One month.

Dad, Mom and Sasha.

Today marks a month since Dad went missing.

It, on one hand, seems like an eternity. But it also seems all of a few days.

Let me first stop to tell you what we know, which isn’t a lot.
The police continue to do their work. Investigations are often slow. We hope that this one will bring us some good news. It can be hard, some days, being hopeful.

The police tell us they are still investigating – but the word is always; nothing new, no new leads.

All the thinking we, and all the experts, have done give us no real motive for why this would happen. We can’t imagine any reasonable reason for holding him, or for harming him. It’s hard to imagine someone having a vendetta against Dad either.

So, we are left with the same horribly frustrating feeling – no rational sense for why, who, or even how.

That is difficult. We all like to have order, logic and some semblance of the rational when we try to make sense of things. This event has left us devoid of all that – sense, order, logic, rationality.

Yet we continue to have faith that “He is our God, and we are His people.” We continue to pray for a miracle. We would love it, if you would travel with us; praying and asking God for his will to be done:, for his comfort and care for all of us, for Dad, and for all of you too. We all need it.

I have a few words of thanks I want to give.

Thanks to all of you who have already offered your prayers, your thoughts and care. Thanks to all who offered their time, their food, their kind words, thoughts, hugs and tears. Thanks for your email and posts. Thanks for the phone calls, the letters, the many thoughtful things you’ve done for us.

I should have done this long ago…

Special thanks to:
Tyler Morgan
Jeff Lamberton
Evan Kinne
Ron Miller
{and all their families.}

These folks dropped everything to go to Kiev and help out in the search. They went into a completely unknown environment to help. I’m sure it worried their families greatly. We cannot say “Thanks,” enough.

And while Jeff Sloop is family, I’ll say that I was incredibly impressed with his skill, level-headedness and generosity. His care for “Granddaddy” shows in his immense desire to find him in good health and bring him home. I’m sorry Jeff that you couldn’t – sorry for us all. But take pride in your effort. You did an incredible job, in an incredibly difficult task.

I’ll also say that I’m very thankful for Lora and Lois, [Mom’s sisters] who came to stay with Mom, and help her. She too is incredibly grateful for their time and care.

To Randy: You went and endured the long hours and the stress. You left no reasonable avenue untried. Then you had to leave without having Dad come home with you. That has clearly been very hard. “Thanks” is such a small word. It seems inadequate. Though I don’t know what more one say? Really, “Thank you!”

Christine kept things going at work and home while Randy was away, and I know she worried – probably a lot more than I know. So, “thanks,” to her too for lending us Randy!

Rick and Linda have watched over Mom this whole time too, handling a million details that only someone being there can do. Thanks for all you’ve done and continue to do.

I’m sure there are many others whose names I’ve left out, who I may not know about, or who helped us unseen. I’m sorry I can’t reach out to each of you individually and tell you how wonderful you have all been – we’ve been so very grateful for all your help. Thanks, so very much.

Now I know this reads a little like an ending – but I don’t intend it that way. I just don’t want to forget to take the time to tell everyone thanks for all you’ve done.

We want all of you to know we noticed, we saw, we felt your care. And we appreciate all of it – such great helpings of care – we could never begin to repay. We just accept them, grateful to have such wonderful friends who care so much.


So, let me tell another story.

…I don’t recall exactly how old I was for this story, but I had to be in my late teens.

It’s in the same place I’ve discussed before – due south of “Sourdough gap,” not too far from the summit of Chinook pass.

We had a “father-son weekend” backpack trip with a group from church. It was a short trip, a weekend – hike in Friday night, and back out Sunday. It’s not a long hike, but the trail isn’t good either. There is lots of very heavy brush and slide alder etc. Much of the way, it’s no better than a deer trail – if that.

…So, we arrive in the car, just as it’s getting dark Friday night.

This is typical Sloop fashion – at least these Sloops. Lisa and I can tell you about all the times we’ve finished our hike-in, when backpacking, in the dark – by headlamp. We light the lantern to find a marginally reasonable spot to pitch a tent, and drop off to sleep, exhausted.

[The upside is, when you wake up in the morning – it’s like a surprise – you’ve not seen anything farther than perhaps 30 feet around the tent. But hiking in the dark, tired and late, isn’t the most fun you ever had. Just ask Lisa. J ]

Dad and I get out our packs and things. We get ready to go, and realize that, yes, it’s getting very dark, so even hiking very fast we’re never going to get there before it is pitch black. And when you’re hiking underneath such a thick canopy of brush – even a full moon isn’t going to help much. [Not that I recall any full moon.]

We look around the car. Hmmmm. No flashlights. No headlamps. No lantern.

Ah! A candle though! You know the kind, a stick candle. It was probably half used – with no more than six inches left.

What Dad had a candle in the car for, I’ll never know. And matches… I suppose we *were* backpacking, but even then – having matches was practically a miracle.

We didn’t have any wind-shield for the candle – so the whole idea seemed crazy to me, but we thought we’d try it. We’d hike the one and a half to two miles to the lake from the trail-head by candle light.

So, I hold the candle, and we get out the matches. We light the candle and then carefully walk along.

As you can imagine, a candle doesn’t give off much light – especially to the person behind. So, I’d walk half sideways, holding a hand in front of the candle to try to shield it from the wind and the breeze of walking.

Dad would follow along behind, trying not to stumble over too many things – trying to stay out of the spring/creek that runs along through there. I’d try to watch to be sure he got enough light while trying to watch where I’m going too.

Through all this, I’m trying to be careful not to fall down; Not only because I didn’t want to fall down, but I didn’t want to get burnt by the candle. And worse, wanting to be very sure I didn’t fall, drop the candle and start a fire in the brush. I’m sure starting a fire wasn’t likely, but it seemed there were more than just a few things that could go wrong in any given second.

It seemed incessant that the candle would flicker and nearly go out. I’d hold my breath, try to shelter the candle more, and stop to let the flame grow full again. Then we’d start moving once more.

We had the candle go completely out at least six times during the hike. We’d stop, in the blackness, find each other, make sure we were close enough, dig out the matches and Dad would light the candle again. Often, the match would blow out before the candle lit, and we’d try again [and again.]

As we got near the end of the hike, the supply of matches we had in the book was getting pretty low, and the abrasive strip to light the matches on was getting pretty worn too. I, if not Dad, started to worry about getting stuck in the middle – where we weren’t to our destination and not at the car either, when the matches or candle ran out.

The wax from the candle was by now almost entirely coating my hand and we were down to less than an inch of candle left.

Finally, not a minute too soon, we crested the ridge where the trail goes downhill to the lake, and the trail improves a lot too. It’s a very short walk to where everyone was camped – a few hundred yards or so. We’d made it – or almost.

A few minutes later, with only one more re-lighting ceremony, we arrived where everyone else already had gathered. We were right on time – Sloop time, anyway.

The fire was going and I think everyone else had their tents pitched and ready. We found a place to put ours [in the dark] and then sat around the fire. We cooked dinner and I recall roasting some marshmallows. Dad probably even ate a few – though I don’t recall for sure.

The rest of the weekend was uneventful. We hiked out Sunday morning, so there wasn’t any risk of needing the candle again.

But we had a comfortable time, and it’s one of the last times I recall being out with Dad before I got married. It’s one of those times you remember – a last time before a turn in life changed things so what was, is not the same again.

But Lisa and I have come back quite a number of times to this same spot, both with Dad and without.  [I’ll have to tell about the summer we were newly married and went with cousin Janet.]

Remembering these places are impossible without thinking of all the quiet, peaceful times we have spent: Skiing. Backpacking. Day hikes

Some alone; some with Dad. Some with much of the family. Some while young. Some not.

In all of it, I see Dad and his love of the time outdoors. I see now, how he was different, more relaxed, taking life a little slower – though still more driven than I probably appreciated. But the times Dad got away from work, from caring for his patients, and spent them outdoors – I’m sure those were some of his most cherished times. I’m glad I got to be with him for at least a few of them.

I’m glad I did, and I’d still love to have the opportunity to do so again.


[Posted with almost no editing – so excuse the inevitable typo’s and grammatical mistakes. I may come back and edit it later, if I get time. So, don’t be surprised if it changes some.]

27 thoughts on “One month.

  1. Thandi

    One month… What a month it’s been for you folk. Unimaginable-the not knowing. And soon the Sabbath, a day for family and fellowship will be upon you and still nothing. Praying…

  2. Rachelle Pleasant

    Thank you for the update. I check this website first thing every morning and last thing every night, always praying for “we’ve found him”, although I know if that were true the news would be plastered all over the media and I would have heard it already. Still, I hope. It doesn’t seem possible that a month has passed. And, as you said, the whole situation makes no sense. How could he just disappear? But, as you also said, “He is our God and we are his people”. And knowing that, wherever he is, our God is with Dr. Sloop helps a lot.

  3. Selene Hernandez

    I continue to pray with all of you and fast once a week. May God continue to give you strength, hope and patience. I cannot imagine what your family have been going through. Love your family and again thank you for the updates and stories, I really enjoy them.

  4. Lois Ellen Edwards

    Our prayers, and thoughts are with Dr. Jay Sloop, and his family every day, every moment our thoughts turn to Jay. We pray that our Lord will bring him home safe, and sound very soon. May God keep you all, and Jay in His hands.

  5. Nancy Sabari

    Your blog is always perfect “as is”. Please don’t worry about editing for any of your readers but use your time and energy for family!

  6. CH

    Each morning at 5:30 Am first thing I do is check your blog then begin my prayer and study with a pray for your dad and your family. We serve a mighty God and we know He loves you each dearly and His heartaches along with yours. Continuing to pray for a miracle. Thanks so much for the updates. Many are praying and believing God has not forsaken.

  7. Jessica

    I really enjoy the pictures you post and memories you share. I pray for your family often and have been fasting with you. Jay has touched so many lives, including mine.

  8. KR


  9. Don Glass

    We continue in a spirit of constant prayer for Jay and your family, and look forward to an autographed copy of “the book” of Sloop family experiences which hopefully will be forthcoming when time permits.

    Don & Drucilla


    I read the article of your father missing. I checked the website hoping to see you had found him. I will continue to check ever day and pray for the safe return. I know God is with him and I have faith that he will be safe and continue to have faith and hope.
    Power in prayer
    Bless you and your families. I will check daily until his return.

    Michelle Kirkley

  11. Virginia Davidson

    Thank you for the update, for the stories. We’re still praying…

  12. Toni Nickell

    Special prayers to all of you on Father’s Day. My prayers continue to follow you each day……

  13. Barbara Bolton

    I think I speak for many when I say that, even though I do not know you or your family personally, we are deeply interested in the saga unfolding in your life and eagerly wait for any word you share. I, personally, have really enjoyed the family stories and pictures you have posted. When I logged into Facebook recently, I saw a friend’s status that I wanted to share with you: “Don’t confuse God’s silence with indifference.” I KNOW, even when I can’t see Him working or feel Him moving, that God cares and that He comforts. I pray for your family and the friends of your father that you will feel that incredible peace that truly passes all understanding and that you will be given an answer. May you feel His blessings and comfort today!

  14. Sandy Collins

    Every time I see someone from my church they ask if there is any news yet. Some of them have looked at your blog and see a picture of the man and his family that I have talked about in nearly every testimony I have ever given. Memories of the office, the TV that he put in the waiting room and the videos he prepared for his patients to watch, stories of your Saturday family nights, your mother’s noon concerts when doctor would turn pages for her (such a tiny lady to make such wonderful music on that big organ), Mt St Helens and the patient waiting for us on the sidewalk in front of the office that Monday morning, stories of you boys in the orchard. Well, I could go on and on but needless to say that the 17 or so years I was involved with the Sloops is still memorable. He would be happy to know that I have adjusted my diet to meet some of those suggestions he made years ago. Praying for God’s intervention and love for Doctor and Sharlene and for you all.

  15. admin Post author

    Thanks Sandy! [I thought I’d reply here, instead of email.]

    I’m so glad that you have good memories of the time you spent together.
    Thanks for the thoughts, kind-words and prayers. We need and greatly appreciate them!


  16. Karen Kae Cyr (Corpron)

    My prayers continue for Jay and your entire family. Your Dad taught me so much about the goodness of life, faith, to believe in miracles, and God’s love. He so exemplified Christ through his words, deeds, and actions. I will forever be grateful for his life, his love, for sharing his faith, humor, quick wit, strength, and determination. I am praying for a miracle. Wherever he is, God is with him. For this, I am certain. God bless you, comfort you, and hold you in the palm of His hands.

  17. George & Dena Guthrie

    Our Sabbath School class still asks regularly for updates and they don’t even know you…way out here in Florida. But we care. Lots! And prayers continue. Faith grows deeper through this trying experience…strangely enough. Jesus knows and His promises abound. He will never leave us or forsake us. I believe he was and is with your dad…and will always be with him until Jesus comes. We fervently hope you will have him home again between now and the glad day when all mysteries are resolved.

    What memories you share with your dad! I can’t help feeling thankful that you have so many good memories…more than some can say about their dad. You are a blessed family! Dena Guthrie

  18. Karen Glassford

    We continue to pray for you and your family! May God wrap his arms of love around each one of you and help in this very difficult situation!

  19. Frosty and June Cross

    Thank you for your messages! We continue to remember your father and your family in prayer!

  20. Tatiana Heller

    Dear Greg,
    May God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – continue being with your whole wonderful family. Love and tender care that are felt throughout the world towards your dearest Dad – and clearly, an exceptional human being, – are very tangible.
    This is, also, one of the ways God works: powerful, misterious, and loving.
    May you continue being buoyed by the kind prayers of so many whose lives were richly touched by a legendary Doctor Jay Sloop, as well as many of those who, like myself, had learned about him only as a result of his disappearance and your blog.

    Much Love, my brother in The Lord!
    (- to all of the Sloops)
    Keep in touch. Hang in there!
    You’re in my prayers +

    – Tatiana

  21. Karen Ritchey

    Though we have not met, I have been praying for, and thinking of your family, since I first heard of your Dad going missing. I have been deeply troubled by this story and long with you for good news…know that people care and are continuing to lift you all up to our Heavenly Father…who has had His eyes closely on your Dad and husband each moment, even though from down here it appears he is lost. God will make it all right, one day soon…Hugs of courage. Warmly, Karen Ritchey. Alberta. Canada.

  22. Sharlene Gibbon

    I have been praying for Jay and all of his family since the conference first posted he’s missing & will continue to do so until you get some answers.

  23. George & Dena Guthrie

    In prayer meeting last night I used the pew Bible and found a prayer request card in its pages with what appeared to be a child’s handwriting on it.

    The message read: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end!”

    Since I was praying most especially for your dad that night, I found comfort in the little note.

    God will yet have the last word and the story is not over.


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