Friday mid-day…

Dad in Kiev, before he disappeared.

Dad in Kiev

So, as I said in my mini post, much has changed.

Right at the top, let me say that just about 24 hours ago, Randy went down to the police station and had a chat with the lieutenant who is in charge there.

Randy, and those with him, were rather startled to hear that the police have changed the classification of the case to a criminal one. They have decided this isn’t a missing person case. They said believe that this is either a kidnapping or a murder.

More importantly, Randy was told that this wasn’t just a local police matter now, but had been upgraded to a state case and that the SBU [what was the KGB years ago] was involved now.

Randy said there was a stack of documents on the table, and that the officer said this was the file on the case. I’m not sure why, but Randy wanted to take a photo of the cover sheet, and they said he could.

I’m not sure what to think. I like that they are taking the case more seriously and that, evidently, many more resources are available, and that we’ve turned a corner. But I don’t exactly like the sound of “criminal case.” Yeah, who would.

Randy and the people from the Union office and volunteers have been following up all the fragments of information they have had – reports, rumors, claimed sightings etc.

These have, repeatedly, turned up nothing credible.

We are continuing to gather video feeds and review them.

We look forward to the state security services aggressively putting the resources that the state has, which are vastly more than we have [save God] to work in figuring out what happened and getting Dad back to us.

So, as long as I’ve been telling stories, let me talk a bit more about REI and down-jacket related events.

Dad hasn’t been doing any mountaineering for a while now. I get altitude sickness so easily and that’s no fun, so I’ve not been climbing for quite some time either.

But “back-in-the-day” we did climb together more than a few times. [Yeah, I know, “back-in-the-day” we had to walk to school, barefoot, in the blowing snow, uphill both ways with only birch-bark for lunch. Well, it’s not quite that kind of story.]

We’ve climbed Mt. Hood, a couple of times together. I have a large [probably 18×20”] print that Dad gave to me of me standing in the sunset on Mt Hood. It’s a beautiful print and a very nice picture. It’s framed and hanging up in our house.

Well, that trip [at least I think it was that trip] was rather exciting.

We’d decided to sleep on the mountain, mid way up. Hood is really a one-day climb for the south-side – but I tend to feel less sick if I have more time acclimatizing and it’s a shorter day if you don’t do it all in a single day. [Good for older men and wimps like me.]

We got up and it looked like a reasonable day. A reasonable day in the northwest, on the mountains is a day when it’s not raining, blowing 50+ mph and not too cold or ugly.

So we started climbing. Clouds covered the top section of the mountain and we thought this would clear as the day progressed. In any case, we’d just come back if it got too bad. [Yeah, right.]

Well, it didn’t get any better, and in a few hours we were going up the summit chutes, which are not too far from the very top in what seemed like a hurricane.

The wind was howling, we were in the clouds and could barely see the ground. There was so much moisture in the air, it would condense and freeze on everything – making what is called rime ice. It would even condense on your eyelashes and if you blinked, the two sets of eyelashes; bottom and top, would then freeze together and you couldn’t re-open your eyes. Goggles would help with this, but we didn’t want to stop to fish them out. So, you’d just pull your hand out of your glove and melt and pull the ice off your eyelashes and you’d be good to go, at least for a few more minutes.

Why we didn’t turn around, I’m not sure. It’s that allure of the summit, I guess. I’m sure it’s caused more than a few accidents and induced bad judgment in lots of climbers. Perhaps one could claim we used bad judgment too, I’m just not sure – you generally think you’ve done fine, until something goes wrong.

Well, we did reach the summit and while you couldn’t see a thing – not even the ground under your feet – we were happy we reached the summit.

So we started down. But white-gray snow, white-gray sky, white-gray clouds and wind at unbelievable levels makes for vertigo – where does the sky and clouds end and the ground begin? The wind had been blowing us up the chutes to the summit. Now it was blowing directly in our faces. Even though we were now going down, one almost had to exert effort to go down against the wind.

Well, a long 30-45 minutes later, and after having gone somewhat off-course in our trek down, we break out of the clouds. I now know, first hand, how easy it can be to get lost on Mt. Hood.

We gathered our tent and other gear we’d left behind at camp and trailed out to the car many feet below us.

It was nice to spend some time with Dad. I’m not as much a mountaineering kind of person as Rick – I’m certainly not up to the insane levels of torture he goes through. But it was a way Dad and I could do something together. We both love the mountains – especially mountaineering and being out in the brilliant, sparkling, awe-inspiring mountains. The snow soaks up the sound, and it’s so very different, even when you’re in the same place, sans snow and ice.

This is one of only a few climbing experiences we had together and it was a good one. Sure, sitting in the sun on the lawn probably would have been a lot more pleasant – probably a lot safer too. But Dad wasn’t the kind to pick “safe” over what he thought was important. [He certainly wasn’t the one to shy away from pushing you through the hard-stuff he thought would help make you stronger and better, no matter how much complaint and whining he heard. I’m pretty sure there’s more than a few of you who experienced that – at least the pushing part, I’m probably the only one who whined so much. (I’m sure the brothers would confirm the whining part! {and look, nested parenthetical asides! that’s my specialty}) ]

Dad is, and was, the kind who wasn’t easy on himself, when he felt something needed to be done. He didn’t give others the easy way out either. He’d tell you fairly bluntly what you ought to be doing – he wasn’t bossy, but he wanted to make a difference, he wanted to help. He cared a lot. Going to the Ukraine and the many, many hours he donated to helping people change the way they lived and their health, spiritual and physical were just part of who Dad is and was.

You couldn’t steer him away from what he felt was right. Sometimes it was not the best idea – like climbing Hood in that weather – but he always pushed himself as much as anyone – probably more. But he would push you pretty hard too.

We’re different in that way – but I know he pushed me and others because he cared, and he cares a lot!

So, this experience in Kiev is just a lot like the way he lived and loved those around him. It’s tough. It’s hard, and we’re beyond where we wish we were – we’d rather be sitting on the lawn in the sun sipping a cool drink and enjoying the leisure.

But he would be still thinking about all the stuff that he wanted to get done, all the ways he could help you be a better self, and how he wanted everyone to know, see and feel the God he saw.

I know others have said it, but we’ve also thought it and commented among ourselves – if Dad is being held by someone, one can be sure they’re hearing about Dad’s loving, caring God – and that he’s doing his best to push them to live a better life too – regardless of how scary or hard that might be. I hope, if that’s the case, that he’s more tactful than he’s been with me at times. He may be right, but sometimes he’s less than the most gentle in expressing it.

[Remind me to tell you about the patient who had been out snowmobiling and claimed that was “exercise.” Tact, and gentle? Hmmm.]

So, please – continue to pray. We know that God is able to bring about *any* outcome. We will do our best to help, and do our part. But though God doesn’t need reminding, please let us keep doing it anyway. I think he’ll handle our “whining” better than Dad did.


Posted 2013/05/24 10.45a PT / 8.45p Kiev time

47 thoughts on “Friday mid-day…

  1. Virginia Davidson

    Thank you, Greg, for continuing to keep us posted. Yes, I’ve been wearing out the “refresh” button…but glad I can’t wear out the “pray” button—and glad that God’s grace/love doesn’t even *have* a button: it’s who He is!

    So I’m continuing to pray for your dad, that he will sense the presence of God with him and be encouraged and cheered and strengthened by it, and that if it could be God’s will, that he will be restored to you all. Praying also for the family, though it’s hard to verbalize a specific request beyond “Help!” God knows the extent of the need!

    Please know you all are on my heart continually, and in my prayers. And I’ll continue to click on the “refresh” button…too. 🙂

  2. Cheryl Roberts

    Thankful that they are taking the case more seriously, and that many more resources are available.

    Praying for Dr. Sloop and Family, and all involved.

    Continued Hope and Prayer for a positive outcome!

  3. Pam Mann

    What an answer to prayer that the police are now more involved and at higher levels! Re-classifying to a “criminal” situation does not make it so but, at least, it brings about many more resources. Thanks, Greg, for sharing experiences with your Dad. Praying continues from our home. Pam and Joe

  4. Courtney Waymire

    I am happy to hear that the police are doing more, but I wish they could have one that from the beginning. We are praying for your dad and your family.

    Your dad delivered my husband and his brother and sister when they were born. I was privileged enough to meet him last year at our church in Granger, Wa.

    God be with you and yours.

  5. Helen Teske

    Greg, Thank you so much for your updates. I have checked your page several times each day since the beginning to make sure I know the latest. THANK YOU for taking your time and energy to update the probably hundreds of friends and well-wishers who are praying and hoping and trusting alongside you and your family. I especially love the two pictures of Jay in your latest blog. THANK YOU for sharing them with us. Please know that your friends at Connections Church here in Yakima are praying without ceasing for Jay to be found and returned safely. God is good. In HIM we trust!

  6. Bob, Sylvia & Peggy Clayton

    Please know our prayers are with you! When things look bleak God can turn things around to a positive.
    We just went thru an awful experience I will quickly relate just an example of Gods ways.
    One morning Sylvia was saying how good she felt and set down on the couch to read the paper. In less then a minute she put her head down and died. My dad came to me and said I think your mother is having a stroke. I went in and noted her condition and called 911. I began CPR on her and she would start breathing and go out again. That happened 3 times. Then the peri medics were here. The shocked her 4 times and then scooped her up, off to hospital.
    When arriving they were shocking her and she arrived flatlined. The cardiologist came in and told us he didn’t see her walking out of the hospital. They decided to cool her and put her in a coma once stabilized. With in minutes of starting to drop her temperature she woke up. She was diagnosed with sudden cardiac death. …
    But we have her here today. It was and is a long recovery. Hind sight, she now has a ICD and will be with us much longer then thought.
    That day seemed so hopeless! But God had another plan for her. I believe God has a plan for Jay, even though it must seem very bleak at this time. May God be with all of the family. And I pray one day you will look back and be amazed at all the things that fell into place to bring about Gods plan!
    Much love and pray we are sending your way!

  7. Fred & April Hardinge

    Your posts, Greg, are most appreciated. I know this is not easy and has taken a lot of your time, but we sense it comes from a deep love for your Dad, Mother and family. While we are grateful that now even more than the local police are involved, it is a shock to think of the possibilities. Answered prayers sometimes take surprising turns. Please know that we continue to uphold your Dad, Mom and each of you boys and your families in our prayers. We ask many times daily that God will protect and strengthen Jay in whatever circumstances he is in, and that His Spirit will comfort and strengthen Sharlene and each of the other family members. By His Grace and according to His will we pray for a happy outcome.

  8. Bob, Sylvia & Peggy Clayton

    Greg, we want to let you and your family know we are praying for you! I imagine your mind must be reeling with possibilities.
    We were amazed at how bleak things can be in one instance and in a moment it can all change for the better, when my mom died from sudden cardiac death. I started CPR and brought her back 3 times, the paramedics shocked her 3X’s and scooped her up and headed for the hospital. She arrived flatlining. The cardiologist told us he didn’t see her walking out of the hospital. They started to lower her temp and put in a coma but she woke up! It wasn’t an easy recovery but she is here today.
    Just as God had a plan for Mom He has a plan for Jay! I can only imagine what a tole this is taking on you and your family. Please know you all are in our prays!

  9. Ron Reeves

    Our prayers are with Jay and Charlene and all the Sloop family. They have all been such a blessing to my family and me. Jay, Charlene, Rick, Linda, Randy, Christine and their children and I feel as if I know Greg now after following anxiously day by day. God is in the bisiness of miracles, and He is with Jay now. You all will remain in our hearts and prayers.
    Ron Reeves

  10. Elsie Kushner

    Dr. Jay Sloop has always been and will always be that one man who remained on a pedestal of the highest respect in my life. He delivered my 2 children over 30 years ago and was my doctor until he retired. I am devastated for him and for your family in this crisis. You are right, if anyone can get through this without giving up or whining it’s him, that’s what I learned from him over the years too. My prayers and those of my friends and family are with you all.

  11. Ted and joan Fernish

    For many years we had the privilege of working with your Dad at the UCC Fit for Him programs around the conference. Such a gentleman, such a schoolar always there to help any situation that occurred and especially to help people become acquainted with a better way of life thru a healthier lifestyle. EVen when he wasn’t feeling his best, he was always there in any place where the conference was having a health program. Our prayer has and will continue to be that God will surround your Dad with His comfort. That he soon will be found and reunited with your family. Praise God that the authorities are doing more.

  12. Clayton and Audrey Child

    You and the rest of the family are almost constantly on our minds and hearts and prayers for Jay’s safe return.

    We are retired from UCC and we always had a lot of respect for Jay.

    May God continue to be with you all – giving you a certain measure of peace and comfort that Jay is in His hands, somewhere! It is not easy at a time like this to be able to hold on to that faith and trust even when we can’t understand.

    Yes . . . in HIM we do trust in ALL things (including Jay’s whereabouts) for He has proven that He is trustworthy many times over!

    Our thoughts and prayers will CONTINUE for sure!

    Clayton and Audrey Child

  13. Linda Dale

    Thank you , Greg, for keeping us updated. I am praying that Dr. Jay be found and I am glad that the police are becoming more active. I am just one of his thousands of patients that love him and are praying for him.

  14. Patricia Small Yakima

    Thank you so much for your great updates, all of you are in our prayers many times a day.
    About snow mobiles —I have gone many many miles on our snow machines and it is an extreme work out especially if you get stuck in three feet of soft powder and have to dig out. Just riding uses every muscle in your body to steer and stay upright on a side hill. :). Can’t do it any more body won’t take it. Blessing to you and all your family.

  15. Karen Lamberton

    Will keep praying… God can do anything that he decides to do… free captives… find the lost… or even raise the dead…

    Your comments were very touching. Thanks for sharing about your dad… Made me chuckle when you mentioned the possibility of your dad preaching to his captors… (if he is being held…) I could so see my own dad, if he were ever in a situation like that “advising” or “admonishing” those around him to follow a better path… 🙂

    I so hope that wherever your dad is, God will see it in his will to bring him back soon to your family!

    Praying for a miracle, and for God’s comfort, strength, and peace…

    Karen Lamberton

  16. Hal Harden

    Thanks Greg for sharing the 2 pictures this week of your dad. My wife Warrine and I are praying that your Dad will be found safe, if that be God’s will, and we pray that it is. We are praying for you and your brothers and entire family during this difficult and trying time. We are inspired by your upbeat attitude despite the tragedy you’re going through. I have worked with your dad in some of the health evaluations for conference employees in Wenatchee 2 or 3 times, and I have been with him in several Total Health Board meetings in the 1990’s before it closed. I share your loss thus far, but probably not in the same way .
    I hope the increased police and detective work will help locate your dad.
    Many in our Abundant Life SDA Church in Wenatchee are praying for you, your dad and your extended family.
    Is Randy the short form of J. Randall the 2’ed or 3’ed, who is a physician? If so, I believe my wife and I had the pleasant experience of having Sabbath lunch with them, very soon after Randy started a FP Residency in Cincinnati, OH, and I was doing a temporary locum tenens FP job in N. Kentucky, in 2008.
    If it wasn’t him, then it would have been a different brother. In any event , greet him for me.
    May God give you peace and safety and strength as you continue your search.
    Hal Harden

  17. SB

    We continue to pray with you all in fellowship and community for God’s answers. Prayers are coming from around the world for the church, for the mission, for your family, Greg, and for Dr. Jay, uniting us in faith in the One we follow, and seeking His continued Presence and intervention. “In shady green pastures so rich and so sweet, God leads His dear children along…”

  18. Laurel

    We are reading your blog constantly. Thanks for all the effort to keep everyone posted. Many prayers for you, your whole family and most especially your dad.

  19. June Miner

    Dear Sloop Family, Our prayers and thoughts are with your family. I worked on call for Dr. Sloop when we lived in Yakima. He is a wonderful person. My family goes way back with the Sloop family. Your grandfather, JR Sloop, came to my dad, Omer Drury, and asked him why he wasn’t taking pre-med. My dad told him he didn’t have the money to go to medical school. Your grandfather told my dad to get the good grades and he would make sure the money was available. My dad completed medical school at Loma Linda University. Your family has been a blessing to our family and many other families. We are praying that you all will have the strength and courage to make it through this ordeal.

  20. Ron Nelson

    Thank you for the beautiful, moving, poignant reflection. You characterize this as one more mountain to climb. And what a climb it is. If ever I should encounter such a face as this one, I hope someone like you will be on the ropes.

  21. Barbara Blake

    Thank you so much, Greg for keeping us informed into the search for Jay. Yes, we believe that prayer does move mountains! Praying earnestly for your dad’s safe return.

  22. The Omer Drury Family, by Joy

    Our prayers and love to your family, especially in the protection of Dr. Jay.

  23. Loralyn Horning

    Thank you so much, Greg, for your update and story. I’m so impressed with your family’s upbeat take on such a difficult, heart-wrenching experience. We have a prayer group here in St. Helena, CA that continue to pray daily for your dad’s safety and soon return, as well as God’s sustaining grace to each of the rest of the family. Truly, may God be glorified someway in this experience. Without that, it certainly doesn’t make any human sense to us. Prayers daily, Loralyn for our group

  24. Crystal

    I wish I could do more than just pray. I have personally gone to other’s on my facebook and asked them in personal messages to pray with us and have gotten a lot of responses and even a surprise one from Jaime Jorge’s facebook team. They are also praying. I know many more are praying even if they don’t have time to always respond. God is good and I know prayer is so so powerful. Keep hoping and praying and know that God is always there no matter. Just like the bridge that collapsed last evening but still no one seriously hurt. It could have been way worse if it collapsed today or during rush hour so I believe God was there also. Love for you all and prayers going up all day.

  25. Frosty and June Cross

    Last weekend in Walla Walla over 800 Pathfinders and their staff were praying for Dr. Jay. He is in God’s Hands “no matter what”. God’s waiting room is a hard place to be. But He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. God be with you! We continue to uphold Dr. Jay and your entire family in our prayers. Thank you for your posts and your stories.

  26. Carla Gober

    Thanks Greg, for the update, and the story. I smiled, chuckled and then cried. Your dad is like a second dad to me. I could see every piece of your story as if it were currently happening. Such familiar movements. And yes, if with captors, he is doing exactly as you describe. After meeting and talking with Gordon for the first time, your dad left our house and Gordon said, “I miss him already.” This is the effect of Jay on a heart and life. Keep writing. We will eagerly keep reading. – Warmly, Carla

  27. Kathryn Holm

    I am another one wearing out the refresh button! : ) Thank you for keeping us all informed. My prayers have been ascending frequently for Dr. Jay and the whole family since the beginning and will continue! The verses that are popping into my head right now are Isaiah 26:3-4 (KJV):
    [3] Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. [4] Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
    While many more verses might fit, these are encouraging to me. Praying for God’s continued strength and peace, and wisdom, for all involved!

  28. Sandy Larsen

    Your stories are a real blessing. Thank you for the latest update which I’m sure was heart wrenching to write. As soon as we read it we stopped & prayed – again. And we will keep those prayers going for Jay and for all of you. I’m praying for God’s love to surround each of you on this Sabbath Day so that you can feel His presence with you as you continue this excruciatingly painful journey. The old song says that “what He does not keep you from, He’ll keep you through”. He will.

  29. Billie Jean Knight

    Our thoughts and prayers are continuing to be with you, your family and Dr. Jay!

  30. Carmela &bob newstead

    Twiss, Havens and newsteads send their prayers and best thoughts to jay and your whole family. Hoping for a positive outcome and the strength to endure, we are keeping abreast of development .

  31. Kalyna Birmele-Skoretz

    Dear Friends:

    My husband, Pastor Frank Skoretz and I, (we are both of Ukrainian parentage) have been active in Ukraine and are well familiar with the territory which is reported as the area where Dr. Sloop may have decided to go for a stroll. It has not been a safe area for some time. It is regrettable that this may not have been stressed enough to Dr. Sloop while visiting the Union Office area. We have been praying for you and for Dr. Sloop ever since this sad news reached us.

    Just a word regarding the cover page of the Interior Ministry Document which you posted on your blog. Please note that the criminal investigation was begun as early as May 14, as is noted on the document. The criminal code Article 146. refers to “Illegal confinement or abduction of a person”. Having experienced first hand the workings of SBU (formerly KGB), we are certain that everything humanly possible is being done in investigating the case of Dr. Sloops disappearance. We continue to pray for a positive outcome of the search for your father, being mindful that we are not dependent on human wisdom and strength but rather on the care and love of the One who created us and gave His life to enable us to spend eternity with Him. May the Lord continue to bless you and give you the strength to fully accept His will in the outcome of this painful experience.

    In Christian love,
    Kalyna M. Birmele-Skoretz

  32. Rollie & Mardi Bock

    Your in our thoughts and prayers. We are praying for your father’s safe return.

  33. Carol Sherwood

    Many prayers sent your way. Prayers for your whole family.. Dr. Sloop was my Dr. and holds a very special place in my heart…
    Carol Sherwood

  34. tricia

    Sending our prayers for your dad, and your family. We remembered him in our church today.

  35. Roger and Marcia Van Arsdell

    Thank you so much for your up-dates. They must be so difficult to write. We can’t possibly imagine what a difficult time this is for all of you……..the unknown, the waiting. We check your blog frequently and pray many times a day that God will uphold you and carry you all in His loving arms. Hugs to your Mom.

    Marcia and Roger

  36. Annette Bowyer

    I too find myself checking the blog several times a day. Do know my continue prayers are with Dr. Jay and the whole Sloop family. I know it is hard, but God’s way is the best way. Something good will come out of this, we just don’t how or when. Prayers with all.

  37. Marlene Tucker

    May God give you strength to face the coming days. My prayers are with you and your family

  38. Marise DeBurger

    Sending prayers from Yakima Washington. Your dad delivered My Niece in 1975, Randy delivered Her 2 oldest boys, and Christen delivered My daughter in 1992, and My Son in 1997. I hope that You , Randy ,Christine, and Family fine Him soon, and bring Him back to Yakima !!! Marise DeBurger

  39. Irene Talbot

    I am simply one of your dad’s patients for so many years…1969 till 2000. He touched my life and changed my life. He was a wise man with knowledge ahead of his time. He literally saved my life thru depression and illnesses. I pray for him and your family many times a day. I look so forward to these updates….thank you.

  40. Tim Atkins

    Greg, I know that your father is and was where God wanted him to be for His purpose and for some unforseen reason this has happened. I pray that you and your family will be reunited with your father soon. You may not remember me but I remember you as a small boy, as I was one year ahead of your brothers in school at YJA. I remember growing up in the 35th St. church and your mother playing the organ almost every Sabbath. I also remember your father as a gentle man who loved to talk about Jesus. Jesus knows where Dr. Sloop is and will reveal all in his time. My thoughts and prayers are for you this evening.

  41. Allegra Gienger

    Nobody can take our precious Dr. Jay out of God,s hand so we can only cling to His promises and know, whatever the circumstances, He will hold him fast. in the meantime we continue to ask God to bring him back. That is what we are pleading for as that is everyone s heart’s desire.

  42. Gillian Jenne (Oshawa, ON, Canada)

    We are praying for your Dad & all his family & friends who are worried sick about him. Thank you for the updates. Praying for yor Dads safe return & closure all around. Sincerely Gillian & many many others in Canada.

  43. Jeanene Smith

    Your Dad is a wonderful man I pray for his safe return. I feel he is out there somewhere……
    Please know there are thousands of prayers coming to you, and thank you for your updated blog.
    God Bless you and your family………..
    Jeanene Smith

  44. colleen allen

    In our home we have written on our chalk board: “All Things Through God” and your dad is number one on our list of prayers. Our daily reminder as we go into the kitchen each morning and look out the south window we give our prayers to our loving, kind, passionate God to bring our brother your dad home to your family. May God continue to cover your family with the love and prayers from us all.

  45. Carroll Dunston

    We give our family members over to God – but He made us human and relational and realizes our natural anxieties. I was fortunate enough to be in Dr. Sloop’s capable hands at Total Health Foundation in Yakima for the month of July in 1986. As a pastor’s daughter (Canada) and pastor’s wife (US) and mother – I have been involved in numerous life-and-death situations. My husband’s men’s chorus is scheduled to visit Kiev in 2014. My mother’s family is from the Ukraine. My heart goes out to the family and church members who are concerned and praying.

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