Friday, May 06, 2016

what if you really need a miracle?

Nothing more distressing than a small child fighting for his life in a hospital. Except for a small child fighting for his life in a hospital where there aren't all the means to give him the best chance to win the fight.

That's why 7-month-old Zachary has been flown to the States, after struggling for about two weeks in Mongolia to be stable enough to be brought over. He has 3rd degree burns from pulling boiling hot water all over himself. A mother's worst nightmare!

Operation Baby Zachary on*
He is Hannah's baby and Hannah is one of the childhood friends who has earnt my utmost respect over the years. She seems to have never changed since we were little kids playing together. She was like a miniature mom back then, looking after her siblings in a gentle and quiet way. In my memory there's a little brother or sister perched on her hip almost all the time. Growing up we lived in different countries, and so did her siblings who have outgrown the spot on her hip. Her own children have claimed that position, but she seems not to have changed at all.

Hannah spent time working in a Mongolian orphanage at the time when she got to know her husband. I smile as I try to imagine how it went when she got engaged: "Yes, I'd love to marry you, but can we adopt these two little brothers from the orphanage I've been working at?"

And so she started married life with two children to look after, followed about a year later by a new baby. I think her heart would've been a bit too big to start with just the one child. Some years later, Zachary is her fifth and she's on a journey with him to fight for his life, whilst having to miss the other little ones who are staying behind in Mongolia.

When this happened to Zachary, I knew it was a greater disaster than if this would happen to a child in my country for two reasons:
1. Health care in Mongolia would not be up to standard, so what if Zachary would be needing prolonged treatment?
2. Health Insurance would not be anything like what we have in Holland, so how would his parents be able to afford such medical treatment?

Hannah and her husband work for an alcoholics rehab program in a remote part of Mongolia. Their own children are not the only ones in their care. Their work, attitude and modest way of life, demonstrate their faith in a loving God. What does that mean when disaster hits their own family and they themselves need to be cared for?
at the hospital in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia *
Many people joined them in praying for a miracle. I was half expecting God to just swipe over Zachary's burns and heal them overnight. The miracle came. Parts of Zachary's skin had been so severely burnt that they seemed dead and unable to heal. Skin grafting would be needed all over. While a start with this was made, parts of the skin on his chest were coming to life and no longer in need of grafting!

On the other hand, there was no divine sweeping away of all his wounds and there is still a lot of pain everytime Zachary's bandages have to be renewed. One of the skin grafts that were done on his legs has become a septic wound instead of a success. His physical condition is very fragile and he is still in danger of going into shock again, which would be life-threatening.

The situation is frightening, yet I am confident that God is in it. I know some of my readers will think I'm delusional. If a loving God is there and has the opportunity to prove Himself, why wouldn't He provide a complete overnight miracle?

But then there is Hannah, the little boy's mother, being a miracle all on her own. Hannah prayed for smiles and happy dreams for her son and instead of crying all the time, he did begin to smile even in his sleep. She keeps describing their journey in such beautiful words and courageously holding on to the thought that God loves them. I have no right to any doubt, if she's still going strong now.

I believe that God designed for human beings to care for one another. These past days I've seen friends worldwide join in prayer and put together their resources, ideas and contacts to help Zachary. Over ten thousand U.S. Dollars were collected in a day to help cover medical expenses (by now the amount gathered on is more than $30,000 and that does not include the money collected by his auntie through PayPal). That too is a miracle and a testimony of how love works.
I know much more is needed, as all the costs of his treatment in the U.S. will have to be covered. This is only the beginning of a long story, which is hopeful and shaky at the same time.

God could do it all by Himself, but perhaps He chose this other design: For us to be part of each other's lives, to be part of each other's miracles. It is our awesome privilege to be allowed to chip in and help carry each other's burdens.

*Photos are Hannah's. Posted with permission. 

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