riley, it is so great to hear your enthusiasm and joy! I knew that you would fall in love with the people there. Tomorrow is such a fun day with the stucco!! Praying that the rain stays away until the stucco is on and it has a chance to dry. and praying that you continue to see Jesus in the people.

  25. Randy Brower says:

    Great to hear that you having SOOOO much fun. I am praying for you and the rest of the team daily. I can’t wait until you get back and hear your stories. Stay safe, continue to have fun, and show God’s love!

  26. Brenda Goodyke says:

    So glad to hear your loving it there and sounds like your first day was amazing. It makes us all wish we could be there with you. Keep working hard and showing the love of Jesus to those kids. I hope your dad writes soon or I may have to call and remind him (ha).

    Mrs. G.

  27. Laurie Brower says:

    Sweet Riley… Your message made me smile. When you said you ?spackleing tomorrow I just kept thinking SPECKLED!! and a goofy guy looking for eggs… It certainly sounds like things are going well. You continue to use you great attitude, sense of humor and beautiful smile and it won’t matter that the people don’t know English… God’s love will shine through the barriers! My prayers continue. XO

  28. Riley Jean–love ya! It was so much fun to read your JOY of serving and reaching out on day 1. Interesting, it rained here too–most of the day. We stopped by to see Emmy, Molly and Ivy–Oh! and dad too-they are doing fine. Emmy had all smiles!
    Praying you to sleep now for sweet rest for a new day tomorrow! New tasks waiting for you right along with the children. Can you see now how your dad fell in love with them many years ago? Hugs from grandpa!

  29. Sheri Van Woerkom says:

    Hi Riley,
    It’s such fun to read your posting this morning. I can tell that God is at work through you; I’m certain that the kids you encounter are enjoying you as well! I am praying that you continue to be safe and healthy and have an awesome experience.

  30. Emmy says:

    Hi Riley,

    It is great to hear that you are enjoying yourself. We are doing ok here. Dad brought Molly and I to Petsmart yesterday to be groomed. They said that I was the first dog to bite four workers in one visit. Well….. I am a long haired Chihuahua….we don’t get our hair cut….. instead of Petsmart it should be called “Petdumb.” How is it going not being able to text? Dad has some real cell phone issues! He was very angry at 3am when Ivy and Molly were playing rugby with his new phone.

    I love you very much and bring me some ‘dulces.’


  31. Herm Medema says:

    Hey Riley.

    Sounds like you are having a great time. I hope and pray that you and everyone is staying healthy and safe. Enjoy the the short time that you have left, take good care of your mother too. Continue to work hard, and watch what God can do.

    Herm & Shirlee

  32. Tammy Groen says:

    Hey Riley,
    Just wanted to send a quick note to let you know we are praying for all of you this week. I love reading everyone’s comments about their first day at work. You are all filled with such excitement and joy – it’s awesome to hear! We will continue to pray for health and safety and that God touches your heart in unexpected ways. Keep lookin’ up!

    Mrs. Groen

  33. Jason Door says:

    Riley, I am glad to hear that things are going so well for you! I am sure you love the kids! That love means so much to them! Work hard andd remain open because God is going to do BIG things in the team!!! Prayers are with you!

  34. Riley roo, I loved reading your posting! You are doing so well. I am so glad for that! it sounds like an amazing country and the people lovely. I am so hoping that you and your mom bring us home some of that coffee. The home front looks like it is going well. It is pretty quiet around here though! Keep up the good works. I am proud of you for going out of your comfort zone.
    Love mrs d

  35. Randy Goodyke says:

    Hey Riley,
    As of this writing, I am sure you are workin real hard on the new home for your family. Those homes provide such a huge blessing to those kids and the moms/gramma’s etc Praying that you will feel God at your side and see and realize opportunities to share the love of Jesus with someone today. Keep up the good work and know too that God is smiling down on your team.

    PS: I am sure that everyone will be real hungry tonight so if Amber even thinks about looking at your food you may want pull the ole “Lay Off Me I Starving” routine from SNL. 🙂 Save the “Fat Guy in the Little Coat” for later…

    Blessings and Prayers,


  36. Judy Holsem says:


    It was so great to read the team update from your mom’s team on the blog. It sounds like everyone is working hard and bonding with the villagers. I prayed for each of the Juniors by name the other day(it is so wierd to call you guys juniors). Of course I prayed that your energy and love would seek out even those who were shy — if anyone could do that i figured you could. I always appreciated the confidence that you can bring to any situation -even those that might be unfamiliar or intimidating to others. Praying that your week will be blessed and that those who come in contact with you will experience great blessing! Mrs. H
    PS I stopped by volleyball open gym this morning to say “hi” and to report on Jolissa’s surgery. It was wierd to see Halea and Kelsey hitting all by themselves (as the only juniors – there is that word again) without all of you “missionaries”! Jill is eager to get all of you back on the court!!

  37. sheri jurgens says:

    Have a great trip. It’s nice that you get to share this awesome experience with your mom. These are memories you will never forget and will impact your life. Praying that God not only works in the Guatemalean’s lives that you come in contact with but also that each of you will feel God working in your hearts and that your relationship with Christ will grow and you will feel his presence this week.

  38. Mary Cnossen says:

    Hi Riley!
    How great that you and your mom are experiencing Guatemala together. Can’t imagine how exciting and yet challenging at the same time it must be. Emilee and I are praying for you continually.
    What a blessing you are!!
    Love & Prayers,

  39. Riley Gortsema says:

    I wish I could explain all the fun, joy, work, love, smiles, laughs, giggles, && life changing experiences that took place today! I would be here for hours! Each little smile, tiny hands, little feet, and face..oh my, our hearts melt!! We made 5 houses today-stucko’ed most of them..I’m prretty sure I had more stucko on me then the house. The kids helped on stop-and the parents watched all day. Anytime we looked like we needed help-they were there! Team Ivanrest works so well together! “We did work today =)” We taught children new games, and spent a lot of the day with the families. My house is going to a woman with 2 little girls…we took pictures with each individual family. (Kevin printed out some pictures to give to’d think it was gold!)..They place it on their walls… All the little things, Gods light shines…Although the destruction & devastation, Satan has nothing on God. For through the hardships and trials… I have been filled with sympathy, but yet a sense of tranquilty, and peace. God is with us in these mountains, there’s no doubt about it.

  40. Shellee DeHaan says:

    Hey Smiley….
    I hope your having an amazing time while your enjoying all the beautiful landscaping there…. This is such an awesome opportunity for you and your mom to do together. I am praying for each of you as you go out and work each day. I have absolutely no trouble picturing you with stucko all over you…. Now, picturing all you girls building a house…. oohh boy! Kelsey is missing you… she needs you at volleyball. When Jill tells the Varisty girls to go to one spot, she forgets she is Varsity and goes to the J.V. spot. I think she needs you there to keep her in line! Have a great time Smiles…. Can’t wait to hear about it when you get back.
    Love you,
    Mrs. DeHaan

  41. Laurie Brower says:

    Riley! Reviewing the notes and the pictures for the third time today, I am in awe of how happy and at peace everyone looks. God is at work in this place and prayers are being answered. You looked like you were thoroughly enjoying the stucco projects… not to worry if you got alot on you… it looks like its the right color! Praying that tomorrow will be even better than today and health and strength continues in abundance. XO

  42. Dad says:

    Hey Riley Jeanne,

    I am so happy that you are doing so well. I bet you are developing a huge fan club of little ones there. You are in my thoughts and prayers all the time. Did you leave your handprint in the stucco anywhere?

    I love you.

  43. Thank you my Riley for being a vessel of His Goodness–what a work you are doing there— as God works within YOU! The plan! Praying for your whole group as you work together. Warm day here at the lake–I like Molly’s new hair do and so does Molly. She was “showing” it off today. Dad is doing okay–likes reading his girls’ notes!
    Hugs XXX Tell Kevin I am inspired by his devotions.

  44. Kelsey DeHaan says:

    wow i miss you so much!
    I’m glad to hear you’re having an awesome time though & can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back! 🙂 love & miss you!
    love, your bff 🙂

  45. Adam & Riley!!!! says:

    Hey everyone…it’s Adam & Riley! We had a great time today @ the village! The past 3 days have been awesome, the kids love us (for our candy =]) They are always helping, and have smiles on their faces. All 6 families that we built for, dedicated their lives to Christ today! It was an amazing experience!! Hope you guys don’t miss us too much 😉
    ❤ Adam & Riley!!
    ps. Halea & Ben…WE MISS YOU! && you too Kelsey =)

  46. Dad says:

    Hey Riley,

    When you get home, you are in charge of building the ark. It won’t stop raining here. When I prayed that it would stop raining there, I guess God answered that prayer and hit us with it instead.

    Thank you for your update. Keep preaching girl!

  47. Laurie Brower says:

    Thanks for the updates…They are truly daily highlights for me. Can’t wait to hear the stories first hand. With Sarah ,You and Kyle together… well I bet it’s going to be awesome. Leave for the cottage tomorrow but found out we can take a computer. I still will have a connection! Ben is working hard this week for his Uncle tearing apart a house. Sort of ironic when you think about it. Everyone is so looking forward to the reunions! So glad God is answering prayer and will continue to lift you up. XO

  48. Lisa Van Dyken says:

    So great to hear how special today was and that so many people gave their lives to Christ. When Rachel went in the past not everyone always did! What a awesome experience. Aren’t the kids so beautiful too? I just love to see pictures of them and their beautiful smiles! They have so little, yet they have so much to give. Pretty amazing!!
    Keep up the great work and enjoy every moment giving yourself up for Him.
    Blessings to you Riley, Lisa

  49. Randy Goodyke says:

    It appears that your group is building trade very well. I can just hear you and Amber laughing all the time- that is how God made the both you! Continue each day to look for those “God” moments and take advantage every time you feel the Spirit working through you.

    Randy G

  50. Shelley Postema says:

    Riley Girl,
    Hey – I just found out that you and Ash are on the same team….now I’m really concerned about the safety of that poor familia you built the house for!?! I have been praying for Ashtyn’s team all week without knowing who was all on it, but now I will be specifically mentioning your name and praying that God will continue to bless you and use you in whatever way he has planned for you! God bless you Riley! I also agree with your dad about the rain…I thought it was so great that we pray for no rain to hinder your progress in Guatemala, and then God sends us tons of rain!! hmmm??? Isn’t He amazing??
    Love ya,
    Mrs. Postema

  51. Kristy van wyhe says:

    Good morning Riley,
    It is so cool to read all that God is accomplishing through you and the team! I am sure you are quite tired but still eager to serve God today at the medical clinics. WHen you get to the site, take out a soccer ball and get a game going, you will be amazed at how big of an impact that will be! The kids will be amazed at this blond chicka who can play futbal so well! 🙂 Tonight I will be praying for you as I look at the stars from my back porch. You will be looking at the same stars but you will be able to see thousands more simply because there is no other light. Praying that you are feeling healthy and that many more lives will be touched today. Today I am
    praying for safe travel. Keep Psalm 121:8 in the forefront of your heart today, “the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
    Big hugs,

  52. Dad says:

    Hi Riley,

    I agree with Mrs. Postema. I am praying for the family that got your house. Isn’t there a Bible story or parable about letting your house be built by blondes?

    I hope you have a great day and love to hear about it soon.

  53. Brenda Goodyke says:

    Glad to hear you and Amber actually are working and actually accomplishing something. I’m sure your having a blast. I’m grateful though you are not too busy having fun that you are missing all the ways God is working over there and in your heart. Continuing to pray for your health, safety and energy and well as many other things. Enjoy every day! (and keep your eye on Amber for me).

    Mrs. G.

  54. Aunt Stuurz says:

    Yelir – So excited to hear you are having fun, enjoying life and helping others. I’m thinking about you and praying for you too. Stay safe, take lots of pix and enjoy the opportunities! Much love to you!

  55. Bob and Carole Pettijohn says:

    riley, oh yes, a picture says a thousand words, and you are really saying through those photos. Amazing, so glad you and your mom can be sharing this experience. praying for you, the pettijohn family

  56. Riley Gortsema says:

    HAPPY FATHER’S DAY DAD!!! ❤ I love you!!
    –&& HAPPY BIRTHDAY-for tomorrow, but i''ll say it again tomorrow! lol.
    Yesterday was an AMAZING experience! I played soccer with the boys for like 3 hours! Talk about a work out! It's a weird concept though, because in Michigan, if you kick the ball to hard, you have to not be lazy & run after it…But in Guatemala..if you kick the ball to hard, it flies down the cliff of the mountain! Last night I gave my testimony, I didn't think I was going to cry…I literally couldn't stop crying once I started…When Jesus Hermano was preaching, I told my mom.."I don't think they are feeling Jesus.." Then everyone started praying..When it came to the time for them to accept Jesus…wow…was I seriously mistaken…Almost the whole village came foward..then led to more & more tears…My heart was filled with compassion and joy. I can't even explain this experience…
    Then it started to rain, and I knew the angels were crying with us…Or popping champagne in celebration…but I'm thinking tears are more acceptable! Have a great day! Love YOu all! ❤

  57. Dad says:

    Thank you Riley. The animals served me breakfast in bed. It was dry and crunchy, but it was colorful!

    I am very proud of you. I am so glad that it has been such a wonderfully spiritual experience for you. Please don’t get too competitive and ‘slide tackle’ any of the little kids when you are playing soccer. And please don’t chase the ball off of the cliff!

    I love you and get wait to hear all of your stories.

  58. Shelley Postema says:

    I’m sure the champagne was flowing (in moderation, of course!) AND the angels were celebrating with tears of joy, Riley! Too funny!

  59. Judy Evert says:

    Hi Riley and Julie
    Sorry that your Grampa had to spend a few days in the hospital while you were gone but at least he is getting the much needed rest. I see your trip is going well. Our friend Gary LaFrenier went there a few years ago and adopted a baby, so please……………don’t do that.

    Enjoy this wordly experience as you may never get the chance again. See you at the Lake.

  60. Riley my girl–this is grandpa. Hey! I don’t want you to worry I am home and resting!
    I just got grandma’s bug– (the cough) and it snatched me! I had a few pokes in my arm of IV’s which you know all about and am good “to go.” I have spent time reading your messages and my heart is touched. Grandma bought me a new book so I will rest and read until you come home and I can hear allllll of your stories. Praying for you and the team.

  61. Connie Stegeman says:

    Riley, Reading your posts and looking at the pics has been so inspiring! This has been one of the best weeks for me and I feel like part of your team. What a blessing to be able to pray your team along through this journey. Wish I could have been there to hear you give your testimony last night. Don’t worry a bit about your tears! Hope you and Liv are taking good care of eachother. Praying that your last couple of days will have a powerful impact on you as well as the people you are called to serve.
    Love you, Mrs. Stegeman

  62. Kristy van wyhe says:

    Thank you for listening to Jesus’ nudge to give your testimony! Your life is a powerful story and one that will bless many many people in the days and years to come! Praying that tonight’s village will be awesome as well. I know that it will be very different from the ones you have been to, especially since there aren’t any CHristians there…YET! Praying that through you and the team, as you play with them, hand out meds, laugh, sing and love them…that walls will be torn down and they will run to the cross. Praying for safety and many changed lives!
    Big hugs,

  63. Brenda Goodyke says:

    Wow only a couple days left. I bet you will all be so sad to leave. Theres nothing better than a spiritual high! Thats so cool that you were brave and gave your testimony. I’m sure it touched many more than you could imagined. I’ve enjoy being your pp this week and will continue to pray for you until you drive into the p.l. at church. Soak in all that God has for you the next couple days and stay dry!
    Mrs. G.

  64. Dad says:

    Hi Riley,

    I need to get a shirt that says ‘I love my daughter’ to go with my ‘I love my wife’ shirt. I am praying that you are on your way home now and are safe. I should have brought the man van down there!

    Love you.

  65. Riley, 12:30 and I must tuck you under my pillow…Emmy is with me as we prayed you through this day. After reading your share note I’m thinking we should have packed your tear bottle! How healing, releasing, sharing (contagious) and upholding tears are ~~created for us by our creator. Thank You Riley for being YOU! XXX gram

  66. Dad says:

    Hi Riley,

    Glad to hear that you made it safely. I pray that you get some rest and can make it a few more days. You probably should have packed the 5 Hour Energy drinks.

    I love you.

  67. Carole Pettijohn and Bob says:

    Yippee, back at base, amazing answers to prayers. Glad to hear all about it, we will all need to get together for a time of story telling and thanksgiving ! Have a good day today Riley, The Pettijohns

  68. Sylvia Davidson says:

    Heyy Riley–
    Ive been praying for you and ur mama and i hope you having a great time! but come home safely so i have someone to play with agian 😉 have fun love ya mucho!!!!

  69. Riley Gortsema says:

    Hey Everyone!! WE got home @ 2:30am last night! The van got stuck so we spent an hour putting rocks on the road…it was very scary at night. It was the longest bus ride of my life, and I became very close with others around me! =). Today we get to go SHOPPINGGGG..&& i am VERY excited!!
    We are also visiting the previous village we were at, so that will be fun also! The boys at the village will come up to you, but one saying “Tengo Novio”-I have a boyfriend” makes them leave..some stay, so if someone could translate “My dad would kick your butt.” That’d be awesome!! =).

    Have Great Days! ❤
    -ps. Why is Grandpa in the hospital?! (Details) XO.

  70. Jordan Davidson says:

    I miss you girlie! Everything over here has been boring without you. come back in one piece and have a good time!

  71. Randy Door says:

    I hope being on the same team as Kyle was not too bad. Did he line you up properly on the use of power tools? I can only imagine the laughter from your team. May you continue to be blessed and be a blessing to the gautemalan families you meet. You guys are awesome.
    Randy D.
    P.S. A previous post to you got lost in cyber space, according to Angie Johnson’s dad.

  72. Okay–Riley, This is an answer to what about grampa–Remember my cough? Well, he ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. He must have gotten sick of my coughing so dicided to put an end to it, by getting sick himself! I must tell you tho that when he was in the ER room lying on a cot (as we have seen you), he sighed and said, “at least it is me and not Riley this time.!” Is that your grandpa or what??! They gave him IV and he is now home and I just checked on him–he has his “work shoes” on!! He thinks he is going to help Mary with the floor. So no need to worry–just praise!

  73. Lynette Dooley says:

    We have loved reading your posts and have even tried to translate the phrase you requested earlier: “Mi papa una patada en el culo!” We don’t know if this is actually correct, so you probably shouldn’t use it…. How good it was that God was with you during the van ride on a scary night….He never loses sight of us. No detail of your life is ever hidden. God knows and understands and loves. He is with you always and gives you just what you need to make it through each day–love, joy, courage, wisdom, faith, trust, patience, strength, peace. It sounds like you have experienced all that during this past week, as well as having witnessed His amazing power to change lives! I hope CCHS and Grandville are never the same after you all return and continue your awesome work!
    The Dooleys
    “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” 2 Chron 16:9 NLT

  74. Laurie Brower says:

    Hi Riley, I finally can leave you a note because Matt brought a computer to the lake that works! The story that Kevin wrote about making it up the mountain was so amazing! We take soo much for granted in our blessed lives that is has truly been refreshing to hear the stories and be reminded of How Great is Our God! This has been a week of earnest and frequent prayers and also a week that God’s answers were very evident. Praying for a safe journey back to your home and that your life will forever continue to reflect God’s miracles! PS The cottage has room for all of us! Make sure to spend some time with your Dad and grandparents before you come up with Sarah and Kyle…They need to hear your stories and I am sure you could use some rest. We have this place through Sunday. XO

  75. Ivy Gortsema says:

    Hi Riley,

    I miss you and can’t wait for you to get home. Molly and I took all the toilet paper off the rolls in your two upstairs bathrooms for you. You are Welcome!

    Hurry home. Dad misses you big time.

  76. Riley Gortsema says:

    Packing…almost ready to leave…SEE YOU SOON =).

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