Speaking the Truth in Love?!?
This is Mimi, she is 3 weeks old and has Down’s Syndrome. She arrived 9 days ago on death’s door. Mimi was unable to breastfeed for 2 days due to profound sepsis (ie: way bad infection), her blood pressure basically undetectable, oxygen saturation was around 50% (should be >90%) and she basically looked dead. After attempting to place an IV numerous times (to give fluids and antibiotics) we resorted to giving intramuscular shots of antibiotics and accepting the fact her IV fluids were going into subcutaneous tissue rather than vessels (that isn’t good!!).
Mimi’s father flat out told me he was sure she would pass soon and wanted to bring her home so she could die in peace. He believes in God’s sovereignty and as a result wondered why we should even try. Yet he brought her to the hospital.
He said, “God is sovereign. He is control of whether or not she will live or die.”
I said, “You’re right. God is sovereign. So, why don’t you take her and go lie down in the middle of the road with your baby on your chest and trust that God’s sovereignty will protect you from one of the semis coming and rolling over you both.”
He agreed to ‘give’ it one day. He would allow his baby to stay in the hospital. Mom had no breastmilk, so we placed a tube from her nose to her stomach. We began small formula feeds and we were able to continue to give her antibiotics.
The next day, the father agreed to one more day. Mimi looked like she was going to die. She had so much swelling in her face, neck, and arms.
The following day, she started to turn the corner. She was still on formula feeds, but attempted (kind of) to nurse. Over the next week, she slowly improved. She required minimal oxygen.
Today, through tears, the dad thanked me. He said he had no belief that she would live, but he saw in me hope. He said he saw that I believed and so he was giving God a chance to work through my faith.
Praise God that He is working through our faith. Today, as I explained to this family that their daughter would live, but that she also has Down’s Syndrome, this dad said that he wanted his daughter to be a soldier for Christ. We think she already is!
Sometimes when we don’t have enough faith, God helps us to see it through another.
The LAME will WALK!!
This is little Misiel. He came in two weeks ago with Guillain Barre Syndrome, which is basically a paralysis that starts in your legs and moves upwards. It develops slowly over days and you can become completely paralyzed. It is a post-infectious nerve dysfunction where the patient will still have sensation, but is unable to move. Just imagine your 4 year old, within the matter of one week going from running around to not being able to walk and then so weak he is unable to cough or even breathe. As the result of this, he had a pretty bad aspiration pneumonia, and because of the paralysis, he was having trouble fighting it.
After he was admitted, we made him NPO (nothing to eat or drink) for 2 days to wait for his respiratory status to stabilize and for the surgeons to place a feeding tube. It was so sad to see a little boy so hungry, but unable to eat or drink. I wanted to feed him through an NG tube, but he was on nasal CPAP (breathing machine) so that wasn’t possible either. He was terrified and hungry. He cried for 2 days.
I came home and told Jewels, “IF we can keep him alive over these next 2 weeks, then he has a chance.”
When we took him to the OR, his oxygen saturation dropped drastically. Thankfully our surgeon did a phenomenal job of placing the G tube under local anesthesia so his respiratory status wasn’t compromised.
The next day, we started G-Tube feeds, which he promptly threw up. That made me feel great about the fact I had made him NPO for 2 days! After some medications to help his gut start moving again, he was able to tolerate feeds.
So tomorrow is two weeks. His lungs sound great. He will come off his antibiotics. He will be on full G-Tube feeds and off of his IV fluids…and if that’s not enough…
TODAY, HE MOVED HIS RIGHT LEG!!!
Please pray COMPLETE healing over little Misiel’s body.
Tamernesh~beauty from ashes.
Seven weeks ago.
A mom came into SCH with a terrible head injury. We sent her to another hospital 2 hours north for a CT scan to see the extent of the damage. By the time she returned to the hospital, she was beginning to die. She needed to be taken immediately into the OR to have an emergency C-Section to try and save her baby. She was only 32 weeks gestation.
Thankfully the baby’s lungs were well-enough developed that by His Grace, she has grown from 2 pounds to almost 4 pounds over the past seven weeks. She will be going home to her father’s family after she gains a bit more weight.
This was a tragic story of life and death so intertwined. But His grace has brought beauty from these ashes.
Please pray for her little life. Please pray for her family for their loss and their miracle, Tamernesh.
Last night we went to bed with 6 puppies, maybe 7…this morning, the pile of pups looks a bit bigger!! I can’t wait to count and show pics later! The kids watched her all day yesterday deliver and care for her babies! What a day of little miracles…
The Great Physican and His Instrument
Dave is working so hard and truly loving it…here’s what he shared recently with our prayer team. I LOVED what God put in his heart and how he articulated it.
“I just wanted to state something that might not always come across as we send out prayer emails about various sad or hard things…We love this place and this ministry!!! It can be very tiring emotionally, physically and spiritually but we feel so privileged to be here as an instrument of the Lord. One of my favorite things is to wake up the day after a workout and be incredibly sore everywhere. So many days here I wake up and feel emotionally or spiritually sore and I love it. To know that God has chosen and allowed us to be His battering ram as He pushes back the darkness is the greatest privilege and joy I/we have ever known. This past fall we wrote our family creed–it ends with, “I have one objective: His Glory, our Joy and I will run hard till He returns or calls me home.” May we all live this straightforward, joyful purpose and run hard until that Glorious Day.”
Since arriving in Soddo, my sweet Dave has had a huge shift in his work, in his ministry, in his capabilities, and in his realities day in and day out. Pediatrics tends to be a ‘happy profession’ for the most part in the United States. Dave loved serving families and children, especially in the places God called us to prior to Ethiopia. Here, though, life and death are part of every day. It has been a dramatic and difficult shift for Dave, and for all of us. He is learning, I think, to trust in God’s perfect sovereignty in a deep way, though it is NOT easy. I really can’t imagine, nor do I really want to experience all that he does each and every day. He sees children come in who are so sick that really humanly speaking there is no hope. But he has seen God intervene with miracles. He has seen children almost literally come back from death to life, without medical intervention. He has watched too many pass into the Father’s arms. He has held many and breathed life back into their little bodies. He has helped and prayed and encouraged countless families.
This last week though, God brought a new wave that we hadn’t experienced yet. An orphanage close to us had a measles outbreak among their children. Within one 24 hour period of time, I think 18 were admitted with measles. Last week, five died from measles alone. Two other children died due to other illnesses. It was a week marked with loss. But God’s sovereignty weaved through it all…Dave was supposed to be in South Sudan, but the measles outbreak happened the day before he left. Maybe many more would have lost their lives? We really don’t know. But God kept Dave here. We trust his purposes.
The helicopter brought a young girl from the Southern Tribes up to be treated by Dave and God has given him the wisdom to know what she has and how to treat her. Another patient came with meningitis. Dave is being stretched…he is spiritually sore and physically exhausted a lot of the time, but he loves it. I can see the fulfillment God gives him. I can see how God meets with him every single morning and speaks so powerfully and specifically to him, like no other season of our lives. I see God showing Himself Physician and Dave simply his tool. This is one of the most beautiful transformations I’ve ever been able to witness. You live life side by side…seeing the good, the bad, the hard, the beautiful, the really messy, the growth, the refining, the sin, and then suddenly I have been graced with standing alongside this man willing to be laid down in the Hand of His Father, to be used fully as His instrument of grace. He has chosen to take his profession and lay it on the altar of ministry. The gifts God has given to Dave have now been laid once again on that altar—as an offering back…all He’s given–it’s all we can give.
“Offer your lives as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.
This is your spiritual act of worship.”
THE AYER TRIBE and ZOO.
Some things that are brewing around here in the Ayer Tribe…
There are some things here that just feel like a dream to me (they may be silly and very small, but I feel like God is just giving me sweet gifts that maybe I’ve always longed for…he’s allowing childhood dreams and things I’ve always loved to be a part of our lives but in a way that I am finally able to manage it all—because I have HELP HERE!!) SO….