Sunday, April 28, 2013

Four Weeks and Purpose

Currently there is a week old little girl at the hospital.  When her mother was pregnant the doctors told her the baby would be born without a brain (anencephaly) and therefore could not live. Regardless, the mother believed God would do a miracle and that her baby would be born alive.  And she was. She was born perfect and alive except for one problem.  She was missing the top part of her skull and any skin covering it.  She had good reflexes, could suck and respond to the world around her.  Her mother named her Purpose saying that God has a purpose for her life. 
The major problem is that there are not facilities here to give her the care she needs. She would need an initial surgery to fit a temporary skull with a skin graft but she is still too young to do this. The doctors here said that the best they can do is wait a couple of months until she has enough skin to perform a skin graft to cover the brain. But this is only a temporary solution. At this point she needs a miracle. Initially she was left to die. Our team stepped in and she has been getting regular dressing changes and her mom is feeding her. She is fighting the clock against infection.
We are also checking out any connections we have in the first world to possibly have someone take her case on as a charity.  Please pray for this family as they face tough decisions. It is so hard when you have to consider quality of life and the costs that they cannot afford.  They also live in a worldview that says why feed the child and change her bandages if it will only prolong the inevitable? But she is not hooked up to any machines. She is eating on her own and responding to life around her. God is keeping this little girl alive.
Angel is a mom who is 28 weeks pregnant with her second child. She has had severe pre-eclampsia for the past 5 weeks. Doctors have been urging her to have a c-section to avoid any risk for seizures or worse.  She knows that if she delivers the baby now the chances of baby’s survival are less likely so she keeps refusing. She is asking God to make it to a more viable time to deliver so her baby has the maximum chance of survival. I met her weeks ago and she is still holding strong! We keep asking for the Lord to keep baby and mom safe and for a successful term delivery. 
This was a very heavy week at the hospital. We saw and experienced many stories of loss and heartache. We fought for life and many times weren’t successful.  I am trying not to make these posts too heavy so I will spare you more details.  I have been wondering why things here seem so much sadder than India or Tanzania. I realize now that it’s not any sadder but we just are understanding more of the full story because English is spoken. 
On Tuesday I delivered an adorable baby boy.  He was doing great on the inside until mom started pushing and not very effectively. This is common in first time moms because it takes awhile to understand how it’s done.  The baby’s heart rate was dipping really low and not coming back up after the stress of pushing. After a while it was obvious we needed to get this baby out!  The mom was having a hard time and I discovered when I reexamined her the baby was turned a quarter turn in the wrong direction.  Aha! We quickly flipped her over on hands and knees which can cause the baby to turn the right way and come out. It worked! Thank you Jesus that I paid attention and knew what to try! The baby needed some suctioning and stimulation but thankfully responded well! It spent a couple of days in the nursery because of grunting but is doing really well!
We have a little less than 4 weeks left here! In about 7 weeks we will be back on American soil! It’s so hard to believe. We are so excited to be almost finished but at the same time are in awe of all that God has done this year. It’s been one of the most difficult and challenging things we have done, but one of the most amazing and rewarding.  We have learned God’s faithfulness and how to push the limits of what we think we are capable of.  This is definitely something that has formed us, shaped us, and hopefully helped us to gain God’s heart. We know it has inspired us to go where God is at work and join Him.  We cannot thank you enough for your prayers and know that you helped carry us through this year.  We want to finish strong!
I leave you with more random pics.
This was my trademark in Tanzania.  I always ate cold beans out of a can at the hospital because I needed to eat frequently because of being nauseated and there were not a lot of options. I always got mocked for it. One of my teammates took this picture.

One of our teammates Keisha also gave the kids a gift of snow one day. She had defrosted the freezer and saved it for the kids.

Keisha and I after watching a c-section.

We have no oven but we made mircowave mug cupcakes!
one of our hilarious leaders ready for a day at the hospital! Love the socks!
Busy homeschooling with Daddy.


  1. Love hearing stories of what God is doing!! Cheering you all on! So crazy you are almost done!
    Also, I think part of what is sad about Zambia is the fact that I am not there. :)
    Love ya!

  2. I totally agree that that is the saddest part... missing you Debs!!