Monday, June 24, 2013

Meagan's May/June Report From Zambia

Many of you know my niece, Meagan Hawley, or know of her work in Zambia at the Namwianga Mission caring for orphaned and abandoned babies, many of whom are HIV+ and have an extremely short life expectancy. Here is her update from the months of May and June. After reading, please pray for Meagan and her work at the Mission. She is such an angel and servant of God.

Hello friends!                                                                                                                                      June 23, 2013
I hope you are doing well and enjoying the start of your summer. For us, we’re in the beginning stages of our winter, so it’s getting cold, cold, cold!
The last month has been a tough one, if I’m being completely honest. There have been huge blessings in it, too, but overall it’s a month I’m glad is behind us and hope won’t come again.

Three weeks ago yesterday, one of our little premature babies Luis started going downhill fast. After going to the clinic and getting him checked out, I brought him home and put him on oxygen.  His breathing was bad and it was apparent he was in great distress. As I was sitting there holding the tiny oxygen mask up to his face because it has no string on it, my phone rang. It was Rob Murphy, the husband of my dear friend Christa Murphy who is the physician that comes out weekly to check our babies. They have six children and have been serving in Zambia for about 3 years. Rob was shouting into the phone for me to rush to their house because their second child, Christianna, a ten year old, beautiful and healthy girl, had collapsed and they couldn’t get her conscious again. They were trying to get a helicopter to fly to our remote part of the world. I left Luis, still struggling to breathe, with Kathi Merritt as I rushed to help the Murphys in whatever way I could. When I arrived about five minutes later, she had just died. It would be impossible to describe all the emotions and pain and questions of that day, and the following weeks as I walked through that valley of death with my dear friends. But the night didn’t end there. After Christianna’s body was taken to the local mortuary, I rushed back home to Luis.

Luis was still struggling to breathe. I was a mess after all we’d just seen and been through, but sat and rocked him and kept giving him his oxygen until encouraged to go home and sleep awhile. That was the wisest thing to do, but I was still heartbroken when I got the call at 3 a.m. saying he’d just died. Right after picking up that phone call, I got a call from an auntie at Zimba Hospital who was staying with our Misheck. He’d been up and down for weeks, and he’d been admitted in the hospital for about a week. She reported that he was fading fast and that I should come. I went as soon as I’d delivered Luis’ body at the mortuary early that morning, and he had picked up a little bit. The doctor told me that there was nothing left to do for Misheck. We could either take him home or keep him there, but they’d tried everything they could. I decided to leave him there because he was in the best hands he could be in. In fact, when I arrived at the hospital that morning, I overheard Auntie Patience leaned over Misheck, kissing him, saying, “I love you baby. God loves you. God can heal you. You just keep living okay?” The aunties that work at the Haven are just the best. Patience is an orphan herself, who lost her parents when she was just a couple of months old. She deeply wants to help others who are in that same situation.

I left Misheck with Patience at the hospital, came home, dealt with some of Luis’s arrangements, and then commenced the business of just being sad and mourning. Sunday, a group of my cousins was set to arrive into Livingstone. I left early, went to be with Misheck, and when I arrived, he was looking horrible. I went to find the nurse, who immediately started him on oxygen. I stayed as long as I could before I had to leave to pick up my family in Livingstone. I picked them up, and welcomed them into my world here with an immediate trip to be with Misheck at the hospital again. He looked markedly better after a couple of hours on oxygen, and I was encouraged. I went to drop my family off at home, feed them, let them get settled, etc. But pretty much as soon as we’d gotten home, Patience called and told me to come fast. So I went with two of my cousins, and Misheck died that night. So within three days, we had three deaths.

Monday was Luis’ burial, Tuesday was Christianna’s memorial service at our graveyard and memorial garden, Wednesday I vomited all day, and then Thursday was Misheck’s burial. It was just a week that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, ever.

Without God’s hand holding us up, these weeks would have been impossible. But His presence is never far from us, even in the painful times. Amidst all of the chaos, my family arrived, which just made everything easier to deal with. I would come home to people I love so much, people I could be real with and mourn with, and I know God’s perfect timing allowed them to be here with me for such a dark season.

I also had a wonderful visit from a dear friend, Kenna Daggett. She came over with the Harding Speech Pathology group mid May, and she was able to stay with me until my family got here. She helped out at the Havens and was such a blessing to all of the babies and the aunties.

Life keeps moving forward, as it always does I guess! We’ve had eight babies go home in the last couple of months, and five new babies have arrived. We’ve had many developmental trainings with the aunties, and I’ve been able to see a few of our babies that have gone back home. It is always good to see the process working, that new children come in that we’re able to serve and help until they are able to go home with someone who can care for them well.

Last week I had 4 interns arrive who are here for the summer to volunteer at the Haven. It’s been fun getting to know them better and to have extra hands to help love on our babies. The summer will be filled with new and old friends visiting Namwianga, so that will be nice.
I hope you all are having a good month. I appreciate you so much.


God bless,
Uncle Steve
Luke 18:1
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