Thursday, April 26, 2012

Adventure, Sickness and Foster care of our new son Jacob

Since we posted last I have been to Makuma, Ecuador to measure a river to help with the design of an improvement to the hydroelectric dam there.  The river was hard to work in and we needed to make many measurements.  Each day the river level rose until we could no longer work and had to abandon the job.   I also included a child pulling his brother in a sleigh (1/2 of a water jug) it worked really well.

Then we had a three day conference put on by HCJB Global in conjunction with Wheaton College.  The class was on the topics raised in a book called “The Mission of God”.  The class was very enjoyable and we learned much about how the mission of God is based in the Old Testament and how to read the Bible in whole books as opposed to verse by verse and why.

When we returned to Shell life got even busier.  As a family we decided to pursue the foster care of Jacob, a 15 month old from the local orphanage with the hope of eventual adoption.  This process is long (about 2 1/2 years) has lots of paperwork and the process can fail at any time.  He was left at a local hospital when he was one week old by his mother. Although the orphanage has the name of the mother and the last known location, she has not had contact with him since birth.  There will be a search for her to see if she wants to take him back with her over the next year. We understand that there is a possibility that we may not be able to complete the adoption - but we will enjoy the time we have with him.

 Leaving the orphanage

 Jacob's first haircut

Then all went down hill……

First I got very bad stomach cramps that turned out to be parasites.  Just over three days of miserableness.  Then Renee got another type of tummy bug.  It was not parasites, but she was down and out for more than 4 days.  She ended up in the hospital here in Shell for the afternoon while they gave her two I V bags for hydration.  By the grace of God and many of your prayers through the prayer team, she has recovered.

At the same time Jacob got a high fever and was up all night.  He needed cool baths, which he did not like at 2:30 am to help keep his fever down.  Also by the grace of God he is better.

Then….. I got it again, this time the 24 hour variety.

Despite the health issues related to living here, we cannot imagine being anywhere else. 

Finally just like Christmas, another missionary brought down a tote from Holland last week with items of love from the family.  The kids all had a great time opening it and discovering clothes, shower curtains, curtains for the house and more…not the least of which were peanut M&M’s for the family.


I will try to get back on schedule.  I have been working on videos for the hospital and community development to help make connections between Shell, the people and the church abroad.  I will be posting more about that in the next month.

Thank you for all your love and support.  We could never be here without you and I would not want it any other way.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

First funeral

Tomorrow is the first official day of spring break for our kids and tomorrow we will attend our first funeral here in Ecuador.

This morning one of the little boys (it is hard not to write "my" in place of the) who I worked with at the orphanage, died. He just stopped breathing. No warning, so sign of distress.

Logan was 20 months old. He was blind, partially deaf and was unable to swallow, requiring that he have a feeding tube. He also had very low muscle tone, so was unable to roll over, crawl or walk.

What Logan was able to do was smile and laugh. He loved to be held and have bubbles blown on his belly or on his neck. He loved to have his toes played with and feel the wind in his hair.

Logan was not a true orphan, he was placed at the orphanage by his mom a few months ago. She had been caring for him in the jungle, but as you can imagine it was becoming increasingly difficult as he was unable to nurse. This past Thursday his mom came to visit, as she tried to do every 3 weeks or so and she held and rocked him for several hours. What a blessing.

On Friday when I last saw him, he was turning his head from side to side and smiling- a smile that reached from ear to ear. I had never seen him do this before without stimulation of some sort. Perhaps he was seeing something that none of us could. Perhaps he knew his time here on earth was coming to an end. Perhaps he had a taste of being able to see, being able to run, being able to taste and swallow- perhaps he experienced a glimpse of heaven.

Logan 2010-2012. I will miss you!
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