Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Be Hands For Africa"


Announcement:

Wednesday I will be heading to America for a visit, a wedding, and of course some work… I am very excited to see my family and friends, but that excitement if almost completely drowned out by the fact that I have to leave my baby; right now I cannot fathom even walking on the plane. The panic attacks have already started… I thought I would be able to take her with me, but the Judge broke his arm 3 weeks ago and we still haven’t gone to court. It is apparent that the Lord doesn’t want Selah to experience the good ol’ USA yet… Your prayers would be much appreciated during this time!

While I am in the States Serving His Children is hosting a fundraiser (the reason for this post)! The event is June 5th from 6pm-9pm, at Palestine Baptist Church. It will be a night to remember; there will be African food, and an action, your kids can even make their own bracelet out of Ugandan paper beads! We will also be selling the new SHC t-shirts, and Ugandan necklaces, made exclusively for this event (pictures below)! I will be speaking/answering questions, and of course there will be lots of pictures of adorable children! This will be a night of fun for the whole family! For more information and to purchase tickets please visit our website: http://www.servinghischildren.org/, or you can call, Lauri Bach at (540) 798-6018 and she can get you the information needed!

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!!

This is the only event I will be speaking at during my time in the States, but if you can’t make it on Saturday evening, and you still want to hear more about our ministry, I will be speaking for a few minutes at my home church (Radford Baptist Church) at the 10:00 service on Sunday June 6th.


These beautiful beads will be for sale at the fundraiser on June 5th!

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!

Monday, May 17, 2010

In a little house outside a town called Myuge, a small boy lays on the floor crying. He is unclothed and covered in his own waste …screaming with a lung capacity that a child of his size should not have. The neighbors are def to his cries though and no one comes to his rescue. Where is his Mom? Where is someone; anyone?

After the death of his mother, Becaham spent most of his days locked in a house with no one to care for, or about him. His Mom died in November of 2009 from AIDS, and since then he has been living with his father, along with 1 of the 4 other wives he is currently married to. Everyday his Dad goes out to find work, and his “co-wife mom” leaves to dig in the gardens. Becaham is left alone-for hours and hours; all day he lays, all day he cries.

After weeks of repeatedly being left alone, he learned to cry out of boredom, and even when someone was with him, he cried. He cried all night; every night. His family grew more frustrated, and they began to leave him more. They bought Valium tablets to make him sleep at night, though an adult dose only kept his little body asleep for 3 hours.

Becaham fell sick, but there is no health center, so his sickness went untreated. He lost all apatite, and refused to eat. He grew thin, but no one really noticed. He lost weight at a rapid speed, and his Dad finally realized he needed to do something soon otherwise he was going to lose his son, but there was nothing for him to do. He had no money, and the nearest hospital was very far.

So Becaham’s condition continued to worsen…

That’s when we entered the picture. We were brought to Becaham during a home visit for another child in our program, and there was no turning this little guy away. After our home visit was complete we went back to pick up him and his father. When we arrived Becaham was laying on the floor, not a family member in sight… When I met this intriguing little man, he was a 1 year old weighing in at a little less than 7 pounds.

Just 3 months ago I said “I am not admitting any more kids until after I get back from America in June”. (I am going back to the state for 3 weeks at the beginning of June). Yeah right… since I made that statement we have received 3 new children 2 of them being very severe cases of malnutrition, and the 3rd being a 4 day old baby girl. That worked out really well… Please keep this crazy, nut house in your prayers!

Allafat: age 2. 10 pounds

Shadia, a now healthy 1 1/2 month old!

Becaham Then

Now!

“The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to FULL health”

Psalms 41:3