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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Four years later - still an unbelievable story


Happy 4th birthday Deborah
On February 7th, Deborah turned 4-years old.  She is a miracle, just like the other 148 children who call Project Canaan home. 

As I am at the tail end of two week whirlwind trip to the US and Canada I thought I would cheat a little on my blog today and re-post Deborah's story from February 2013.  Here is what I wrote:

On Monday night I arrived home from possibly the worst day of my life.

I had to sit and write to help me breathe.  I sent it to a few dear friends and family members who are supporters of the babies at El Roi, and me personally.   I struggled a lot as to whether I should publish this.  I am paranoid about it sounding sensational (because it is a story from hell) and I don't want to post photos, but believe that people should see what is really happening here.  Maybe then you will help (if you don't already).  After today, I believe that I am supposed to publish this.  I hope I don’t get in trouble for telling this story.  Please share it if you think you should.  Please DO SOMETHING to help if you get to the end.  Here is what I wrote last night…

I just got home after a very long hard day, showered and am now seeking comfort from Donnie McClurkin worship music and my yellow chair.  When my brain and heart are on the edge of exploding I must write.  It is like oxygen to my soul so that I can breathe again and nothing is forgotten. When I am finished writing the tears will have soaked my tshirt and emptied my soul.  Here is what happened today.

At 10AM I got a call from the Child Protection unit of the Police saying a newborn baby had just been found in the bush in our area (Sidvokodvo).  The police were taking the baby to hospital as she was in bad condition. They thought she had been born just yesterday and was found today alive.  I got in the car, picked up Jamie Klee and headed to the hospital.  Halfway there my car broke down (again). We waited 45 minutes before Ian could come to the rescue, switch vehicles and continued on to meet the police.  I am going to start praying harder for the Lord to provide a good vehicle for me to use.

I know you will look at this photo and not want to continue, but seriously, this is really a little baby. Please keep reading. 

Jesus help us.
When we got to the hospital we quite accidently bumped in to the doctor whom I often write about (but never name for privacy reasons).  He was so surprised to see me because he was just about to call me about an abandoned child.  He had just examined the baby and was waiting for her to come to be washed and cared for.   He allowed us to go in to the tiny room where they washed her and take photos to show what condition she was in.  She has many bug/insect bites all over her body, there is a bone misplaced in her leg (will check for fracture when she is stable), her face and backside are in very bad condition (maybe burned?) and raw and she had maggots crawling out of her eyes and ears.  Lots of them.  She is premature and weighs 1.8 KG (4.1 pounds), but she is a fighter.

They had to wash/scrub her twice then finally went and got disinfectant to bathe her in to try to kill the bugs.  She screamed as the liquid hit her open skin. We stood and prayed.

She was then put on a sheet under a “warmer” and the nurse left to get dressing for her wounds. 

Maggots filled her mouth, eyes and ears.  These were digging a hole behind her little ear.
As Jamie and I stood in this small washing room, we suddenly realized we were in the NICU room. There were three other babies there on oxygen and monitors.  I looked at the little boy beside our baby and it didn’t look like he was breathing.  I said that to Jamie and went and put my hand on his tiny chest.  I didn’t feel anthing, but I am not in any way a medical professional.  The nurse walked in just then and I mentioned that the baby didn’t seem to be breathing. She left and got the doctor who was right outside the door.  He came in and immediately started CPR, as we stood and watched and prayed.  After 10-15 minutes of CPR, listening, oxygen, and other emergency things I can’t think of the name of right now (which seemed like a flash and an eternity all at once) he shook his head.  The child had turned color.  He was dead.  Just like that.  Gone.

We believe and are hopeful that our baby, now named Deborah because she is a fighter, will live.  I will be there every day this week to help with her care while the mother of the baby boy will mourn the loss of her beautiful child.

After a time Jamie and I left the hospital in tears, and headed home.  I couldn’t just go home with the vision of that baby boy in my mind so suggested that we stop at the police station to find out if they knew anything more about Deborah’s situation.

This is where the plastic bag with baby Deborah was found.
The police were very kind and agreed to take us to the place she had been dumped.  Deborah was a newborn (umbilical cord still attached) and was put in a black plastic grocery bag.  The police said that the top was tied in a knot and she was left in the bushes under a tree in the middle of nowhere.  This morning a local man was walking by and heard what sounded like crying.  After listening closer he moved closer to the sound.  When he saw the bag moved he was terrified and thought it was a snake so ran to a local store for help. He and the store-keeper came back to investigate the strange bag and found the baby.  She was somehow half in and half out of the bag, face down in the dirt and crying to save her life – literally. 

We went and met the man who found her – the hero of the day.  He said her mouth and ears were full of maggots and it was terrible. He shook his head when he spoke of what he saw.  I gathered together all that I had left in me and shook his hand, thanking him for saving the life of a chosen child – a child who was seen by El Roi himself.

I am tired, confused and emotionally finished.  I don’t know why the Lord had us sit on the side of the road today for 45 minutes, only to be in the room to see a baby die.  I don’t know why he allowed baby Deborah to live for two days (they think) in a black plastic bag under a bush – not eaten by dogs or snakes, and then He allowed a baby boy to die in a hospital NICU care center. 

But my faith is in Him and always shall me.  He is El Roi, the God who Sees and I will cling to that today and in the days ahead. 

Janine


Sorry for the long blog, but this is a Tuesday update, which has prompted a mid-week blog.

Baby Deborah on Tuesday.  So much better.
Don't mind the guy replacing the entire light FIXTURE over the NICU babies.
Monday night around midnight I got a text from a young woman saying she was cutting her wrists to commit suicide.  A bad text.  I called her and tried to encourage her and change her plans. She hung up the phone and it was early morning before I could contact anyone to find her.  By 10 AM we drove and found the young woman. She was lying on the ground in a local homestead and had overdosed on a drug we couldn’t find.  We took her to the hospital (sadly there is no 911 to call, no ambulance and the social workers of the country don’t have transportation) and got her in to the emergency room.  From there I literally walked to the Neonatal unit of the hospital and spent an hour with baby Deborah who is doing MIRACULOUSLY well!  The nurses can’t believe the change in her!  She is off the oxygen.  She is breathing well on her own and the swelling has gone down so much.  The nurses say, “This one will live!”.  I spent an hour with her and fed her a bit, but she was tired and slept for most of the time while I told her about what a fighter the Prophetess Deborah was. 

From there I checked in the Emergency Room again, stomach pumping still in force, then on to the TB hospital to see the mother of our twins Leah and Rachel.

This is a mid-week blog to bring those of you who really care and want to read it.  I really pray that EVERYONE taking the time to read this mid-week post will take the time to give monthly so that we can feed and care for these babies. Even $10 a month can help.  If you can give $100, or $1,000 that would help too. As Nike says, JUST DO IT.    www.heartforafrica.org   www.heartforafrica.ca

Thanks.

Janine

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