Weekend Thoughts

Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. Acts 12:5
In The Light and the Glory, the authors mention how the Puritans would fast and pray before an election. Up until thinking about this, I had fallen into the resignation that this country would get what it deserved, and God’s course for her future was pretty much set (I did just finish Revelation). But if that is all I think about the way God works, then I’m missing an important piece, demonstrated in the above verse after that little word ‘but’. Prayer changes things. A country, a group, even an individual who is seeking the Lord’s heart on these things and making requests that may be long shots, finds that God’s heart is in those lost causes. He may just be waiting to hear from you.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Praying My Way Out Of A Job

I just found out today that our CEF Good News Club will be starting up in January. This is late for a beginning, mainly because they are waiting for more volunteers to help with the club. It would work out for us, though, who hope to be living in the area by then, and could get there in less time and effort. But the thought keeps nagging me: if I help out, I will need to get a babysitter. And chances are, that babysitter (likely somebody local, somebody from church) could help out at the club just as easily as help me with my kids, so why would I be leaving my kids to do club? Not that I don’t want to do it- I look forward to working with the children, but is it strange to anyone else that it comes down to me having to fill the position? I’d hope there would be so many people from churches in the community available and open to helping out such an influential outreach, that my services would no longer be needed. It appears, however, that too few in our area are willing to commit themselves to this ministry, and if this trend continues, the club will disappear. My prayer has always been that people catch the vision of child evangelism, to start feeling a burden for the children in our village who need Christ. Our club needs 6 more volunteers to start successfully. Will you pray with me these spots are filled? The children come; we get the privilege and awesome opportunity to tell them about God’s love. How dare we not answer this call.

Clumsy Compassion

We took the older four over to Mohican State Park (thanks for babysitting, Grandma!). I sat in the river and read a very interesting book (review to come later), while Luke took the kids on a hike to the falls. It was a really good time- the kind of getaway we hope to do more of when we are living in the area.
On the way home, we had to stop at Wal-Mart for some things. Luke ran in for what we needed, and I propped my book on my belly and read as we waited for him to return. A little later, this woman with a baby on her hip and a little boy in her hand caught my eye. She was pacing back and forth behind her car (I could tell it was hers because she would put the boy in the back seat from time to time, only to pull him back out and walk around the car again), looking this way and that. She then started across the parking lot with the children. I returned to my book, but soon noticed that she was back at the car. I decided to get out of the van and see if there was something I could do, like lend her my cell phone. I called across the pavement, “Can I help you?” and she answered back, “Yeah, there is something I’d like to ask you.”
Suddenly all this traffic came down our row, so we waited it out before she crossed over to talk to me. She then told me a rather involved and somewhat fishy story, about a friend still inside shopping, her husband needing picked up, but the main gist I got was that her baby needed a prescription she couldn’t afford. I gave her directions to my church, but beyond that, I wasn’t sure what else to do.
Break here: What would you do? My perfect little scene includes me launching into a thought-provoking gospel presentation, and maybe even having a few answers that will help her practically as well as spiritually. Might even gain a new church attendee! But what actually comes out of my mouth is something more sloppy and clumsy, definitely not enough.
Having given Luke the last of my cash, it didn’t occur to me to try to help monetarily. But when he came out of the store and we pulled away, I told him what she’d said about her situation and he mentioned that we maybe should pay for the prescription. As Great White was filling with gas, we weighed our options. We have seen my mother-in-law, Carol, model such generosity in these kinds of circumstances, and I noted that if it were her, that is what she would do. She often talks about how we needn’t worry about false motives in the one asking for help; God will take care of us. So, we headed back over to the parking lot; if she was there, I would offer to go in with her and pay for her baby’s prescription.
She was, and I did, but she politely refused. I pressed her a bit, telling her that I thought this would probably help her the most, but she thanked me and continued to refuse the offer.
We left, and when Luke heard that she said no, it was another indication to him that she wasn’t being completely honest with us- she probably just wanted cash. Between the extreme heat she was exposing her kids to, and the apparently little importance she ended up placing on her daughter’s health, I started to feel this way about her story, too. This, of course, bothers me if she was being dishonest; how could she use her kids to try and take advantage of me? Still, I know I couldn’t have been completely taken in with Luke around; my husband provides me with fair and balanced coverage. 🙂

Somewhere in the Mansfield area tonight, there is a woman who is in great need. It isn’t the kind that she wanted me to think she had, and it isn’t the kind I can meet. Only Jesus Christ can fill the deficit that is evident in her life. Her name is Paula; please pray that she finds this Hope soon, not for her sake alone, but for that of her children as well.

Pray For Kim!

I just heard, from my buddy Honey, that Kim, from Large Family Logistics, is 24 weeks pregnant, and experiencing preterm labor. Please lift her up today. Read the details here.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

Jaylynn’s Coming Home!

Many of you should remember me writing about our little friend, Jaylynn, and the procedure she has undergone these past four months to stretch her femur. For those new to her story, click on the ‘Prayer Needs’ label below, and all of the posts about her should be there.
Well, her time is up at the Children’s Hospital in Baltimore, and she gets to come home next week! I’m so glad she’ll be home in time for Abbie’s birthday party in a few weeks, though their social calendar might be too full with other reunions that she might not be able to come. Lots of people will want to hug this brave little girl. We’ll have to get in line.

All praise be to God for the progress Jaylynn has made.

Photo: Jaylynn, with Dad, Mom, and ‘lil bro

Urgent Need For Prayer

There is a baby boy named Vincent who needs your prayers. This is from an email forwarded to me:
Cathy Leary asks for prayer for her co-worker’s 3-month-old son who was found in his crib wedged up against his bumper pad not breathing. He is at Children’s Hospital in critical condition. Vitals are improving, but the next 72 hours are critical.
His name is Vincent Karnai.
Please uphold him in prayer. I have to believe that God kept him alive to be found, and is keeping him alive now, for a reason.

Jaylynn’s Journey

On Tuesday, January 16, Jaylynn Freeman had surgery at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. The name of Jaylynn’s surgery was an osteoplasty of the left femur with application of multiplanas external fixator, pseudoarthrosis of left femoral neck. This means they are starting the process to begin lengthening Jaylynn’s left femur bone. This external fixator is made of metal and has 8 pins penetrating through her leg into her bone. The bone was cut in half and will begin to make new bone forming towards each other, as each day 4 times a day the external fixator will be turned by Maggie [her mom] to get approximately 8 cm in about 4 months. Everyday Jaylynn will have therapy to strengthen the muscles, tendons, and bone. The external fixator will be on for eight months. The first four months are the bone lengthening. The last 4 months are the bone healing stage. Jaylynn will come back home [to Ohio] after the four months of lengthening for the bone healing stage. Jaylynn’s recovery has been great. She has had an epidural in for two days due to pain making her comfortable. The day after surgery, by wheel chair, she was able to go to the playroom and make a bead necklace and paint. Therapy will start on Monday. Prayer requests are for good health, no pin infections, good lengthening results, good therapy results, travel safety, and home sickness. God is good. We praise Him for taking care of all our needs.

Thurs., Jan 18 Jaylynn had the epidural removed. This made for a different day since she was no longer numb and could feel sensation and pain. She had therapy two times today in her bed. There were many tears but you could see that she wasn’t as tense the second session. Her therapist, Moshi, had her standing with a walker. He even had her hop forward as best she could with help. Later in the day the nurses removed the padding that is wrapped around the pins that stick out the side of her leg and attach to the fixator. This was extremely difficult for Jaylynn. Many tears again. She had one episode today where she was very uncomfortable with pain in her femur bone for about an hour before medication took its effect. That was hard on everyone. In spite of all the interruptions, prodding, and pain Jaylynn still wants to go to the play room. She made two bead necklaces and did a brush painting. Ken, Lacie and Deven [Grandpa, aunt, and brother] should arrive Friday evening. That will give us all something to look forward to. Please keep us in your prayers. It is a comfort to know people are praying. You can feel God’s power giving each of us the strength we need. It is a long journey but we serve the Guide who will take us every step of the way.

Permit Me One More

It seems like this is a season of a lot of prayer needs for those with whom I am acquainted. I want to keep these kinds of requests to a minimum here on my blog; I feel like if there is too much posting about this sort of thing, people (including myself) can get calloused. So, Joel is still hanging on. Toby is doing better than yesterday. Go to their websites for any future news. And I’ve also got a little girl named Jaylynn on my mind. She was born with a deformed femur, and has just had surgery to stretch the bone to meet the other femur. She will be in Baltimore with her mom for the next four months. What follows is an email I was sent that details what is going on. Please pray for her. Luke might be able to get a website up and running for her, to make it easy to keep updated.

On Tuesday, January 16, Jaylynn Freeman had surgery at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. The name of Jaylynn’s surgery was an osteoplasty of the left femur with application of multiplanas external fixator, pseudoarthrosis of left femoral neck. This means they are starting the process to begin lengthening Jaylynn’s left femur bone. This external fixator is made of metal and has 8 pins penetrating through her leg into her bone. The bone was cut in half and will begin to make new bone forming towards each other, as each day 4 times a day the external fixator will be turned by Maggie [her mom] to get approximately 8 cm in about 4 months. Everyday Jaylynn will have therapy to strengthen the muscles, tendons, and bone. The external fixator will be on for eight months. The first four months are the bone lengthening. The last 4 months are the bone healing stage. Jaylynn will come back home [to Ohio] after the four months of lengthening for the bone healing stage. Jaylynn’s recovery has been great. She has had an epidural in for two days due to pain making her comfortable. The day after surgery, by wheel chair, she was able to go to the playroom and make a bead necklace and paint. Therapy will start on Monday. Prayer requests are for good health, no pin infections, good lengthening results, good therapy results, travel safety, and home sickness. God is good. We praise Him for taking care of all our needs.

Thurs., Jan 18 Jaylynn had the epidural removed. This made for a different day since she was no longer numb and could feel sensation and pain. She had therapy two times today in her bed. There were many tears but you could see that she wasn’t as tense the second session. Her therapist, Moshi, had her standing with a walker. He even had her hop forward as best she could with help. Later in the day the nurses removed the padding that is wrapped around the pins that stick out the side of her leg and attach to the fixator. This was extremely difficult for Jaylynn. Many tears again. She had one episode today where she was very uncomfortable with pain in her femur bone for about an hour before medication took its effect. That was hard on everyone. In spite of all the interruptions, prodding, and pain Jaylynn still wants to go to the play room. She made two bead necklaces and did a brush painting. Ken, Lacie and Deven [Grandpa, aunt, and brother] should arrive Friday evening. That will give us all something to look forward to. Please keep us in your prayers. It is a comfort to know people are praying. You can feel God’s power giving each of us the strength we need. It is a long journey but we serve the Guide who will take us every step of the way.

Urgent Prayer Request!!!

Toby, the baby born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, isn’t doing very well today, and could really use your prayers. I’ll reprint here the latest entry to his journal:

Toby needs God’s intervention! Bruce just called and said things have declined in the last 24 hours! They tried to do the MRI (without sedation), but Toby was moving his head too much. The plan is to do it tomorrow under general anesthesia.

He has become very lethargic. Not moving his arms or legs and hardly keeping his eyes open. They are having trouble regulating his temperature (it has been so low the thermometer doesn’t even read it). His blood pressure has been incredibly high. Last night it read 140/80. I think the nurse told us that most babies this age have a blood pressure of around 70/40. All I know is that Toby’s is VERY high. Carrie and Bruce were going to consult with the neurologists again and they were also talking to a respiratory therapist when Bruce called.

We really need to lift this little guy up in prayer! I remember when Toby was born how many people were praying and things went so smoothly. When you read this update, please pray!