Home with Jesus

update:  Graca's funeral is at 10 am our time tomorrow morning (Saturday).  Please keep us all in your prayers!

Graca (Pequena) died about 1 hr ago.  She simply stopped breathing.  We are all very sad.  Please pray for our team-missionaries and tias.  For our Bercario tias this is the 3rd baby that has died in less than 1 yr.  They are grief stricken.  Yesterday, after I arrived home from the hospital, I went to the Bercario and updated the tias and explained how none of this was their fault and they could never think that way.  They did exactly as they should and we did all we could for her....never doubt that.  The culture here loves to place blame and in such a situation as this it could be easy to place it but I wanted them to know and believe that it was not truth.  Today, I was able to visit with Graca for about 10 minutes and pray over her and kiss her.  Catia, the tia with her, was going home and was being replaced by another tia as she had been working for 4 days already and they don't allow you to rest or even sleep when the child is in ICU.  I took her aside and hugged her and told her what I had told the tias the night before.  I needed her to know that no matter what the outcome she did the best she could for Graca.  That is the truth and to let know one or anything tell you different.  A few minutes ago, when I entered to hug them I told them thank you for the love and care they gave Graca.  It's the love and care of the Lord.  The Lord chose them for this work.  It is the work of the Lord.  Know and believe that it is a blessing to love and serve these children.  These children know the love of the Lord because that love is in each of them and they have been pouring it out onto these children.  They both just broke into tears and clung to me.....we prayed and cried together as a team.  Please continue to lift them up in prayer.  Several of these tias are battling these same diseases themselves, and though we don't talk about the diseases of the children with our tias so they will not form prejudice toward some or against some as is the culture here, they are sensitive and know which kid is sick and they can guess why.  As this is the 3rd baby in such a short time, we are praying against any spirit of fear and shame and against the belief that it has to end the same way for them....we are praying for life and truth!  Pray for the spirit of apathy over life and how precious a gift it is that is rampant in this country.  Of all 4 children that I have cared for that have died here, it was in the end because of this spirit.  Today when I arrived in the baixa (ICU), there was a brand new team of doctors on and they were questioning me over and over about her condition and why we brought her to the hospital.  I kept answering questions and after a few minutes I realized what they were trying to say and were asking about.  They didn't understand why we had brought this orphaned child with TB, HIV, and malnutrition in to the hospital.  They thought she should just die.  Isn't that what she is going to do anyway?  Why were we fighting for her?  I tried very calmly to explain that while she was battling all these diseases, this is NOT what she normally looked like....she's NOT this sick.  This is an acute event that we hope and pray she will recover from.  This is not the end.  She was great 5 seconds before she aspirated her milk!  They seemed skeptical and not too understanding.  This is the most frustrating part of all these deaths.  Pray for Graca's dad who loves her very very much.  He visited frequently in the short time she was here.  While her mother abandoned her, her father loved and cared for her and tried his best to take care of her.  This isn't the norm in this country.  He was able to see her today in the hospital about 2 hours before she died.  He was stunned with the news as he thought she looked ok when he got to visit.  Thank you for all the prayers you have been lifting up and for the many I know you will continue to lift up.  You are a blessing to all of us and it is a comfort to each of us here to know you are praying for and with us and our children. 

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