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Sunday, July 31, 2011

I'm plugging away at this. Everyday since I announced that I was going to write a book, I've received encouraging emails and comments. A couple of people even approached me at a wedding I attended over the weekend and said they'd own a copy if available. I can't tell you how much that encourages me.

So again, tonight I'm posting a little excerpt from random writing about things. What I've been doing is reading back through blog posts that were published in real time during the event. As I went through things, I didn't share too much about what I was really going through; I tried to stay up beat and positive. But that was four years ago and now I've had tons of information to process and experiences to walk through. My emotions were out of control. My faith was stretched beyond anything I thought imaginable. So much more was happening than I could convey at the time.

allie-charity The blog post:

A quick update on Ali: her vital signs are normal right now, but she's being transferred to an intensive care unit for testing and observation.
Please continue to pray for Ali, my daughter, Charity, and Ali's father, Paul. Pray that the Lord would intervene in this situation and in their lives.
Thank you for your prayers on behalf of our family.
Bryon and Susan Mondok

The rough draft:

This is the report I put on my blog after the second call from Charity. She confirmed what Susan and I were afraid to even speak: abuse. Charity told me in frantic shock that Paul, Allie's father and Charity's roommate, had shaken and squeezed Allie until she was no longer breathing.

It was Paul's night to watch Allie while Charity worked. At this point in the relationship between Paul and Charity, there was no longer a romantic spark or even a hope of one. They're relationship was pragmatic. The relationship was strained. Neither of them was getting out of the relationship what they had hoped. They lived together but dated whomever they wished. They had a kid together but that was all they shared.

They arranged alternating work schedules so while one worked and the other watched Allie. Then they switched. That was the relationship. Neither one of them was making much money. Certainly not enough to afford a San Francisco apartment even in the worst part of town. So there were two other adult roommates that shared the tiny apartment.

Allie's room was a small walk-in closet. Her portable crib took up most of the little space. There was no way this arrangement would end well.

That night, it was Paul's turn to watch Allie, give her a bath, and put her to bed. She was not cooperative. Not many ten month olds are at bath time. According to hospital and police reports, to get control of her, Paul shook and squeezed her. A breathless, lifeless Allie was received into the emergency room. Hospital records also indicated that Allie had a broken rib, broken shoulder and broken leg - all in different stages of healing.

When Allie first stopped breathing, Paul didn't know what to do. He had no idea that the abuse he later confessed to would have this result. He laid Allie on the floor in a panic. He yelled for his roommate who was in the next room. Paul wanted to call Charity but the roommate called 911. "We'll call Charity later," he said. Paramedics were dispatched and the 911 operator talked the two men through cardiopulmonary resuscitation of a baby. Allie didn't breathe on her own for about a week. She arrived at the hospital unconscious and remained in a coma for ten days.

Charity was in denial about Allie's true condition. She only relayed to me what she thought she heard from the medical staff on the scene. Later conversations with the doctor present revealed that Charity was in a shock and not really processing the night's events accurately. There was no way she would have the details right.

It's difficult to process horrific news. That's why a mother's legs give out when she first hears of the death of a child. No one is ever ready for truly bad news.

Related links

  • I'm Gonna Do It
  • Is there a book anywhere in here?
  • Overdue post and pictures

    Indeed. It has been awhile since I've written or posted pictures here on the World Famous Allie's Blog. All I can say about Allie is that she is doing amazingly well. She loves school and being with her friends and laughing out loud and giving kisses. Everybody raves about how beautiful she is. Her health has been good.



    This birthday cake had a life expectancy of about five minutes once it arrived to Allie's birthday party. Diets were ignored and forgotten. Chocolate cake is one of humanity's greatest inventions. I personally ate 75% of it.



    It was cool having Grandma Yolanda at the birthday party. Allie shrieked with excitement when she walked in.



    The Charming and Beautiful Susan and young Charity look more like sisters than mother and daughter.



    Twin centers of my universe.



    These are Allie's buddies at church. This is one of Allie's favorite places on the planet. The workers in King's Kids love on and minister the love of Jesus to these kids. They also give parents of special needs kids the opportunity to enjoy worship together. They're life savers.



    This is Allie's new ride. She just got this new wheel chair this week. It's a beautiful apparatus. Allie is quite comfortable in it.

    I hope this brought you all up to speed. I'd love to hear from you in a comment. Even though things have gotten so much easier for us, we still covet your prayers for our family.

    I'm Gonna Do It

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    I was so overwhelmed by the encouragement, messages and comments I received from so many of you as I pitched the idea to you all about writing a book. This is something I've been putting off for a few years. Maybe if I update you guys along the way, it'll help me stay the course. I don't know if that's how it gets done and I don't know how true I can be to do it this way, but let's give it a try. Writers' groups do it all the time but I can't commit to a group and to writing a book and to my family and fantastic new job in full-time ministry and, and, and. (Did I tell you I'm training for a marathon, too?)

    So here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to post from my rough draft from time-to-time. It won't be pretty. it'll just be me getting it out there. I'm not going to proof read it before you see it. And what I get feedback-wise will help me gauge how I need to tweak and make edits. Feel free to contact me through Facebook or my email. If you don't know what I'm talking about, click here.

    So tonight, before I sat down to do this post, I went back to the very first night when I first heard from Charity that Allie was on the way to the hospital. I read the post, and below is what I wrote. Be gentle with me.

    From my blog:

    paul-allie-charity If you're a praying person, please pray for my granddaughter, Ali Rae Mondok. My daughter, Charity, called a few minutes ago and said that Ali was in an ambulance with her father. She had stopped breathing. The paramedics got her breathing again, but her heart rate is still way high.

    rough draft:

    I don't know if I've ever been so stunned by a phone call. I had just returned from a week of visiting missionaries with my buddy Norman an elder from our church down in Costa Rica. It was a good trip, but I was tired and happy to be back home in my own bed. I always look forward to returning to the regular routine when I return from time on the road especially an international one.

    As a missionary to Africa, South East Asia, and South America, I've seen incredible poverty and suffering. Sometimes, stepping into the lives of people in other cultures who are trapped in their poverty, suffering or affliction, it causes great emotion to well up inside and sometimes even gush out. I always felt like some of the people I've visiting or meeting for the first time in poverty in a foreign place are trapped there. And I wish I could just help them get out. And I wonder why they were born into their lives and I got to be born into mine. Sometimes I would lay in my borrowed bed in a tent or hut or hotel room and just weep for the people I ministered to. I felt so helpless.

    I comforted myself by reminding myself that I get to go home soon. Soon, I'll be out of this. This sometimes made me feel worse because I knew that the people I was serving would still be here when I got home.

    I found myself in a daze for the first few days when I was home. I'd follow my wife around in the Big Box Grocery Store feeling lost and overwhelmed by the abundance while the people I left in Africa or South East Asia or South America suffered from lack.

    Now I knew I was getting ready to experience lack that I wouldn't be able to get away from. It didn't matter, I think, how good I was or how bad I was. This is just the life I was born into.

    Is there a book anywhere in here?

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    I've been thinking for the past few years about writing a book about Allie and what we've come through over the past few years. I've been working back through my blog digging into old posts and, really, painful memories. I feel like we've come a long way.

    Maybe you could click through some of the links below and give me some feed back. Was this just me working things out, or is there another purpose for keeping these records? I would love to hear your thoughts.084

    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/conflictedness-and-forgiveness.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/conflicted.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/sadness.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/hair-twirl.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/this-monday.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/daily-increments.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/good-morning.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/tough-news.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/ali-update.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/auditory-perfection.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/crazy-busy.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/discoveries.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/where-we-want-to-go.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/pie-hole.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/from-susan.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/latest-trip-to-san-francisco.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/more-progress.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/four-weeks-in-eureka-and.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/as-i-said-few-posts-back-i-was-going-do.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/everybodys-jumping-on-board.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/so-proud.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/i-just-want-to-trade.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/this-is-what-helps-us-get-through.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/ali-best-day.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/hush-little-baby.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/are-we-there-yet.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/eureka-were-nuts.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/overdue-update.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/back-from-family-court.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/off-to-family-court.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/angel-eyes.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/smiling-for-first-time.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/sometimes-it-feels-good-sometimes-not.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/spa-treatment.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/getting-though-it.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/old-tricks.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/no-pain-no-gain.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/work-out.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/therapy-for-ali.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/loving-arms-x-3-whole-lotta-love.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/my-girls.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/thanks-sfpd.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/grandmas-here.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/kissing-angel.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/sleeping-like-angel.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/steps-forward.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/not-out-of-woods.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/status_01.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/update-from-sfo.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/04/quick-update.html
    http://mondokblog.blogspot.com/2007/04/prayer-request.html

    How Short Term Missionaries Impact Human Trafficking

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    This is an article I wrote for the CalvaryBlog.

    "When I got back, I knew one thing and one thing only: God didn't want me to settle back into my life. God called us to be extraordinary in an ordinary life."
    ---Juan Guevara

    Juan Guevara recently returned from Cartagena, Colombia, along with a short-term team of missionary volunteers from Calvary. The team prepared for a ministry itinerary that was packed. Here’s an overview of the ministry they did and the people they served:

    • Vacation Bible school and meal outreach for local children
    • Pre-construction site clearing for an orphanage
    • Downtown movie night evangelistic outreach
    • Ministry to incarcerated women in prison
    • Ministry to nursing home residents
    • Community trash pickup
    • Street evangelism among prostitutes

    Eyes opened

    The team was light hearted as they deplaned and went through customs in Cartagena. A giant sign behind uniformed customs agents caught everyone’s attention as they moved through the line. As the sign’s message was translated from Spanish to English, each team member began to get serious. "Our children are not a tourism destination," the sign said.

    “This is for real,” Guevara said. "It hits us. We’re here for a mission." It was a sobering reminder to the team that they are called as Jesus’ ambassadors of healing, good news and righteousness.

    Cartagena, Colombia, is a popular sexual tourism destination. Prostitution is rampant. Two of the teams’ major goals were to minister to prostitutes and to intervene in the lives of at risk children to prevent them from turning to prostitution or becoming victims of human trafficking. To achieve this, Calvary Chapel Outreach established a partnership with two groups working in Cartagena: Gifts of Mercy and Colombia Grace Foundation. Gifts of Mercy is a school started by a Colombian professional woman on a mission to impact the world she influences for Jesus Christ. Colombia Grace Foundation started when two young families moved from small town life in Oregon to the Colombia’s mean streets to rescue orphans from a life of abuse and exploitation.

    The team cleared the site where Gifts of Mercy will construct a new school. Some forty kids tagged along with the team wherever they went and helped clean. The short-term missionaries used the limited time they had disciple the kids. They did their best to leave a lasting impact on everyone they came in contact with.

    Isla Tierrabomba

    The impoverished Isla Tierrabomba was one ministry destination. No running water exists on the island. Many of the houses look adequate but are really just empty shells constructed by drug cartels to store their product. Many families resort to the prostitution of their children to feed themselves. Residents of the island are cut of from Cartagena and cannot even afford boat fare to travel to work in the city.

    Ministry happened on Tierrabomba as the team put together Vacation Bible School and fed the kids. “So many kids were there that we thought we didn’t have enough food for the kids,” said Guevara. “We kept splitting portions of chicken and rice and watched the food go further than we ever thought it would. It was like the Lord did a ‘loaves and fishes’ thing.”

    Ministry to Prostitutes

    Evidence of sexual tourism was everywhere. As the team shared a meal at an outside pizza restaurant, they observed the activity buzzing around a nearby nightclub. “It was a beehive for prostitution,” said Guevara. “We planned a night out to witness to the prostitutes.” They met Martina, the daughter of a pastor now working as a prostitute.

    “How much do you need to make tonight to go home to feed your babies?” Guevara asked one girl. “Do you want to go home?” Some girls took the money and ministry offered and went home for the night. Some didn’t.

    "God loves you and we're going to try to stop this..."

    Juan Guevara reflected on the lasting impact this trip had on him. There are two things that he encourages us at Calvary Chapel to do:

    check markBe aware that human trafficking is happening right here in our own community. “Keep your eyes open,” he said.

    check markGo on a mission trip. "We're all called to go on a mission trip."

    Aaron meets Wee-man of Jack Ass

    Sunday, July 03, 2011

    Aaron and David went to the Billabong store at Hillsborough Beach and Jason 'Wee-man' Acuna was there signing autographs. Check out the video Aaron shot:

    Wee-man on Twitter

    One way to know how it feels to be a criminal

    Friday, July 01, 2011

    Be a traveler. Go to any airport in this country, and you'll immediately understand what it feels like to be the suspect of a crime. Buy a plane ticket and reserve yourself a place in line to be shook down.

    Check out this article from journalist Mike Adams AKA The Health Ranger:

     

    TSA makes grandma fly with no underwear (explicit satire)

    (NaturalNews) Remember the story about Jean Weber, the 95-year-old leukemia patient in a wheelchair who had her adult diaper removed by the TSA as part of their "security screening?" (http://www.naturalnews.com/032827_T...) Today, the TSA declared "We did NOT remove her diaper!"
    Instead, the TSA claims this 95-year-old woman "willfully surrendered it" in much the same way that people "willfully surrender" all the items the TSA confiscates from them and then sells for a profit (http://www.naturalnews.com/032757_T...).
    In other words, they forced the woman to remove her own diaper as a condition of her boarding an airplane. It probably went something like this:
    Grandma traveler: "I'm wearing a set of slightly soiled adult diapers. May I still pass through security?"
    TSA agent: "Depends."
    Grandma traveler: "Yes, Depends."
    TSA agent: (Scowling) "Are you mocking me?"
    Grandma traveler: (Pausing...) "Depends."
    (If you don't get the joke, "Depends" is the brand name of a popular adult diaper.)

    Look, ma! No underwear!

    Beyond the fact that they forced this woman to remove her adult diaper as a condition to travel -- an idea so bizarre and outlandish that it should generate a reaction of disgust from anyone with common sense -- they also forced her to fly with no underwear!
    This is being reported by CNN, which says, "Weber said her mother, a nurse for 65 years, 'was very calm' despite being bothered by the fact that she went on to complete her journey without underwear." (http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/06/2...)
    Now, if Britney Spears travels on an airplane with no underwear, that's worldwide tabloid news. But when grandma flies with no underwear, that gives most people pause. Did they at least give her a first class seat so she could lay back and enjoy the flight? No. They stuck her in coach with all the rest of us grunts who, even though we may fly in flip-flops and tank tops, we still manage to put on a fresh pair of undies before heading to the airport. "For God's sakes, Bobby, have mercy on the other passengers!"

    Uh, oh. Urine trouble with the TSA

    Until today, I wasn't even aware the TSA would let you fly butt-naked. This brings up some questions and curiosities. For example, what happens if you show up dressed as a sumo wrestler? Do they confiscate that giant crotch cloth and just let you fly in your birthday suit? "There's a naked sumo in 12B!"
    Or what if you just enjoy wearing adult diapers because it provides a little extra cushioning compared to those hard-ass airline seats you get on the smaller local flights? Diapers are like wearable cushions, if you think about it. Will the TSA confiscate those and leave you suffering from Achy Butt Syndrome during your entire four-hour flight?
    If you are wearing an adult diaper and you get selected for an enhanced pat-down, is it okay to just urinate during the pat-down procedure? After all, a diaper is sort of like a portable restroom. If they reach down your pants, just pee all over their hands.
    Believe it or not, there is nothing in the TSA regulations that prohibits you from wearing an adult diaper and urinating during a pat-down. That's probably because nobody thought of this until just now, and I have a twisted imagination of bizarre ways to rebel against false authority. But what better way to send a proper message to the TSA than to just pee on them?
    Or unload a number two right there in the pat-down zone. Why not? They're crapping all over your Fourth Amendment rights. You might as well return the favor. It would take an amazing feat of concentration to pull this off, but if you could YouTube the video, you'd be an instant folk hero and earn a permanent place in American pop culture history. Your slogan could be, "When the TSA gave me sh*t, I gave some back."

    That diaper had a purpose, remember?

    That we even have to resort to this level of explicit satire is a reminder of how insane the whole situation has become with the TSA. They're reaching down your pants? Really? Yep. And they're making grandma fly with no underwear, without her adult diaper, too. But wait a second...
    If you think about it, the whole reason grandma wears that adult diaper is because she pees unexpectedly, such as during moments of extreme excitement. And that means your seat cushion is but one air turbulence event away from being used as much more than merely a flotation device. It can also function as a substitute adult diaper thanks to the miracle of modern aircraft materials (and the TSA taking away the woman's original diaper).
    Remember that the next time you take a seat on an airplane. The TSA, you see, hasn't done anything to eliminate the threat of terrorism during air travel, but they have introduced a brand new game for the rest of us to play, called "Guess which seat is now a giant pee sponge?"
    They've also succeeded in destroying human dignity and even harming the entire U.S. tourism economy by making sure tourists avoid traveling by air in the USA. After all, who wants to voluntarily subject themselves to being treated like an animal, humiliated over an adult diaper and then forced to fly with no underwear?
    Ask any senior citizen in Europe whether they want to risk touring in the USA anymore. They'll give you the same answer: "Depends..."

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032840_TSA_underwear.html#ixzz1QuRHDBjn

     

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