He gives and He takes away

My heart is heavy today, as I know many of our other missionaries' hearts are as well, because little Naftal went to be with Jesus this morning at 1am our time.  I think it's hard for two reasons....the first is Naftal is such a juxtaposition to Fernanda as God performed an undeniable miracle in this little girl, yet watched Naftal (mourning with us, I know) suffer greatly, and then die.  His father was daily at his bedside praying for the tias and for Naftal.  Naftal, himself, knew Jesus and prayed and asked others to pray for him.  His dad called him and the tias every morning as well as visiting and prayed again with them.  It's heartbreaking to see one so lifted up in the natural and other one, only in the supernatural.  Of course, we also know Naftal is with Jesus and he has a new body without any suffering or pain and he is celebrating!  We also know that God is and was and will still use little Naftal's life for His glory....in unexpected and possibly unknown ways.  We don't know the affect Naftal and his dad's relationship with each other and with God had on the other children and their parents.  As they prayed for the other little kids in his room....as Laura the missionary that visited him almost daily stopped in and prayed for everyone she met on the pediatric surgical ward....we don't know what seeds these events have planted or how God will use this event and Naftal's life in the lives of everyone he has known and touched.  But we KNOW Naftal's life served a purpose and it will not go forgotten.  It will be used to glorify God!  We were absolutely blessed and privileged to have been chosen to walk with him for the brief moments at the end of his life.  That is a gift and a blessing and we claim and acknowledge that!  Praise God that He answered our prayers (albeit in an unexpected and undesired way) to touch Naftal, to comfort him, to make him whole, and to take away all sickness, disease, pain, and suffering.  God answered each of these prayers, in His timing, in His ways!

The second reason it's a bit hard, is it's opened up a slightly raw spot in my heart that was healing for little Dino....and that pain has been revisited!  Please pray for all the missionaries and tias involved in little Naftal's care....his father and his young brother...all the little boys that lived with him in his camarata as they process this....all the youth that have been faithfully praying for him daily, believing a miracle for him....that NONE would lose faith or hope through these events, but would press in and be drawn closer to Our Lord during this time...that they would know Him as their comforter, guide, protector, and healer.

On the giving side of things.....Fernandinha gained another 70 grams (2 1/2 ounces) yesterday and today 320 grams (almost 11 ounces) and is up to 7.33 kg now (16 lbs).  She had now made it through her first 3 days since arrival with NO vomiting....those were also her first 3 days of harsh, chemotherapeutic drugs!  This was also all gained even by dropping her late night feeding.  Praise the Lord.  The new team of tias, who haven't seen her since they left Friday morning (before her amazing transformation), came on duty today and the first thing they said to me when they saw me was.....Fernanda is so much better....look at how fat she is and she's gobbling up all her food.  Her grandmother was there at that exact moment and you could see the pride and thankfulness and excitement in her eyes as she expressed the same of Fernanda.  I was able to recount the story of how God performed a miracle and we can give all the glory to Him because of our prayers and his goodness.  They were all so excited.  I asked about Fernanda's mother, who is still in the hospital very very sick (since December) and to be able to say we (along with a host of others all around the world) are praying for her daily!  Continue to pray for this little girl, who is NOT out of the woods yet, her family, and the tias taking care of her...that LIVES would be changed as He is changing and speaking life over little Fernanda!!!  We'll probably be dropping the 2 bottles she is taking with her rice/beans at lunch and dinner!  Yeah God and Fernanda!  We are waiting for that JOY to come bubbling up from within her spirit and to see her smile and laugh!!!

on admit with Kwashiokor's malnutrition 
7.36 kg (16 lbs 6.4 ounces) 

last Thursday at her lowest weight
5.97 kg ( 13 lb 4.5 ounces)
today, 3 days after starting TB meds & exactly 1 wk after prayer & a miracle
7.33 kg (16 lbs 4.2 ounces)-all fat and no edema

We're continuing to pray daily with her and over her with our tias in the Bercario at 3pm our time (8am/9am Central/Eastern Time).  Please join us! 

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