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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Surviving the Week

No small mercy.
And in fact, our sermon this morning on Rom 12:1,2 reminded us that all our living sacrifice is in view of God's mercy.
So let's look back at the mercies new and old and daily and continuous.

Shared Parenting

Karen and Liana drove from Philadelphia to Downington to see Luke play soccer this weekend.  We had a dozen kids for lunch Thursday and another ten for "second dinner" and El Classico last night.  It is a privilege to be here with other peoples' kids, and even more to have other people bless ours.


The nursery remains packed.  Two small preemies have died this month, but so far everyone else is pulling through.  I am thankful for slowly settling jaundice, slowly plumping weights, slowly resolving leaks.  I am thankful for the doctors I work with.  For the nurses we can rely upon.  For the mothers who feed these tiny ones every two hours day and night.

Needy Children's Fund

Ten people have pledged to the fund in the last few weeks, which has moved us from a deficit to be able to help more.  We paid for three doses of surfactant for the tiny baby who ended up dying.  Anyone medical can see from this xray it was not enough.  But there is an element of comfort in knowing you did all you could for your child, without regard to funds, even if in the end the baby dies.  Maybe ESPECIALLY if in the end the baby dies.

On the other hand, Baby S is moving through his second month of recovery from esophogeal atresia and tracheoesophogeal fistula.  He's had weeks in the ICU, several surgeries, too many chest tubes, IV nutrition, and in general our highest level of care.  He's emerging but not quite out of the woods.  His mom told me her bill is almost $4000 already and will be higher, and she is hoping for some help from our fund.  She has been an inspiring stalwart of faith, comforting others throughout his stay. And she firmly believes the cost is well worth the result! I told her we would help, as will the BKKH surgical team.  

One day a couple weeks ago Baby M's family showed up with this little yellow, shriveled wisp, who was the only surviving twin born at a nearby hospital weeks before. We were out of incubator space so when the outpatient nurse called to ask if we had space for her, I said no, refer her on to Kenyatta, the national hospital.  Then I felt no peace, and after praying decided on a way we could accommodate her with a heated isolation room . . my team pulled her through a few days of septic shock and ICU care.  Now she's nearly ready to go home.  She is striking a pensive pose in the picture below.  I'm so thankful God didn't let me send her away.

Family Times

God's great mercy to us is that we live a few steps away from the activities of three kids.  This week I caught one of Acacia's Titchie (elementary) soccer games--she's the coach, many of her players are our neighbors, and it was great fun to watch them play.  Wednesday we traveled into Nairobi for games and Saturday we slipped up between patient duties to see Julia play tennis and Jack soccer (football).  Julia was the only girl in the entire tournament and played with skill, and more importantly JOY.  Jack's team did quite well; Jack scored the first goal of the tournament and set up the last with his free kick that was headed in.  The team lost in the finals, but won an exciting semi-final in penalty kicks - and finished second out of  8 teams there.  Julia's choral group led worship today; it is an honor choir for Seniors only and focuses on discipleship and service.  

I lead a Sunday School with friend and colleague Bethany Ferguson that Julia and Acacia attend as well.  These times are mercies because we love seeing our kids doing the kind of things they were created to thrive in:  sports, coaching, singing, friendships, spiritual growth.  But they are also a mercy because community is built around them.  With each passing month I am more and more thankful for the depth and breadth of relationship here.

What a WORLD

Monday was a Kenyan holiday, and RVA celebrated with "Multicultural Day" in which the nearly 30 nationalities represented in the student body are recognized. The kids have a day of games, food, and learning about the world.  Scott ran in a 5K where he more than held his own with the 20 and 30-something crowd.  The day is a reminder of God's diversity reflected in culture.

Thankful for another week survived, with moments of grace.

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