October 2010                            Compiled monthly by Phyllis King, Head Injury Survivor                           Volume 21, Number 10

Celebrating Years!




   The first issue of More Than Survivors went out in October 1990, 20 years ago this month.


   The following is from that first issue of MTS in 1990.



About the Name



   In Christ, we are much more than just survivors. In fact, we are told in Romans 8:37 that through Christ, we are more than conquerors—over everything that tries Pto separate us from Him and His love. And this includes a brain injury and all of the many problems that come with it.



How More Than Survivors Came About



   My brain injury occurred on February 4, 1988, when I was the pedestrian in an auto-pedestrian accident. The idea for this newsletter came to me a few months after the accident through a cognitive therapist, Mischa Ballard. She planted the seed and watered it slowly and very patiently. And in the meantime, she brought me cognitively to where I could do the work and spiritually to where I saw the need and could accept the responsibility.



   Among other things, she guided my reading and helped me understand more clearly what God tells us in His Word about how He uses suffering. And I feel that one very important truth about having catastrophic events in our lives is that they set us up to receive special blessings from God.




   And then on August 12, 2000, I fell off a ladder and sustained what the doctor in the ER called a “minor” head injury. Over time, God has brought me back cognitively if not completely physically.


Thank You . . .



   I thank God, who is the alpha and the omega, the start and the finish, for bringing MTS into existence and keeping it–and you and me–going during these 20 years.


   And I thank Him for the ways He has encouraged me to step forward and let Him use me when He showed me a need.


   The roses on the cake are for all of you:


  you who have shared from your experience in an article, a letter, a poem, or art

   you who read MTS and let God speak to you through others’ words

   you who pray for writers who express needs in MTS and for MTS itself

   you who are a pen pal

   you who have encouraged me in person or in a letter, a note, a phone call, or an e-mail

   you who contribute financially


We Would Like to Hear from Y U!


     Maybe you have never shared what God is doing in your life. Or maybe it has been a while since you’ve shared, and you have an update.


     Maybe you are a family member or a friend of a Head Injury Survivor and have experiences to share that would encourage or give insight to families and friends of other Head Injury Survivors.


     Or maybe you are a health care professional with insights on serving God in your practice.


     AND if you have never made a financial contribution, please think about sending one. It costs only $10 a year to print and mail your subscription, but when you multiply $10 by 414 subscribers in four countries, it adds up. (In addition, 33 subscribers receive MTS by e-mail.) If you are able to contribute, it would be a BIG   !





by  Sandra Stone Lehmann

Phoenix, Arizona

Head Injury Survivor



Happy Anniversary, More Than Survivors! I count it a privilege to address this readership from time to time, and prayerfully hope that something I write encourages and blesses you. I will observe the anniversary of my own head injury on December 16, and it will mark twenty-two years of my transformed life.


I had been on my journey with the Lord for a number of years—teaching His Word, ministering through music, communicating through writing. Slowly, without recognition, I became rather self-reliant with my multi-faceted personality and giftedness.


The assault on my brain totally blind-sided me. I was left with memory and cognitive deficits, which disrupted my entire life. How could you, God, let this happen to me? Thankfully, my faith in God remained intact; but two years had passed before I was able to appropriate any of that into my situation.


During that healing and recovery process, the Spirit of God totally over-hauled my “thought processing center.” Never again would I see through spiritually blinded eyes. Now, I fully understand that everything I do and say is dependent upon divine strength and power! 


That was a pivotal point in my life, and I have established a memorial there, in my mind and heart, so that

 I will never forget!! The end result has been greater depth in every dimension.


I have other such memorials—the day I accepted Christ as my personal savior, my water baptism, my empowerment with the Spirit, my wedding day, births of my children, births of grandchildren, and now a great-grandchild. All of these blessings, and more, are mine because of the love


and grace of God. I can sing Great Is Thy Faithfulness and Blessed Assurance with passion, because I have experienced Him!!


Throughout the Word of God, you will find many incidents where the Children of Israel erected memorials, to God, to remind themselves and future generations of God’s benefits. May we never forget what God has done for each of us, and always remember that Nothing is impossible with God!



One instance of God’s reminders to the Children of Israel is their laying of twelve stones—one for each tribe of Israel—at their first campsite after God parted the Jordan River so the Israelites could cross into the Promised Land.


 “Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, ‘In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, “What do these stones mean?” tell them, “Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.”’”

Joshua 4:20–21 (NIV)



November 17, 2000 (my birthday)



Don has improved day by day this week, and we are rejoicing!! The setbacks still come, but they don’t last as long as before. He is much more steady on his feet and is able to move about the house without someone shadowing him to catch him if he would fall. We no longer need someone to stay with us through the night! He has been sleeping hours and hours, and he seems clearer and brighter each time he wakes from these long periods of sleep. How we praise the Lord!


        Jill Vanderhoof
        Wife of Head Injury Survivor

    To purchase this 52-page book, send $4.50 to

            Don & Jill Vanderhoof
            1 Cross Court
            Greenville, SC 29607


   The following is from a book of devotions by Linda Lamb, of Brookville, Pennsylvania.

Say So


 “Let the redeemed of the LORD say this—

   those he redeemed from the hand of the foe.”                      

Psalm 107:2 (NIV)


   Many of us have met people who thought we should keep our faith to ourselves privately, not sharing it. I cannot explain why. We have the greatest news in the world: sins forgiven, eternal life, precious children of the Creator of the universe, a healer who saves, keeps, and satisfies. We are also told as redeemed ones to say so. We want to praise Him who redeemed us from the enemy in any way we can. We are only here a little while, and we want to share the wonderful words of life while we can. Now is the time to witness through speaking, living praying, passing out tracts, or whatever way GOD leads.


   Praise GOD for the price He paid to redeem us. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so.      


Dear LORD, thanks for

our redemption. Help us witness well.

In JESUS’ name. Amen.


     Prayer Requests 

For Steve Sauder


Happy 20th!!!! You have surely done a great and wonderful job, Phyllis, of giving the brain injury population and their families hope, encouragement, guidance, opportunity to share and pray for each other, laughter, belonging, and most of all—much spiritual gold.


Talking about gold . . .


A few weeks ago, when our pastor was talking about 1 Peter 1:7 and how our trials purify us, he mentioned that he had seen the process of gold being purified. He said that when gold is totally purified, it becomes almost translucent like glass. Suddenly Revelation 21:18 and 21:21 took on much more meaning to me. Talking about the holy city of Jerusalem descending out of heaven, it says, “The city itself was of pure gold, clear and transparent like glass.” And again, “The main street of the city was of gold as pure and translucent as glass.”


Two things came to mind:

1.   Our struggles and problems and trials are purifying us to match our future surroundings. Everything and everybody will be as purified gold—perfect.

2.   We are tested by fire to become gold— purified and translucent—so others may see through our humanity to Christ.


It makes those trials a little easier to bear when I think about how God is allowing them to make us into translucent gold for His glory. Steven, I think, is almost there. I’ve most likely got a number of  “burnings” to go through yet.


The neurologist is OK with stopping keppra (seizure medication), but he wants to start another seizure medication. We would appreciate continued prayers for wisdom.


Much love in Christ,

Vicki, for Steven

Sarasota, Florida




For Marty


“God is  faithful,

and He will not let you be tested

beyond your strength, but with the testing

He will also provide a way out

so you may be able to endure it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13


Marty seems to be OK. He needs some real specific prayers about the atrophy that is in his legs and that someday there will be a doctor bright enough to see what the family sees in him.


Marty does things and really seems to be more and more aware. He can say “No Way” with the passy-muir speaking valve, and when it is not in, he moves his mouth to the words. He can take a sip from a straw. And yet the doctors never seem to want to take that tracheotomy tube out of his throat. It is always the same story—he will have trouble coughing up phlegm.


Marty was in the hospital for a couple of days last weekend. The doctor was very impressed that Marty waved to him and that he communicates. Yet again they never suggest anything to help him.


We would really love prayers that a divine intervention takes place that will help Marty in those two areas. It is only through God that we have some this far and from the wonderful prayer warriors that keep our Marty in their heart, minds, and prayers. God seems to do all the rest, and we are THANKFUL to HIM and to all who continue to pray for Marty, too!


PS Happy Anniversary to HIS/MTS newsletter and readers!!! I keep you in my prayers continually, also!

Reading, Pennsylvania
Sister of Head Injury Survivor

  From Phyllis

I have received  $167 toward the approximately $155 cost of printing and mailing. My special thanks to

Marilete, Aimee, Stu, Linda, and Gary     

All of the MTS family appreciates any contribution you make as our Lord leads and provides!