Sunday afternoon…

A guest at a meal in Serbia – where he was also helping setup medical facilities to care for people’s mental, spiritual and physical well-being.

We don’t have any great news or lots of activity from yesterday. There are few leads on where Dad might be, sightings etc.

Yesterday was a quiet day in the search. Many of you following, are also Adventist, and realize the significance of Saturday to us.

Others of you who are not Adventist may not realize the significance of Saturday for us. [What religious label one puts on people, means little to me. I know there are many who know us, or know Dad and who offer their kind words and thoughts who have no organized religion, or are Baptist, Mormon, Catholic, and a myriad of others – I don’t think God puts much stock in our religious affiliation, and a lot more in where our hearts are, and how we respond to his calling of us.]

So, if you’re not acquainted with Adventists, and Saturday – I’ll just give a short description, so perhaps things make a little more sense. Saturday is, to us, Gods day of rest. If you’re aware of how devout Jews observe Saturday that’s pretty close to our observance of “Sabbath” too. From sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night, we try to step away from the rush and bustle of the world, and take special time to spend with God. That generally means not doing work for our own benefit or profit, and not doing many of the things we’d do any other day of the week.

Again, it’s intended to be a time when we just step out of “regular” work-a-day life to take special time with God to reflect and communicate with him.

Ok, so enough with the mini-theology lesson.

So, Saturday, we tend to step away from the usual work-day events.

This wouldn’t prevent us from looking for Dad, and it didn’t today either. But given that there’s less and less we can do directly, and more and more that the police are doing – we did take less time actively working on the search, and more time with God.

I know that Sergei and his wife, Randy and others spent time walking the area and checking if posters were still up etc.

They also followed up on reported sightings. These can verge into the ridiculous – but they do need follow-up. In one case, a reported sighting was followed up on, and the person reporting having seen Jay Sloop described his appearance as “someone in their 30’s with a beard and smoking.” Randy commented, wryly that being lost a week did the most unbelievable things with your age, appearance and habits. [Dad, being in his late 70’s, clean shaven, and having never smoked in his life. And one would expect to see him torturing puppies or something, before he smoked.]

We have not heard much if anything from the police. We’re not sure if we will hear anything substantial – at least detail wise – so we may not have lots to tell you in the coming days with any real detail.

I’ve been thinking about some times we spent together with Dad and here’s one trip that comes to mind.

Here in Yakima, we spent quite a lot of time in the mountains. We’d go up on the weekends to cross-country ski, or hike – depending on the season. Spending time outdoors in physically tough exertion [read: death-march, by my definition] was “normal.”

One such trip was to Surprise Lake. I don’t believe I’ve been back since this trip, so I’m sure my recollection of it is probably not accurate. But it’s the recollection of the boy-me, I’m guessing 10-12 years old.

It seemed an endless hike, hot, dusty and all while carrying a heavy pack and climbing up, up, up.

The trivia we recall is interesting too: We came across a bull snake eating a frog. A large frog was only partly in the snake’s mouth, with most of the body and legs still hanging out.  I was, and still am, a total softie, and wanted to rescue the frog – but that tendency doesn’t seem as strong in the rest of the family, so I kept my mouth shut. [I don’t care for snakes very much, and like frogs, so that certainly increased my pity for the poor frog.]

However we carried on, and the “death-march” continued. We did eventually arrive in camp, and stayed a couple of nights. [If I recall correctly we went out on Friday and stayed through Sunday morning.]

I don’t recall much of time in camp – I think it was mostly the parts with lots of adversity that I recall best.

So the final morning we were planning to stay rolls around. We start working on breakfast and breaking camp. I may recall this wrong, but I think this is how it happened … we started to eat our hot-cereal [not a Greg favorite anyway] and it just tasted off.

After several queries about what was odd about the cereal, we learned that there had been a complication that was fixed in a particularly Dad-Jay way.

As it turns out, the amount of cereal needed for the trip had been insufficient. So, when Dad added all the cereal to the pot of water he had, it was not enough to thicken the cereal sufficiently and it was like soup. [And I’m sure that wouldn’t have gone over well either.]

So, Dad’s solution? Presto! Add mashed potato flakes and it’s now “normal” – at least in consistency. We were very unimpressed. I’m not sure how much this bothered my brothers, but I am a fairly picky eater. There are certain things you don’t mix together, and foods should NOT be liberally mixed together on the plate either. [They *can* touch, but they shouldn’t be holding hands!]

As you can imagine, this “solution” to runny cereal wasn’t my idea of a “good” fix. As I recall, it wasn’t considered a good fix by either of my brothers.

To this day, Dad still defends his solution by claiming that it couldn’t have been all that bad, since everyone ate their portion. Bah! It was that or nothing, and with a death-march imminent for the return trip, not eating wasn’t one of the better options.

The trip out must not have been quite as bad as the trip in, since I can’t recall much of it. I guess it was downhill.

[I don’t know if everyone else’s mind works as mine does, but it would be nice if all the really good things were what we remember, instead of the bad things. As Charlie Brown says…”Good things last eight seconds, bad things last three weeks.”]

So, we were planning to meet Mom who was going to meet up with us and spend some more time in the area. She was planning on bringing more food and we’d enjoy the rest of the day together.

[For those of you who know Mom, you’ll be fully aware that she isn’t the outdoorsy type. So, she wasn’t along for the backpacking portion of the trip. I’m sure she is eternally grateful, especially after hearing our story.]

I don’t know if Mom was running late, or we were running early, or exactly what happened – but when we got to where we might meet Mom, there was no Mom to meet us. This wouldn’t have typically been much of an issue, except that we didn’t have any food, we were tired and feeling a little put out – at least I was!

We drove to a tiny little store on Highway 12 where there was a pay-phone where Dad could call Mom and see where she was, and when to expect her. [In the days, long before ubiquitous cell phones. (and birch-bark for lunch.)]

While Dad was making the phone-call, I decided to see what was available to eat in the store. I couldn’t have had much money, and given Dad’s focus on good-health and eating right, donuts probably weren’t an option – even if I’d had the money.

So, while I can’t recall much of the thought process selecting my delicacy, I picked the cheapest loaf of plain bread I could find. Though it wasn’t quite doughy white bread, it was certainly close. And no, we didn’t have butter or peanut butter available. It was just going to be the delight of plain slices of bread – one slice, right after the other. But when you’re hungry, even hot-cereal with mashed potatoes mixed in seems palatable! Plain bread, some miles and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of calories later looks positively delicious!

When I arrived back at the car, I was horrified to find my brother Randy – who seems to have little care for how something tastes and isn’t the slightest bit picky about what he’s fed – had gotten out the dry cup-o’soup packets, and was finishing up dumping the dry powder into his mouth!

Gulp, cringe, shut-my-eyes to shield myself from the sight! To make things even worse, it was split-pea soup! I hated peas – I can still remember gagging and feeling I was absolutely going to die, one time when Dad felt I needed to eat some. The flavor is horrible, they pop in your mouth, the consistency is awful – ugh!

So, Randy was dumping dry soup powder, split-pea no less, into his mouth and eating it. His lips were a nice, very attractive, powdered, blotchy green.

<Shudder!> It still gives me the willies thinking about it.

Well, when I arrived on the scene with a nice fresh loaf of bread, it was amazing how friendly my brothers became.  It’s a shame I didn’t think of the “Jacob and the birthright story” in the bible just then, because that could have been a very good return on a measly loaf of bread.

In a very few minutes, the loaf of bread was gone.

But even more amazing was Dad. I don’t recall if he got back to the car before the whole loaf of bread was consumed or not – but I do absolutely recall what he brought back.

As I’ve said, Dad was pretty serious about eating right. And since he didn’t fix our meals, I just never considered what he might bring from the store for us to eat. [Figs and parched corn, perhaps? Something “healthy” was likely in any case.]

I still remember being astonished that he bought CANDY BARS for us. I didn’t see it as a fancy candy-bar, just “Big Hunk.”  But my Dad, having purchased a candy-bar?! A candy bar for me to eat?! I’m not sure it could have been any more startling if the angel Gabriel had stopped by to give it to me! Yeah, a candy-bar, from Dad! Unthinkable!

We ate the bread and candy-bars and eventually Mom showed up with even more attractive food.

But I still remember the mashed potatoes, the green powdered lips, the loaf of bread and the candy-bars!

And it’s surprising how the little things stick in our minds, and how we can sometimes break the way we see each other, and act in new, delightful and surprising ways.

So, do something nice, new and thoughtful for those you love and care for today.

We continue to search and pray. We ask that you keep Dad in your thoughts and prayers too. If someone is holding him, I hope they take him doughnuts today.

We will leave it in God’s hands – he’s in charge.


22 thoughts on “Sunday afternoon…

  1. Karen Lamberton

    Thanks for the stories…
    Praying for your dad many times a day…
    My sweet neighbor across the street said that she will keep praying until your dad comes home… 🙂 I second that!

  2. Margaret G. Haverstock

    I knew your parents when we both lived in Lubbock, Texas long ago. I left there before they did I think, in 1968. Jay was at the Air Base along with Ron Mack and your mother played the organ at church. Don Glass is the person who alerted me about this disaster. I have put Jay and your family on my permanent prayer list, and all of this makes me so sad. We have done mission work for a number of years, (my husband is a general surgeon now retired, of course, since he is 91. I was a teacher, and we spent a year in Jamaica, a year in Mexico, a year on the island of Chuuk, and 10 years on the island of Saipan. All of the places you go over seas ( in my experience) have a certain amount of danger involved. Probably where your dad was seemed more similar to the States than the places where we were. Bob also went by himself to places like Columbia, though I went with him to Nicaragua and Guatemala. All of this is unimportant, I just wanted to reassure you that I understand very well why he was there and to tell you that I am very concerned for his safety and for the pain this is causing his family and friends, and just pray that God will keep Jay safe in His Hands wherever he is. And I know that God hears the prayers and will answer them in His Way and Time. With love and prayers, Georgene (Pate) Haverstock.

  3. Selene Hernandez

    Greg thanks again for the updates and for the stories. It reminds me of the stories he used to tell us at the office every time he would go camping with the grandkids. I will continue to pray and fast one day a week until he is found and comes home. God bless you and your family.


  4. Vaughnie Helde

    Thank you so much for your updates, and your stories. I chuckle at your humor, and how your remember things. I send a prayer to God every time I think about him and your family. I sit in his Sabbath school class and can hear his “chuckle” in my mind.. I pray for the Best of outcomes, but also that it be Gods will, which we don’t always understand.

  5. Jean Anne Nelson

    God is great all the time!!! Still praying for Dr. Randall Sloop and his family….I’ve requested that the SDA church in Stevens Point, WI is praying too (I know they are, even though I’m not a member). Your dad delivered my first child. (Thank you God!) He also prayed with me in his office when I miscarried on my second pregnancy at 14 weeks.

    I love your stories about your dad (he sounds like my hubby). I would also love to hear more about your mother (who sounds like me). Whatever is in store, we know that God is in total control and that even if we do or don’t like the answer… the end, it is for the greater good. Your dad is in God’s plan! Praying several times a day for you all. May God Bless you with the answers that you are looking for!

  6. Virginia Davidson

    Thank you for your stories, Greg—you tell them well! I love reading memories of your dad!

    We continue to pray for him, and for all of you—courage, comfort, cheer, and the assurance of God’s presence. And of course, if it could be in His will, the restoration of your dad to his family…alive and well.

    Meanwhile, it’s almost fun to imagine Dr. Sloop prodding…[whoever he might be with] to live healthier, to awaken a hunger for something better, to come to know God. May it be so!

  7. Gayle Foster

    I never knew your dad, but the picture of him came up on the prayer list and I instantly liked him enormously. I pray for you’all many times a day and check your blog morning and evening. I love the pictures and stories. God knows where he is and all about it. Of course, you wish He’d tell you! Sooner, rather than later! Yet, we must trust Him to have good reasons for what He is doing or seemingly not doing!

    Check with the police often for updates!

    Many blessings for you and your family and friends,

    Gayle Foster

  8. Roy L Galutia

    Mixing mashed potatoes with cereal ….sounds like something my dad would have done 😉 …. continued prayers for your dad and your family

  9. Mary

    Thank you Greg. Keeping Jay, your family and everyone involved in the search in our prayers.

  10. Julie Hyatt

    Like so many others who live in Yakima, i am praying for your dear dad – and for all of you, actually. I have read several of your “recollections” and they are so delightful. What a blessing to grow up in the Sloop home! i was not a patient of your dad’s, but i had friends who were, and I can remember hearing his name with much admiration for as long as we have lived in Yakima – almost 33 years. Thank you for your posts and your poignant stories about your family. May God hold you all close to His great heart as you continue hoping and praying for your dad’s safe return. We continue to pray and believe!

  11. Herb & Gail Giebel


    Thank you SO much sharing not just updates but special memories of your Dad. The photos are also GREAT! It is apparent that he was enjoying the Ukraine!

    You all continue in our prayers.

    Herb and Gail

  12. Kelly Ferris

    Greg. Your stories about hiking with your Dad made me remember the time that you and I and you Dad climbed Mt Adams. You were about 12 at the time. You do remember me, right? I was the one who tutored you a few times in algebra. Anyway, as I recall, we drove up, probably on a Saturday night, slept on the ground at the base of the mountain, got up at about 5 a.m. and then climbed up and down in one day, mostly in the snow. I don’t really remember much about the hike except that it was grueling, like climbing stairs for 6 or 8 hours straight. However, we then got to slide a lot of the way down on the snow on our coats. Now that part was fun. It is a great memory to me and was a great character building experience. Which makes me think of the many lessons I learned from your Dad. You know, like the one about how our health is like a canoe. Our body is designed to accomplish a lot just like a canoe is designed to carry a lot if everything is in “balance”. So, as with a canoe filled with 5 people, if one person leans over the side, the whole canoe capsizes, so too, if one of the health aspects of our life get out of balance, our diet, exercise, rest, toxic substances or relationship to God, our health will fail. I have taught that lesson many times since hearing it during one of his many health lectures he gave at Total Health. During this time I have been recalling the many experiences I had with your Dad and your family for the 3 years I was there in Yakima. I know there are several of us who were influenced tremendously by your Dad, like me and Carla and Janie, who were at Total Health. And just know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and Dad and your family during this time.

  13. Pam Belton

    Praying for strength for your entire family. Although I did not personally know your dad, Dr. Randy and Dr. Christine delivered all four of my children. They went above and beyond the call of being doctors, and treated their patients like family. According to the character traits that I’ve read about your father through this blog, they are traits that are exhibited by the entire Sloop family. My prayers go out to your mother, you and your siblings, Dr. Jay’s grandchildren, and all those who are helping to find him.

  14. Carmela &bob newstead

    Love and prayers to jay and your whole family . We have been keeping abreast. twiss, havens, and Newsteads

  15. Mark and Brenda Smith

    Hi Greg and Lisa,

    We just want to know that we have been following your blog and we have been praying for your dad and your family. We will continue to pray until this is resolved. Call us if you need to talk or if there is ANYTHING that we can do for you.

    Thoughts and prayers,
    Mark and Brenda

  16. Juliet Mugadza

    Thanking God for your strength. Thank you for your updates we keep following. Waiting on God to reveal the mystery. Prayers to all of you and the church. It’s turf for all of us let alone the immediate family. Thoughts are with you all the time.

  17. Julie Gerber

    Sloop family, I just want you to know that the Yakima Adventist Christian School is praying for your family and Dr. Sloop and the other people involved in finding him. I myself pray for him and wish that if he is being held hostage that somehow that this will turn out a positive way. Maybe save lives as well as his own. I really am unsure how this will happen, but i just have to leave that to God as well. I have heard the Spokane Valley church is praying as well for everyone. I have lots of people praying for you guys and Dr. Sloop. Always in my prayers and may God return Dr.Sloop to us.

  18. Cheryl Roberts

    Dear Greg Sloop… Thank you for the fun stories, wonderful pictures, and updates.
    Your Dad was my doctor when we lived in the Valley. He is dearly loved by many!

    Thinking of Dr. Jay Sloop…
    Thinking of what he would remind us to do:

    D well on what is admirable,
    R ead favorite verses,

    S mile, go for a walk, and eat healthy,
    L ove and trust God,
    O rganize good thoughts on paper,
    O pen our hearts to hope, and
    P ray!

    Hoping and praying for a miracle!

  19. George & Dena Guthrie

    Greg, I love the human interest stories you post! Even in the midst of our deep concern, they make me laugh. It is cathartic…for all of us…to share your stories. And the pictures of your dad…they are terrific pictures, his face so full of life and joy.

    I claim so many Bible texts for Jay and each of you. My husband, George, and I pray about this situation many times a day. I include anyone who may be holding him, too…for the people who know. Many, many hearts around the globe share this burden.

    Dena from Orlando, FL

  20. Jeanene Smith

    Thank you for the updates and stories of your hiking in the Yakima area. I did drop a note in the mailbox for your mom since I drive by on my way home off Englewood.
    I want her to know there are many people sending prayers your way and her way.
    We are praying for your dad everyday. Please know Yakima feels so bad that he is missing. The picture at the restaurant is very good of him.
    Thank you for the most interesting updates, and your stories are so insiteful.
    God Bless, Prayers,
    Jeanene Smith

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