Monday, December 31, 2012

What We Accomplished For 2012

This has been a year of great and impossible forward movement for us.

• God has come through, when we had no funds, to do camp for more than 90 children.

• God provided in an unexpected way for the tutoring program in Redwood City to reopen.

• God kept Verbo church open when the building inspector wanted to close it

• God used our move here to San Jose to jump start a tutoring program at a Korean church for Spanish youth.

• God connects us through our love, our faith, our sharing...but it is not all on our shoulders.

• We have learned the Loaves and Fish lesson. Our little is God's enough because He is going to send the blessing.

My prayer for you:

"May the God of the impossible be very real to you in 2013. May you not faint when you do not have enough in any area for any demand but may you rest trusting that God will take care of you, His beloved child. May you forgive and forget as much as possible knowing that you are forgiven.

May you expect from God, not man, for your every need and see His power as you reach out to share seeds of truth with those around you and serve children.

Joyce Dueker

Compassion In Our Hearts

It is raining hard. The skies are gray in sunny California. This is "winter" for us. And yet driving down the streets at night there are many Christmas lights up which bring cheer and comfort.

Families are gathering. Friends are communicating. And little evidences of more love show up. A woman "adopted" an older 90 year old woman as her mother and was buying her a colorful long sleeved polo "because she is always cold."

Compassion has to do with reaching out beyond our own circle to include and share with others. We as Americans have this heritage of caring for others because of the Christian base of loving others laid down here long, long ago.

We know in our heart of hearts, despite all the materialistic hype, that true satisfaction will only come when we forget ourselves and serve and care for others.

This kind of "other centered" living can only really come as we receive the gift of grace that came down to us in a small package called Jesus. Do you know him yet? Read his story in the gospel of Luke. Jesus is for real. If you want real life seek the one who came to seek and save lost sheep.

Never Alone

One afternoon this week I decided to stay in by a fire. There are always errands to run and one more business thing to care for but sometimes we need to stop.

We just need to pull the plug on action and go into quiet and let ourselves get still. As an hour went by I felt myself slowing down and a restoring process started. I prayed about some things that needed to be voiced in that quiet room. I recalled some "victories" that had been achieved.

I opened the Bible and reflected. Our strength does come from the Lord and like a cell phone needs to be plugged in for recharging, we need to plug ourselves into the presence of the Lord to get recharged for the next steps. No great things were achieved that afternoon.

I lingered.
I rested.
I read.
And as I look back on that afternoon I remember it with special sweetness because I was not alone. As we enter into this holy season may we not miss the moment when God comes to us

Kids Don't Forget

Our president, Patty Cardona and a group from Verbo church in Redwood City recently went to a homeless to give food and gifts. 

After this had been done has everyone was leaving two girls came up and one said. "We know you. We went to your church to camp." 

Kids never forget. One good thing like camp in the life of a child is a huge memory. Kids remember the fun. They remember the park and the food. They remember where they went.

Church becomes a "good place" not something they haven't experience. One girl a few summers ago was trying to tell me what her experience at Touchdown Camp had been: "This is FUN CHURCH" she said. She recognized the fun but she also knew there was much more in our program.

Let us not forget that what we plant we harvest in the church. It is time for all churches to open wide the doors to the community and especially we are to "remember the poor" as we have been instructed to do. Jesus said "the poor you always have with you." Let us get our hands dirty and our hearts filled as we reach out to the poor around us.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Good Place

Our president, Patty Cardona and a group from Verbo church in Redwood City recently went to a homeless shelter to give food and gifts. After this had been done has everyone was leaving two girls came up and one said. "We know you. We went to your church to camp."

Kids Never Forget. 

One good thing like camp in the life of a child is a huge memory. Kids remember the fun. They remember the park and the food. They remember where they went. 

Church becomes a "good place" not something they haven't experience. One girl a few summers ago was trying to tell me what her experience at Touchdown Camp had been. "This is FUN CHURCH" she said. She recognised the fun but she also knew there was much more in our program.

Let us not forget that what we plant we harvest in the church. It is time for all churches to open wide the doors to the community and especially we are to "remember the poor" as we have been instructed to do.

Jesus said "the poor - you always have with you." Let us get our hands dirty and our hearts filled as we reach out to the poor around.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


There is a moment in almost every Thanksgiving gathering where a sense of the goodness of God is felt.

For some it is the pies just coming out of the over.  For others it may be a home with family gathering. 
For us in Project Lost Sheep, we gather to remember that years ago God helped us to become a non-profit.  There were 4 of us plus our advisor who helped us get non profit status in the room.  We met in the library of the First Baptist Church in Menlo Park to sign the papers.  Up to the last moment I didn't know I would be "elected" president.  It was the only job unclaimed and we had to put someone down.

I would like to say we all felt thankful we had just enough people to start but I really think we were all a bit nervous about the 
the step of becoming official.

We didn't know that we would have a few years of lean times trying to figure out what we were supposed to be doing but 
we continued together and started to do small steps of ministry. For those of you in other cities who are wanting to do something I would say: Don't wait until you have enough people or don't wait until you have enough funds.  If God is in your midst you will have what you need when you need it, especially if you reach out to the disadvantaged.

We have had some fat years in America but for the last five or so years we have been in a lean position.  Some of us have lost homes. Some have seen our 
businesses decline. We are learning to pray for each other as well as reach out to our community.  We are learning to be THANKFUL IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.

This is only possible with God's help.  In our own flesh we are very weak and doubtful. 
This summer we faced a real crisis before camp. We didn't have enough funds to open the camp but we went ahead by faith.  Yes, God came through in surprising ways.  We are thankful that He has not let us down in our personal lives and He has not let us down in our Project Lost Sheep community.

What has happened could not have been done by one of us.  But the few of us God has graciously grown a bit in love and thankfulness. 
I am thankful to all my Project Lost Sheep friends: you are like family gathering around the table. We will again celebrate thanksgiving together and find more ways to grow in our journeys of faith.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Walk In A Large Park

It is great to get out and really be above the valley and away. Walking 45 minutes up a long trail over looking Silicon Valley all we could see were the hills, very dry hills, trees, other trails, and other hikers.

This was the way it used to be. Someone with forsight here in the valley in the 70's bought up the land that used to be used for mining and set it aside for a park. This foresight is now a blessing to hundreds who enjoy this large 4000 acre natural park.

Leaders need to see ahead and to plan ahead. Those who are looking at where we are now need to think what we would like to see left and there for our children's children. That is foresight.

I am very happy about the trend of the mega rich to give much of that back into the community. There are truly many places where business forsight can make a difference now and even more in the future.

Let us not just look at our little feet on the path going along in life. Let's lift up our eyes to the hills. Let's preserve some of God's beauty we see around us. Let's realize that life isn't a walk in the park but it sure helps our perspective to get out there in the hills and see how very little everything else is down below.

Thank God for people who planned ahead so we can enjoy this today. Get behind something bigger than your agenda and your little life!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

FInding The Right Gift God's Way

The right gift to a person is a real joy.  The present we give can be inspired. It is really fun to know that God can help us in the little things of life like picking out a specific gift for someone. I don't think God wants us to have a grumpy face when we go shop.  "God loves a cheerful giver whose heart is in his giving."

Steps to finding the right present.
Step (1) - easy to forget but important.
I do believe that God can inspire us.  Be specific: Suggested prayer. "Dear God, please help me find just the right present for x"

Step (2)

Step (3)

There will be a AH HA moment when you find the right gift.  The gift will fit the person. The gift will make you smile because you will know it is right before you give it.

Remember, God is the ultimate giver who has given us all things for us to enjoy. Don't you think He would like to be part of the party?

God Works In Mysterious Ways

As you know I have been promoting the giving of cars to Project Lost Sheep via Cars 4 Causes.

I have mentioned this need to people and more importantly have prayed and asked others to pray. God does work in mysterious ways. 

 This week I got a flat tire and took it to my normal station to get it fixed. "Should take about an hour the mechanic said."
"Fine," I said and went off to have a Mexican lunch and do a little window shopping.

When I got back there was my tire on the ground. The tire was covered in white foam.

"Four mechanics have looked at your tire and not been able to find a leek". The mechanic said.

It was recommended that I get a new tire and since this is an honest station that I had work done before on my very old car, I got a ride home and waited.

In my purse I had a flyer about Cars 4 Causes with our non-profit card. When I went back to get my car with new tire I thought. Why not here?

I got out my flyer and gave it to the manager and he smiled. "I get requests to get rid of cars all the time." "Right now I have 3 cars."

I left with a very light heart. God certainly is going to get some cars to us. "By the way what was wrong with my tire," I asked.

A frown crossed his face. "I took your tire apart. It was shredded rubber inside."

I have never in all my years of driving heard of such a thing. Apparently, it was one in a million or was it God? Time will tell.

Sick Little Richie RIch

People who are wealthy can be strong in their affluence or they can be sick.

Sick rich people have the attitude. It's mine: I earned it and will do everything I can to pile up more for my company and self.

The rich in our society can learn to be rich in good deeds. Some venture capitalists here in Silicon Valley have learn the joy of giving back to non-profits and needy.
It is a great feeling.

It is my firm conviction that is good and "more blessed for the rich to give than to receive".

What does rich in good deeds mean? The companies and individuals that "have it all" in California and elsewhere need to form foundations of charitable benefit. They need to make informed choices and they need to encourage an attitude of "giving back" to their top partners and workers.

A company CEO that sees the needs of the community around him or her is a company that is truly connected to the compassion of God.

As a non-profit founder I can say to those who are sick with "too much" sickness. There is a cure: Give lots of it away and put smiles on the faces of the children, the disadvantaged, the elderly. Follow your heart but get out there and look around. There are very hungry people in America. There are plenty of opportunities to get well for you. All you have to do is invest yourself and your company in some good works.


{You will find joy and satisfaction as you see purpose beyond the corporate walls.}


Anticipation is a wonderful thing. We may look forward to a lunch with a friend or a big vacation.
We look forward towards Friday.

Right now those of us are anticipating the largest camp ever in Redwood City with visitors from other cities to see how it is done.

I like that tingly feeling that something good is just around the corner. I can see the children and hear the laughter and smiles once they adjust to camp. They will be happy with the food and well fed. They will learn and be cared for by so many adults and teen helpers.

For those children who have been to camp in the past they will be asking. When is camp?

Children anticipate almost everything. They live in an attitude of expectation. Small things can please them very much. A wiggly caterpillar, a new pet, a set of crayons.

Let's become more like children in anticipating all the good things God has in store for us this summer. What pleases God is when we adults wash off the same old same old attitude.

Come to camp. Renew your anticipation!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Giving From The Heart

We know when we have given that right gift to someone because the gift fits the person. But, we receive a gift of feeling good about the time and energy spent on getting the gift, wrapping it and sending it.

It is a sad thing when giving to charity turns into a one time "something you have to do" to reduce taxes. That is not the heart of giving. The heart is giving a heart felt gift. It may be something that helps you as well but that is not the center of the gift.

Recently Project Lost Sheep received a gift in check from a car given to us via Cars for Causes (800-766-2273).

Yes the person who gave the car really wanted to help us. I can only say that that gift will move us along to feed more kids at camp than ever before. The person got a tax deduction from Cars for Causes, also a non-profit.

The purposes of Cars 4 Causes is "a non-profit organization desgined to simplify the process of fundraising for charities and organziations through contributions, and sale of automobiles, boats, trucks, RV's etc." Do you havve a car you are no longer using? Do you have a neighbor that might want to give to help more children get to camp?

The perfect gift may be to be used to encourage someone to action in clearing their property of that vehicle. It is really, "more blesssed to give than to receive."

Let's use what we aren't using to help children get what they need. We are in the blessing business with you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mad Hatter Tea Party

On a warm spring afternoon in Atherton, we gathered together to get a preview of the eight Touchdown Camp.

Patty Cardona, president of Project Lost Sheep, brought children who had attended camp last year. Each child reported on a different aspect of camp. One little girl performed a dance.

Darlene Stethem, Bible teacher, gave a preview of the lessons and music for this camp. Dates: July 16-20 at Verbo Church in Redwood City.

Catherine Parlanti, treasurer, asked that we be alert to getting community support from local businesses.

We appreciate your interest and support to make a real difference in the lives of these children. Enjoy a camper who danced for us. Enjoy the picture-movie from the tea party recently held as a benefit for our eight Touchdown Camp coming this summer. (July 16-20)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother's Day

I suppose the most important gift a mother can give her children is not all the things she is busy doing for them but something of herself.

My mother was a teacher and she was serious about her teaching and also about her country. She would write letters to her congressman if she felt something should be changed.

We would hear her typing away on the old manual typewriter back in the bedroom. My mother was a tough woman. She put herself through high school working as a clerk in a law office. She then put herself through college and got her master's degree in education.

This was no small feat and she had a passion for education. She thought anyone could improve and yet she saw the needs of children around her and was concerned for "latch key" kids.

All of these seeds didn't, of course, mature in me until I was much older but I was prepared by my mother for the call to children when it came to me.

Her passion for education affected all of us. We all got college educations and teaching credentials although not all of us three sisters worked as teachers.

I don't know how she did all that she did. She did not cut corners. She taught, she shopped, she cooked, she cleaned and she and my Dad worked hard to be good parents and then grandparents.

She didn't have a lot but she had plenty inside. She had faith and she took us to church every Sunday and yes she taught Sunday school. Teaching and education were bedrock to her as were her faith. She gave much to her children, her students, and her community

In memory of my mother: Myrtle Sutherlin

Prioritizing Correctly

Lots of people tell me that they would like to volunteer... someday. When they retire or when the children are older or when they have more time.  We all work in a priority universe. What we do with our time tells us our priority. If we spend all our time making money and non of our time on things that we say are important to us then we may be able to fool ourselves but not those around us, nor God who sees it all.

On the other hand, there are people who "go over the top" out of balance on doing good things to the detriment of their families.

Ray Steadman, beloved former pastor and author, of Peninsula Bible Church once related the story of a woman who came to him saying her marriage was "on the rocks". When the pastor inquired what she was doing with her time the woman piously said that she was teaching 10 Bible classes a week: days and nights.

Pastor Ray told her to "quit her Bible studies" and save her marriage. Being available to God does not mean that we are crazy and neglect the people in our own family.

Jesus was available to the crowds and helped many of those in his path but he also had his guys, the disciples. He had the best mother and He never forgot her needs even when He was dying on the cross. He turned her car over to John.

 And from that time Mary was taken
into John's home. }

When we love God we will spend time with Him: we will pray and read the Bible not because we have to but because we want to. We will be available to serve people and help them because we are ready and full.

The Lord has the answers to our craziness. Do we trust Him enough to give him our hearts and our time?

When we are in the center of God's will He give us joy. This joy can never be bought with our own efforts nor money. Joy is a fruit of God's Spirit: Joy is a lasting paycheck!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

About Our Company

Project Lost Sheep
A non-profit organization that provides for Touchdown Camp in Redwood City and additional tutoring for "at risk" kids. "At Risk" means unsupervised children who are at risk of dropping out of school or lacking in proper care. We believed in giving opportunities to children as they are our future. Not everyone is born with a silver spoon or born in a good environment. We realized this and we are here to help kids understand the importance of education and good values. We need to take action to show them the way and be a guide. Show them love and encouragement. We believe that through encouragement and love, a person can do wonders. Nothing is impossible.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Showing Love Through Little Things

My grandmother was a very wise Christian woman. One of her favorite statements was "what can I do for you? She lived in Indiana and was the wife of a farmer but her impact on me was great because she really cared. She wrote me newsy letters of farm life.

Late, when the children were little she made by hand blankets for them. She also gave me shell jewelry which she made in Florida in the winter.
She had learned that there were lots of opportunities out there to show love to others and she did it with her hands and her heart. But, you say, I don't make things. I don't do any of that. Okay, neither do I... Wish I could... but there is a way. IF YOU GAVE YOUR TIME that you could help someone and show you cared. How the cold old world needs this today.
If you focused outward and wanted to show love where would you start? Try something small and practical. You could really listen to someone who had a problem. (gift of time). You could invite a lonely person out to do something with you. Go with you to something. There are many isolated older people who would love to do something different. You could really do something at your church. Try something that is beyond what you normally would do and see God work!

If you haven't felt God's love in a long, long time you could just check out on Sunday mornings some churches near you. Church shop like you do anything else. You might be surprised how relevant the Bible is to your problems today.

God likes us to see His opportunities. How do we know what they might be until we experience the greatest love in the world. God wants us to love Him and love others. We just have to get out of the "it's all about me" mindset and say what can I do for you?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Touchdown Camp For Our Children

Once again, we are excited to sponsor the Touchdown Camp for kids this summer, July 2012. We have up loaded some photos of camp. We hope that you can be a volunteer, a donor or an advocate for our cause. We need 50 volunteers and $10,000 to run the summer camp.

Camp Information
Date: July 16th -20th, 2012
Time: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location: Verbo Church
2798 Bay Road, Redwood City, CA 94063
Tel: (650) 364-9821

For Volunteering
Call Doris Bates at (650) 368-1224
Visit for more info.

For Donations
Write a check to: Project Lost Sheep
Mail check to:
co/Catherine Parlanti
Project Lost Sheep, Box 2735, Menlo Park, CA. 94026

Question about donations, email:

Help build our children's future. Donate, volunteer or be an advocate and spread the word. We love to see you there. Your efforts are much appreciated. Thank you and God Bless You.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I have loved spring blossoms ever since I grew up in San Jose. Then, the blossoms meant that summer was coming and I would be out of school. I loved school but around March I started looking forward to that routine of classes and pressures to change. Blossoms meant that summer was coming.
There is something about a gorgeous apple blossom tree or a "tulip" magnolia tree that just expands us with their beauty.  I llike really big, old blossoming trees. These have come into bloom year after year and are still putting out those dainty blossoms that sprinkle on you like spring snow.
How fun is spring. And of course, we feel the warm spring on our backs and we think of digging in the ground and just being outside. We lighten up from winter cares. We become a bit whimsical. We watch the clouds and really see the greening grass.

I love to take a walk in the spring. Walking on a warmish spring day does something for my soul. There are times we need to be dormant. But, spring is a time for new things. Are you ready to bloom and blossom? Take a walk. Really look at what is happening in nature. Feel God's love on you and feel His hand on your back and your life. You may do a little hop-scotching or think about it anyway. And suddenly, you are showering out sparks of joy and vitality along with all of God's world.

As my friend, Connie Rhodes said along time ago to me. "Spring is a time for new things." Yes, but we must be ready and be renewed in our hearts to launch into that newness.


Sunday, February 26, 2012


Have you discovered that life is full or waiting?

When we are young we wait for the next birthday. When we are older, we try to ignore it!
When we are waiting to hear back from a job appllication or appllications we can feel like nothing is happening.

And there are plenty of long waits these days. Maybe we are waiting for the right person to marry. You understand my points here. We will experience waits.

The question is, how will we handle them? If we have a little bit of faith that God, not us, is in charge of things, then we may have a "What I Can Isaiah Attitude"See Isaiah 40

We are not waiting on others; we are not waiting on the economy to get better but WE ARE WAITING ON THE LORD. There is a promise that goes with this. If we keep our focus, there is on the Lord, we will have our strength renewed.  We will be lifted up an eagle on the wings. And how does that happen?  There is an invisible force that is lifting up the eagle. That is called wind.  It is uncontrollable.  If the eagle didn't wait as he took off from a high point, he would crash.

There are lots of people, me included, who at times want something to happen in my timing. I don't want to wait. We are, aren't we a rather impatient society?

How many people now thank you for standing in line for a few minutes?  That is because most people cannot stand to wait to be served.

We can wait. We must wait for God to strengthen us. If we don't, we take a nose dive.

Let's soar after the wait...however long that may be.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Precious Moments

Birthdays are a wonderful time to share some precious moments with friends either over a lunch, on the phone, or by reading birthday cards and opening presents.

No matter how old or young you are a birthday can be a time to celebrate the blessings of friends and family. Who can forget the first birthday party of that child? It is a time of real celebration for the family that a new person has arrived and will be part of the family from now on.
How much God likes to see us celebrate and enjoy life together. We need each other. We need community and we need precious moments.

No matter how old or young you are a birthday can be a time to celebrate the blessings of friends and family. Who can forget the first birthday party of that child? It is a time of real celebration for the family that a new person has arrived and will be part of the family from now on.

How much God likes to see us celebrate and enjoy life together. We need each other. We need community and we need precious moments.More than our thoughts towards God, King David knew that God's thoughts towards us "out numbered the grains of sand on the sea."

If we are thinking we are without anyone at the moment, let us realize that we are precious to God and He has proved it to us again and again. We are His child. And as that we and all of our concerns are of interest to Him.

Let us be thankful for precious moments with friends but let us realize that God has gifted us with all of them and that His thoughts towards us go way beyond what any person could think or want for us.