Sunday, November 30, 2014

Miracle Baby Update & Preparations for Return to US

November 30, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family!  We are thankful for and value our relationship with you.  We had a wonderful meal of chicken and all the fixings, fresh vegetables from the fields, and pumpkin pie with our small missionary community of Nyankunde.  We recounted the history of Thanksgiving, took turns sharing what we are thankful for, and sang songs of thanks to God.  We remembered the many people who suffer from the lack of good nutrition on this great continent.

An Update on Miracle Baby

Thanks to those of you who have shown interest and prayed for the baby girl Warren wrote about
in our last blog.  This story has received a lot of attention.  In brief, a pregnant woman came to the hospital by motorcycle with her husband and lost her vital signs on arrival to maternity.  She was whisked off to the ICU/operating theatre to find additional help.  In transit her heart stopped.  Staff could see her abdomen moving and that the baby was alive.  Warren did a post-mortum c-section pulling out a struggling baby who began breathing on her own after 5 minutes.

Well it seems that much of the village and hospital also heard about this miracle baby.  Everyone knows everything in a village and this is no exception!  Other details about her family have surfaced since she was born, pointing to God’s hand of protection.  One of the pharmacy students intercepted the motorcycle with the distressed mother on the blocked road and directed them towards the hospital.  He recognized that this was an emergency and gave timely directions.  If this student had not given directions perhaps they would not have arrived to the hospital in time to save the baby’s life. 

The baby girl is growing and doing well medically, thanks be to God!  She is four weeks old this week.  Ironically she was about Emmanuel's birthweight and is gaining weight steadily.  The baby has been on formula and has been cared for by an aunt.  The father has returned home and does not seem receptive to adoption by a willing Congolese family.  At present there is not a clear plan in place for the care of this baby.  In this culture babies really need a mother to nurse them as it is vital to survival and health.  She needs a special name to reflect how God has cared for and protected her life.  Most of all she needs a loving family to take her home.  

I had an earthly home as a child, a father and mother, yet part of me longs to know where I come from.  Why is this?  We are all adopted children in God’s family and we all long for our forever home.  Where do I come from?  Who do I belong to?  Who will love me unconditionally?  I will always be a foreigner, a vagabond, to this world.  Only God can love me without condition.  I am His adopted child.   I am like this little girl in many ways. 

It is hard for me to fathom that someone could love with a stronger love than I have for my own son, but this is true of God’s love.  It is perfect and without condition.  It does not depend on what I do or fail to do.  I want to love my son with this kind of love, yet I know that it is only by His grace that I can approach this.  It is my job as a parent to point Emmanuel to the love of his heavenly Father which is perfect.

It is our prayer for this little girl that she will experience God’s tender love for her and that He will provide a family to care for her and point her to God’s love.

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”  Romans 8: 22-23

Home with Emmanuel

I am enjoying my time at home with Emmanuel so much!   He is already three+ months old and outgrowing all his clothes.  He smiles and laughs and coos.  A few weeks ago he grasped his rattle for the first
time.  Some days I just marvel that he is ours.  We like to visit Dad and his Congolese “aunties and uncles” in the hospital.  Everyone thinks he looks like his dad, but I think he has many of my facial features.  I have yet to  decide when to resume part-time work at the hospital.  Right now it seems right to be at home.  Each day is meant to be treasured.  This is a truth I knew before having a baby, but as I watch my child outgrowing his shoes I realize that he will grow up before I know it.  It makes me want to capture his footprint everyday to cherish.

This is the essence of, "This is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).  May this truth of Scripture find a home in your heart as well.

The missionary ladies here at Nyankunde gave Emmanuel a little party early this month.  He received some new clothes, books, and toys.  He was on his best behavior and slept through much of it.  They talked about the Biblical significance of his name, “God with us” and gave me wise counsel to make the most of each moment.  Thank you ladies of Nyankunde for celebrating us!

"Look Mom, I'm Tiger"

The "parrot photobomb"

We recently went on our first hike up the mountain since before Emmanuel was born.  It felt great to exert myself again.  I am regaining my endurance since the c-section.  I have braved running.  Here are photos from our recent hike.

New Arrivees
We have welcomed a young Dutch couple, Joanna and Willem Folmer, to work with us at Nyankunde Hospital.  Joanna just completed her training in ob/gyn and Willem in tropical medicine/surgery.  This is their first longer-term assignment as a couple and there is a lot to learn.  Pray for them as they adjust culturally and to the medical milieu here.  The obstetrics department needs support and certain improvements.  We wish to be known as a hospital where one can get excellent obstetrical care.

We are thankful for our friends the Bartholemews who have been serving with us this past month.  Dr. Tim, an oromaxillofacial surgeon did a couple of cleft lips/palates and repaired a few jaw fractures.  He also did some teaching with the Congolese doctors.  Huyen worked with the obstetrics team and helped Joanna get started working here.  I had several fun days with their daughter Alex at home making make-believe cakes outside made out of flowers and leaves.

Home for the Holidays

We are headed to the United States and Switzerland for the holidays to see friends and family for about 7 weeks!  It has already been two years that we have been at Nyankunde.  We look forward to introducing our son to our family.  There is much to celebrate and catch up on.  We will reconnect with our stateside Samaritan’s Purse family. 

There are a few upcoming changes to our ministry support here in Congo.  On our return to Nyankunde in February 2015, I (Lindsey) will be serving with Christian Health Service Corps (CHSC) and Warren will continue to work for Samaritan’s Purse.   We will continue to do fundraising through Christian Health Service Corps for our ministry to the hospital (ongoing support of the malnutrition program), daily living, and professional (licensing, continuing medical education) expenses.  If you have supported us financially or through prayer these last two years, we are so grateful.   Some of you have encouraged our spirits by visiting us at Nyankunde and some by serving by our side.  Thank you!  We hope you will continue to partner with us through CHSC.  If you are interested in supporting us for the first-time this would be a huge encouragement.  Details about our involvement with CHSC can be found at the following link:

Blessings and love,

Lindsey, Warren, and Emmanuel

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