Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just a Way God Provided Part 1

I want to thank everyone for their prayers for the last couple weeks. Your support has been such a blessing! We are doing better, and God continues to instruct us and has answered so many prayers it leaves me speechless at times. I can't wait to see what God will continue to do through our trials, tribulations and triumphs .

Switching gears.......

Many times and in many ways God is working behind the scenes and we don’t realize it. This story is going to be one of those times. It has humbled me to a new level and with it I am asking God to deepen my faith.
The story begins about 5 weeks ago but I am going to start from 2 Saturdays ago. Saturday is the day I have discipleship with a woman named Winnie. She works for us doing laundry and the lunch cooking so I can homeschool the children. I can’t even begin to describe the blessing God has poured out through her servant spirit. She has become a friend and her life story has opened my eyes to a whole new world. We have been reading through the book of Matthew to discuss together. Winnie is a Christian, and has a huge desire to dig deep into God’s word and have an earnest understanding of it. This particular Saturday we were going over Matthew 6. Throughout the week I pondered on the scriptures and would get stuck on Matthew 6:25-34. I would read it over and over again remembering how God has wielded this scripture various times and various ways in my life thus far. Reading it this time became different.

Matthew 6:25-34
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

In light of the circumstances and poverty in the region of Karamoja, this scripture becomes more tangible. Never in my life have I lived in a place where food, and clothes were not readily available to everyone. As I sit across the table from Winnie, reading this scripture, we are worlds apart, but yet the promise is still the same. Worlds apart because I have never gone hungry apart from my own doing, I have never been without clothes, and I have never wondered where I would get water. Things are drastically different here than my comfortable life in America. Many people go without the essentials of life such as food, clothes, water. I am more than grateful that God has always supplied my physical needs, and as I listen to Winnie tell me a story about how God recently provided for her I am aghast at how God works.

To Be Continued.......You will have to wait til next week to hear the "rest of story". Sorry I don't have time to finish.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Letter to Nakolong

Dear Nakolong,
I'm still trying to process my time with you and your death but the bottom line for me right now.....I miss you. I did not realize how attached I would get to you in 5 days (and nights as you kept me up most of those 5 nights, but it was worth it) . Your small little nose, and mouth. Your cute little elf ears. The way you gained so much strength so quickly and began to come to life. I loved watching your personality transform, and hearing you make a noise for the first time. I relished how you gained enough strength to wrap your wee little fingers around mine. All your hair was adorable. I miss the way you would suck on the eye dropper and how you would inspect me and your surroundings with your baby eyes. How the last 2 days you started rooting around and trying to cry out when you were hungry. I miss watching you lay on Cody while he did Kangaroo Care with you.

I was hoping to be a part of saving your life but it became evident that God had other plans. After all I am not the one in control but He is, funny how much I think I am in control. Loving you the best I could was what I had to offer and the rest was in God's hands. We are just stewards of the things He has given us. I'm trying not to look back at things and not have regrets here and there. I wish I could have held you more, and done more for you, got one more kiss in, but in reality I need to remember the circumstances and be thankful for the time I did get with you.

Your name means sunshine, and that you were to me. Your life and death has taught me scores of things, but not without discomfort. During these trials I hold onto scriptures such as James 1:2-4 even though my emotions want to speak differently to me. It is not easy for me to understand at this point, but I know that God has a plan and will be glorified in this. I find peace in that. I know fruit will come from this, and I see roots taking place already. I am planning to continue a relationship with your mom, and I would like to get to know her better. I went and visited her today. I need to learn the language so I can speak to her without a translator. If you get a chance tell Jesus I could use some help with language learning :)

A seedling I see sprouting is people around us saw how we valued your life, even knowing your life might be shortened. They observed that you were important and we took the time to give you life. A Ugandan told us that no one would spend that kind of time taking care of a baby. It took too much sacrifice. They saw how we loved you like you were our own. Just like Jesus does for us. A picture of the gospel.

"For you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ." Gal. 3:26

"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a women, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Gal. 4:4-7

I will never forget you, my little sunshine, but now I have to continue to work on moving forward, and preparing for the birth of our baby girl; focusing on the many blessings I have. I love you very much and thank you for coming into my life.
Until We Meet Again,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Final Update for Nakolong

We want to thank everyone for their prayers. Nakolong went home to be with God tonight at 8:00p.m. Uganda time. She was loved by us and we are grateful for the short time we got to have this small miracle in our home. Please pray that Michaela, the kids and myself can rejoice in her passing. It is painful, but we thank God that He was merciful to her and took her home. We will try to write more when we are able. -Cody

Friday, February 11, 2011

Take Her Home or Heal Her

We had a rough day yesterday. Nakalong started having a hard time breathing and with that it was difficult for her to eat. She would stop breathing for a period of time and then start again. It was very painful to watch. I honestly didn't think she would make it through the night and my prayer was that if God was going to heal her that He would do it quickly or if He was going to take her home that He would also do that quickly and she wouldn't suffer.

I didn't want to miss her passing onto to heaven so I was up with her a lot last night holding her and kissing her, as I want her to feel loved. She was able to eat throughout the night which I was thankful for. This morning she seems to be back to herself and is eating great, so we are not sure what today will bring, but we will continue to love her.

I just want to thank all of you for your prayers and emails of encouragement. I feel like so many of you are right there pleading for us, and we can feel it. It is very reassuring knowing so many people care and are lifting us up in prayer.
I will keep you posted as best as I can.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I know many of you are praying so I will try to keep you all updated. I appreciate all your help in contacting your different resources. Many of you have emailed me and I am sorry if I am not able to respond. I am lacking in time and computer power.

We are almost certain she has Trisomy 18, and in all reality it doesn't change much. I have gone back and forth between hope and grief, but ultimately she is in God's hands. We continue to pour our love into her. She is eating well, and opening her eyes, looking around and even making noises, and moving her arms and legs. This is a huge improvement from when she came to us at death's door. We are trying to involve the mother as much as possible but it is very hard to explain especially given the complicated circumstances that I can not share with you all the details right now. Hopefully at sometime I can express to you all that is involved, but without knowing the culture and the people group it would probably just confuse you. Let me just say it is not easy and there are no simple answers.

I am sorry I have not informed you of her name. It is Nakolong. She was born on January 24, and from what we understand had no milk from the time she was born. She was about 5 pounds at birth and we had her weighed on the 9th she was about 2 and half pounds. It is a miracle that she has survived which gives us hope that she has a fight to live, and could stand against all the odds. At this point I am being optimistic and hopeful, but every time I feed her I cherish holding her, giving her kisses and know that each breath could be her last.

Everyone wants to know how I am doing and many are concerned for me because I am due in about 7 weeks. As to be expected I am up and down, but overall am feeling well. There are times I am emotionally overwhelmed, but God is holding me up. I have an amazing husband and kids, and team who have been helpful through this process. Our house help has also been an amazing gift from God going above and beyond what she needs to, in order to help us so we can help the baby. She has given me encouraging words and is praying fervently beside us.

Here is Cody doing "Kangaroo Care" (and taking a nap) in our NICU aka our bed :) It is rather hard for me to accomplish with such a large belly. Cody says not to mind his extreme farmer's tan.

Please keep praying for God's will to be done, that God would be glorified, that He would give us strength, endurance, and wisdom during this time.


Pray With Us

Many of you know already the situation we have found ourselves in and we are grateful for your prayers. If you are not familiar I will give you a quick overview. A need was presented to us to help supply formula for a mother who was not producing milk. After learning more about the situation I thought it would be best to be able to look over the baby. The baby was brought to me and to my amazement I was looking at a baby that was close to death. Something I have never seen before, and honestly it is still hard to wrap my head around this all. I immediately made some homemade formula and started feeding the baby with an eye dropper. I fed her almost constantly for 6 hours and saw life coming back to her. We decided to take the baby during the night in order to feed her every hour. Every hour we saw her improve. However there is something else that seems abnormal. Her features, her feet, hands, etc. It was evident that were not just dealing with a preemie baby. With different resources it seems as though she may have Trisomy 18. I will not go into detail, but the bottom line is that they do not live past a year. So here I am holding a baby that probably will not live and the mother wants me to take care of her as she will not be able to. Not sure how to process it all, but it is not easy for me to deal with. She represents the "least of these" to me. It is hard to explain the situation and all the details involved (nor do I feel I can express them to you with the state I am in). I am asking you to pray. We had her weighed today and she was less than 3 pounds, but she continues to eat well. If any of you has resources to a pediatrician that could look at the pictures that would be greatly appreciated as we don't have access to these resources. I am grateful for all your prayers and hopefully I will be able to wrap my brain around this and be able to update you on this soon.