Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hettie and Anna at the beach!
Psalm 27:4
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Obre our miracle baby has an enlarged heart more than likely a condition he was born with. He is currently in an ICU bed being closely monitored but too weak to open his little eyes to see his loving mother praying over him. With this new discovery in his health it has been decided by the doctors that the best thing for Obre is not to try to resuscitate his heart if it stops beating. I am sure this was such a difficult decision to make for such a precious little life and after the miracle that occurred the first time his life almost ebbed away from us.
Psalm 139:13
for you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

2 Samuel 12:16-23
16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
18 On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, "While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate."
19 David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. "Is the child dead?" he asked.
"Yes," they replied, "he is dead."
20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
21 His servants asked him, "Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!"
22 He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."

Marius the most famous baby of all is doing well his cleft lip is repaired he now looks entirely different with a "new" nose and lip. The tube placed in his neck after his surgery to help him breath is out now there are just dissolvable blue sutures in its place. He is a happy baby laughing and cooing often being carried on his mom's or various nurses back with a bright piece of African cloth.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Soon Marius was gaining weight on regular basis so we were able to send Marius and his mom to the centre where patients are waiting for surgery. Through the weeks Marius came for regular check up and steadily gained weight. He did so well that they were able to move up his surgery date to operate on his bilateral cleft lip. He was again admitted to the Ward but this time fat weighing a wapping 4.73kg (10.4lbs) and waiting for surgery.

Remember the lyrics of the Christmas song of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer? As you sing it in your mind “But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?” This is the song that goes through my mind when I think of Marius. He is the most famous baby in my mind of the babies in the Infant Feeding Program. They are all precious but the Lord in His infinite wisdom has made us all so unique that we are more ‘drawn to’ some than others. Marius and his mom have had a special place in my heart since they day they came into the Infant feeding program. I met Marius and his mom March 1, 2010, Marius was four months old and weighed 2.85kg (6.27lbs.) He was long and thin. His mother a lovely Christian woman was always praying over him and overcame many odds to keep him alive and make it to the ship for help. She was unsure of what to do next she was trying her very best to feed Marius with his bilateral cleft lip and palate. She was breast feeding him with the very little milk she had and feeding him corn porridge once a day.

Proverbs 30:25

Ants are creatures of little strength,
yet they store up their food in the summer;

Some of the beauty of Togo captured by a fellow crew member Allie.
"O praise the greatness of our God! He is the rock, His works are perfect, and His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He." Dueteronomy 32:3-4

Obre is a baby who has a bilateral cleft lip and palate. He was referred to the Infant Program by a pastor from Benin. When he arrived he was 4 months old and weighed 2.81kg (6.2lbs). He did not register on any of the growth charts. He had a tube down his nose, put in by a local hospital to feed him. He was tiny for his age but alert with a lusty cry.
April 13,2010 Obre is still with us on the Ward now weighs 2.9kg (6.38lbs).
Often mothers become outcasts and are blamed for their babies being born with cleft lips and palates. Obre's mother and father are Christians. We met Obre father for the first time and heard his testimony of he too was born with a cleft lip.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Anne and Annie

The babies look so BIG and healthy in this picture. Their last visit was April 5, 2010 at an age of 6 weeks;Anne wieghed 2.12kg (4.6lbs) and Annnie wieghed 2.70kg

Precious Anne being fed by mom.

This is baby Anne one of the babies in the Infant Feeding Program.

The feeding program is designed to 'fatten up' underweight babies to prepare them for surgery. Most of the babies in the program have cleft lips and/or palates.

There have been two small exceptions to the rules. Anne and Annie are twins who arrived at screening with their mother and father, when they arrived at screening they were just a couple of days old weighing 1.72 kg. Two tiny precious packages with downy hair and pink skin. Anne came into the Infant Feeding Program because of her club feet. We could not care for one baby in the program without caring for the other as well; hence Annie was admitted into the program as well. The orthopaedic surgeons put three tiny sets of casts on Anne's feet in hopes of straightening them, however after three sets of casts the orthopaedic surgeons decided that they may be doing more harm than good, and therefore decided Anne would need to be reassessed at approximately one year of age. The decision was made that even though the babies were not surgical candidates they could stay in the program because there was no other follow-up for them in Togo until after six months of age.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Activities at the Children's Home.
Playing with our hair.
Just lov'in the children.

Some of the happy faces at the Children's home.

These are the children greeting us all dressed in their matching African outfits.

Our first greeting at the Children's Home. This is one of boys playing the drum in his African outfit.

A sunset outside the Children's Home.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The definition of Armadillo "burrowing chiefly nocturnal mammal with body covered with strong horny plates."
Brandon caught one of these burrowing nocturnal mammals Saturday night.

This has been a challenging week. I have learnt a lot. I have a whole new appreciation for what fire fighters work through.

The first week has been Basic Safety Training.
1. Practice safe behavior onboard ship.
2. Respond appropriately and effectively to emergencies onboard ship.
3. Demonstrate an awareness of unique features of ship living pertaining to safety.
4. Practice safety techniques in fire fighting strategies and water survival strategies.
5. Demonstrate competence in using safety gear and equipment.
6. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of CPR and Fist Aid.
See me?

On January 8, 2010 arrived in Texas at the Mercy Ships main campus, to attend Gateway Program described as "missionary training." Specifically stated "Our purpose is educate, equip, and empower future staff and crew of Mercy Ships." There is a farm here with cows, chickens, sheep and rabbits.