Here is an update from Meagan I received today. As usual, there are tales of joy and heartache. I am so amazed by Meagan's dedication to the Lord. Those babies need her...and she needs the babies. The top two children are Jerome and Emily who she speaks of.
I hope everyone is enjoying a nice spring in the States. We are in the last days of rainy season here, and I'm sad to see it go. It is one of my favorite seasons here. It has been a rough week for us here. We have had two babies die this last week, and it has been exhausting. Jerome died first last Sunday after many days of diarrhea and fever. He just wasted and wasted until his body was just too weak to keep going. His grandparents came and took the body so he could be buried in his home village. Sunday afternoon after Jerome died, Emily was struggling to breathe. I took her to the clinic where she was started on some injections. The breathing got worse and worse until we started her on oxygen on Monday morning. She remained on oxygen until Friday when she died, but not without many complications. On Wednesday we were having multiple power outages. Every time the power would go off Emily's oxygen concentrator would turn off, she would stop breathing and Louisa would resuscitate her (our clinic doesn't have an oxygen tank that doesn't require power). Around eleven o'clock that night, we were running around trying to find a car battery to hook an inverter to so we could keep the oxygen concentrator going when the power went out. Around midnight we gave up on that plan because it just wasn't working, and thankfully the power finally stayed on the rest of the night. On Friday we ended up transferring the baby to a hospital about 45 minutes away, but we couldn't take her off the oxygen on the way or she would have died. We ended up borrowing an oxygen tank from a person nearby, and we rigged it up on a dolly, loaded it up in the bus, and started our trip to Choma. At Choma she had an echocardiogram done and multiple x-rays, and they found water around the heart and what looked like TB on the x-ray. They admitted her, started her on TB treatment, and she died about three hours later. Her grandparents came to see her on Tuesday and were with us and the baby until the very end. They took her back to her home village to be buried. It is terrible to watch little ones die, especially when they are fighting as hard as she was. We are so thankful she has a new spiritual body that is whole and peaceful and with God.
The stress of having two babies died has been coupled with the fact that Louisa is leaving for America in two days. It has been emotional to start packing her up and ending our time here together. We moved here together in October of 2006, and we were both supposed to be going home this April. I have decided to stay another year, Lord willing, so I will continue on here alone for awhile. It will be sad to lose the person I started this journey with, but I know we are both doing what we feel is best right now. I will be joined sometime this summer by my cousin Betsy and three of her friends. They will all be coming for about 10 months to work on various things. Betsy is a nurse, and she will be working with me specifically at the orphanages, which I am thrilled about! Transitions are always hard, but I'm excited for Louisa as she starts a new phase of her life. It will also be so fun and helpful to have the girls join us here in the work.
Aside from some hard times right now, things are going on well here. Most of our babies are happy, healthy, and growing. I know I say this every time, but it's just amazing how quickly they are growing and learning and changing. The big ones are absolutely crazy. They zap my energy so fast, but I'm thankful to God for providing me seemingly endless stores of it! I don't know how I would function otherwise. They constantly want to be singing or running, or playing duck-duck goose, or London Bridge, etc. They are just bundles of energy and joy, and I'm so grateful I have them. We had two of the older ones go home this month, Lola and Miriam. It just breaks my heart every time, no matter how prepared I am that it is coming. I just hate giving them up, especially the older they get. Thanks to Lauren Barker, who has supplied me with Beginner's Bibles to send home with each of our toddlers, I was able to give each of them a Bible. Lola stays very nearby, so I've been able to go and visit her twice since she's gone home. She is still Lola, but it just isn't the same. Of course she knows me well still and wants me to hold her and baby her, but she's someone else's now, and it pretty much kills me. I am thankful that her family sought her out and made her their own. That's an important feeling that I hope all of our babies will get someday. I just wanted to send you all a quick update to let you know what's going on here. Not much really changes from update to update it seems-similar tales of deaths and departures, joys and sorrow. But God is so good, and He is constantly teaching me and changing me through the whole process. Thank you for your prayers for me and the babies, and for your encouragement during my time here. Thank you also to those of you who took on a baby to pray for daily. I can't tell you how much it means to us. Have a blessed week!