Christmas 2017

Jerry and Cathy Hertzler Family Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017

This is as good as we could manage for a family Christmas picture this year! Justin, Audrey’s boyfriend, and Sadie, Audrey’s black lab, were also here with us. This was the first year in a long time that Annie was not with us. Shortly after Christmas last year she went to dog heaven. She is survived by Mama Cat.



Andrew and Audrey at graduation

Andrew’s AA is in Automotive Technology from Seminole State College, and Audrey’s BS is in Psychology from Florida State University.

Andrew has been working full time in Orlando rebuilding antique Japanese sports cars (Nissan Skylines), and Audrey plans to finish the summer in Tallahassee then move to Georgia for a year before pursuing a graduate degree.

We are so proud of our kids!

This site is not dead, but I probably won’t be posting much.

Life has become pretty full this last year, and the time to write interesting blog posts has been displaced by other things in our lives. That’s ok. In 2004 when we started, blogging had just become popular and Facebook was still two years away. Now anyone and everyone can write their own blog on Facebook, and most people do. So this site has reverted back to more of a brochure about our work with Cru.

Feel free to drop me a line using the Contact Us form or find us on Facebook.

Wedding in St. Louis

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Justin’s first visit to the Arch

We made a quick trip to St. Louis for cousin Amanda’s wedding and brought along Justin, Audrey’s boyfriend. He had never been to the Arch, so we fixed that problem.

(I flew from Istanbul to St. Louis on Friday and went directly to the wedding reception Friday night. Starbucks, loud music, and being with family kept me awake!)

William Milo at it again


Fake Facebook Profile

The fraudulent William Milo is at the business of stealing my identity again, this time on Facebook. This morning I found four fake profiles, thanks to one of his previous victims who notified me. (THanks!).

For the record, here are the fake Facebook profiles I found. And there are about 50 associated friends with these!

Jerry’s identity stolen

Scam from Jerry pics 2014-02

Screen Shot of my “Wanted” post

This week two separate women have emailed me saying someone used my photo on a dating site to contact them and try to scam them out of money. These women did research using Google’s image search and discovered my image is the one being used in association with the names, William Milo, Charles Clemons, Michael Corlo, and Mark Klose Vilo. Worse yet, my image is posted on a “dating site scam” forum. D’oh!

This guy (or guys, or woman – who knows?) used several picture of MY life to pose for his life. And they used Audrey’s pics, too, and claimed her as their daughter. Where’s my shotgun?

It’s hard to describe how angry this makes me! Feels worse than having my things stolen or even my house invaded. At least it’s not my name. I always thought my credit cards would get stolen, not my face!

And if you are one of the women contacted by this poser, beware!

I baked a pie

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My Pie

Yes, I made this myself. No, I’m not posting on Pinterest. Our church had a pledge drive dessert, and the leadership team made pies.

This had the unfortunate result of backfiring on me. Cathy’s first response: “Oh, that looks good! You can make the pie for Thanksgiving now.” D’oh.

Six Gap

Six Gap on Hogpen Gap Summit 2013-09-29

On top of Hogpen Gap, 60 miles done.

Six Gap was a 104 mile ride through the mountains of north Georgia. 30 of us from the Eastside Cycling Club drove up and rode it. This was my first attempt, and I totally enjoyed it! The ride had 11,200 feet of climbing and crossed six mountain gaps. But the descents were, by far, the best part. Florida has nothing to compare to this, so I had an unexpected thrill on each of the five big downhill runs.

Can’t wait for next year!

All Moved In

Audrey’s apartment

Got Audrey settled in to Tallahassee today! She will complete her second year there at Tallahassee Community College then plans to transfer to Florida State University for the remaining two years of an undergraduate degree in Psychology.

5 things I learned this year

1. Hospitals are not places you want to stay in long.

2. My wife is really strong.

3. I won’t understand why. I don’t know why God blessed us so much during this cancer year. I thought it was supposed to be terrible. Sure, it was difficult at times, but we have had friends who brought us meals, an organization that gave Cathy space to go through this treatment without pressure of losing her job, a team of ministry partners who gave generously and prayed endlessly, and the team I work directly with filled in on things I couldn’t do because I couldn’t travel.

4. I didn’t miss traveling like I expected. A year of being home each weekend and riding with the Eastside Cycling Club has made me a stronger rider and introduced me to new friends. That has been fun.

5. Cancer puts it all into perspective. Health isn’t the most important thing, our souls are. And we prayed far more for the health of the souls of our children than we did for the health of Cathy’s body. And we’ll keep praying.

I suspect God has at least five more things for me to learn this coming year, too.

Audrey Graduated!

Audrey graduated!

Audrey graduated this morning, with honors, at the Amway Center in Orlando along with over 700 of her Timber Creek High School classmates. We are proud of her, and she is happy to be finished with high school. She and some of her friends are spending the rest of the day at the beach.

Next fall she will be taking classes at Valencia Community College on a Florida “Bright Futures” scholarship, working toward a psychology degree.

Audrey jumped!

Audrey Skydive Freefall

Audrey’s Skydive

Audrey has wanted to skydive for her birthday for a while, so when she turned 18 she did it! She amazes me. She was not scared and never hesitated.

Here’s the video. It’s big download, so it may take a minute or so before playback starts.

Audrey Skydive Done!

Cathy’s sister, brother in law, and niece came for a visit and also jumped out of the plane with Audrey. My original plan was to drive them all there and watch, but when I got there I realized it was one of those moments in life that only happen once. So I joined them and jumped, too. What a rush!

Skydiving Group

We All Jumped

The only bummer was that Cathy could not join us, but she says, “I have no sadness at all. I am absolutely thrilled that they got to go.”

We jumped with SkyDive City, and I would highly recommend them for a skydiving adventure. Great customer service, friendly staff, and a first-class, safe operation.

Our last First Day of School

2011 First Day of School

Audrey’s last First Day of School

Today was Audrey’s last first day of school. Cathy got up and saw her off, and I was happy to have someone else in the house awake with me that early. Overall, I think we’re all glad this is the last year of high school.

Audrey first day of kindergarten 1999

Audrey’s First Day of School 1999

Pics from trip to Kenya with Audrey

This trip to Kenya with Audrey has gone well.

Our friends, Michael and Rebecca, took us along to visit two of their recently formed farming co-ops as part of their community development work in rural Kenya. This was a fascinating adventure and gave us a view of the world we had never seen before. Yesterday we walked around Nairobi with my friends, Paul and Peter, and today we walked in Kibera for a while and had another amazing day.

Audrey and Rebecca at the Mbeere Farmers Group Meeting

Audrey and Jerry at the Murang'a Rice Farmers Group Meeting

Audrey and Jerry in Nairobi

MailChimp Likes Me

MailChimp Likes Me

My New MailChimp T-shirt

MailChimp likes me. I don’t know why. They sent me a t-shirt. I’m a big MailChimp fan, so they didn’t miss with their gift.

Cathy pointed out that several businesses I have used have sent me gifts. It started years ago with a Vonage t-shirt after I referred about ten others to their service. Then Google sent me a Christmas gift, and Chipotle gave me a t-shirt. I wonder how long this string will continue.

QR Code


This is a QR code that points to the Ministry category posts on

If you have an iPhone or an Android phone with a barcode scanning application that reads QR codes (like Google Goggles) you can point your phone at this one, and it should take you back to our site. I’m playing around with this to see if it would be a good thing to put on a business card. So far I’m thinking not; a little too geeky for now.

You can generate your own QR code of any website using a QR code generating service like Kaywa.

Kenyan Church in St. Louis!

Youth Group Performance at Christ Covenant Church St. Louis

Youth Group Performance
at Christ Covenant Church

Last Sunday my friend, Paul, introduced me to a Kenyan church in St. Louis, Christ Covenant Church. I was welcomed as an honored guest because my friend had set things up ahead of time, and I had an experience that I didn’t expect. For three hours I was transported from St. Louis to Kenya. At times during the service I caught myself trying to remember where I was; St. Louis, Orlando, or Nairobi? I heard more Swahili in this service than I did at Harvest Fellowship in Nairobi. Afterward we had chai and Kenyan donuts. What a great experience!

My World Is Free ($) – Is Yours?

Now that I am a parent of two older teenagers, I no longer consider myself a great parent (humility is always healthy). I did my job, but now I believe that a lot less was under my control in shaping their lives than I originally thought. One of those things is the way my kids view the world. While I am sure I helped shape some of their views, much of their views came by virtue of the world they live in – where anything valuable for them is free.

There are two categories of ‘teenager free.’ One is the set of things that come to them through the largess of parents. Mobile phones, use of a car, clothes, etc. This category really isn’t free, but it seems like that to them, and we know that someday they will realize how un-free those things are when they are providing them for their kids.

The second category really is free. These are the things like email, video calls, phone calls, music, video, TV, movies, etc. Legality aside, these things are truly available for free and provide true value and may never require payment by those who use them.

Now I find myself becoming dependent on these free things as well.

I have free home phone service (after the first year of payment) that gives me nationwide long distance. I have free voice mail, a free second number, and free transcription service for calls to my cell phone. I have a free secretary that writes down any reminder I tell her to. I have a smart phone (Android) with a slew of free applications on it and a PC loaded with free applications.

Money still goes out my door, so I am paying for plenty enough things in my life, but where my money goes has shifted lately.

I’m still trying to understand how this will affect the way my kids view the world. How do you think today’s free things affect how the next generation will think?


Four characters in the wrong place caused my website not to display photos properly. This has been going on for at least six months, but I never spent the time to find the problem.

This month I emailed our prayer letter using a cool service called, and it motivated me to create a subscription page. That drew my attention back to the fact that photos on our site weren’t working properly, so I finally found and removed the cause of the problem, those four characters.

If you see the MailChimp logo below, you know problem is fixed.

MailChimp logo