Homecoming Celebration for Susana!!!

We will have a Homecoming Celebration for our sweet Susana on Monday Feb. 14th at 2:00 PM at Biltmore Baptist Church.  35 Clayton Rd.  Arden, NC.  Nearest regional airport is Asheville.  Nearest international airport is Charlotte, NC or Greenville-Spartanburg, SC.

This will be a wonderful time for us to celebrate her life, faith, and legacy that she will leave with so many of us.  We invite you all to come and share this time with us.  We will celebrate the goodness of our God that He has loved us so much that He purchased a place in heaven for us, and that is where our beautiful little girl is right now and will be forever.  Therefore, we will rejoice.


We will have a time to mourn, for but a moment, because that is what it will be like compared to all the rejoicing we will do in eternity.  So, this truly will be a homecoming celebration…for our little girl has finished the race and is now enjoying her prize…Jesus.

Instead of flowers or gifts, we are asking for a donation to be made to our ministry so that we can continue sharing the love of Jesus with the orphans and poor of Haiti.  Susana loved being in Haiti and talked all the time about the day that we would be able to return.  Your giving will be an honor knowing that this is what Susana would want more than flowers or gifts.  The information for giving is on our website at www.howcantheyhear.org

Thank you all for the prayers and support.  By the grace of God, we will press on and continue reaching towards our prize and heavenly reward.  And now our longing becomes even greater knowing that we will also be reunited with our precious little girl.

36 thoughts on “Homecoming Celebration for Susana!!!

  1. Cody,Maria and Isabela,

    I am awestruck by your strength and faith. God does love you and your little girl so much. He is hugging her right now and she is smiling and happy. Your faith inspires me so much. I am so sorry for your pain and loss right now. I don’t know what else to say because words can’t express what I feel for your family. Peace and tenderness for your hearts is wished for you. I am sad I can’t come to your homecoming party. God bless you all
    with love,
    Noelene Peterson from Vineyard New Haven

  2. Words aren’t enough to express how my heart breaks for your family. All I can say is that I will continue to pray everyday for your family. Your strength and belief in the Lord has touched my heart as well as countless others. I can’t tell you how you have really touched my heart. My prayers to you and your family…

  3. Blessings Cody, Maria and Isabela… Celebrating and rejoicing in Susana’s life and homecoming into Jesus’ arms! Your words and lives exemplify the strength, faith, courage and love of Our Heavenly Father in this deep earthly loss of sweet Susana but heaven’s gain. You are inspirational in all that you have shared! You honor God greatly in your witness. Truly the Holy Spirit is there with you as your Comforter and Peace in such a heavy time of grief. There will be a time for that and I pray many will surround you and hold you up during that time as well. We have prayed and followed along since last year at The Lighthouse of Prayer and are deeply touched by you. Your faith is comparably to Abraham at Moriah (as you wrote) and Susana ran a strong race for one so small yet so BIG in God’s eyes and heart,she finished it well and we should celebrate her beautiful homecoming with you with ALL THE LOVE that
    Jesus would and does as He holds her face to face. May you be filled with His Grace and Love as you endure and rejoice in Susana’s life.

    My deepest heartache of sympathies and a heart that wants to rejoice that Susana no longer suffers… that still we may PRAISE HIM! Our hope is in Jesus Christ and that day of being reunited with loved ones. May His JOY be your strength. Continued prayers for you all… and though I can’t be there from Mexico here, I will spend that time in prayer for Haiti and thinking of you all and Susana! Thank you for sharing so
    warmly your brokenness… He will never let go! Press on my brother and sister in Christ. May Isabela be comforted in your strength and love for Jesus!

    Vaya con Dios!
    Love and peace,

  4. Praying for your family as you grieve the loss of your beloved Susanna.
    She ran a race worthy of honor. Rejoicing with you that she is in the loving
    arms of our Lord, Jesus. I can picture her worshiping the LORD with all her heart, no more pain and no more sorrow. Praying He wraps His arms of love around each of
    you and fill you with His peace, hope, and joy during these days ahead.
    May He be your Strong Tower where the righteous may run to and be safe.

  5. Dear Maria, Cody and Isabela,

    I can’t wait to see your precious family on Monday and give you all really big hugs. I look forward to celebrating and honoring your sweet Susana’s life and the legacy she leaves behind. Thank you for sharing your little girl with us. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your triumphs. Thank you for being vulnerable and real and for challenging us to be the same. Our lives have been transformed and our faith has grown because of Susana’s testimony and through your very powerful witness. Susana truly was a gift. As is your family and your faith. I thank God for giving her to you. I thank you for giving her to us. In honor of your brave girl’s very brave battle, we will sponsor a child in Susana’s name. May the Lord continue to bless you and comfort you in these days. May He turn your mourning into dancing. We love you guys so much. Peace to you. I will see you on Monday at sweet Susana’s Homecoming Celebration. XOXOXOXO

  6. My daughter told me about your precious little girl Susana a couple of weeks ago and our church has been praying for your family. I cannot even began to imagine the pain and agony you have endured—your faith makes me ashamed of myself–please know that your family is in my prayers–I have awakened at night for the last 2 weeks and have said a prayer for your precious little ANGEL–that God would just bring her into his arms without struggle or pain if she wasn’t going to get better and it looks as if he did just that. I am so sorry–I don’t know you and you don’t know me but we will meet someday in heaven.

    Janet Sawyer

  7. Our love and our prayers will continue to be with you all.

    Bill, Lainie & everyone at the Vineyard

  8. If anyone knows someone needing housing we can put up up to four people and provide transportation to and from the airport. Call 910-539-5500 or 828-505-8274 and ask for Judi or Brett. We have three cats in the home.

    It is amazing the number of lives I have seen changed… people who were on the fence deciding who they would serve, people who had walked away restored to their faith – even a Wiccan who saw that no one in his group had such faith!

    Susana, it was an honor to know of you, and I hope when I grow up I can be as faithful as you were.

  9. God Bless each member of you family. I am so sorry. My prayers will continue for you all, for Susana, and for your ministry. Susana did run the race and showed grace and courage.


  10. I lost a little girl at 6months, some wonderful people gave me a book with this poem in it. Tim Green later set the words to music and made it beautiful song that comforted my husband and I. I thought of it when I heard of Susana crossing that finish line. Our thoughts and prayers go with you and your family.

    Jesus has a Rocking Chair by Tim Green

    2nd verse

    There are those who have a boy or girl
    a lovely gift of God
    but sickness or a tragedy
    takes them from their parent’s arms
    mamas wish for days gone by
    and daddies long for that lost child
    but children are not lost
    when you know where they are

    Jesus has a rocking chair
    and he holds that precious baby
    with oh such tender care
    he takes the place of mom and dad
    he’s the greatest parent a child could have
    don’t worry about the children there
    Jesus has a rocking chair

  11. We are so sorry for your loss but rejoice that you know she’s with Jesus as we speak and are happy for her. You have been an inspiration to us all and have increased our faith immeasurably. We are amazed at your transparency and know that you have felt much pain but refused to let it get you down. You have been a faithful witness to the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah what a Savior!! We are praying for you and will see you Monday. Diane & Randy

  12. Dear Cody, Maria & Isabella: I submitted a post that didn’t post 🙂 so hope this isn’t a duplicate. We are so sorry for your loss but so amazed by your courage & faith. You have been an inspiration and we know that God’s power is real for it has been evidenced by you through this ordeal. Please know that we are praying for God to show you grace, healing & peace. We will see you Monday. Diane & Randy

  13. I have been trying to send you all a message since 1:30pm yesterday, but having trouble with our computer. You are all in my thoughts and prayers!! Praying fervently for the Lord to give you all great mighty peace and stength and comfort in the coming days and months and years to come. What a precious angel who walked this earth and now is walking the streets of gold!! I am so sorry that you all had to struggle and suffer through this; I am glad Susana is not suffering anymore and is with her Heavenly and Soveriegn Father. Our great God knows your pain and grief even when we rejoice in her homecoming, and is molding and refining you through this difficult valley. Rest in Him continually; He will provide for your every need.

    2 Thessalonians 3:16
    “Now may the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

    “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.”
    Isaiah 26:3

    Philippians 4:7
    “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

    Numbers 6:25-26
    “The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

  14. I do so wish we could get down to NC for Susana’s celebration — please know we will be with you all in spirit. I am struck by the reality that your precious girl will never have to suffer the heartbreak of this fallen, sin-sick world, but will instead live in God’s perfect love and peace for ETERNITY. How could that not be something to rejoice over? Our prayers are with you all as you mourn your beloved angel, and we are praying for His strength as you walk through this uncharted territory.”Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” Psalm 126: 5-6 Much seed continues to be sown to God’s glory through this season of anguish. May He continue to allow you to see the fruit as it is born for the Kingdom. Much love in Christ, The Melnicks

  15. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP562si-d1Q&feature=BF&list=FLxiBnMfZu27E&index=2

    Your Faithfulness by Brian Doerksen

    I don’t know what this day will bring
    Will it be disappointing, filled with longed for things?
    I don’t know what tomorrow holds
    Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

    I don’t know if these clouds mean rain
    If they do, will they pour down blessing or pain?
    I don’t know what the future holds
    Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

    Certain as the rivers reach the sea
    Certain as the sunrise in the east
    I can rest in your faithfulness
    Surer than a mother’s tender love
    Surer than the stars still shine above
    I can rest in your faithfulness

    I don’t know how or when I’ll die
    Will it be a thief, or will I have a chance to say goodbye?
    No, I don’t know how much time is left
    But in the end, I will know your faithfulness

    When darkness overwhelms my soul
    When thoughts and storms of doubt
    Still I trust You are always faithful, always faithful

    Certain as the rivers reach the sea
    Certain as the sunrise in the east
    I can rest in your faithfulness
    Surer than a mother’s tender love
    Surer than the stars still shine above
    I can rest in your faithfulness

    I don’t know what this day will bring
    Will it be disappointing, filled with longed for things?
    I don’t know what tomorrow holds
    Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

    Give me Jesus by Fernando Ortega

    In the morning when I rise,
    In the morning when I rise,
    In the morning when I rise
    Give me Jesus

    chorus 1
    Give me Jesus
    Give me Jesus
    You can have all this world
    Just give me Jesus

    verse 2
    When I am alone,
    When I am alone,
    When I am alone,
    Give me Jesus

    chorus 2
    Give me Jesus
    Give me Jesus
    You can have all this world
    Just give me Jesus,

    Give me Jesus

    verse 3
    When I come to die,
    When I come to die,
    When I come to die,
    Give me Jesus

    chorus 3
    Give me Jesus
    Give me Jesus
    You can have all this world
    Just give me Jesus

    Give me Jesus
    Give me Jesus

    You can have all this world (X3)

    Just give me Jesus

    It Is Well With My Soul:

    When peace like a river attendeth my way
    When sorrows like sea billows roll
    What ever my lot you have taught me to say
    It is well, it is well with my soul

    Though the devil will ruin, though trials may come
    Let this blessed assurance control
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
    And He shed His own blood for my soul

    It is well, with my soul
    It is well, it is well with my soul

    My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
    My sin not in part but the whole
    Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul

    It is well, with my soul
    It is well, it is well with my soul

    It is well with my soul
    It is well, it is well with my soul

    And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
    And the clouds be rolled back as a scroll
    The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend
    Even so, it is well with my soul

    It is well with my soul
    It is well, it is well with my soul

    It is well with my soul
    It is well, it is well with my soul

  16. My heart aches for you. I will pray for you and for your family in this time of loss. I pray that Susana will meet Grammy and Pappy Kunsman and also Sam as she gets to heaven. What a wonderful reunion that will be.

  17. Sweet Susana ran an amazing race of faith and she will be sorely missed. I am so grateful for the privilege of knowing her. I wish with all my heart I could be there on Monday for such a grand celebration of precious Susana. Know that we will be there in thought and prayer. We love you all, dear friends. We weep with you in your grief and rejoice with you in the heavenly homecoming of Susana.


  18. Wow! You have changed my relationship with Jesus because of your little girl Susanna. Praying for you very hard, but glad so many people have turned to Him during this sad time. Remember He is enough. Praying you would stay strong in your faith. Your faith and the faith Susanna had has gotten me so close to God. Thankyou! Praying hard for you 🙂

  19. We love you all! Our hearts break and rejoice…While we can’t be their in person on Monday, we will be praying.
    -Jeff, Bethany, Andrew, Ella and Noah

  20. Thank you Jesus for a race run well and He has ushered her into HIS presence with open arms and said well down my good and faithful….your purpose on life was fulfilled and well done for MY glory and the Salvation of others! thank you for your sweet testimony. we are praying for strength, continued mercy, and healing in your family’s lives for sweet isabella and your sweet wife and yourself. thank you for sharing your lives with us so we could learn to pray more fervantly and for God to do exceeding abundantly in others around so his name would be magnified.

  21. Dear Cody, I don’t know if you remember me but I am Cheryl’s sister. In hearing of the trials you have all suffered through I pray that God will hold you all in his arms as he is holding Susana..In all the pain there is rejoice in knowing she is home..My prayers are with you all

  22. I am so, so sorry for the loss of precious Susana. You do not know me.. I was passed on your blog from a friend and have been praying for her and your family. We were all hoping for a miracle but God’s ways are higher and even tho we do not understand, He sees the bigger picture. My heart breaks for you.. I can not even imagine what you are going through. Will be continuing to pray that God will give you the grace you need to get through this. I know that she has not died in vein and your testimony is already a great witness to others..

  23. Dear Maria, Cody, and Isabella,
    You continue to be a witness of God’s love, throught it all. Thank you. We will continue to pray during this difficult time on earth and glorious time Susanna is having with her heavenly Father. Wish we could join you Monday but can’t in person but we will in our hearts.
    with love and prayers, Nancy and Al

  24. Dear Whittaker Family… The songs and verses above are beautiful but I have never witnessed anyone deal so well and write so beautifully the Truths of God that we believe but in our toughest times, we have a difficult time expressing as you have done.

    My heart breaks for you and I’m grieving with you as we also rejoice, as if I personally know you all and your pain. I will be with you and precious Susana’s homecoming celebration tomorrow. I think it is highly appropriate (though it will be difficult perhaps in the years to come) that you are doing this on Valentine’s Day! Truly Susana is a gift of love both here and in heaven! And Our Father is overflowing with love for you all as deep and as wide as He does as He welcomed Susana. What a beautiful testimony of a father’s love for his daughter and the Father’s LOVE for you and Susana. I pray that you will rise on the wings of eagles tomorrow just to get a glimpse of HIS LOVE for Susana. Sending all my love, prayers and I’ll be singing “He’ll never let go” tomorrow at 2 pm because I know HE won’t. I shared on my aMazing Grace blog as well as the Lighthouse of Prayer about you all (hope you don’t mind)! It’s a bittersweet moment in time but I pray that the Comforter gives you strength to HOLD on and witness as you have been doing in the days and weeks ahead and that others that have been touched will also witness God’s love to others in Susana’s name.

    Thinking of you tonight and praying often,

  25. Cody, Maria, and Isabella,

    My heart weeps with yours, but also rejoices in our blessed hope. You all are in my prayers as you carve out the coming days and adjust your daily lives to this new reality. I came across this quotation and thought it might encourage you – it did me!

    I can still believe that a day comes for all of us, however far off it may be, when we shall understand; when these tragedies, that now blacken and darken the very air of heaven for us, will sink into their places in a scheme so august, so magnificent, so joyful, that we shall laugh for wonder and delight. –Arthur Christopher Bacon

    May God’s presence be a living, bright reality to you!

  26. What courage! Bravo! Celebrate with the Angles of her homecoming!!! We are praying for you. Love -G.O. Minsitries.

  27. Cody and Maria,
    I was reading in Psalm 18 this morning and just could not get you two precious friends out of my mind. We celebrate today and for the rest of our lives the homecoming of your precious daughter. She reminded me so much of the strength and compassion of God.

    I hope this passage give you the encouragement it did me this morning. God uses all circumstances to bring him glory. Today I will celebrate the precious gift of life that finished the race God put before her!

    Psalm 18:
    30 As for God, his way is perfect:
    The LORD’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.
    31 For who is God besides the LORD?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
    32 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
    33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
    34 He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
    35 You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.
    36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way.

  28. We are so sorry for your loss of your precious daughter. It breaks our hearts for you. Your family has been and will continue to be in our prayers. Thank you for your honesty in your writings as you were vulnerable in your feelings, and wrestling out your faith while allowing God to work and have His way. May you feel the presence of God holding you at the service today just as surely as He holds Susanna now. Though we can’t be there we will be praying.

  29. Dear Whitaker family: You all do not know me. I found out about your story several months ago through an e-mail from Global Outreach. I had not heard any news about Susana recently and decided to check your website today to find out about her condition. How shocked and saddened I am to learn that she has died. I believe God sent me to your website today so that I could pray for you on the day that you celebrated her homecoming. I pray that Jesus will grant you strength, comfort and peace in the coming days, weeks, months and years as you grieve the loss of your precious daughter and sister. Susana’s faith is an inspiration to me–not only in my own life but also in realizing the importance of making sure my own little ones (ages 3 years and 10 months) know and understand that Jesus died for them so that they can be with Him in heaven. God bless you all!

  30. I am praying for you and your family…especially Isabella. I have only followed your blog for a couple of weeks..I was linked to it by a friend’s tweet, I believe. It breaks my heart that you had to go through this heart-wrenching pain, but God truly knew it was coming and He was with you through it. Susana is no longer in pain. I pray for comfort and peace for all of you.

  31. Dear Cody and Maria,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I was a hairline away from losing my baby sixteen years ago. I know the agony to that extent. You are an inspiration! I will never forget your words, Cody, about the promise of an eternal glory, how can you be angry about that. The Lord has little Susana now, in his arms….IN HIS ARMS. We know what that feels like, but not like she does. Your family is in our prayers, I know that you will feel the precious arms of our Savior lifting you up. God is going to use this tremendously for His glory. I know you miss her. I lost my dad in December, I knew it was coming, I was prepared for it, but it doesn’t prepare you for that moment. But the Lord knows. As the Psalmist says in Ps. 42:7-8….. “Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.” I know you are in the deeps right now, I know you know, HE IS THERE!
    All my love to you all, and my prayers.
    I know it is well with your souls. He is there!

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