Final update for Friday

The day is basically spent now, and we still have not found Jay.

Again, my information on what has happened and what the plans are is incomplete – but I’ll still try to give my best review of what we know, what’s happened and what is planned. [This is a longish post.]

First, let me address some topics I’ve seen tossed around, with a lot of bad / wrong / misunderstood information mixed in.

1) We are not aware of any coerced ATM or other bank transactions. Yes, he did make an ATM withdrawal shortly after he left for his walk Tuesday morning. It was for a very moderate amount of money, and the camera footage of him making the withdrawal does not show anyone with him. It doesn’t appear to show him in any distress or being coerced

No bank transactions have been attempted, related to Jay, since he disappeared

2) We are not aware of any possibility that he was kidnapped or otherwise taken by anyone. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, but there certainly isn’t any evidence, I’m aware of, that he was.

3) The US embassy staff and US State Department have been very helpful and are working with us and the people in-country to do the most they can. We’re impressed.

4) The Ukrainian Union and officials, as well as many private individuals HAVE been helping, and doing a lot. However, there is always misunderstandings and the knowledge between parties isn’t perfect. We’re very grateful for the assistance we’ve received and we know that each person and group is doing as much and as well as they can.

Again, misunderstandings do occur. Here’s an example.
On Thursday, we had intended to search the park, using a grid search. [You break the area to be searched into smaller blocks and have a group of people search each block, every section carefully. You repeat this for the whole space you are interested in searching.]

As the day progressed, we were discouraged since no-one showed up to help Jeff and Ron search. As we inquired at the end of the day – we were told that a lot of students DID show up. But we were really confused – because we hadn’t seen them.

Well, with some wonderful help [Thanks Natasha I. and Marina K-G.] communicating with the people in Ukraine we found out the following: The students and others did come on Thursday. Since they [or someone] felt the park was searched on Tues and Wed, they decided to hand out flyers and make contacts around the Union office and locales. While this probably isn’t what we would have had them doing had we known – it’s not like no-one was volunteering to help. So through misunderstanding and language barriers, the efforts were not coordinated. But everyone was doing what they thought best and all working hard.

So, there’s no criticism for the hearts of the people. They’re doing their best, just like we are. Sometimes it’s not what we’d pick, and I’m sure they have felt the same way about our choices. But we all do our best.

However, Friday has been a far different picture. We have some additional resources that came in overnight Thursday night, and those people have been extremely helpful in making the search more organized and more effective. Nothing changed in the willingness to help, just the effectiveness and organization got a lot better.

So, to recap today’s outcome:

The search of the park is done, and we found no sign of Jay. It’s hard to think there’s any possibility he’s laying out there in the park somewhere and we missed him – the entire park was searched very thoroughly.

This takes away what we considered as the most probable situation – that Jay had suffered a fall, or other catastrophic health problem, was assaulted or something similar, and was lying out in the thick growth somewhere in the park.

But given the results [or lack of results] from the search, we feel like we must assume he’s not laying in the park somewhere.

This leaves us with a lot of questions:
If he’s not laying in the park, where is he? What other things should we do to continue to search in the most productive way?
What to try next?

The answers to those questions are ones that we and the experts are considering now and working to formulate a plan for tomorrow.

I know we’ll be talking to people who regularly visit the park, tomorrow. We’ll ask them what they recall about last Tuesday and if they might have seen Jay in any particular portion of the park, or if he was interacting with anyone etc.

We haven’t had an update from the expert on-site who is coordinating and directing the search since the end of the day Friday, so we don’t have much more in the way of a “plan” for tomorrow. I’m sure there IS a plan, we’re just not quite aware of it yet.

As always, being thousands of miles away is hard. We always want more information than we have, and we are tempted to believe that we know better, or have things in mind that haven’t been tried. Occasionally that’s true – but most often it’s not.

I think we must be as “patient” as possible and work with the very kind, helpful and wonderful people who have come to our aid in finding Jay. We will continue to ask for God’s protection and care for all involved and ask that this saga ends well.

I hope to have more detailed information as time goes on and a more clear view of where we go from here. But at the moment, it’s time to re-group and gather some more ideas and information to see what makes the most sense to do next. When I know that, and can share, I will.

Thanks again to all those expressing their care, and sympathy. You’re awesome.

Lots of thanks to all the wonderful people of the Union office, and the volunteers in Ukraine who have taken days of their lives to come and search for, as Jay is called – “the grandfather with the red suspenders.”

Personal thanks to Marina and Natasha [And Shaundi who got me in touch with them.] They have been awesome and funny, and great to work with. Thanks, so very much! There would be a lot more unresolved misunderstandings without you!

We will give more as we know it.

25 thoughts on “Final update for Friday

  1. Bennett Luckiesh

    I’m still praying and i posted for all my friends to pray as well … Let me know if I can do some more to help…

  2. Cheryl Arnott

    So very sorry, I cant imagine what the family is going through but want you to know the Adventist church in Yucca Valley, CA, is praying!!

  3. Tammy Wharton

    We are praying for his safe return in the medical center in Yakima!

  4. Ross and Leona Wilkinson

    Praying for the family of Jay Sloop, and that his whereabouts will be found.

  5. Ross and Leona Wilkinson

    We are praying for Sharlene and all the Sloop family at this time, and for the Lord’s intervention to locate Jay.

  6. Mary

    Thank you for taking the time to keep us all updated.

    Jay, the family and everyone searching for him are in our prayers. I do have what are probably simplistic questions. Did he have a cell phone with GPS (or any other tracking device)? Are there trained canines available that could possibly try to track his whereabouts? if not, can the State Department or Embassy help with those type of resources?

    I hope and pray he is located soon.


    Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  7. Bonny Alkofer

    Greg, we really appreciate this blog and thank you so much for clearing up all those rumors & misconceptions. This helps a lot. Many of us were filled with dread, thinking that someone could have robbed him and done him physical harm. The fact that his ATM card has NOT been used by anyone other than him is very reassuring. We are saddened that Dr. Jay is still missing however. It’s good to hear that the Ukrainian people & the authorities there ARE helping….much more so than we thought.
    God bless you and ALL the Sloop family. God be with you as you continue to search. And Thank you again for this blog.

  8. Dave Anderson

    Jay is constantly in my thoughts. Thank you for keeping us up to date on the situation. He was so helpful to my father and our family last year the last couple of years that I couldn’t thank him enough. We are all praying for his safe return soon.

  9. Larysa Baydala

    My relatives live near Kiev. Today I talk to my cousin and he said that the whole city is talking about “the american doctor who disapeared”. It’s been all over the news and internet. My cousin and some of his friends, who are not Adventist at all, been searching for him the whole day today. We have been praying hourly for Dr. Sloop’s safe return!!!! May God gives you peace and wisdom in this difficult time.

  10. Shelly Brown

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Dr. Jay delivered both of my boys, and I remember him as a wonderfully kind and gentle man.
    Thank you for the updates, and please continue to stay strong through this ordeal.

  11. Pastor John L. Bechtel

    Just wanted you and your family to know that I and my church are praying for Jay. I interned in Yakima back in the 70s and had the great privilege of working closely with your dad – we held several stop smoking clinics together and actually rewrote the program to make it more effective. You are all in our prayers – and especially let your mom know we are praying. I firmly believe that God will bring about a good end to this – so keep your faith strong. He is working “all things together for good….” Blessings in Jesus. Pastor John L. Bechtel, Livermore SDA Church, Livermore, CA .

  12. Rachelle Pleasant

    Thank you so much for the updates. I keep checking the blog every couple of hours hoping for good news–I can’t imagine what it’s like to be part of Dr. Sloop’s immediate family. My church and everyone I know is praying for him and all of his family–he has touched so many lives in so many ways. Love and prayers to you all.

  13. Lee & Marji Venden

    Dr. Jay has been in our thoughts and prayers nearly constantly since first hearing the news. We are presenting a revival seminar in Waynesboro, VA, and today will ask the members of the church here to join in praying for his safety and soon return.

  14. Pam (salter) achabal, Vaughnie Helde's and Gary and Patty Salter

    We are heart sick and gave been praying multiple times per day for Dr sloop. We continue to pray for his safe return. We also are praying for his family to give them strength during this difficult time.

  15. Bonnie & Jerry Moore

    Praying and sharing your status with Facebook friends. Many faiths are praying for his safe return and for God’s divine intervention. Dr. has delivered all four of our children. Thank you for the up-dates.

  16. Karen Sincavage Widmer

    This is for Sharlene,
    Though I have not seen you since Total Health days, Janie sent me Greg’s blog. I consider it an honor to join you by praying. Karen

  17. Jay and Nadine Munsey

    I worked for Jay’s dad at Gem State Academy. Randall was friends with my parents, Cassius and Hazel Munsey. We just wanted you to know we are praying for his safety and for the Lord to wrap His loving arms around you.

    Jay and Nadine Munsey

  18. Linda Tsibulsky

    I didn’t know if you knew but this has been reported on TV and a lot of people know about your dad going missing. I live in Kiev. Been posting on fb since the first night and went out yesterday morning.
    Lots of folks are praying for your dad and for your family to feel God’s arms of love wrapped tightly around you just now.

  19. Rose Hartwell

    Continuing to add updates on the devotional I send out five days a week and am praying for this situation. God knows where he is and is watching over him. May God lead you to him soon.

  20. Joyce (Hill) Watterud

    Jay holds a special place in my heart because he is the one who led me to baptism. I hope and pray that he is found safe. I pray that God will protect him, and guide the searchers in their efforts. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family.

  21. Ross and Leona Wilkinson

    We continue to pray for the whereabouts of Dr. Jay, as well as for Sharlene and family. May you all continue to abide and trust in God during this time.

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