Reflections on God’s Blessings in 2022

Lisa and I are so grateful for and encouraged by the many ways we have seen God’s blessings in the past year.

Launching HELPcare and helping to make HELPcare Clinic a reality in Austin has been a great adventure. Mostly exciting and stimulating for me, but Lisa is considerably less adventurous than I am, so for her it’s been more stressful.

Even as HELPcare has pushed her out of her comfort zone, however, she is 100% committed because we have felt God’s call to do this, and we have seen so many providential circumstances that have confirmed that call and encouraged us.

These aren’t happy coincidences. They’re God’s provision.

HELPcare is the management company for which Lisa and I are the majority owners. It provides management services for HELPcare Clinic (which is owned by the health care professionals) so Dr. Dave Strobel, Nurse Practitioner Stephanie Kimmes and six part-time nurses can focus on meeting the medical needs of HELPcare Clinic members instead of on administration.

A year ago right now our combined team for the two companies had just four members: Dr. Dave, Coleen Olmsted (our office manager), Lisa and me.

We’ve never advertised job openings for either company. God has brought us this team, often providing the person before we realized we had the need.

Of course none of that would have been possible (or needed) without our HELPcare Clinic members. When Dr. Dave and I met for coffee in October 2019 and were inspired to create what has become HELPcare and HELPcare Clinic, we hoped there would be interest in the community of Austin for this kind of health care alternative. We’re grateful that member support has materialized, as we now have more than 500 active members.

Another great blessing is that I now have a content marketing and social media team for HELPcare, and most of the members are my children or their spouses: Rachel (Borg), Joe Aase, John and Bella Aase and Jacob’s wife Alexi, along with Dr. Dave’s daughter, Madeline Holden.

Joe also is working in the clinic on Saturdays, our daughter Rebekah (pictured above…see if you can guess which one is her!) set up the lab and is Director of Nursing, and our daughter Ruthie, a missionary in Bulgaria, is even helping with some work that can be done at a distance.

What a great blessing to be called to this work, and to have all of our children joining with us in some way!

July was particularly eventful, as I had some numbness in my fingers and weakness in my legs that made spine surgery necessary. I wrote about that experience here as well as on the HELPcare site.

Just nine days after my operation, we welcomed Joe’s wife Amy into the family! It was great to have all six kids together with their spouses and 15 grandchildren (although one was still on the inside).

Some other key highlights of 2022:

  • Rebekah having our 15th grandchild (and her fourth son) in August. In September she and Andrew bought an old farmhouse with 3.5 acres just outside of town, where the Gatzemeyer guys will have plenty of room to explore.
  • My parents moving from the townhome they owned for 10 years into an independent living facility, just a few weeks before Dad was in the hospital with the flu, which led to discovery of gallbladder problems. He was in the hospital again later in the year to have his gallbladder removed, and has recovered well. The timing of their townhome sale and move was almost perfect. What a blessing to be 59 years old and to still have both of my parents!
  • Having Ruthie, Trevin, Noa and Frank on home mission assignment from the end of July through early December. They stayed with us for about six weeks altogether, and it meant we had the whole family together both for Joe’s wedding and for a day-after-Thanksgiving early celebration of Christmas.
Our 15 grandchildren at our Nov. 25 Christmas celebration
  • Starting HELPcare Foundation, recruiting Linda LaVallie as its volunteer executive director and getting IRS tax-exempt status. HELPcare Foundation’s mission is health education and providing partial scholarships for those who can’t afford the full cost of HELPcare Clinic membership.
  • Waking up at 3 a.m. October 17 with an insight into how we could open HELPcare Clinic in Rochester, several months earlier than I had previously imagined. We’re grateful for Dr. Bob Gustafson and his wife Laura, and their interest in the HELPcare Clinic model and their support for expanding this alternative into Rochester.

We’ve experienced so many other blessings and answers to prayer this year, too numerous to detail here, but the answer to one petition in the Lord’s Prayer has become more vivid to us: “Give us this day our daily bread.”

Having worked for a salary for my whole career until now, I knew I should be thankful for the jobs God had provided. But with a good job and a consistent biweekly paycheck, it’s easy to take these blessings for granted.

Perhaps the greatest blessing for Lisa and me in 2022 has been a renewed sense of His care and daily provision, giving us what we need when we need it.

Sometimes the waters have been choppy, but He has always kept us afloat. We have a wonderful crew and He also seems to be enlarging the fleet. Most importantly, He has strengthened our sense of calling, that what we’re doing is His project, not ours.

We look forward to what He will bring in 2023.