To help financially during this time of great need, please forward your offering to Tom's sister:
Darla Wexttsen, 16738 N. Tolle Lane, Mount Vernon, IL 62864
checks may be made payable to "Grace Community Church"

There is also a deposit account set up at US Bank to help defray Deb's uncovered medical expenses.
Visit any US Bank branch office to make a deposit in cash or by check for "Deborah A. Smith Memorial Fund".
Please be sure to mention Charity Paddock or Nellie Haverkos to be sure the gift is properly deposited.

If you use this link to join, then go shopping there, as much as 26% of your purchases will help the family.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Other Ways to Help Encourage Deb & Tom

The needs Deb & Tom and their family have at this time are overwhelming. Surely some who are reading this blog know this first-hand. You have enjoyed the Boundless Love of God in those times. Your loved ones, church family, co-workers, and even strangers lifted you up in countless ways.

Please share suggestions and resources you found helpful to you. These could be very practical steps you took to ease a loved one's pain and anxiety, how to get help with financial matters, or they could be references to online resources, what's a good book to read or the music you and your loved ones found most comforting. The great suggestions are surely limitless. Thank you in advance for whatever you can offer.


Michael W Cristiani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim Vanskee said...

Tom and Debbie Smith have been such a blessing over the years to my Husband and nyself.
We came to FCC in the early 1980s and I had been in a Southern Baptist Church for 29 years. My Husband grew up in a Roman Catholic Church and we had been praying about where God wanted us to be. The very first time that we went to FCC we knew that was where God wanted us to be.
We made our first trip to India as short term Missionaries in 1994 and we are still deeply involved in the ministry there.
Pastor Tom and Deb have helped Rick and I through some extremely difficult times and there is not one moment that we are not thankful for their sacrifices for the Kingdom!
It grieves us deeply to know that our loves ones are suffering so much at this time.
Please be encouraged by the Hope given us by our Lord!
There is never a split second that we are alone in this World and He understands it all!
God the Father is the Great Physician and He is able to deliver us from all infimities.
someimes he says, "yes" to our prayers and sometimes He says, "no".
I have learned this from our own difficult travels through life but I know that we are never alone and our prayers are always answeed.
He does not always answer them in the way that we want them answered all of the time but they are answered none the less.
If we are healed here on this Earth, which is what we all ask for, it is for His glory. If He brings us home to be with Him, it is also for His glory and we have COMPLETE healing!
It is our prayer that God heals you completely, Deb! You are such a blessing to so many of us that you will never know the extent until you are with our Lord!
You are such an example of The Proverbs 31 Wife, Mother, and Grandmother!
Rick and I are now Grandparents of four and we know how much that means to the generations and to us.
Thank you for your Godly example over these many years.
I wish that we could be there with you!
Know that our love, Spirit, and prayers are ther right now!

Gary Sweeten said...

I first met Deb when she was a very young bride of the new Student Minister at UC. They came to have lunch with me at the Faculty Dining Room and we discussed the joys and challenges of marriage in a fish bowl with students all over the place. Deb was as much an integral part of the ministry to students as was Tom and when the new baby came along she joined the ministry team as a little sister to all those home sick kids in college who flocked to the Carpenter's House next to the campus. Despite being a new mother and wife Deb was seemingly tireless in her effort to serve Christ and the loney college kids along with loving Charity and Tom.

Deb never lost her fervor as a co-minister with Tom as they touched so many thousands of people around the world. Just imagine how many people were anchored into Christ as students and then as parents because Deb was there in the middle of a crisis or need for a friend.

Even as she pursued her own passion for art and creative worship Deb used her sensitivity and giftedness to integrate them into worship and inspiration.

Deb's three brilliant kids and their lovely grand children lighted up her life more than anything else and her love is as thick as a blanket of wool always showing insight, care and discipline.

Our prayers are daily and thoughts constant for you Deb. May the God of creation bring peace and healing to your life.

Paula Clouse said...

I've had some ideas for creative ways people can express blessings and prayers for Deb and Tom and give them something tangible in the process...

I suppose you might consider this "Paula's Paraphrase" of Hebrews 10:24: "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Showers of Blessings

Decorate both sides of a regular playing card. Write a prayer or blessing on each card. Hole punch at the top and insert a key ring through the hole (10 or fewer works well) to hold the cards together. Voila! A handy, clever, inexpensive way to pass along blessings and prayers to those you love!

An entire deck too great an undertaking? Call together a few praying friends and split the deck accordingly. Allow each friend to say a prayer for Deb & Tom before you end the evening. 52 cards (an entire deck) is one prayer for each week of the year! Cool, huh?

Not creative you say? Then skip the "art part" and just gather together to pray for the entire Smith family..especially in light of Hal's recent hospitalization.

Write and/or Draw colorful pages in a journal expressing your love and appreciation for Deb & Tom. Include a small photo of yourself (with Debv & Tom in the picture if you have one) Photocopy the pages and snail mail to their home. (snail mail address is on the left side of the blog)

On the computer all day? Send a quick e-card of encouragement to the Smith family. They are free, pre-written, and instant! Try,, or

Purchase a small, solid color umbrella. (You can find them at any Dollar Store). Open the umbrella and write (with a permanent marker - perhaps silver or gold?) creative, loving words that describe Deb & Tom (underneath as well as on top). Let dry. Close the umbrella and create a tag that says, "Showers of Blessings" Next time it rains, they will be reminded that they are loved!

Prepare a meal and pray blessings on Deb & Tom with each ingredient...include the recipe for your special dish ..along with a prayer on the recipe card!

It takes very little time and money to creatively bless someone and make their day!

May the Spirit creatively guide you!