Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Medical Team Update

Seriously, can it really be a year since my last post? I am going to start exactly where my brain is right now and at the end of the post will fill you in on the past year......

I just returned from leading another medical team to Ethiopia, specifically Korah and Shashamane to work along side of my daughter Emily, who runs a small clinic in Korah.

Some experiences never get easier. Medical trips are the hardest. Some patients and their situations swirl around my mind like a tornado with no exit get out. Trying to find solutions to their sickness, words that will encourage and comfort. The cases that swirl in my mind aching to get out have not worldly solutions, only heavenly hope, and I need to remind my self to let go and let God. It is thru prayer and petition answers will come and hearts will be changed.

I could feel the air being sucked out of the small room in Korah where we were doing clinic. In the back right hand corner of the room I saw Bobby, one of our doctors on our team, sitting at his station with a tall lanky father and his son,  I headed to the bench and sat next to the father, the son sitting directly across from me, Bobby next to the son, and Mastee our translator sitting on the other side of the father. The air was heavy, emotions were evident thru the eyes and posture of all sitting on the the little wooden benches. The sons frame fragile despite multiple layers of clothing hanging from his lean body. His legs were crossed, shoulders drooped, engery non-exsient, and his eyes, those piercing brown bulging eyes begging for life. Deep breath in, exhale.  Bobby holding a set of x-rays, held them up to the light, he began to explain that the boys heart was as big as his entire chest cavity. The father had heard of american doctors in Korah and had brought his son our little clinic, on a mission to find life for his son. The Father nor the son spoke english, we were able to speak freely, in front of them. Harsh. Truth.   Reality. Bobby explained that no surgery could save this boy. That most likely he will die in the next year. The x-rays and prescription drugs the father carried were from Black Lion Hospital. The death hospital, as the locals call it. Next, the words came, they hit hard in my chest, like the wind was knocked out of me, my stomach turned..... Muslim.... The father and the son are both practicing Muslims.  We pulled our benches closer together. Desperation seemed thicker. In that moment we all realized  God had brought this father and his son to our clinic, not for drugs or an operation that would heal an earthly body, but for live saving truth that gives eternal life.

Lord give us the words. how does the conversation start? The father and the boy need to be told death is close. This could be the only time they hear of Jesus. Time is crucial. Hope can be found.  His presence surrounded us. We prayed, for understanding, for boldness, for the words....  God provided, words came, truth was spoken. Eternal Separation, Heaven, Hell, Eternal Life, Forsaking all other gods. Jesus. Love. Ask.

The father and son sat, listening to every word.

We prayed again, hugs and smiles were exchanged. We had shared, they listened, we continue to pray that the father and son will both receive Jesus before the son dies. Pray that others will cross their path to share of Jesus. That one day the father and son will be reunited in Heaven.

Thru divine timing, prayer, and persistence, by team members before we left the USA, just the day before the father and son came into our clinic,  Emily, Bobby and John (doctors on our team) traveled to Hilina foods to purchase 12 cases of plumpy-nut. Plumpy-nut is a life saving food pouch that is made in Ethiopia, but mostly exported to other third world countries to treat severe malnutrition. Emily has been trying for a year to purchase plumpy-nut for the clinic. We had brought the life saving food pouches that day to our clinic. We are now praising God for his perfect timing. We were able to provided the father with enough plumpy nut for his son for a week and told him to come back each week to receive another weeks supply. This life saving food pouch may help to extend the sons life. Extend his life long enough until he asks Jesus into his heart. God's timing once again is perfectly perfect.

The clinic is also providing plumpy nut to a little boy in Korah, Abraham,  who is awaiting a medical visa. He is a candidate for life-saving heart surgery here in the USA. He also has downs syndrome. The plumpy nut will help to nourish his body helping him to stay strong as he awaits his visa.

At the end of our time in Ethiopia, our medical team decided to start a plumpy-nut fund. We committed to raising funds to insure that Plumpy-nut will continue to be purchased and given out at the clinic. I am asking my friends to help save lives in Korah. 100% of all funds given will be used to purchase life saving plumpy-nut. One box of plumpy nut feeds one child for 2 months at a cost of $70. Any amount you can give offers hope and a chance of life..... can you help?

Prayer Warriors Needed!

If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. 
 Isaiah 58:10

Oh my word the time has gone by so fast. So much has happened in the last year I'm not sure where to start. Here are some of the highlights... Judah's adoption was finalized in January.  Our oldest child, Emily was married in June to a beautiful Ethiopian man in the ministry she works with, his name is Berhanu. Our family, all flew to Ethiopia to be a part of the celebration. Emily and Berhanu were able to travel to the states in July where our entire crew enjoyed 2 weeks in Hawaii. In September and we had a beautiful wedding reception for Em and Berhanu here in Salem.  Our family continued to grow when Weoldu (19) from Ethiopia, joined our family in June and we are expecting the arrival of another young Ethiopian (18) to also join our family in January. Jack our son who is 21 proposed to his girlfriend Amy, and will be married in August. We enjoyed fellowship with two other friends over the sumer from Ethiopia, Mastee and Bizzy. Trips to Ethiopia in Febuary, June, and Medical Trip in October. I know there is more, but it is late and I must head to bed. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Basket Time Again

Just a quick heads up, I've added some more of the handmade in Korah baskets to the Korah Love facebook page. These always seem to sell out fast. The link to the Facebook page is at the bottom of this post. If you haven't seen our new Korah Love store yet, be sure to check it out, lots of great items for sale, with all proceeds going to help the people of Korah. The community where Juddah is from. We have some beautiful photographic prints for your home that are professionally printed on linen textured paper, handmade one of a kind Ethiopian Silver Earrings, and the paper and clay bead necklaces... 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Totally Amazed.... Again!

Why am I always so surprised when God does something amazing? It's in His nature, it's a part of who He is to do the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the things that make you just shake your head in awe and say 'thank you'.  The things that make your heart smile.....

Well I had one of those days today. I have so much to share with you all since my last post, but want to get this blogged first. First let share with you all Sammy is here! Yeah! He arrived two nights ago. We are so very excited to have him here in our home until the new year. For those of you who don't know Sammy, he is a young man from Korah Ethiopia who is one of the leaders of Great Hope Ministries in Korah, the community where Juddah was born, the community which is my second home and the place that Emily, my oldest daughter has moved to and has set up a medical clinic after passing her boards in June.

Today Sammy and I had lunch with a young man named Michael Turner who lives here in Salem. Michael has also served in Korah for three days over the summer with a group called the Mocha Club. Michael and I have been trying to meet up to talk 'Korah' since August. Life just has happened and we just never got together until now. Today over lunch Michael shared his story and how God has put Korah on his heart, that is turn led him to share his heart and Korah with his church family. Sammy and I were both amazed and so encouraged as we sat and listened to Michael share. As Michael shared with his church the story of Korah and what his experiences were in Korah, his church was moved, and they were moved to pray and to do more. Michael shared several stories of how the body of his church are now praying for Korah, and that in their hearts they knew they could do more. They had questions about what could they do for Korah? How can they help? What are the needs in the ministry? How can they be praying for Korah? And so the idea of a benefit concert has taken shape. This church body, is now hosting a Korah Christmas December 18th. It is a benefit concert for Korah. 

As Sammy said walking out to the car, "we step out with a simple act of faith and God will use it to do great things for His Glory. God enables us to experience His power, how big He is, and who He is, when we let ourselves become small and Him to be BIG!. Sammy then shared the verse in John 3:30

 He must increase, but I must decrease.

As Sammy and I walked out to the car we both were thinking the same thought... 'one man named Michael came to Korah for three days, came home and shared what he saw, shared his heart, and now an entire church body is praying for Korah and has been moved to do more.' I think we just sat in the car for a couple of moments saying 'wow'.  Lord we are continually blessed and amazed by your awesome master plan and how you weave people and circumstances together. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your plan.

Another part of the story is that some of the founders and members of this church are friends of Emily's. Some of whom she went to middle school and High school... how cool is that? That friends who she shared school together with are now supporting the very ministry that she is a part of in Korah. Is there a like/love button anywhere on this blog, if there were I think I just may hit it 1000 times or until it wears out!

Sammy shared tonight how blessed he feels everyday to see His hand and His power and His presence and that this was just one more example of that.

So, we would like to invite you all to join us at Korah Christmas for a night of fellowship. Hope those of you who are within driving distance will be able to join us!
Blessing to all this Christ-mas season.

Prayer Warriors still needed,

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

complicated desperation

I returned on Friday from my 9th trip to Korah Ethiopia. My good friend Kathleen and I were team leaders on a medical missions team where we set up a mobile clinic in Korah and at the boarding school in Shashamane. Our team consisted of 21 members. We saw and treated over 150 patients a day.

In my mind, mentally I thought this trip would be similar to the other times I have been in Korah. My eyes would be opened to a different way of life, and as I grew in relationships with my friends in Korah, and learned from them, God would guide and direct where we could work together to improve lives and share the love of Jesus. Together we would work to make changes for the good in Korah, in the 'here and now' and the Eternal.  As with most who enter into Korah the blessings received, far outweigh the blessings we leave behind. There is much to be learned from Korah.

Generally, I'm not a crybaby while in Korah. I'm able to contain myself and not let my emotions overtake the moment. With God's help, I have been able to be in the moment, without being overcome by the moment. Until this trip I remember just one devastating moment in Korah where the floodgates opened and tears fell uncontrollably. It was the day a 14 year old girl hung herself just 3 doors down from the shelter. She had been sick for a week, and thought she would not recover. it's always been at night when I return to my bed, and I let my emotions go and give way to the gut wrenching thoughts and pain of all the 'what if's' and the 'why God?' questions that come from being submerged into Korah, and that's when the tears fall.

This trip was not like that. Numerous moments during this trip I found myself unable to contain my emotions. My body and my mind gave into the sadness and depths of despair, and a never-ending ache overtook my soul. It was like I was in a dream. And this was a trip that was like no other.

On one of the evenings in the beginning of our trip, as our team sat in the gathering room of the guesthouse, Kathleen and I asked each team member to summarize their feelings about their first day in Korah in one or two words, and then again at the end of the trip we asked them to share what their first word was at the beginning of the trip and what their word was now, after spending 10 days there. It was interesting to hear how team members words changed from words that expressed sadness to words that expressed joy and happiness. To my surprise my words went the opposite direction. My first words were something along the lines of reunion and joy. My last two words were

Complicated Desperation

Yes, those sum it up accurately. Complicated Desperation.

Complicated: made up of intricate parts or aspects that are difficult to understand or analyze
Desperation: recklessness arising from despair

Korah is difficult to understand and I wonder if there will ever be a way to fully understand or analyze it. Korah is made up of a million different moving intricate parts. Recklessness is obvious and arises out of the despair, which is most evident when you start to focus on scars that have formed on the skin of the residents and they begin to share their personal stories of how the scars came into being. Heart scars which affect relationships are tanagible, and surround you everywhere you go in Korah. Korah is a perplexing place, and the more times you visit, the pieces begin to fall together, and the more you think they are falling together you realize that only the surface has been scratched and there are a million more pieces that need to be investigated.

Complicated Desperation. I felt it pierce so deep into my soul this trip I wasn't sure if I'd be able to come out on the other side. I wasn't directly involved in the following situations, I was just a bystander present in the moment.

It was one day in clinic, toward the end of the day. A mother brought her young daughter into the clinic. The baby lay limp in her arms. She was brought to a team members station, a pediatrician and surgeon from Uganda. As Dr. Arlene examined her the diagnosis was not promising. The young mother began to share the history of this small baby, my heart quickly dropped, I could feel the weight of this mothers agony on my shoulders, and my spirit fell hard. The baby, now two years old, had reached all the normal milestones by the age of 1 1/2. She was walking, talking and crawling. Then just 6 months ago the baby had a fever, and quickly began to regress to the point she was now. Unable to sit, walk, crawl or do anything on her own. She lay in her mothers arms just as a newborn baby. As Dr. Arlene continued to examine her she felt the baby had contracted meningitis, and this was the reason for her decline. But as the examination and conversation continued something much closer to home was revealed. This baby also has hydrocephalus and fused sutures. Her 'sunset-eyes' were a tell-tale sign that her inter-cranial pressure has begun to increase and most likely she has started to have headaches similar to a migraine. Her head circumference was much to large for her age. As the doctor listened to her heart is was quite clear that she also had a heart condition. My thoughts immediately went to Juddah and the day that I first held him in my arms and realized that something was not quite right with his head. And then to his diagnosis day of hydrocephalus and fused sutures. And then to the day when the doctor at the Ethiopian hospital told me to 'let him go' they can't do anything for him. like in a movie where you see your life flash before you in fast forward. This baby was a lot like Juddah. And now here we as a team we are in the presence of a two year old with the same condition as Juddah, and we have nothing to offer her. NOTHING. Not even a hospital or doctor to refer her to that could offer the possibility of a future. Nothing that will help her baby get well. Nothing that will help her baby survive. Nothing that will help reverse this horrible condition that has overtaken her little body. Nothing to bring back the little girl she remembers just 6 months ago. Questions ravage my mind, not solutions.... Maybe if the baby were younger? maybe if the baby didn't have a heart condition. Maybe if the baby had been born in the USA. maybe... but maybes didn't and don't matter here.... we have to live in the facts of what is, not in the maybes of what could have happened. I felt as tho I couldn't breathe, I can't even begin to imagine how this mother of this fragile baby continues to courageously go on. The moaning and tears that came from this young mothers belly were indescribable.

Keena a team member who was sorting and distributing clothes to patients was busy picking out a new set of clothes to give to the mama for her baby. She had several new outfits picked out ready to give her. As Keena handed them to me, I couldn't help but think that we were giving the mama new clothes that her baby would be buried in. Oh, sweet Jesus, please don't let my mind go there. But it did. Most likely this baby will not survive to her 3rd birthday due to her heart condition, hydrocephelus, the povety and the infections she will acquire from her surroundings in Korah. Dr. Arlene wrote out an extensive report to a doctor we have a connection with at Brooke hospital in Addis. The doctor there may be able to prescibe some medication that would help slow down the production of CSF fluid. And help with some treatment that would minimally prolong her life. Due to this babies age and progression of her condition there is no hospital who would even begin to entertain the idea of lifesaving treatment for her. And the tears fell. Uncontrollably and unstoppable.

We had nothing. WE HAD NOTHING. But we serve the one who has everything. Our Jesus has everything. So we prayed over and with this mama and her baby. We gave her some Bir to purchase formula for the baby, and to cover the costs of going to Brooke hospital. I hugged her hard not wanting to let her go. It was apparent from the deep sorrow that fell from this mothers eyes she was well aware that the prognosis was not good.

We walked together out the door, hugged and said goodbye. I quickly went to the one place where in the past I felt comfort. Just around the corner was the little house where I first met Sarah and Juddah. I went and sat on the the big stone at the corner of the house. The place where in the past I had felt the presence of the Lord so firmly, so securely, so clearly. This time I went there questioning the Lord... and crying out from the deep dark part of my soul along with the crying came anger!....Why Lord? why would you choose a small baby to endure such pain? Why would you let so many conditions fall on her that could not be fixed? why couldn't she be younger to be a candidate for surgery? why must she regress in front of her mama? Why can't the sickness and poverty just go away?.... why, why, why..... and then in the way that He always does, his voice became so clear.... 'I watched my son endure the cross, I know the pain, fall into me.' I sat head hanging between my knees listening, and waiting.

As I returned to the clinic, sitting at Dr. John's station was another mama, holding a much older boy. This boy was obviously having seizures, every few minutes, and it was a desperate uncomfortable thing to witness. The suffocating heaviness of the moment fell on me, before I could even begin my questioning of the Lord, I heard his words from just seconds before.... 'fall into me,'... and so I did.... I fell into Him. This boy was quite a bit bigger, maybe eight or nine. Again it was an irreversible condition, and the questions for the Lord were the same.

A few days later, I visited a 15 year old at home while she was in the end stages of labor. She had been having contractions for the last 2 days. She had come into the clinic when her labor began and our doctors examined her. The next day she went to the hospital to be checked and they sent her home. She returned home to labor on her mattress on the dirt floor in her hut. Grandma by her side, with family members just on the other side of a curtain that served as a divider and giving her little privacy. No drugs to ease the pain, no preparation for the birth, no infant classes prior to help her thru the first weeks of being a young mama. She was 15 and about to become a mom. Later in the evening I returned, there lying in the bed on the floor beside her was a beautiful baby boy. The new mom had her back turned to the baby, and had no interest in cuddling or bonding with the baby. For now the baby lay sleeping unaware of of his situation. We talked and I admired the precious little boy. We hugged said our goodbyes. The next day my friend went to visit mom and the new baby. When she shared what she had witnessed, again my heart broke and questions arose. The young mom was still lying on her bed with her back to the baby. While my friend was there the baby began to cry and was obviously hungry, my friend suggested to mom that she feed the baby. While the new moms shirt was soaked with breast milk she had no interest in feeding the baby or even holding him. The grandma and the mom both encouraged my friend to take the baby, to bring the baby back to America. Why Lord? why? and the tears fell again..... and His words became clear.... "fall into me"

This was a different trip for me, I was a crybaby while in Korah. The desperation so apparent, the complicated nature of Korah was so 'IN MY FACE' there was no time to rest and regroup and center myself in-between the new situations that arose.
I am weak, He is strong, Humans have no answers,
Life is not fair, Blessings come where you least expect them, 
Keep your eyes on the eternal, 
Be the hands and feet in-spite of the circumstances, 
Serve because you belong to Jesus, 
complicated desperation is difficult to witness,

That is why, for Christ’s sake, 
I delight in weaknesses, 
in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, 
in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong
2 Corinthians 12:10

Monday, October 31, 2011

the promise

Just over a year ago was when I first laid eyes on a beautiful little family in Korah Ethiopia. It was a moment in time that would change our family forever. A moment that will forever be embedded deep in my heart and soul. A moment that was divinely appointed by the Lord. The first time I scooped up Sarah and Juddah in my arms and prayed with Chebree their birth mom, it was instant love. You know the kind, when you think your heart is about to explode and the rest of the world comes to a stop, and all you want to do is embrace and protect the moment. It was and is that kind of love with Juddah, Sarah, Chebree and Mahlet. 

A lot can happen in a year.

About 2 weeks after helping Chebree care for the two tiny fragile babies, I was in the silver market in Addis, and came across two tiny silver crosses. They were just lone charms sitting on the glass shelf. I purchased them and had them put on black necklace cords to give to the babies. When I gave them to Chebree, I shared with her that these were a symbol, a symbol that with the Lords help and His divine intervention, together we would do everything humanly possible to help the babies survive until their 1st birthday, but in the end it was up to the creator of life, and that we must pray daily for these little souls. I asked her to save these and put them on the shelf until their first birthday, and when they were 1 we would give them to Sarah and Juddah. I was surprised at what happened next.... Chebree immediately put them on the babies. I don't know what was going thru her mind in that moment, but I saw something in her eyes, something that told me that she was believing in the promise of the cross for her babies. At that time, Chebree was not a believer, and only recently had been invited to church for the first time. Just a few short weeks later was when she first stepped foot in the church, and later accepted Jesus as her savior. She was believing in the promise and power of the cross before she even knew what it fully meant. Those thoughts and those seeds planted can only be explained by one thing.... the holy spirit.... 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
 “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

A future! The promise of a future!
So here it is, just one year later, and Sarah and Juddah are now 1 year old! A living testament to the power of the cross.  They have been on different paths on different continents this year, with the same goal in mind, to become strong, healthy and happy little 'babes of the king'. Sarah is a rolly-polly little one year old who is now walking solidly, and eating everything in site. She tends to cling close to her mama, but when coaxed will send a smile your way that will melt your heart. She is strong and healthy and happy.  Juddah has had 3 surgeries, is in physical therapy and continues to make developmental strides. He is full of joy, laughs constantly and is a bright light for all those who come in contact with him.

Hills, valleys and bumps in the road will continue to dot their future, while we know not what the future holds there is one thing that is constant.... the power of the cross. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Korah Necklaces

More beautiful items made in Korah....  SOLD OUT These are handmade by my friends in Korah Ethiopia. The necklaces are 15 inches long and are made with a whole 'lotta love'.The colors on the paper beads vary slightly. The proceeds from your donations will go directly to help purchase supplies for our October medical missions team going into Korah. We will be serving the people who live right in the area where Juddah was born. Some of our team members are the nurses who cared for and loved on Juddah while he was in the hospital in Virgina. I am so excited to share Juddah's neighborhood with them as we help to care for the medical needs of the community.

Supplies that will be purchased are: baby formula, prescription medicine, non-prescription medicine, soap, first-aid supplies, and help to pay hospital/clinic bills for those patients we are not able to treat. Please use the donation button below, and be sure to put in the purpose section of paypal that your donation is for the necklaces....
Thank you so much for helping our medical mission team serve the least of these....

These have SOLD OUT for now, I'll have more when I return home from Ethiopia at the end of October. I'll also have more baskets available also. Thank you so much for supporting Korah. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Picture

Here's the latest of Juddah, showing off his new front teeth!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

So much to catch up on

Gosh, I have so much blogging to catch up on, it has been weeks ago since I last wrote, and now it's gotten to the point that I wonder where to start. So tonight as I stressed over where to begin, I have decided to just start with today and go from there.

But first a quick update on Juddah. He has has been doing extremely great these past 3 months while recovering from his surgeries. His personality continues to blossom and his light just seems to shine brighter and brighter. Lately he is discovering the sounds he can make with his voice. He has always been a babbler, but now he is experimenting with the highs/lows, softness/loudness, and different sounds he can make when he laughs. In addition to being a professional clapper, he is now an expert in the art of rolling from one side of the room to the other. His laughter and smile are just as contagious as ever. While he is still not crawling, or able to pull himself up to a sitting position on his own, he sits strong by himself once he is helped getting into the position. His pediatrician and physical therapists are very hopeful that with help he will be able to crawl and eventually walk. Every day that goes by Rick and I see Juddah getting stronger, and are amazed at the joy that comes from within his little soul. 

At his last neurosurgeon appointment, he was released from monthly appointments, and now will only go back if there is a problem. Wahoo!  One less doctor appointment to schedule. We are working on getting caught up on his immunizations, and next week he will go to Casey Eye Institute in Portland to get his eyes checked. One of his eyes has always turned in, but it was never clear if that was a result of the pressure inside his brain, or if it was a muscular problem. Next week hopefully we will have the answer so it can start to be corrected. 

Juddah now sports 4 beautiful white teeth. Two on the bottom and two on the top, and just in the last week figured out how to chew some serious food. Tonight he had roast pork which brought a big ole smile to his face.... wonder if he is going to be a meat lover like his uncles in Ethiopia? 

We have much to be thankful for, God's mercy, grace and peace are abundant.

On to today. Do you ever have a day where you just sit in awe and say 'Really Lord, Really? How in the world did you work that one out?' followed by a dumbfounded moment where your jaw just hangs open because of what just happened and next you are just giddy inside realizing that God is the God of impossible and has such big plans that you can't even think things up in your brain like what just happened?  Well, that was me today! 

As I mentioned in an earlier post I am leading a medical mission team to Korah Ethiopia in 3 weeks to work in Juddah's backyard and set up a temporary medical clinic. Our team is now up to 20. 20 people who the Lord has chosen in advance to be a part a part of our team. As I've been working on the preparations for the trip and having conference calls with our team, I was feeling as tho our team was not complete, and that there was one more person that the Lord was calling, but I put it on the back shelf and continued on in the preparations,  and today is when it all made sense...  I had a bunch of errands that I had to do today, and was planning on doing them while Juddah took his nap... LOL!  all parents know that when you plan for a nap, it 'just ain't happenin', so off Juddah and I headed on our errands, One stop I had to make was to pick up prescriptions at Walgrens, I was certain that Juddah would be asleep in the car by then and that I would just go thru the drive-thru to pick them up. The pharmacist there is quite grumpy, and never in his 'happy place' so I usually don't like to go inside. But Juddah was still bright eyed and bushy tailed in the backseat when we rolled in the parking lot, I decided to go in and look around to see if there were any clearance items that might be useful on our trip, and pick up the prescriptions at the counter.... When it came our turn at the counter, I noticed a new pharmacist, my eyebrows raised as I thought to myself...'he looks like he could be from Ethiopia' not sure if I should start a conversation with him, I decided to wait and see if he started it first.  The first thing out of his mouth when he came to the counter as he was looking straight at Juddah was, 'where is he from?' when I said Ethiopia, the pharmacist got the biggest smile on his face and looked me straight in the eye and said I'm from Ethiopia.... the door was opened and delightful conversation ensued...  we first talked about what part of the country he was from, then what part Juddah was from, again he looked me straight in the eye and with a smile on his face he said, I'm leaving next week to go back for a visit! Then I busted out with, ME TOO! in 3 weeks, he told me he would still be there when I'm there, and of course I had to tell him about the medical team, and then as casually as I would ask him directions, asked him if he wanted to be part of our team and come to the clinic in Korah....  you know what he said..... can you guess?  Yep, we are going to connect while he is in Addis and if it works into his schedule he is coming to be a part of our clinic.  OK, so seriously Lord, Really.... how in the world did you work this one out?  A pharmacist who is from Ethiopia, speaks the language, is going to be in country at the same time as our clinic, and you had our schedules collide today! REALLY!

Once gain the Lord has shown me that is the Master Planner and that His ways are so much bigger than my ways... Lord thank you for letting me be a part of your master plan! God is the God of unexpected surprises isn't he......

Prayer Warriors still needed!

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us
Ephesians 3:20

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Finally Basket Time Again!

These baskets made with a 'whole lotta' Ethiopian love, are specially hand-made by Juddah's mama and 4 other women in Korah Ethiopia! We are working together to get a micro business set up for them, with the hope of getting them moved into better living conditions, and if we dream big, I mean really big, (moving forward with the faith of a mustard seed) praying that enough ongoing income would be generated so they each can move into a home that has running water, a flushing toilet and away from the disease that runs rampant in Korah. 
The baskets range in size from 8-11 inches in diameter, and all are about 2 inches high. Some are solid tan colored grass, and some are variegated with green and tan colored grass.  These are very tightly woven, and made from all natural materials. A hammered metal tag adorns each one with the words, 'made in Korah' quite a conversation starter when friends see it, and ask you "what is Korah" and there the conversation can begin!

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mstard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move.
 Nothing will be impossible for you."
Matthew 17:20

We are asking for a $20 donation for each basket. That includes shipping and can be paid thru the paypal button below the pictures,  If you would rather pay by check please let me know, and we can arrange for that.

These sold out overnight the last time.

Thank you for caring and supporting these women of Korah. 

Prayer Warriors needed!

With a thankful heart I have to let everyone know  the baskets are SOLD OUT OVERNIGHT!  Seriously!  Yowzers... God is so good!  I will be in Korah in October and will return with more baskets, so if you'd still like a basket stay tuned!  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Just thinking back to this day in Ethiopia when Chebree entrusted her precious gift to me, her son Juddah. It was the day that Juddah left his home and a new chapter in his life would begin. The blessings have been to numerous to count and the lessons learned priceless. Oh the sweet tender mercies of the Savior.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Urgent Prayer Request

Because I have witnessed in Juddah's life the power of prayer and watched what happens when the saints pray, I'm asking you all to fervently pray for another little baby in Addis.  A tiny baby boy 2 weeks old who also has hydrocephalus. He is in an orphanage, and this sweet little baby by the worlds and doctors standards has only been given a short time to live. I know that the Lord has plans for this little one. To give him and hope and a future. Because God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and we have already seen His tender mercies extended to Juddah, in ways that can only be explained as the supernatural power of God,  I am asking all of you to join in prayer for this little one. And together we will wait patiently on the Lord. If any of you has connections to a neurosurgeon or hospital in Kentucky please message me. It is possible that this little one could get a medical visa to come to the states for surgery. 

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:15-17 

Prayer Warriors Needed!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Update on Mr. Sweetie Pants!

Wow seriously have 8 months almost gone by since Juddah has been in the USA? Boarding the plane in Addis with a tiny baby inside the baby bjorn sleeping so soundly against my chest seems like it was just last week, but the calendar and the size of my biceps from carring a growing baby around would indicate something quite different. Juddah has grown from a small, fragile, non-expressive baby to a baby whose legs you can't help but squeeze because of the little fat rolls around them, and his eyes tell a hundred different stories with all the expressions he has. In his short little life he has been thru much, and has a promise from the Lord of a hope and a future here on this earth. 

Monday, Juddah will have a follow up appointment here in Oregon with a neurosurgeon in Bend, about a 4 hour drive from our house. The doctor there has agreed to see him under charity care for his follow-ups post surgery. Juddah seems to have adjusted quite nicely to the shunt and so far seems to be working the way it should. His stitches in his head have just about dissolved and his tummy incision is all healed up and he can now swim with out a big bandage on it! 

Last week Juddah had an appointment/assessment with Early Intervention to determine if he qualified for physical therapy with them. The minute he came thru the door Juddah immediately had made a room full of new friends. The assessment lasted about 2 1/2 hours and Juddah was the perfect patient.. so happy and patient with all the things they wanted him to do. He also had his hearing tested. The great news is that his results came back great. He may only have a slight/possible problem with hearing directly ahead of him.. not sure what that means long term, but I'm sure we will learn more as we go along. 

Juddah still lacks upper body strength, and is non-mobile for now. He is itching to be on the go tho and his frustration is evident when he wants something that is at his eye level but just out of reach. He is rolling from front to back now, and boy oh boy can his little legs run in circles when he is laying on the floor. Looking forward to his first physical therapy appointment next week, and learning about the goals that will be set for him, and how quickly his strength can be built up before he starts to crawl.. oh what a celebration that day will be! Better start child-proofing the house now.

Here are some pictures of what his incision site looks like now...
this one is just behind his ear and is where the shunt is anchored to his skull

 this one is a half moon shape and is on the top of his head

This my latest big print I've had made for our home of him... I love all his expressions.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:19-21

prayer warriors still needed!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Are you being called?

Has the Lord been tugging on your heart for you to step outside your comfort zone? Have you been wanting to serve 'the least of these'? Been thinking about a mission trip and didn't know were to start? Wondering how you could put your faith into action? Been wanting to serve alongside of others who share your passion for the least of these? Then you need to continue reading.....

I've mentioned this randomly in previous posts, and some of you have emailed me asking me about it, and finally here is the official announcement!

I will be leading a medical mission team into Ethiopia in October with my good friend Kathleen Carney!  This trip is close to our hearts, as we will be serving right in Juddah's neighborhood. I am so excited about this opportunity. The need in Korah is great and we will be serving those who need medical care the most. 

Both medical and non-medical team members (only 2 spaces left for non-medical) are needed. All branches of the medical care profession are needed on this trip. We are trying to go into Korah with a one stop shopping approach for the people in Korah.  Eye care, dermatology, dental, internal medicine, wound care, psychological, OB, physical therapy, chiropractic, if you are in ANY branch of the medical profession at ANY level, we need you. 

We will work hard, laugh at times until our stomach hurts, cry until there are no tears left, make lasting bonds with our team and the people of Korah, visually it will be a smorgasbord of new sites! Together as a team we will be serving those who have no hope. Our hearts will be full when we leave. The blessings of serving in Korah are unexplainable. You have to go to experience it. Please consider joining us in October.

Let me know if you have any questions....

If you are part of the Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, you can also contact Sandy Sayre or Melissa Witten 6th floor VICU 

here is a link where you can sign up for the trip.  click here for link  scroll down the page to the 2011 fall trips, October 13-22, led by Kathleen Carney and Cherrie Cornish

prayer warriors needed

Friday, July 15, 2011

Baskets are in the mail!

For those of you who ordered baskets a while back and paid for them via paypal,  they have been shipped to you and should arrive shortly in your mailbox! Yeah.... for those of you who are waiting to order baskets, we have another shipment that is in the USA and will be ready soon to order... I will post here on the blog with a paypal button when they are here and ready to be ordered.

We got some cute new styles, and now have four women in the program.  I head to Addis in a few weeks and will be working on the basket project with the women and soon we hope to have a smooth running basket project..... with LOTS of product.

Thank you for your patience as we get the ball rolling, but most of all thank you for supporting Chebree (Juddah's mom) and the 3 other mothers in Korah who thru this project will be able to stop foraging at the trash dump and move from where they are living now into actual homes...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Roanoke, we miss you!

Juddah was mumbling something in his sleep last night, and when i put my ear down close to him and listened I'm pretty sure I heard him say something about Roanoke, and Avenel Avenue. He rolled over and then whispered...'Hunter, Katie, where are you?' I realized then just how much we both miss our Roanoke family the Wittens. Tim, Melissa, Hunter and Katie welcomed Juddah and I into their home for what was to be a five week stay which then turned into a 5 month stay. They welcomed us having never met us before. The first time we met face to face was when Juddah and I showed up at their front door. 

Melissa is a nurse on the 6th floor of the hospital where Juddah had all his surgeries. She is part of the group at Carilion who adopted Juddah and loved him before he ever arrived in Virginia. When she and her family found out we needed a place to stay close to the hospital, they opened their hearts and home wide to us. Such a blessing it was! Hunter and Katie quickly became like a brother and sister to Juddah, always wondering how he was doing and surrounded him with big hugs and silly faces.  Hunter has a special way of saying 'Ju-ddah' which instantly brings out a giggle and a smile on Juddah's face. Katie and Juddah became experts on several episodes of the Backyardigans, and she is always ready to share her special rock collection with Juddah. 

Tim and Melissa welcomed the 'baby explosion' that invaded their house... carseat, bouncy seat, diapers, excersaucer, crib, bottles and all the equipment that comes along with a baby. What an encouragement they were for us. Some days were just plain hard, emotionally and physically and they both were always available with a hug and encouraging word. They are both good listeners and just really cared about what was going on in the 'Juddah world'.   It was so nice just to have a place to stay that really felt like a home-away-from-home. Oh and the fact that Melissa is a nurse, an added bonus for all those questions I had!

Tim and Melissa quickly took an interest in Korah and wanted to know everything about it. We spent many nights just talking about Korah and what life was like there. I am so blessed that Melissa will be a part of the October medical mission trip I am leading in October and I know in the not to distant future Tim will also visit. Yeah! 

Witten Family.... we miss you terribly.... 
you have an open invite to come and stay with us in Oregon!
Thank you for sharing your home, hearts, 
and life with us while we were in Roanoke..... 
You blessed our socks off!