June 5th – Forty Eight years

It was 48 years ago today that the Sanford Yoder family made that adventurous trip that landed them in Costa Rica. Sanford says it was 7:00 in the morning when they landed and were met on the tarmac with people receiving them with umbrellas, as it was raining..family 2


Yoder siblings and Tim sharpened

And now 48 years later, many adventures have been experienced, and many stories could be told , but above all, God has been so good!

We are very happy to report that Sanford is doing much better… slowly regaining his health. He says that if it wouldn’t be for the pain in his leg, he thinks he would actually be WELL. We rejoice in the recovery.

Today, 5 weeks ago, we were called to the hospital, where he had seemed to take a turn for the worse and wondered if this would be his last day on this earth. Of course, for him to move on to Glory would have been sweet release, but the Lord had other plans and for us it is a joy to have him with us a little while longer.

Today was the first time they have been back to church since he was hospitalized and he reports that it went well, although he really tired by the time it was over with. They were very happy to be able to be back with their church brothers.


Ready for church… what a handsome couple!


Sanford loves his little Pomeranian puppies. Kari has had the privilege of taking care of them the last while, and she is doing very well.



He has also been blessed with visitors. They are always welcome and a blessing!


Lately Sanford has been listening a lot to audio books, since his eyesight is so poor and he has a lot of time on his hands. He also enjoys listening to sermons.




And Martha is back to painting… aren’t they lovely?


This has been a special time for us, my wife Ruth and daughter Kari, living next to them and helping to take care of their needs.

Duane for the Yoders

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I apologize for this long wait. I had prepared a post and thought I published it, but some how I did not get it done. Alas… I will try and reconstruct and catch you up to date on what has been happening.

After Sanford was released on the Monday, the 9th of May, he was taken to Phil’s where they took care of him for several days. Then on Wednesday, Joe and Lois came to take him home and care for him there. Dad’s were very happy to be home again. Joe’s stayed for a week to take care of him.

When it looked like Sanford might not make it, our son Vincent and his wife Holly, and daughter Connie and her husband Travis Mast and their 1 year old son Kendric came to visit. We of course were very happy that God chose to spare Sanford’s life again this time. We really enjoyed family time for the two weeks they were here.

I will give a kind of photographic update this time:


Sanford convalescing in the breezeway.


Kendric entertaining Great Grandpa and Grandma.


This thing is so fascinating!


Joe and Lois in front of the cabin door, and Connie and Kendric. Some time ago, the carpenter shop that was across the breezeway from the house was converted into a two-room cabin. So this is extremely nice when family wants to come visit or as in this case to take care of them.

Since our children were here and Joe and Lois, we had a family get together on Friday evening, the 13th. Sanford was able to be there for awhile, but he did tire and “retired” before some of the rest of us did.


After Joe’s left on Wednesday the 18th, Ruth moved out to take care of them. We had agreed that we would temporarily take care of them for awhile and as I was involved in a Teacher’s Institute I was unable to go out till Friday evening when Kari and I moved out. So now we are enjoying the little cabin, and being able to take care of Dad’s. It is an honor to be able to do that, and for a bonus, we have this beautiful view ….


and lots of birds:


Ringed Kingfisher8  female




Sanford enjoys his puppies.


He also enjoys his popcorn. Sanford is slowly getting better… slower than he thinks it should be. But we are thankful that he is improving.

Thank you all for your prayers and interest… this may be the last update for awhile, unless something changes.


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Release From the Hospital

The day Sanford had been waiting for, for awhile finally came. Today he was released from the hospital. This was what Ruth shared at noon today:

Well, they actually were able to get Dr. Kooper to check Dad’s leg, so now they’re waiting to do x-rays, then they’ll go to Dr. Kooper’s office and see what he says. He has his release from the hospital, but now they’re tackling his leg. He can come home if nothing turns up when the doctor checks him….

Then this is some of what Phil reports for us tonight:

Good evening.

The good news is that we brought Dads home this evening. He was tired when we got home, so after eating he went straight to bed. They will be staying at our place until Joe and Lois come on Wed. Then they will go home to recuperate. I think Joes are staying about a week. After that, Duanes will be moving out for a few weeks. We´ll see how it all works out. 
Dad seems to be doing well. According to the DRs. he´s well again. He´s off of all antibiotics. They say there´s a 50 /50 chance that the infection will reoccur sometime. We need to be alert. 
His leg still hurts some but he says its bareable. The Dr. says its a nerve problem. I don´t know exactly what, but he put him on medication for 3 months.
I think one of the most important things is for him to get his strength back. He needs to exercise and he should be on a stricter diet.  
So that is the way things stand now. All this means change and adjustment for them and others… which is what so much of life is all about. We are here for only a moment in light of eternity, our lives are as a vapor.
I will probably give an update occasionally, but you can expect this to slow down a good bit. Once again, thank you so much for your prayers and interest. This means so much to them and to all of us as a family.
God bless you all.
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Sunday report

Looking back over the last week, we have certainly seen a huge change of which we are surely thankful for. A week ago, we were wondering for a bit if Sanford was going to leave us, and now he is so much better and we are anxiously awaiting his release from the hospital.

Phil’s daughter, Regina stayed with Martha last night and I will share part of a report she sent out this morning:

Dear family,
Grandma and I had a very good night. Grandma didn’t wake once from nine to four… Now we are having coffee and muffins with the bible reading.
Last night they changed Grandpa’s room and put him in a semi-private room with only one other bed…. I am really hoping that grandpa will be able to sleep now.
Last night when we left he was sitting in a chair waiting for the nurses to help him into the bed. He was tired and wanted to lie down but they want him to sit and walk more because he doesn’t change positions enough and has a bed sore.  Did i mention that his room has its own bathroom? If i understood correctly they want him to start putting forth effort toward going to the bathroom and getting in and out of bed to try to get  his strength back.

That is all i know for now,

This was encouraging news and now tonight, Phil reports the following:

Good evening, family…

Duane asked me to report tonight. We were in to pick up Gina and to see Dads. There were a number of church folks out to see Dads, so we got to spend very little time with them. 
Dad seems to be nearly himself again except for the fact that he is so weak. He can´t even pull himself up in his bed when he slides down, or much less, walk by himself, so needs help to leave his bed. We hope his strength will return as his health improves. 
The Dr. told Dad today that he intends to release him from the hospital tomorrow. We have been trying to get them to check out Dad´s leg pain while he´s in the hospital anyway. But apparently its a complicated process because its a different problem. … Dr. said he will see about it tomorrow. So we will see. If they don´t do anything about it we will need to start all over by taking him to a local clinic, have Dad checked out, then have them refer Dad to the hospital when there is room to make an appointment. I get tired just thinking of hauling Dad around in his condition over these rough roads. You can pray that someone will have some mercy on him and check him out before he comes home. 
So at this point we don´t know what to expect tomorrow. We wait and see. If nothing else we are getting out patience exercised. 
The cardiologist called yesterday and said he wants to change Dad´s blood thinner to avoid a stroke. The social security system does not handle this new medication, so we need to buy it privately. We got it and took it in to the hospital today. The Dr. needs to come in in the morning to authorize the change. …
Debbie stayed in with Mom tonight. She, (Mom) says she is more tired tonight than she has been so far. Last night she got a good 7 hrs. of sleep. But I don´t know how much more she can take. We try to take care of her. But she insists on staying by Dad´s side. Bless her hovering heart. 
Keep us all in your prayers.
So that is the news from here
This was at our reunion in March, and Sanford’s brother Harvey was present, reading emails regarding the passing of their sister, Lovina, wife of Ernest Yoder from Rustburg, Virginia.
Thanks to all of you.
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Saturday roundup

Just a short note as there is not a whole lot to report today. Sanford seems to be progressing satisfactorily and we are all wondering when he will be released from the hospital. Martha is hanging right in there, although she does get tired, but happily serves her husband. The other day when she was told she would not be able to be with Sanford anymore, she said something like, I have been with Sanford for 63 years already and I am don’t want to leave him alone now. And, it worked, they let her stay.

We are trying to have them treat his leg that has been bothering him for quite awhile already before he leaves the hospital. The nurses are trying to help us in getting a doctor for to treat his leg.

Sanford thinks it is time he goes home, I am sure the time gets long in the hospital. We are very encouraged by his progress. They are still administrating antibiotics for the infection.

I thought I would include a picture of the view from the back of the place where Sanford’s have lived for the last?? quite a number of years. It is hard for them to think of a transition as the time comes nearer for possibly needing to move to another place. Do you blame them?


Thanks again for your prayers and support. It means a lot!


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Dr.’s report

Another day has gone by and we are happy to report that although detailed information is a bit scant, we feel we are better informed and maybe a bit better prepared to plan for the future.

This is from a report I gave this morning on our family group:

Phil was able to talk with Dr. Solis, the head surgeon, and although he did not have much time for him, he assured him that based on the recommendation of the cardiologist and another specialist, they will not do surgery. Dad is not in condition for that. (I think we all kind of sigh with relief on that one). He said they will keep him in and on antibiotics until the infection and inflammation are completely gone and then send him home. When? we don’t know and I doubt he does either, but with Dad progressing the way he has been, we hope it will be soon. We of course will need to know then how to detect symptoms of this recurring to be able to catch it at an earlier stage.

So, this seems like good news in a lot of ways, and at the same time, it does remind us of the rather frail condition in which Dad finds himself. 
And he is still in God’s and that is where we want to leave him.
Debbie is out today and then Ruth will take her place this afternoon.
We just got back from the afternoon visit in which all our family was able to go in and see him… except me … the time ran out. I was so glad for that. Connie was able to take some pictures and videos of their little Kendric before they went in as Grandpa was wishing so much to be able to see him.
Dad’s leg was bothering him again more today, and Debbie reported they had him out on a wheel chair for awhile today. Maybe that irritated his leg, who knows. He is also relieved that he will not have to face surgery. We all are.
I will post a few pictures for interest’s sake:
This first one is of the family in Arenal long ago.
Yoder siblings and spouses sharpened
In this is from the reunion in March. Judy’s husband Lowell is missing and Tim and Yadira were not there for the photos. I was hoping to get separate pictures of them and paste them in, but haven’t gotten them yet.
This is a more recent picture of the Arenal from the West side.
Again, thank you all for your prayers and interest.
Will try and keep you up to date.
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Still waiting

The word today is that Sanford is doing quite well, but no one was able to visit with the head surgeon today to gain more information about Dad’s status and prospects. So we will have to wait for that till tomorrow morning. His cardiologist did come by today and evaluated his condition and seems he will be writing up a report for the surgeon as to the condition of his heart and a whether he recommends surgery or not.

So now we are hoping the surgeon will be inclined to forego surgery and let him come home soon. But as before, he is in God’s hands so we will wait and see.

Here are some excerpts from Mark’s report today:

Good morning, my dear family,
At times like these we all draw together around our dear parents. And how dear they are!
I took Mom in to Dad 15 minutes before the time the card allowed her(10:00am). That is all the guard gave us. But she was so anxious to get in to Dad she was almost trotting!
Dr Solís, the surgeon had been in to see Dad. I was not able to talk to him. But the head nurse gave me the report. She said Dr Solís is asking the cardiologist to check Dad out to evaluate the risk of doing surgery. The cardiologist is seeing patients this forenoon, so we hope he will come by to see Dad this afternoon. They told me that if we want to talk to Dr Solís we need to get in and sit on the bench at the entrance of the Cirugía de Hombres at 7:30am. Here we can catch him when he finishes checking his patients. So who wants to be there tomorrow morning at 7:30am?
Mom had a good night. My wife did too. She got to bed much earlier than she would at home. I might have to leave her here! Debbie is staying tonight.
Dad reports he had a good night after midnight. He had no pain since they gave him an injection for pain. But he was/is disgusted at the idol of soccer. There are some kind of important games going on. The TV is right above his bed. So all the patients in his room were watching and talking till midnight while he is lying right under the TV with them all watching right over him. Get the picture? He said the doctors (I don’t know if he meant nurses.) talk about soccer about 80% of time and treat patients the rest of the time! Anyway, he was quite disgusted! But said he did sleep well after that.
Neither is he impressed with the food. For breakfast a cup coffee and a pack of Maria cookies. Mom says the last few days lunch has been soup with squash, yuca, and a little bit of potato. I told him at least he is losing weight.
Waiting on the Lord,


Good evening, 
Well, this afternoon we were able to talk to Dad’s cardiologist. He wanted to know why we had not done the open heart surgery in 2013. He had been checking Dad’s folder and seen that he had been okayed to go ahead with the open heart surgery. He wanted to know if we as a family or if Dad had decided not to do it. We explained that we had went to a private Dr who after a few months ordered an echo cardiogram. After seeing the results from the echo cardiogram  said Dad did not need the surgery anymore. So we didn’t go ahead with it. Remember this was after the anointing with oil and we took it as a miracle. And Dad was so well for awhile. The cardiologist was surprised by this. He had assumed it was because Dad didn’t want to do the surgery. It was obvious he thought we should have went ahead with it then.
He went on to explain that now it was too late to do the open heart surgery because of his age and heart condition. He said Dad’s heart is only functioning at a 30 to 35%. When we asked about the gallbladder surgery he said he would not recommend it because of Dad’s heart condition. He would recommend treating it medically, that is without surgery. Now that is his evaluation. We need to hear what the surgeon will say. He will actually make the decision.
After the cardiologist left we were kind of confused. Why? It was obvious the cardiologist thought it had been a mistake that we had not done the open heart surgery in 2013. But Dad calmed our doubts with a word of faith. He said he was confident that it had been the Lord’s will. We had prayed and asked for guidance and God had answered. It has all been the Lord’s will. I appreciate his faith and it brought peace to our hearts. Isn’t it wonderful we can trust Him?
So now Phil plans to be in the hospital at 7:30am to talk to the surgeon after he checks Dad. He wants to discuss it with him. If the Dr would like to talk to all of us he will call us and we all go in.
We keep praying and trusting the Master,


The picture below is a bit closer of the family that was taken at the reunion in March:

Yoder siblings and Tim names

Duane for the Yoder’s


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This is Wednesday evening

So happy to report that Dad is up in the men’s surgery ward where things are much calmer. It was really hot up there today, but trust it will cool off tonight. Dad is so much better, he seems almost back to normal, but of course does not have hardly any strength yet. He seems so chipper and it was so encouraging to see his improvement.

He is no longer on IV’s, or oxygen, but still on antibiotics. We are hoping to find out from the chief surgeon tomorrow about plans for surgery or not surgery. We are hoping that they opt out for surgery, but we will see. Would there be a possibility that he would be able to come home soon? It almost seems like that may be a possibility, but again, we do not know.

As a family, we had another startling experience today when I found my 1 year old grandson standing outside my office door when he was supposed to be in Oregon. Now Travis and Connie did the same thing that Vincent and Holly had done, came down here without letting us know and walking in on us. Dad asked me how my health is after having another scare like this. Dad and Mom were so pleased to have another set of grandchildren visiting them… it was a surprise for them too, of course.

I was telling Mom and Dad about this blog and that many people are following and interested in what is going on and praying for you. Dad says, please tell everyone thank you for their interest and prayers. They really do appreciate it. And we do too!

Here is a shot of Dad and Mom in his new bed.


And here is a shot from the outside as we wait our turn to go in and seem them during visiting hours:


God bless each of you.


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Comments on Header photos

I thought some of you may be interested in a bit of explanation on the photos in the header of the blog.

The background picture is one from here close to my house, looking west toward the Arenal volcano, in the evening. We don’t always have a view like that, but sometimes get rather spectacular one. Most of you probably know, this now silent volcano is the mountain that exploded in 1968, six weeks after Sanford’s had moved down to Costa Rica from the States. They were living at that time, about 13 km North from Arenal, which would have been a general 90º right on this picture.

The other two pictures were taken at a recent reunion that we had in March when all the children were here. How quickly things can change, but God is in control. There is so much comfort in that.

Here are a few more shots from the reunion, not quite everyone is on here:

Yoder all sharpened

There are some grandchildren missing here as well as Lowell, and Tim and Yadira.


This was Uncle Harvey was reminiscing, and we were spell bound.

Is it okay to post a picture from way back?

family 2

God bless your day!


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Tuesday evening summary

This has been a good day… a day of obvious improvement in Dad’s condition. This is of course very encouraging after seeing him so very low. We realize he is still in God’s hands and we are content to have God do whatever would please Him most. But we are praising Him today for what He has done.

Phil was able to get more information from the head doctor today after some diplomatic procedures and so we are happy to have a better understanding with the administration at the hospital.

I will insert an excerpt from my report to the family:

His clinical report is very good, and he is technically admitted to the hospital, but because of lack of beds upstairs, is still downstairs. He is also now technically not directly under this doctor anymore, but under the order of the surgeon. The surgeon still has to determine whether or not to do surgery, but the doctor said there is a possibility that surgery will not be needed. (Dr. Kooper last night explained it this way. These are like a hot situation and a cold situation, and when there is an infection like Dad has, it is a hot situation and not a good time to do an operation. So they are cooling it down so that if surgery is necessary they can do it in the cold. But, he says that if his situation would stay cold, it would definitely be better not to operate in his condition (stay cold meaning, no more return of infection). But if infection would continue to come back, then there would hardly be another option. 
Dad is still on antibiotics but off of IVs and oxygen and was quite, quite chipper today. 
So I think we have a number of real prime praise items:
  • – Dad is definitely much better
  • – It seems the administrative crises is under much better control
  • – And he had a much better night last night (thanks to all your prayers) and Mom had a fairly good night as well)
So, continue to pray for wisdom and discernment, both for the doctors and for us. 
Continue praying for Mom and Dad.
And pray that they would be able to have a restful night again.


Yes, and thanks to you all as well for your interests and prayers. We do really appreciate them.

God bless you all.


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