Greetings and God bless you all,
Tanja and I just returned from a four-day getaway for our 20th anniversary. It was a blessed time of relaxing and reflecting on the goodness of God these past 20 years. Tanja’s parents came and watched our kids while we were away. It was a great blessing to return home and see the amazing progress Robbie had made in just a few days as well. While it has been about two weeks since you saw him walk on the video, he was not able to walk that much when we left this past Sunday. He had to go in a straight line and couldn’t stop or slow down or he’d fall backwards. When we arrived home yesterday, he was walking all over the place! He was able to stand up without holding on to anything, stand still, turn corners, stop and go. As you can imagine, he was very excited to show off when we got home. He is greatly enjoying the new freedom that not being permanently attached to a wheelchair gives him. He still needs it if he is going somewhere as his stamina for walking has not built up yet but it probably won’t be too long before we can say good-bye to the wheel chair altogether. Today in PT, he jumped on the trampoline unaided and got some pretty good air!
One of Robbie’s many “little prayer warriors” is a young boy named Micah. When his mom saw the video this past week, she told Micah excitedly, “Robbie’s walking! Isn’t that great!” Micah said, “Yes!” and then paused for a moment, then asked with even more excitement, “Do you think he’d let me ride his wheel chair now?” :-) His motorized wheelchair is quite the source of envy among some of his young (and not so young) friends at church. Robbie will most assuredly be glad to hand it off as soon as he can.
Besides his improvement in walking, there have been two amazing highlights this past week. Last Saturday, I took Robbie to the U of A’s “Razorfest” at the football stadium and for the Red-White game that followed. He was enjoying himself but he also got a little bit melancholy as there were quite a few booths that had games that he was physically unable to play. That all changed when something very special happened. Let me share with you an e-mail and picture from a man who was working the “Energizer Bunny” booth (his name is Mike and he sent this e-mail to another Mike who sent it to me):
Could you please forward the attached picture to Ken Shackelford? The Energizer team was working at Razorfest on Saturday giving out Energizer Bunny ears and 300 additional prizes. One of the most valuable prizes that we were handing out (completely random by the way as it was up to the Energizer Bunny and the handler to hand out all the prizes...these were not Energizer employees) was $104 in cash to one lucky winner....can you guess who that lucky winner was? Well, after praying for Robbie and his family over the last several months and then to finally meet him in this situation was simply amazing....we hope Robbie continues to get better so he can keep going and going and going.....
Ps. The $104 prize was tied to Clear Channel Radio and Energizer Battery Company teaming up together. Energizer handed out the prizes and Clear Channel Radio told their listeners all about it.....
As you can imagine, Robbie was thrilled to win $104 (see the attached picture that Mike sent me). He is now on his way to saving enough money for 3 more flight lessons. No matter where we go, we have run into people who don’t know us but have been earnestly and faithfully praying for Robbie. What an amazing family of God we have!
The other great blessing we received was from our friend, retired Air Force Col. Gage Bleakley and his son, who serves in the Army Rangers in Iraq. The honor they gave Robbie this past Sunday was unbelievable and I have dedicated another web page to it:
go to www.theshackfamily.com and click on the “HONOR” link at the top. I know it will touch you like it has Tanja and I...and Robbie.
Thank you again for your prayers and please continue. We still have a long road ahead. I leave for China for two weeks so please pray for my trip, for safety, and for an anointing from God to be effective in doing all that needs to be done in my 14 days there. Please pray for Tanja and our children while I am away. ESPECIALLY PRAY FOR ROBBIE’S MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS THIS COMING WEDNESDAY. Pray for his botox treatment that looks to be inevitable. Pray that he will not be too anxious about it and that it will not hurt too much. Pray that any tests result will bring good news. PRAY THAT HE CAN GET AN APPOINTMENT TO GET HIS “BUTTON” (G-TUBE) OUT. He has had some complications with it and the treatment for it was extremely painful. Pray that it can be removed next week and he will heal up fine. And, as always, please join us in giving thanks to our God. His healing touch is upon Robbie. His mercies are new every morning. His love never fails.
Grace and peace,