Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Touched by the Spirit of "Britten's Run"

Our family was deeply touched by the spirit of Britten's Run.  The love that was shared that day was experienced by all.  After the run, an individual shared with me that "the feeling" here is just incredible!  To see family's together on a beautiful morning is just wonderful.  We should do this more often!

After the runners and walkers took off and individual came up to me and said,  I know that you don't know me, but I would like to introduce myself. I'm Kerry Harding from Washington D.C.   As my jaw dropped, I exclaimed, "Of course I know you!"  You are the one that sent Britten a birthday package while he was in the hospital in SLC.  You  are the one that sent him a "welcome home gift" after reading about it on the blog".  The package contained the Brazil soccer team jersey that was worn in the Olympics, Brazilian goodies, inspirational music and sunshine candy!  But what meant the most was the heart touching letters that were included.  Brother Harding, You are an inspiration to us!  You have made me think about my life and have inspired me to be a better person.  To reach out to others, (even when thousands of miles separate you) to cheer and lift one's spirit. 
We visited with him for 2 or 3 minutes, took pictures with him, then he said, "I better get going, this is my first 5K ever!"  We didn't see him the rest of the day.  It was if he was an "angel" that came and touched our hearts, then was gone.  Brother Harding, you will always have a special place in our hearts...especially Britten's!

Our cousins, Dan and LaNae Maughn rode their bikes sporting their "Britten's Run shirts" in support of Britten.  They rode 36.85 miles, riding from their apartment in San Diego, CA to Mission Bay and back, arriving home at 11pm.  Dan and his family are some of our "Heroes" because of their courageous examples of battling through his accident over 25 years ago, leaving him with a TBI and some physical challenges.  One thing we know about Dan is...He Will Never Give Up!

So many individuals touched our lives that day.  People from all walks of life that gave up a beautiful Saturday morning to show love and support to our family.  We are truly thankful for your sacrifice, generosity, friendship and love!
We love each and every one of you!
Steven, Karla & Britten

Saturday morning when I walked from the parking lot across the grass, I was overcome by the sight of all the people that were there for Britten's Run, and it was hard to control my emotions. Everything was so well organized and well prepared. I had the very strong feeling that the Hand of the Lord was in attendance that day. At the start of every committee meeting we would say a prayer and thank Heavenly Father for the opportunity that we had to perform a service for the Schenk family, and please help us to be able to put it all together. And help us He did indeed. SO MANY people were willing to help and spent countless hours to make it a huge success. We will never be able to repay everyone for their help and generosity. Blessings will come to those that were so kind.
co/chairman - Val and Janice Andreasen (Britten's grandparents)


An example of persistence, courage and optimism, this young man is the very definition of a hero to me.   Only something this noble and worthwhile could have motivated me to come all the way from Washington, DC to run in my first 5k ever.
 Kerry Harding-

 Of all of the the things I've done in my life, participating in this event was definitely one of the Top 5. The excitement, the energy, the love -- it was all just electric. I've been photographed with many famous people through the years but the one with Britten, framed along with my event tshirt and race number, will take an honored place on the wall over my desk. Thank you for the honor of being part of this day.
  Kerry Harding-

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Day To Remember

Saturday, August 18, 2012 was, A day to remember. The spirit was incredibly strong, as a crowd of more than a thousand people gathered together. Britten woke up at 6:30 am and started the morning off being nauseous. This was not how we wanted the day to go. Britt, wanted nothing more than to be at the Run. As 8:00 am rolled around, we walked down the street and came upon a breath taking sight. The park was full of enthusiastic people! As the crowd was lined up for the run, we saw babies in strollers, toddlers on their parents shoulders, grandma's and grandpa's,  Mountain Crest's football team, the mission president and 13 of his missionaries, the missionary medical secretaries, people who had traveled from very long distances, ( Brother Harding, would you send me a picture of you and Britt and your email so I can communicate with you); family, friends and loved ones.          
It was an incredible sight!

They asked us to say a few words before the Run started and Britten expressed his love to everyone.
He thanked them for coming and then said in a very enthusiastic shout, "Let's have Fun!" The crowded cheered!   No one would ever know, that the past 1 1/2 hours he had been very nauseous and not feeling well..

Britten then got the honor of starting the "Run". It was a beautiful day and our family was touch by the spirit and the love that was shared.  
The quote: "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words" fits this blog.  I would like to share the spirit of Britten's Run, over the next week.
Karla Schenk


"What a day to remember!   We all knew that this event was going to be big, and BIG it was.  Not only was the turnout a success, but also how smoothly it ran, how many people it touched, how much money was raised, and just as important, how much love and support was shown towards Britten and his family.
This all could not have happened without everyone’s dedication, time and effort.   But I’m sure that all would agree with me that it was not a burden at all but a privilege to be a part of this whole story.   It’s hard to find words that express my feelings towards everyone that helped to make this,  A Day to Remember."   Ryan Andreasen-  Co/Chairman

"As I ponder over the day and remember all the wonderful people that participated either in planning or just showing up, one thing stands out in my mind... the spirit that was exhibited in the smiles, hugs and laughter.  The spirit!"
Yvonne Sparrow-
"I had the privilege of working alongside some amazing “other mothers” of Britten (Jennifer Jergensen, Lori Rindlisbacher, Tami Bryan, Paula Godfrey, and Mary Johnson). They jumped in with both feet and labored in Britten’s behalf. Because of their diligence, resourcefulness, and enthusiasm we were able to put together an auction for Britten - something none of us had ever done before. Blake Parker stepped in with his expertise and walked us through the process and his darling daughter, Dannielle, rallied the troops on facebook. Other villagers stepped in on race day, without any fanfare, to man the raffle tables and clerk for the auction (Cheryl& Stephanie Parker, LuAnn Purser, and Rosie and Meghan Johnson). 

It indeed “ takes a village to raise a child” and what a privilege it was to be a visitor amongst some of the most gracious and generous villagers I’ve ever met. God was at the helm - in every aspect of Britten's run.   Every detail fell into place and even the “hiccups” along the way worked themselves out.  
We are merely instruments in His hands." 
Jane Ward-

"We Thank You All of You"
for making Britten's Run Possible!
All Our Love,
Steven, Karla & Britten


Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Most Perfect Homecoming!

    Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012 was a very special day.  Elder Britten Schenk reported his mission in his home Ward. 
   I had been concerned all week because our meeting starts at 9:00 am and the past 2 weeks Britten had been nauseous every morning.  As Britt was trying to prepare what he wanted to say, we went over and over words that were very difficult for him to pronunciate, like...very short attention span.  He also wanted to bear his testimony in Portuguese but couldn't say Heavenly Father.
   When Sat. night came Britt was very emotional as he expressed to me his concerns.  He said, "There are so many things I want to say, especially about Jesus Christ but I don't know how to say them.  I know them in my head , but I don't know how to say the words."
I told Britten that the spirit would guide him and people would feel of his spirit and they would know how he feels about the Savior.  Words weren't necessary.
    Steven then gave him a blessing, a beautiful blessing.  We have learned to rely on the Lord and ask for his help, even if it is small and simple things, for he is wanting to bless us.
    As we entered the church at 8:30 am our dear, sweet Bishop and Stake President were there to greet us.  Britten gave them his warm, missionary handshake.  My heart was full of love for these two men, who have supported us and shown great love for our family.  As Britten entered the Relief Society room, there sat twelve handsome Return Missionary's, radiating.  The room glowed with their spirit as they greeted Britten with big smiles on their faces! They were friends who brought happiness into Britten's life, but also the lives of others, as they shared the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  Steven and I sat on the stand and we were able to look at the faces of people we love. People that have loved and supported us through out our life.  We observed our family and extended family that had traveled so far, with love beaming on their faces, to be with Britten on this special day.  Sitting by our family was Aline, our dear sweet friend from Brazil, who has become part of our family.  Britten shared the gospel with her brother Felipe, who is now serving a mission in Brasillia, Brazil.

   As I looked into the eyes of Britten's friends and their families, love filled my soul for the family ties we have made.  There sat Britten's past Bishop and wife, other previous Ward members and friends dear to our heart, who have had an impact on our family.  We will always have a great love for them as they have truly blessed our lives.
  Then, there sat our Ward family, who have served our family so unselfishly.  So many acts of service Big and small, have been showered on our family as we have felt our Savior's love, through them!  The entire Chapel was full of people we love, people we call family.  Brothers and sister's in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It Was A Glorious Sight! 
  As Britten entered the chapel and walked to the stand, his entire being glowed with the spirit.  He then shook the Bishopric and Stake Presidency's hands.  He was delighted to be there.  As we sat there through the beautiful music and prayers, my soul absorbed the peaceful, serene spirit.
   Britten did an beautiful job as words flowed from his mouth. He testified of the holy spirit, of Jesus Christ and of his love for his mission and the people of Brazil.   (Britten has shared his testimony and love for Jesus Christ his entire life, through his thoughts, words and actions.  He is truly a disciple of Jesus Christ.)  Britten then closed his testimony in Portuguese testifying of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  Britten's testimony was pure and sincere.
   Britten then joined his friends to sing a most powerful song, "To Bring the World His Truth".  All 13 missionary's had returned home from their service, yes, one wounded, but they ALL returned home, just like the 2000 stripling warriors!   As tears filled the eyes of the congregation, (including   the mothers of missionaries), they bore witness of the truthfulness of the gospel.  It was magnificent!
   I then bore testimony that I know God lives...I know that because we have witnessed his merciful hand in several miracles.  When we left for Brazil,  I Had to depend on the Lord...Now I Want to depend on the Lord.
   Then Steven shared his testimony of Christ. We must not only "believe and have faith in Jesus Christ, but also, believe Jesus Christ."
   The Stake President added his testimony that Heavenly Father lives...He is in charge! Our Stake President has a unique perspective of these miracles as he had many conversations with the Church leaders in Salt Lake Ciy,  Brazil and also with the doctors.

    The rest of the sabbath day was shared with family and friends, enjoying the spirit of the day.  Five months ago our family's lives changed.  Yes, there have been several difficult days, but we have grown closer to our Savior.  Elder Schenk's homecoming was a most perfect, beautiful day and we give thanks to our Father in Heaven for  his safe return home.

                                                     It was a Most Perfect Homecoming!