Thursday, March 14, 2013

Meagan's March Report From Zambia

Most of you know of my wonderful niece, Meagan Hawley, who lives and works at the Namwianga Mission in Zambia, taking care of orphaned and abandoned babies, many of whom are HIV+. Here is Meagan's March newsletter. I was not able to get the pictures from the newsletter so some of the photos don't match up. Sorry!

Hello again! Every month I’m shocked that it’s already been a month since I last wrote. I wonder when that will stop happening! It’s been a month of highs and lows, as most months tend to have.
It was such a blessing to have a visit from Steve and Janice Fuller, a couple from one of my supporting churches. They jumped right in and got their hands very dirty! Janice spent most of her time holding babies and singing songs, doing some cradle roll time with the babies in Haven 1, taught language class for me many times at Haven 2, and fed and loved babies at Haven 3. When he wasn’t teaching his educational psychology class at the college or helping build a new play yard for our babies, Steve was right there beside her. They were the perfect visitors—willing to do what needed done, willing to eat whatever was set before them, and willing to play games with me at night!

Being here most of the month, they experienced a pretty well-rounded picture of what life is like for me here. This month has been a perfect example of life coming full circle around here. One of our little baby girls, Lynn, died after they’d been here just a few days. A few days before they left to go back to America, we had a new baby arrive. Priscilla is three weeks old and HIV exposed. They came with me on a village visit day where we saw three of our babies that have gone back home, Caleb, Catherine, and Leah. They helped love on multiple babies that came home with me during some bouts of sickness, and they helped me cart many a sick baby to the clinic. They experienced a little of everything.

We currently have two babies that could use extra prayers as we try to figure out how to best treat them medically. Raymond has hydrocephalus. Initially we were told to take him to Lusaka to have a brain shunt put in. However, after sending his images to two pediatric neurosurgeons in the States, one says he’s just fine and the other thinks he has a mass on his brain. The surgeon who thinks there is a mass wants a CT scan of the brain done, which is only done in Lusaka, a 5+ hour drive we just made with him only to be sent back home after a day. So, the doctor we work with here in town wants to wait a couple more weeks and see if there is any change in head circumference or presentation. We’ll do a repeat ultrasound then and decide the next step from there.

Candace is our other baby in need of extra prayers. At four months, she’s not weighing even 8 pounds. She had a traumatic birth, and she has facial paralysis on one side of her face. Now we’ve just found two inguinal hernias in need of surgical repair. She doesn’t weigh enough yet for the doctors to operate, so she needs to gain a little bit of weight, an area we’re struggling in right now. On top of all that, it’s possible that she has Hepatitis C. We’re still waiting for more blood results to come back. Please pray with us for healing for these two and wisdom as we make decisions about how to best care for them.
Language study and my grade 8 bible study are both going well. I’ve got a long way to go to be where I want to be language-wise, but I’m blessed with a great teacher and patient friends! The bible study with the girls is such an encouragement to me. They are precious girls with eager hearts. I learn from them every week.

In the most exciting news, my parents arrive next week! I absolutely cannot wait! My dad is staying for a week during his spring break, and my mom will be staying an extra couple of weeks after he goes home. I am beyond blessed to have parents willing to come see me and enter into my world here.
I hope you all are well. I continue to be so thankful for you all and your partnership in this work.
P.S. This monitor lizard was killed in my backyard last week. Yikes!
God bless,
Uncle Steve
Luke 18:1
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