Jaime update

The baby house directors went to see Jaime in the hospital yesterday (Monday) and he's looking a little worse to when I saw him Saturday.  They have now put a feeding tube in his mouth to give him food directly into his belly.  He's not taking any bottles cause he's too tired.  They did do a blood transfusion but he's not much better.  He doesn't have a nasal cannula for oxygen yet though.  They said he was working a bit to breathe still.  They lost his IV again and so have just opted for oral antibiotics.  Even the nurse said he has gone really down hill from when he entered the hospital.  He was at 1.56 kg (almost 3.5 lbs) and still in the incubator on Saturday when I saw him.  Please pray for this little guy, the medical team taking care of him, and his father! 
I'm still having internet problems so I can't update as often or get those pics up yet, but I'm praying soon so you can meet our two newest members of the bercario (nursery) as well as see where Jaime is hanging out for the time being!


prayers for Jaime

I've been out of contact lately only because we made some changes on the base to our internet system and my computer is rebelling against it.  So i'm officially offline at the moment.  I'm praying someone can help me get it back online but for now this is the first time i've been online since Tuesday early morning.  Anyway, on to Jaime.

He had been doing great great!  Gaining weight and eating everything by bottle and he even got his IV out and was only taking oral antibiotics, but sometime between Thursday and today (Saturday) he took a little turn for the worse.  He has a really low blood count (hematocrit) at the moment and so it is causing him to have trouble breathing.  It's bad enough that they drew blood this morning with the possibility of giving him a transfusion.  This creates an even bigger problem over here because of the greater risk it poses to contract other diseases through inadequately scanned blood.  I'm praying that God does a miracle and he won't need the blood or for a really safe and quick administration of the blood as he wasn't looking to happy today.  They didn't have him on oxygen yet though, so they still have another step if they need it.  They put in an IV today and started back IV antibiotics for something more powerful.  He's still at 1.5 kg and in the incubator.  They did an HIV test when he was admitted and it was positive which just means that his mom was positive and he was exposed to the virus.  They have put him on prophylaxis as well....so he's taking AZT twice a day to hopefully help prevent transmission, but since it was just started, nearly a month after birth, it won't have the same effect.  I have some adorable pics we've managed to sneak and take this week, but until I have enough time on the internet, you'll just have to wait!  

Please pray for Jaime to get stronger and healthier with each and every passing day.  Pray for wisdom for his medical team that is taking care of him.  I'll update again when i know more and can get back online!  Thanks for all the prayers that have been sent up on his behalf so far.

In other news we have had 2 other admits......i still haven't been able to post about them (internet problem) so just get ready for some serious cuteness!  

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Jaime looks better

I got to see Jaime today!!!  Little cutie.  Myself, another missionary, and my friend Emily headed into town today to visit him at our 30 minute window of opportunity once a day.  I was for sure, since they told me only one visitor, that only one of us could see him and that I wouldn't get to touch him in his incubator.  But, the nurse immediately told us to just gown up and go on in to see him.  Then left us alone at his bedside.  I pulled out his chart and started searching through it.  I was excited to see that they do a full system assessment every day and actually write it down in his chart.  This is quite a difference to any other unit I've seen here.  He's on their version of TPN (which is just liquid nutrition-not just clear IVF's but essentially lots of things he needs to grow!).  The nurse told me he was eating really well by bottle, but clearly if he needs supplemental nutrition by IV's then he's not eating all that great (or at least enough to sustain him and gain weight)!  I do have to say that he looks amazing to when we left him on Thurs.  So I think the antibiotics are working.  I would have touched and held him a little but I hadn't washed by hands and he was sleeping so well, I honestly didn't want to make him any worse off....maybe next time.  I'm excited and blessed that we found this gem of a unit and I pray it will be what keeps him alive and really helps him.  It definitely has the potential too.  He's on multivitamins and several antibiotics right now.  I guess since he's not on bililights (there was another kid on them in the unit) that his level was ok an in all honestly he didn't look too jaundiced today!  Praise the Lord, he seems to be getting better bit by bit.  Keep him and his father in his prayers.  His father has to travel 1 hr each way on buses to come see him so won't be able to see him but a few times a week and only during a 30 minute window.  Continue praying for the doctors and nurses to have wisdom in treating him and that they are compassionate and treat him like a baby without a mother since that what he is.  He still needs love and touch too!  I'll keep the updates coming as I know them!


update on Jaime

Anna got to see Jaime for a few minutes today.  He is in an incubator and is eating ok by mouth so they took out his ngt.  I don't know how much or often they are feeding him though.  He is getting antibiotics and the neonatologist said that he is very sick with an infection and is on a lot of antibiotics through his IV.  These first few days will be touch and go, but if he survives, he thinks he will probably stay in the hospital with them for the next month!  He was able to explain everything to Jaime's dad as well.
We found out from one of our tias who just had a premature infant a few days ago and her baby is in the same place as Jaime that they won't come out of the incubator till 1.8 kg.  That's a pretty legit weight.  Then if they are still eating everything by mouth they go to the second nursery where the mother (or surrogate in his case) kangaroos him all day long to keep him warm and feeds him....ie, does skin to skin contact with Jaime down her shirt so that he is warmed by her body heat.  It's actually a cool phenomena and there are studies to show that the mothers would actually run a fever to keep the baby warm.  Also, it's great for bonding.  Don't know how that works with a surrogate tia caring for a motherless baby, but you get the idea.  So the doctor thinks Jaime will be there for awhile which is great news for him and us! 
Please continue praying for Jaime and the hospital staff that is taking care of him, especially in these next few critical days.  Please pray for his father who loves him dearly and is worried about him.  Jaime's mother just died on the 14th, so I'm sure he is still quite in shock and mourning and very scared for his tiny son!


Jaime is admitted to the hospital

Last night after doing well all day, he pooped out and hardly took anything from his bottle.  I was up the majority of the night feeding him and checking in on him.  Then this morning when I assessed him, he quite worried me.  For all my NICU friends, he just had that look and coloring to him, you know when you can't actually say what's wrong, just to say he looks like crap and he needs help.  It was kinda like that.  So I called my director and asked if I could take him in for labs now or sit on him for another 24 hours, because in all fairness the tias were NOT grasping the seriousness of the situation and bothering the heck out of him and stimulating him way too much.  Preemies don't like lights and noise and being held, ect.  They can't handle it and they get tired very easily.  He was hotter than normal so I took the hot water bottle out of his makeshift incubator and let him cool off.  Within 2 minutes he was too cold.  His temperature was just so all over the place.  So I let it slide a little and decided that no matter what he'd get everything by tube at the next feeding.  When I went to check him, he also needed to be weighed.  He lost 2 ounces in the first 24 hours he was here, but there's the adjustment period and then the fact that we were actually feeding him and helping get his bili level down so he was pooping like a mad baby, so I just hoped for the best today.  When I weighed him, he had lost another 5.3 ounces on a kid that is tiny!  So a total of 7.5 ounces lost in 48 hours (2# 12 ounces now) And his temperature was 104 WITHOUT the hot water bottle and only one tiny thin blanket, a hat, a normal outfit and that's IT!!!  That was the end of that.....I brought him to the pediatric emergency room and prayed hard for a good doctor.  She was amazing and listened to my whole story, everything I was doing for him, and what his progress and changes had been in the last 48 hours.  She then fully assessed him from head to toe (the only other time I've seen them do that was with an unconcious 2 year old that had been seizing for over 2 hours continously!  She then said, he's going to stay in the baixa!  We'll do labs there.  Praise the Lord, but at the same time I'm kinda frightened for him.  So I looked through the papers she wrote for him and they are starting him on IV fluids and are going to give food through the ng tube and slowly assess how he is with a bottle.  They are going to do a full septic workup to see if he is sick including a urine specimen and a full chemistry panel including a bilirubin.  They are also doing an HIV and malaria test.  So after 1 stick the peds phlebotomist got the IV and the 10 ml of blood that he drained him of and off we went....except this time we went through the pediatric building, past the wards, and the baixa, and out into the street and down the lane.  I thought, where are we going......then they took us this really scary way through the inwards of our 3rd world hospital dungeon and up 5 floors in a creepy elevator and into a beautiful place they call the nursery above the maternity ward.  cept it's not for well babies, it's for preemies.  With incubators and space heaters to make the rooms warm and iv fluids, and ngt's and  lots of posters about how to recognize respiratory distress and keep a kid warm.  I thought I was in heaven for a second.  it was the most legit medical unit I've ever seen in Mozambique.  then she said, just leave him in this crib, take off his clothes, and you can leave.  see you tomorrow at visiting hours.  So we left him there all alone in a giant bassinet with fuzzy blankets next to the space heater and an old school incubator that I'm sure he'll be in before the night is out. 
Please pray with us that the neonatologist team (yup they have a whole specialty team instead of just general peds) will have wisdom and take the time to figure out what is wrong with him.  I pray that they let him stay there in a nice warm incubator and feed and grow and rest and mature for at least a week or so!!  and that he's FAT when he comes home.  I pray that he does not get any other illnesses while he is there and that the nurses will love on him (since a tia can't stay with him....just the nurses).  I pray that God will give Jaime a fighting spirit and a sense of peace and calm that will surround him as he is left alone in a crib/incubator day after day!
I will give updates as I know them.  Anna, the western nurse helping me will be going to visit Jaime tomorrow and hopefully giving me more information!  Also pray for us as we will be admitting a tiny newborn tomorrow 2 or 3 weeks old into our bercario because her mother died last week and her elderly father cannot care for her at this point. 


A tot and a peanut

We have 2 new little ones to love on in the Bercario:
This is Chelsia (pronounce: "Shel-see-ah"):
She's 9 months old and arrived on friday. Her mom is slightly mentally unstable and is extremeley poor. She lives with 6 other people in a tiny tiny house right next to the bocaria (the garbage dump). To make money they dig through the dump to find bottles and food to sell. Chelsia had been being breastfed and offered whatever food they could find for her. She has been known to our clinic because she is often sick and needs medical attention. It took her the whole weekend to adjust to her momma being gone and to the fact that she couldn't ride around in a comfy capalana all day long. She is fitting in nicely though now and I've seen lots of smiles and heard lots of babbling....she can sit and crawl and pull up. She's loving mushed up center food and papinha and finally taking bottles of formula. She looks really good and only has a little chest infection at the present. Please pray for her as she adjusts to being here and we get to know her. Also pray that her chest infection gets better!

Meet the newest and youngest and tiniest member of our bercario.......Jaime (pronounce: "Shjah-mee"):

He was born at 31 weeks (9 weeks early) in his house. His mother had complications from delivery and died within the first week of his life. He only weighed 1800 grams at birth (almost 4 lbs). His dad and an aunty (with another small baby) tried to care for him for his first 3 wks of life, but formula is very very expensive, and he is so small and tiny and sick. So we have him for now. He weighed only 1500 grams when he arrived yesterday (3 lbs 5 oz). He is scrawny and has quite a few problems:

He is jaundiced (normal for preemies) and so is getting sun therapy 2x a day for 10 min each time.

He cannot really regulate his own temperature very well (and when he does he is burning way too many precious calories and exerting too much energy to do so). So he now has only one long-sleeve sleeper with feet, plus a hat, and a receiving blanket, all wrapped up and placed in a small Moses basket that zips up and has a hood to keep the drafts away...and I've snuggled a hot water bottle in there to act as an African incubator. Now he doesn't have to do all the work.
Also, he gets quite tired from eating big (1 ounce) meals every 3 hours and sometimes doesn't breathe like he should or can't catch his breath. So he has a feeding tube through his nose and into his stomach to give him a rest every now and then.
I am quite amazed that he made it 3 weeks at home without help. But I am also glad that we have him now, as I'm not sure he would have made it much longer. Please pray for Jaime as he adjusts here. Pray for wisdom for me to know how to treat him medically, to keep him healthy, get him stronger, grow him, and prevent him from getting sick without any monitors, phototherapy lights, iv's, labs, or incubators. We are lucky to be able to buy premature infant formula in south africa that costs an arm and a leg but is worth it! Please pray that his bili levels go down; the iron I'm giving him works and his body starts producing more red blood cells to carry oxygen to his body; his body matures every day so that it can regulate his own temperature; that he grows stronger and stronger every day and can eat more without getting so tired! Pray that he is free from any other infections as it is quite easy for premature infants to get really sick really fast since they have no immune system. Pray that he gets enough sleep and isn't over-stimulated in a room full of active and loud toddlers. Pray that he gains weight daily! He is proving to be quite a handful at the moment, but he is full of personality and quite a sweetheart!
I'm already in love with him and feel right at home since i spent the first 5 years of my nursing career in neonatal icu's. we just have to improvise here.....
He's doing better today (as opposed to yesterday) with eating most all of his feeds by bottle, but tonight he's being a little lazy and it's back to the tube for him.
Thanks for praying for our team here and our children! I'll keep you updated on Jaime!


I've been wanting to go on outreach to the bush ever since I got here...but my job requires that keep close to the center, so alas, my hopes and dreams have been dashed. anyway, whenever the opportunity came up, I could never go. Then I knew Emily was coming and I wanted her to experience it too. I am thankful we got to experience this together. I have felt the Lord stirring my heart more and more for the community....for those that live in the extreme poverty here, not just near where I am at the center, in the richest part of the country. I've been longing to serve those that have never seen a television, rarely see a car, don't have electricity or running water, that live simply, that have a heart that yearns to know Jesus, to develop a relationship with me, and is willing to learn anything and everything I can teach them to better their lives here. This last weekend, I got to be a part of that for 48 hours. We travelled 3 hours north of Maputo (where I am) and way into the bush. We had sent word that we were coming this weekend so the community could come and here us speak and show the Jesus film. When we arrived, we found out that the pastor had only been told that we would be coming soon and that the same messenger would come back to give an exact date later. He was in South Africa, working to bring money back to his family. No one was expecting us. There was no one at the church and the doors were closed. So through the help of some community members, who also happened to be church members, we were led to the pastor's home where we spoke to his wife....she took us to the assistant pastor's home, who welcomed us with open arms. The one problem: they had no food....we were starving. Normally when we go to the community to preach/share, they are so blessed that they share everything they can with us; they are offended if you don't let them bless you in repayment. We hadn't eaten in 6 hours....so we loaded back up and drove 7 km back into the tiny "town" to try to buy some tea and bread to have for lunch and also to share with the family. When we arrived back, a few of us used their latrine (aka hole in the ground covered by a larger rock) to take a bucket shower (all very customary and normal for them) while others ate lunch.

Next, we headed to the church to show the Jesus film. While we had been eating and showering, members of the church had been spreading the word. By the time we got to the church, set up the film, and started we had a quite a crowd. At first it was a bunch of children, full of eagerness, excitement, and curiosity...especially cause they were getting to see 2 novelties: a film, and 2 white girls! But as the time passed, more and more of the community came in. In fact there was a whole group that had come by train, brought food to sustain them for 24 hours and had planned to stay all night for a prayer vigil. Even though they can't use phones out there and didn't know we were coming...the word had spread and they had come a long distance to hear God's message. God is good. We still don't understand how this happened.

We showed the film and then Clara, one of our missionaries, shared a little message about Jesus and then asked anyone who wanted to commit their lives to Jesus to come forward.
Then we sang and danced and praised the Lord. Look how happy all these little ones are.....

Then we went back to a church member's house where we sat in the dark and ate the chicken and rice they had prepared for us....then off to sleep in their own beds they offered to us.

The next morning we woke up early to tea/coffee and bread and headed off to the church for more preaching. By the end of the service, the tiny church was packed and filled with tons of people praising the Lord and hearing His good news.
When we were finally done, we ate a meal the women had spent hours preparing for us.

Then packed up the car to head back to the center. I was so impressed by their generosity, how genuine they were, open to hear our message, and how shy the kids were to see a white person (so different to here where they see a white person and immediately run up to you begging you for anything you can give). I have a lot to sort out and pray about after this experience.....here's just a few moments I caught on camera to show you.... me with all the kids after the Sunday service

sharing a few words during the service

the house of love..... Emily and I waiting for the Sunday morning service to start (the church is behind us)

a little girl outside their "pantry"

woman outside her house in the early morning fog

3 girls fixing dinner for their family (their latrine is behind them to the right)


Well I'm back (from Swaziland) and 1.5 wks have gone by and i'm just getting around to this....warning: you are about to be inundated with several posts regarding my time in Swaziland for rest, my outreach to the bush with 2 of the missionaries here as well as my friend Emily that's visiting, and 2 new babies that we are priveledged and blessed to love on and care for. But first, here's some pictures I promised you.

I had an amazing time with Anna (missionary nurse here for 6 months from Holland helping me in the baby house and running the HIV program). It was quiet, and restful, and peaceful, and just what i needed after the twins leaving and Addie's death. I was really blessed and restored. Thanks for all the prayers you lifted up and encouraging emails you sent during that time! You are an amazing family to me!

Me on our front porch of the cabin where we stayed

Getting to know my horse for 90 minutes, Neo....can you tell he's excited?
Neo and me enjoying a trail ride

Yup, Anna came along for the ride too

We stayed on a nature reserve with antelopeish animals and zebras....we could drive around and hike safely....here's our beautiful view
Me enjoying the gorgeousness of Swaziland
We went kayaking too...and it was wet and freezing.....

Then we took a sunset drive to see more of Swaziland.


It's friday again??

Well, it's been one of those weeks.  You know the ones were you go away for the wkend and when you get back have tons to catch up on and next thing you know it's friday again?  Well, that was this week.  Looking back, I don't even remember what I did.  I do know and remember that I had a fabulous, restful, and beautiful weekend in Swaziland and I am so much more at peace at the present.  I pictures and I'll post them soon....sure you don't believe me, but I will...promise.  just remember that I operate on african time, which means my statement could be correctly translated to someday.
I arrived home safely Monday night, went to a dinner in the city with some missionaries to say goodbye to one of our long-termers, Rachel who is going back to the States to spend a year in a Bible Mission School.  Then I worked my little tail off all week, and now it's friday.  I have a friend here, well, she's the daughter of a close friend and mentor that I met while volunteering in Nashville.  We hit it off and I miss her lots!  Anyway, she has a daughter that's my age and apparently we act alike, have the same humor and mannerisms, and we are both nurses that worked in the neonatal icu.  I heard tons and tons about Emily and finally got to meet her right before coming out her a little over a year ago.  Emily and I have kept in touch my email and she decided to come out here to spend a little time with me, this culture, and my kids!  Also, her heart is to truly help us in the baby house with medical stuff while here....I've made a list.  he he.  I haven't sprung it on her yet though.  And she's already helped by bringing me a huge suitcase full of important life saving meds and supplies I can't get here and fun stuff for the kids!  I'm so excited, I can't wait to go through it all!  But first, we are headed off to the bush tomorrow bright and early.  We are going with one of my fellow missionaries, Celia, 3 hours north of here to a small community in the Bush.  We will use their Church as a base and do some evangelical outreaches to the area around there, showing the Jesus film, and sharing the gospel.  We'll return on Sunday afternoon.  I'm excited that Em gets to experience this, and I'm excited that I get to go.  This will be my first outreach, ever.  I know, what you live in Africa, and you haven't gone on an outreach.  Well, my job keeps me tied to the base pretty securely, so I really haven't had the time or energy, honestly, but I've wanted to for quite some time.  Also, I really feel God stirring my heart daily more and more for the community and further and further away from the people we serve, that are more western and live close to the city.  So I'm praying that this weekend will be amazing, and filled with the Holy Spirit, and safe, and just fun for each of us.  Plus, I'm looking forward to some good time to get to know Emily!  Please pray with and for us! 
Oh and ps....we got a new baby tonight named Chelsia.  She's 9 months and looks pretty healthy.  I'll share pics and the story when I return, along with swaziland pics and photos from the outreach.  Till, then, please pray that Chelsia settles into the Bercario.  She's having a terrible time adjusting tonight as she misses her momma! 
Thanks for all the support and encouragement you have all lended me and blessed me with over the past few weeks with the passing of Addie and the twins leaving.  I cannot tell you how many emails I got.  You all are such an amazing support team.  I hope you see yourselves as that.  This is  your journey too (and I'll keep reminding you of this till you own it!!).


Going home party for Addie

Today was Addie's going home party (aka funeral) and I was blessed to be in attendance.  Thank you for each of you that prayed over these moments for me, my family in Moz, and Addie's family.  It was probably the only thing that didn't keep me from bursting into tears all day!  I want to share my funeral experience with you, because it was beautiful, so simple, and yet heartwrenching!
We loaded up after lunch and headed off in search of Addie's father's house.  When we arrived, all the family shoved into a giant flat bed truck with a tarp over it (we call it a cameao or cameo in english).  We then headed off to the cemetery.  When we arrived, the funeral car was already there with Addie.  The took out the tiny casket and placed in on a stand under the tree in the shade.  It was a small gathering, maybe only 30 or so.  I hugged the father and said I was sorry for his loss.  We gathered around the casket at the start of the service.  It was short and conducted by one of our pastors and was completely in their native language of Shygunna....I had no clue what they said, except for Amen and Hallelujah!  Pastor Rafael said a few short words, they sang two songs in Shygunna, and then moved onto the anointing part.  They opened up her tiny hand made wooden casket that had been brushed with 1 see-throughish coat of white paint, and removed the white blankets she was wrapped in.  Then the family started anointing her with perfumes and powders.  They do not embalm here so they do as they did way back in the day of Jesus and spray perfumes and sprinkle scented powders over the body before burrying the dead.  If you've never been to a child's funeral, much less a baby's funeral and had to stare at such a tiny casket, feel blessed.  It just looks wrong.  After everyone anointed her, they covered her head again, place the lid back on top, and we all followed through the cemetary as they carried her to her final resting place.  When we arrived, they sang a bit more and then asked for anyone to say something about Adelaide if they would like (again this is all in Shygunna).  Next, a man stepped into the shallow grave and place Addie gently into the hole, fixed the casket just right, and then one by one the, starting with the father and her brothers, they took a handful of dirt and threw it onto the casket while singing.  The singing continued as they shoveled the dirt high into a mound on top of Addie.  Someone had brought flowers that they will plant on her grave (I would like to think that the growing plants and flowers they plant on the graves is to signify the new life that she has, but that's just what makes me feel better) and they put one into the ground at each corner of her grave.  When all the dirt was in place, they took out the jug of water that they had brought with them and began to one by one help water her grave, to help harden the dirt in place and to water the growing plants.  Her father walked off after his handful of water and over to another part of the cemetary.  I watched as he knelt down over his wife's grave who he had buried less than 3 months ago, who had died of the exact same causes.  He picked the most beautiful flowers from her grave and brought them to Addie's graveside.  He knelt into the dirt and started planting them all over her grave.  His sons helped.  They are 9 and 11 and remained teary throughout the service.  Then they placed the left over powder at the head of the grave, took the remaining bottle of perfume, placed it over where her head lay, and shattered it with the shovel, allowing the sweet perfume to fill the air and seep into her grave.  When all was done, the pastor prayed again and then it was over.  As they family loaded back up to go back to their house, where they will have lots of food and a part, we spoke with Pastor Rafael.  We weren't able to go back to their home as we still had work to do back at the base.  He asked us if we had any words to say to the family.  We asked if he could deliver them for us so that the translation would be right.  I asked him to tell the family that Jesus has a special place in His heart for children and that right now Addie is sitting his lap.  She doesn't have any sickness or hurts or pains anymore.  She is dancing and singing with the angels and will never be sick again!  We made our way back to the base and I took some time alone in my room to just process it.  I am surprised at how much I held it together today....only a few tears. 
My heart broke for this family who was once again back at the graveside, burying one of their own.  I hurt to see the young brothers crying and so sad to see their sister go.  The reality of it, each community here experiences some form of death daily, if not within that community, a family member of the community.  It is a daily experience here.  Most of the deaths could be prevented...lack of clean water, lack of sanitary conditions, lack of mosquito nets, no food to eat, curable diseases but not being able to afford the precious life saving antibiotics or medicines at just a few dollars, curable diseases without access to healthcare, lack of shelter to protect them, no immunizations to prevent simple childhood diseases that are lethal and alive her, no real education on the biggest killer they face-AIDS.  It is heartbreaking to see the deaths of so many at things that could so easily be prevented.  For them, this is life.  Without Jesus, they have NO HOPE of a better life here on earth.  So many here though do not know Our Savior!  They have no hope.  My heart is once again broken and weeping for this culture that God has called me to serve.  I am examining all that I'm doing here and what I can change to better benefit these people.  Please continue praying for this family and our workers here.  Please continue to pray for this ministry!


Addie's Children's day present

Addie passed away last night an hour before Children's Day was officially over.  My comfort last night was knowing that she isn't suffering anymore and that Jesus is now loving on her and rocking her in His arms.  The tia with her over the weekend took 2 videos with her phone to show us how Addie looked as she was so concerned.  Poor tiny Addie was struggling for each and every breath, retracting to her backbone and just laying there all lifeless.  I wish I had been able to visit her this week and pray over her and hug on her more, but the intensive care doesn't allow female visitors so her tia had to suffice.  She turned 4 months this past Saturday.  I know Adelaide wasn't with us for very long, but I'm still pretty heartbroken over the loss of this sweet child.  Maybe, I'm just more frustrated with what we can and cannot do here.  Please pray for Addie's family this week.  She has 2 brothers and a sister.  Her father has lost his wife and child in less than 3 months to the same disease.  I don't think he's been tested for HIV yet either, despite my pleading and stressing how important it is.  I'm sure this event won't encourage him anymore.  There's a myth here that once you find out you are positive, you are going to die....and soon....some pretty much just lay down and wait.  It's really really sad and a horrible case of misinformation!  I pray for comfort, encouragement, hope, and peace to this family this week.  As one of my fellow missionaries said last night, Addie got the best Children's Day present of all.  And it's the truth!
Thanks to each of you who have been praying with us for almost a month now.  It's been a long hard month for me and our team.  I'm tired and a little discouraged.  God's timing is perfect however.  And I'm glad her struggle is over.  I've been planning a rest break for this coming weekend to Swaziland for 3 nights.  I pray I am refreshed and encouraged and filled with hope when I return on Monday!  
In His hands,
Erin Welton   


Addie update and Children's Day!

My camera ran out of batteries TWICE.  cause I forgot to charge them....opps.  and then I tried to use stupid mozambican batteries that lasted litterally 2 minutes....believe me, that was NOT an exaggeration.  So after the 2nd set, I just gave up and had others take pictures for me.  So until I charge my camera batteries there will be no pictures from today!  sad.  I know.  sorry.  I'm really sorry for me too!  but a few of my friends said they got some good pics so I'll just steal them later!  We all had a lot of fun today and ate a really yummy chicken dinner.  and they had caffeine for dinner.  so I'm sure they have crashed in their beds right about....5 minutes ago!  stay tuned for photos!
I got an update from the tia that was with Addie over the weekend.  Addie is not looking good.  She's still in the baixa (critical care).  They had to put her in a oxi-hood which is just a plastic box that they pump oxygen into and place over her head with a hole for her neck.  The tia used her phone to take a short video and addie is retracting to her backbone all frail and sad.  The report I got tonight was just that she was not at all good.  Besides this I don't know anything else.  Please continue praying for Addie!  She's her most critical at this moment.  They do have the ability to put her on a ventilator if they need to but I'm not sure if they would or not.  Let's just keep praying she gets better and better instead of worse and worse!  Thanks for standing with us!