Thursday, August 28, 2014

More Good News!

I am just completely overwhelmed at the beautiful thing that God is doing with this horrible situation in Hewa.

We all keep praying for the seriously ill by name and the next morning they are better.

I know that God could have and could still allow some to die, and He would still be God. And He would still be good.

But...right now he is blessing us...all of us...You, Me, the Hewa People...with this gift of love and mercy. He is allowing us to all be connected to each other, through Him in a unique and powerful way. Through prayer. Through simple communication with the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.

Here is the latest from Susan. The names in red are the ones you have prayed for...

"Konef took a turn for the better last evening around 6 pm.  I was quite surprised to see him walking around.  From afar I saw he was dressed in new clothes and my first thoughts were, 1) I felt so bad for not reminding him that I would come to him with the medicines since he was so sick and 2) he must be dressing nice so that he has his good clothes on in the grave (this is a regular custom).  When I got up closer he said, ' I am just walking around so that I can get some exercise'.  I was shocked!  Then when I was talking to a new lady about her child's measles, he came up and began to interpret for me. (there are several different dialects in Hewa. Konef was interpreting for someone who speaks a different dialect than Susan who is fluent in another dialect of the Hewa language)  This was shocking!  He was so sick earlier that morning that he couldn't even hear us talk, and also he was so sick earlier that there was no way he could think of anything else but surviving but here he was interpreting for me!  I was over joyed! 

Anyway, all the others that were so sick are now doing much better.  Maria's little girl
(Jeni) took some steps yesterday but is not strong enough so she stumbled.  Upe is walking very little but he is NOT sleeping all day now and he is eating and drinking well.  Anyway, what I am saying is our tribe is fine now!!!
Emu brought his 6 sick nieces and nephews.  Two are sick enough that they could die.  Pray for those two now.  One is 2 years old and skin and bones.  He has been sick for a while but they didn't bring him until last night.  He looks scary like Maria and Emon's little girl
(Jeni) did.  Their 4 year old is also very sick.  That age often recovers though. 
It is nice having all the super sick there in the church but at the same time, noisy!!!  They love having a light on all night and it seems everyone wants to gather and 'shoot the breeze' late into the morning!  I really don't mind too much as I enjoy seeing life come back to our village again.  Thankfully, the sick are able to sleep right through it…such is their culture. 

Three have died in Fiyawana
(another Hewa village- you may recognize the name if you've read Jonathan's book Canopy of Darkness) so far.
Nobody has died in our neck of the woods yet though. "
Thank you everyone who is praying. I hope that you are as blessed by by this as I am. I hate that I don't know the names of the little ones who are so sick now or have their pictures. They are not from our village, so I may not have even met them. But God knows their names and He sees their faces. Please continue to pray for them. And pray that they see the love of God through the believers in our village. Emu lives close to our village and visits from time to time, but is not a believer. Please pray that God will soften his heart through this situation.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Update on the Measles Outbreak

This is the latest email from Susan in Hewa:

"Wow, we are almost done with our village!!!! Wahoo!!!!!  For the first day, we have had no new cases from our village!!!!! (this means the people that we regularly live with. Our closest friends and most are believers)  I have treated over 70 now!!  The last two days I have had about 10 more cases but it is mild like maybe their vaccination worked for them somewhat.  It is so weird!  Those 10 are getting the bumps and fevers at night but they are running around during the day.  That doesn't happen with the measles so it must have to do with the fact that they got their immunizations two weeks ago today. 

Emu is on his way with 5 kids that have been sick with the measles for a week.  He came the day before yesterday to say he couldn't bring them across the river because it was swollen (water levels were too high) but our village explained the seriousness of the sickness so he went back to get them.  Some of our village men left this morning to help him get across the river with the children.  Pray for these 5 kids.  They will be very sick.

Konef is still fighting. He still could die.  He has liver damage from the illness which is a complication that adults can get.  He keeps fighting though.  We have Upe, Konef, Malawam and Biyaifa in the church now.  It has been turned into a sick ward (Emu's family will be there tonight as well).  There is a fire pit in the center too.  I am more able to monitor their health having them so close.  Emiyas' family is in the house sick and Ofa is in that little room near the house sick.  Everyone is afraid of sleeping in a house with a fire since their kids got so sick.  They finally get it that putting a feverish kid next to the fire is not healthy.  Emiyas realizes that the smoke filled house was making it harder for her Abraham to breathe. 

Right now, before the Emu group comes, Konef is the only one that could die.  The rest will pull through.  Upe is pretty bad but I still think he will pull through. 

This is a different village right now.  People are all working together to keep everyone alive.  For the first time ever, the people realize the importance of making sure people eat and drink while they are sick.  It is so wonderful to see them pushing fluids and food.  It used to be only me doing that!  Praise the Lord!  

Yesterday was the first time we saw people no longer so shell shocked.  They actually got out the ball and played.  It was the most amazing feeling, I can't explain… 

Thank you again for everyone who has been praying. Please keep the ones who are still sick in your prayers. I will list their names and pictures here...

Konef is the father in this picture. Susan is still worried for his life. Please pray for him.

These are the three teens who are currently ill, staying in the church that has been converted into a "hospital" right now...




Please also be in prayer for the group that is coming. It is always very dangerous for our people when outsiders come in and die.

Again, thank you so much for showing your love to these people through prayer!

Saturday, August 23, 2014


This is just a quick update to let you all know that all of the most critical children made it through the night!!! PRAISE JESUS!!!

I cannot express enough how much it meant to us to have so many people praying and asking others to pray on behalf of these babies who are so precious to their precious to us!

Please continue to lift them up as they will be weak for sometime. Pray that they don't get malaria or other infections as I cannot imagine that their little bodies can take much more.

Please also specifically pray for little Ablaham. He is only four months old, and will take time to recover fully.

Here is the email from Susan. I wanted you all to read it and know what you were a part of!!!!

"Well little Abraham is still alive!  His mom is such a great mom so that has been a huge relief.  If it was any other mom, little Abraham would not have gotten as much care.  She is so tuned into what is going on with him. That has been such a huge help.  Today we are noticing slight progress.  For him to recover from what his body went through would be a miracle… but today we have seen slight recovery so we are pleased. 

Great news about Maria's little one. (
Jeni- pictured in the previous post)  No more fever finally!!!!  Also she is eating.  Now that was a miracle! 

Other great news is that I only had one new case yesterday and none today.  That means we are at the tale of it for our tribe.  Praise the Lord.  On Wednesday it will have been 2 weeks since their inoculations so I don't expect any new sicknesses from our village after that…. unless the injections were not viable for whatever reason.

This morning I had many little ones turn that crucial corner.  That gives me great joy.  I just love the precious look on the parents face when I say 'he or she is now on the road to recovery, I don't need to see you anymore unless they suddenly get worse."

Anyway, I am happy and can't thank you enough for getting so many to pray.  I saw a lot of miracles today!!!   



The measles situation has gotten really bad. Several very young children and babies are close to death. My co-worker, Susan, wrote to say she doesn't think they will make it through the night.

It is currently night time in Hewa right now. Please pray all day for the lives of the precious children and for their parents. I am putting pictures and names here. Please call their names out loud before our Lord and Savior!!! Please come along side us and them- your brothers and sisters and beg for God's mercy to spare their children!!!

 Fita and Layam... (the two smallest)
Both are very sick and fighting for their lives.
Susan wrote,
"Please pray for Amon and Maria's little girl, their only child.  It looks like she will be leaving this world soon.  She has deteriorated daily.  Amon has been sick with the measles as well so he has not been able to help Maria much".

Susan wrote, "It is with a really heavy heart that I say that Emiyas' little Abraham is fighting for his life.  It doesn't look good for him.  Please pray pray pray.  He has no strength left to fight.  Please pray all day for him.  It appears he may be leaving us soon."

Please pray and share with anyone else who will pray....


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Vaccines Were Too Late

This is the email I just got from my co-worker, Susan Kopf...

"Things are crazy here.  I mean super crazy.  I never imagined this would happen.  Nearly all the child population of our village and surrounding villages have measles.  In that last 2 days, it has exploded!  We have some adults too, but it is mostly the kids.  The thing that kills the kids when they get measles is the dehydration.  Keeping the parents motivated to constantly push water and food is a challenge, but they are doing it! Praise the Lord.  There is no medicine for the measles virus so the parents have to be diligent.  I give tylenol for the high fevers (often 105) and maybe occasionally I give something to open up the bronchioles but that is all I can do, the rest is up to the parents. Thankfully, we have not had any deaths yet in our village.  We nearly did but Mikayla gave the lady (Fapiya)  an IV so she got enough fluids and is now walking around her house some.  Her husband, Konef, was at her side when she was at her worst and unfortunately, he is super sick now too.  Now two of their little ones are sick.  Fapiya lost her milk during her long sickness so that doesn't help the little boy any.  I force feed liquids to him daily.  For that age, force feed is the correct word- poor little guy.

 It is hard to name all the sick kids but for sure every single household is battling the measles right now, but families are working together to make sure everyone has good food to eat.
All the vaccinations have come and have been administered this last week, but it didn't help any for our village kids because they were infected before their shots, so each day I have another 5-8 kids that are sick.  It is such a  joy when they actually begin to pull through and I see them walk again and I no longer have to worry. 

So far there are 2 deaths in our old village and many deaths in the Paiyela villages. Those villages are blaming the sickness on Hewa ladies accusing them of being witches.  So sad."

Please pray for the Hewa children. They are our little buddies, our children's playmates, our friends' precious babies...

Please also pray for the adults...even entire families who are sick...

This young mother, Kisam and her baby Korban are both very ill.

Konef, Fapiya, Layam, and Pita (the two youngest) are also very sick.

All of these children are sick- Djus, Sipela, and Fongol

And baby Ablaham

Our hearts are heavy right now for all of our loved ones who are sick and suffering, and for the innocent women and children who may be blamed for this sickness and killed as witches.

Please pray for them all! Please also pray for Susan, who has malaria right now as and she is currently treating all those her are ill by herself. Her daughter, Mikayla, was helping her but recently had to return to the US.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

First Day

So the first day of school turned out ok. Everyone survived. It was touch and go there for me at first, but in the end I pulled through.

Here they are getting ready to leave...

I took them into their classrooms and they were not scared at all. Both were just happy to be there. I am praising the Lord for this, because if they asked even once to go back home I would have taken them right back out the door.

Then I got a this pic and a good update from this amazing angelic being named Amy, who is now my favorite person in the world!!

But I need you to be honest. Look closely at the kids in the background of this picture. Have you seen any of their faces in a mug shot before? Look closely now...does it look like any of them are hiding a shiv??? Don't sugar coat anything. I'd rather know now, honestly.

At the end of the day they all ended up back in my van just inches away from me where they belong. They were very happy with the whole "first day of school" experience and Lucy's teacher even called me just to tell me that she had a good day, so she obviously will be teacher of the year and if not, then we all know it's because of politics and nepotism...probably both.

*On a very serious and completely unrelated note, please pray for the Hewa people as we have just found out that the measles are going around and one child has already died. Susan is currently waiting on vaccines that will supposedly cover five villages of people. Please pray that the vaccines come in quickly and that there are no more deaths!*

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Control Freak

I have never considered myself a control freak, but I sit here tonight trying to hold tightly to the reins of a horse that someone else is riding...or two someones I guess.

My two oldest girls go to school tomorrow. Like real, get there early, sack lunch carrying, raise your hand if you have to go to the bathroom, not in your pajamas school. And most definitely mom is not there all the time school.

The girls are excited. The mom is not.

There are so many things with jungle life that I can't control. The weather doesn't cooperate for the plane to come in. The lady I asked to show up for a language session doesn't. My kids get malaria no matter how many precautions I take against it.  The food I ordered to feed overnight guests arrives on the flight that they leave.

But I can deal with all of those things because what really matters, my family, is always right beside me. I know where they are and what they are doing at all times. I control who they are with and what they see, eat, touch, smell, and hear. It's like there are strings attached to all five of their senses and I am the puppet master on the other end of those strings. And I like that. I like it A LOT.

Tomorrow I will lose that control for several hours and it is killing me! I know at some point they need this experience and they need me to cut those strings, but I just don't want it to be tomorrow. (Thursday is a terrible day to start school anyway, right).

The blessing that comes from all that control is the preservation of their innocence. I like that they are six and eight and they act like they are six and eight, and they only know what a six and eight year old should know.

However, I consistently hear that Still Small Voice in my ear asking me how I can trust Him with them in the jungle, but not at school. So I let go a little. My knuckles turn light pink instead of burn-your-retinas-white as I loosen the tight grip I have on these two very large pieces of my heart.

Then He reminds me that I could grip Him so tight that my knuckles go back to burn-your-retinas-white if I let go of them.

So I'm letting go of what I never really had control over anyway...I'm letting go of the imaginary to cling to what is real and true. And I know that He is holding them tighter than I ever could anyway.

Happy first day of school, Lucy and Mattie! I love you!