Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another “Starfish” homebound!

87 days ago today I embarked upon an incredible journey…a journey that has forever changed my life, and the lives of others all around the world!

I can hardly believe that it was only a few short months ago when I walked up the steps of our home- with me, a little girl that I didn’t think would live to see another day. Yes, almost exactly 3 months ago, Sarah was carried into our lives by her 12 year old sister, and none of us have remained the same. For those of you that don’t remember hearing about Sarah, I encourage you to go back and read her story; I Promise your heart will be forever changed.

When Sarah came to live with us back in Febuary she was 13 months old, and weighed 6 pounds (3 ½ of those pounds were her head…). There are words to express the horror in my heart as I unwrapped her small, almost nonexistent body that very first day.

After hearing Sarah’s story told by her sister, Mary we had no option but to take this small girl and do our very best to keep her alive. At that point sending her to the hospital would have just been traumatic, and quickened her undoubted death. So, we called our staff nurse and got to work… but there was really little to be done for her medically; her body was simply shutting down. For the previous 4 months Sarah had been literally starving the death, and by all appearances, her death was very near.

Myself, and our current volunteer, Brigitte started praying… we asked our families to pray…we asked our friends…word spread and soon hundreds of people were praying for this tiny, lifeless baby girl.

Well, much to my surprise, Sarah made it through the night! She continued to hold on to life...I continued to pray; I knew that if the Lord chose to keep her here on this earth, He could perform a miracle and save her live, but I also knew that He could in an instant decide to take her to be with Him. My emotions were on edge as I waited for the death that seemed inevitable.

As I cared for Sarah (she had to eat every 15 minutes around the clock…), I grew tired…weary…and had little hope of her living. But the Lord continued to remind me of this promise:

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will NOT grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives STRENGTH to the weary and increases the POWER of the WEAK. Even youths grow tired and weak and young men stumble and fall; BUT those who HOPE in the LORD
will RENEW their strength. They will SOAR on wings like eagles; they will RUN and not grow weary, they will WALK and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31

After 6 days with little more than 2 hours of sleep, it became apparent that the Lord intended to leave her here a little while longer! She began to slowly improve, then much to everyone’s shock she began to very quickly move past her critical state of health. In one week she gained a little over 2 pounds! In 3 weeks she had more than doubled her weight! She was growing stronger everyday! I couldn't believe what was unfolding before my eyes-it was truly a miracle! I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself…

We continued to pray for Sarah: for her health, and also for her future… For those of you who don’t remember Sarah’s Mom died shortly before she came in Febuary, and her Dad is not mentally stable. We knew she couldn’t return to her original home, and started to look into other options for a family…

It was determined by her extended family that Sarah's Mom’s sister would take and care for her when she was finished with our program. So, for the past 3 months her “Auntie Rukia” has been coming to visit. Every week she comes to spend time with Sarah, participate in a health class, and learn about Jesus! She faithfully travels 2 hours to Masese on Friday afternoon, and again 2 hours home on Saturday. While I was a little skeptical about the situation at first, I am no longer. The more I get to know Rukia, the more I grow to love her! She brings smiles and laughter into every room she enters; she loves Sarah with her whole heart and is grateful for the opportunity to honor her sister by caring for her daughter. I have seen the interaction between Sarah and her Aunt over the past 3 months, and I feel very confident that Rukia will do everything in her power to keep Sarah safe and healthy!

When I did Sarah’s home visit last month, I told her Aunt, and all the neighbors that were gathered around, "Sarah would be able to come home soon!" the abruption of joy that tuck place soon turned into a celebration, and a dance of thanksgiving! They shouted in jubilation, rejoicing, and thanking God for protecting Sarah’s life! I get chills just thinking about it…

Well, yesterday Sarah left our home in Masese, bound for the adventure of life with her new family! It was a bitter sweet time for my heart; I am SO excited that Sarah has an incredible home where she will be cared for and loved, but at the same time I will miss her dearly. This little girl and I have been on quite a journey together….I cried as everyone, EVERYONE in our household marched out the gate, escorting Sarah and her Aunt down to the road… Sarah was happy as a clam her new Mothers arms, and Rukia had a smile spread wide across her face!

3 months ago God renewed Sarah; He gave her strangth to keep going: He saved her life! She still can’t walk today, but I know that soon she will RUN; and I pray one day she will soar on the wings of eagles...

Sarah and her new MOM!


  1. I love that girl so very much, and I praise God that she is doing so well and for a wonderful Auntie who wants to care for her!
    I am so thankful that I was there when we got Sarah, and for the time I was able to help care for her. I will never forget that precious one and will continue to pray for her.
    She holds a special place in my heart. :)

  2. Tears... so many tears. I am speechless. I am thrilled that Sarah is finally going home!

  3. Joy tears.... ditto what both of them said!

  4. That is wonderful!! What a joy to see Sarah's chubby, healthy little face and the sweetness in her new mommy's face. Her Heavenly Father cares for her too! Love, Sheila

  5. What an incredible transformation!!!!
    Oh Praise the Most High God!!!

  6. Crying and crying...tears because I will "miss" Sarah, and even more tears because of the fact, a SIMPLE fact, really, that God still performs miracles, just as in days of old. He is still a God of miracles, of mercy, of strength and of everlasting LOVE. Thank you for sharing Sarah's story with all of us. You are right, her story has changed lives all over the world.

  7. What a beautiful and miraculous story---and such an appropriate verse. Sarah is the embodiment of God's amazing promises!

  8. Sarah is such a little miracle! I feel so blessed to have gotten to meet her and will be planning on seeing her next year. Great job, Renee, for putting her in the Lords hands and being willing to sacrifice everything for one of God's precious children.

  9. I can't wait to meet you girls :)

    I was sitting at Mayo clinic in the waiting room to get vaccinated today and I pulled up fb on my blackberry.... started reading this post..... tears began falling.... and then I just had to boo-hoo for a minute in thanksgiving to the Lord.

    Hugs from Phoenix!

  10. It's almost surreal stepping from your house into an internet cafe and reading this.
    I am sitting here in floods of tears....
    Oh I can't find any words to express the beauty of our Saving God!