Video from the zoo

From Sean.  23 July, 2010.

It’s Friday night, about 9pm.  I’m here in the room with Steve, and while he’s snoring away I thought I’d string together a few iPhone/Flip video clips from our time at the zoo on Wednesday.

Part of the rehab process here at Harborview is what they call “recreational therapy”, which is all about integrating back into the community; learning how to be in public in a wheelchair; and in Steve’s case, beginning to experience life outside the hospital with his family.  When Steve first learned about going to the zoo, he began planning ways to create a special time for his boys.  You can imagine the enormous life disruption this has been (and continues to be) for the entire Ruetschle family… all the more inspiring to see both Steve and Michelle shepherding their boys through this with a bit of whimsy and joy on a sunny afternoon in Seattle.

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  • becky

    Oh, we cried as we watched.
    Thank you, Thank you

  • Kim Abels

    I won't lie – this video made me tear up, a lot! What a great step forward in the healing process. I didn't realize how much movement Steve had in his upper body! So awesome to see the whole family together, getting back to [a new] reality. Absolutely touching. Thank you for letting us have this glimpse.
    ~Kim Abels

  • Susieobrian

    Can we just say “ditto?” We smiled; we cried; we thanked God to be able to see you, Steve, and hear you, and watch you smile and interact with your family. What a wonderful blessing you have been to us. May God continue to shine, shine, shine on you. Much love – Tim and Susie

  • Joseph & May Uy

    If I don't see you in the wheel chair, you look exactly the same as the last time we were together in Manila. I am really delighted to see so much progress. You are on your way to RECOVERY. God bless you, Pastor Steve. We will continue to pray for you.

  • Debbie Spitler -SD art

    Love and faith can conquer many obstacles as this video exemplifies. Praying for your continued healing!

  • sue and jim economides

    Tears and love for this sweet,sweet family………prayers always. So much joy for your progress! sue and jim economides

  • Amyheckman23

    One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Continuing to keep you all in our prayers!!!

  • Margotowen

    Way to go Ruetschles! Love you all so much. Heart warming to see you all together enjoying the zoo. God is great and glorious and deserves all praise!!!!! Looking forward to Steve “catching some air” in the chair!

    xo The 5 Owens

  • Shana

    We loved this video! Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your normal / extraordinary day. It was great to see the boys, too! You are all looking wonderful. We love & miss you, and are continually praying for you.

    -Shana, Ky, Layla & Zara

  • Heather, Steven and Sophie

    Wonderful video! What a day you all had!

  • Deb (Talley) Thompson

    Thanks for letting us in on these intensely personal moments. I felt a bit like an intruder on your family time as I watched. Here's to many more family outings for you all! We love you guys.

  • Jbaker7732

    What an amazing wonderful day! Love you Steve!
    Cousin Joni

  • Annie Roth

    Wow. I just watched the video clip… Twice. It brings tears to my eyes. Steve – it is so, so wonderful to see you out and about with your family, independent, enjoying the simple pleasure of taking your kids to the zoo! YAY! Keep up the hard work!

    Michelle – it was great to see you briefly at church the other day. You have been so even and steady through this all. I am sure you have your moments, but you are handling this with incredible grace and strength. You are an inspiration!

    The Ruetschles have been and will continue to be in our thougths and prayers daily.

    God bless and keep you all!

    Love, Annie

  • Barb Rochon

    I never met you when you were at UPC, yet I'm your “sister in Christ” and have the honor and privilege to pray for you and your family and to share this incredible journey with you, Steve. While watching your time at the zoo I cried and smiled, and thought it's like when the sun shines through the rain! Those “God rays” shining down. May God's rays continue to beam on you and yours with abundant love, blessings and hope.

    Barb Rochon

  • Faye Vossler

    Steve & Michelle, I am the PT from Norther California on our boat “Fellowship” in B.C. who met your friends John & Carol Dettoni. When they found that we were Christians, the first things they spoke to us about was your accident, and your need for prayer. Being a PT in a rehab unit for a long time, I marveled at the video of you moving your arms and hands. Naturally I was trying to identify all the muscles you were using, and praising GOD for each one of them. We will continue to pray, I will forward the video to someone in the UAE whom you must know from Manilla. We ask GOD to continue to place HIS healing hands on each and every muscle of your body, to restore movement and sensation. We have an AWESOME GOD!!!!!
    Herb & Faye Vossler

  • Naomi Diaz

    Oh God. What a lovely, beautiful, wonderful day for the Ruetschle family. Who would have thought that this visit to the zoo would be happening this soon. AMAZING. We continue to pray for you Pastor Steve. What a spirit. Praise God. All glory to Him.

  • Jhorlacher263206

    step by step. precept by precept. Looks like God is rebuilding His temple!

    kris horlacher

  • Richarddortch

    Dear Pastors Steve and Michelle,
    The significant thing for us is to look at your e-mails several times a day to see what our dear Lord is doing for you and your family. We are praying for you every day and I share with the television audience each night what's happening and ask this national audience to pray for you also. They have become engaged in praying for you. The callers ask about you. We love you and will continue to pray for you. Each time I think of you, my mind goes to, “He who hath begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”. It is a thrill to see your progress. Please remember we are here for you! We are looking forward to the time, whenever and wherever that might be, when once again we can see you face to face. You are two of our heroes. Your friends,
    Richard and Mildred Dortch

  • linda

    Look at you! It's almost too hard to believe… But I do! I see the love and joy in all the faces of you dear people, and I'm filled with so much thanks to God for the mighty work he is doing in your lives, in all of our lives.

  • Arthur Jones

    Great to see this! I will relay this to the people at Holy Trinity in Makati!
    Bishop Arthur Jones

  • Klenks

    one of the most beautiful things I have EVER seen in my life……

  • Brad Sund

    Reyna and I watched with such joy! Praise God for Steve's recovery. The road may be long, but having such an incredibly beautiful
    family as a rock must make it a bit easier. Steve, the whole congregation of TLC in San Diego is lifting you up in prayer. Your life is touching many.

  • Ashlie and Michael Unruh

    tears of joy mixed with sadness streaming for you.

  • Jody Samala

    I showed the video clip to my family here in LA and everybody was so joyful to see you this way, Pastor Steve. Its only been a month and you've progressed this much! I know that soon you will move more fingers and toes and will be able to raise both legs higher for a longer period with no effort. And your progress will continue until everything is perfectly working again like before. That's my prayer everyday.


  • Vanboekholt

    Steve, Soon I hope to make a trip like this with the all that bunch at your side. I wish you further strength and recovery.


  • Johnandjodywilson

    You are looking awesome! How fun to go to the zoo and surprise your boys! Hooray for you and hooray for your smile! Keep looking up! John and Jody Wilson

  • Cheri Naylor


    I'm a grandma and friends of Mike and Nancy Tutmarc. My grandchildren and I love the zoo….you have given the zoo a new meaning. We have all watched your vidio with tears in our eyes and a smile on our faces. May life be kind to you and your family!!

    Best Wishes

    Cheri Naylor

  • Ro Penaranda

    Hi Pastor Steve and Michelle, We just watched your video and we are so glad that you are doing much better. We are praying for you and we are so thankful to God for your life. ~Ro & Natalie.