Kenya on our heart

Filed Under (Blogs) by Susan on 06-12-2017

Santhosh and I were blessed to attend this year’s Global Missions Health Conference in Kentucky.  While there we connected with other organizations, relief agencies, ministries working to expand the Kingdom by their service.  We met people from Kenya and listened to their stories.  We have always been told that the northern region of Kenya has little to no health care services at all.  We could not imagine what was happening to the children born there with craniofacial differences.  What has become of their lives?

 

One young woman, Michelle, from Hope Matters International shared her story.  As a nurse practitioner, when she first arrived in Kenya, she was placed in the labor and delivery room to assist the physicians and midwives.  Because of the lack of resources and finances, the clinics were ill-equipped to deal at full force with a new life entering the world.  For those newborns who were not breathing on their own, and who remained blue due to lack of oxygen, Michelle was instructed to turn from the baby and focus her strength on saving the mother.  The baby would not survive, and there was no incubator or respirator to help in any case.

 

Our hearts were broken to hear this.  I remember immediately after Philip’s delivery, he was suctioned and his breathing reflex kicked in.  If a baby like him was born in Kenya, he would drown in his own secretions.

Friends, we cannot pretend ignorance on the need any longer.  How many children like Philip are being born every year in Kenya, and never open their eyes to the light?  Per the Healthy Newborn Network, 39% of Kenyan newborns die of congenital abnormalities and pre term complications.

Santhosh was able to visit Nairobi, Kenya in November to meet leaders and see the hospitals.  God willing in 2018, LWR will return and join the efforts to bring the newborn mortality rate down in Kenya.  You may not be able to come to Kenya yourself, but you can send LWR.  Partner with us!

We must continue the work, Until The World Is Cleft-Free!

Susan

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My “FORCED” restful Birthday Week!

Filed Under (Blogs) by Susan on 04-11-2017

If you have seen any Love Without Reason social media in October, you would know that on October 21, there was a fundraiser for LWR called the SHINE fashion show!  For an event of any magnitude to be successful, you need a mass of volunteers, planners, organizers, workers, idea-producers and etc!!   This event was no exception.

 

The challenge was coordinating a mission trip to Zimbabwe, planning a surgery for Philip in India in July, and returning to school and all extracurricular activities while preparing for an October event.   By the time October 21 midnight arrived, I was exhausted!!   But then I was also frightened.  I was the last person to handle both Santhosh and my phones at the event.  And I believed I had packed them in a box, and sent it with one of our friends to their home.  Unfortunately, the phones were nowhere to be found!

 

Sunday and Monday were a little frantic in trying to find our phones.  And at the same time, there was peace.  No calls to answer.  No emails to respond to.  No complaints to acknowledge (at the moment). Plus Santhosh’s reassurance to me that the phones would be found at the ChooChoo itself.    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, peace.

 

The amazing staff at the venue for SHINE, a historic hotel called the Chattanooga ChooChoo, found the bag that had our phones in it, and then began the calls.   Monday evening we also received entrance in the RUACH 2017 conference at Redemption to the Nations Church.  One of our close friends from NYC  covered our entry tickets to the conference and demanded that we attend the events Monday to Wednesday evening.   Speakers came from around the country, just to pour into the attendants.  The worship, music, prayers and Word was like a cool drink of water after a marathon in the hot sun!

Friday we were finally able to take advantage of the “Married and Still Loving it” prize package that we won in February 2016.  The prize was a weekend getaway to the Whitestone Country Inn in Kingston, Tennessee!   As we drove the scenic highway and cut through the colorful mountains, it truly seemed like the Lord was wrapping His arms around us.   “Come apart, and rest for awhile,” He once said to His disciples.

 

Well, we did just that.  We drove through the retreat area,  walked, prayed, shared and enjoyed our time together.   It has been quite awhile since we took time for ourselves, without a coordinating mission trip, or event related to the ministry.  God knew we needed to be at a place that was known as a “sanctuary for the soul.”   It was as if the chapped skin of our souls received balm there at the Whitestone Inn.  The service, the staff, the smiles all brought rest to our wearied bodies.

 

As I look back on that week, I can’t help but think how the Lord orchestrated this time.  People on my planning team told me that God Himself hid our phones from our eyes for those 2 days.  God Himself sent us to a conference for refreshing.  God Himself arranged a weekend getaway to renew ourselves for the journey ahead.

 

Nothing is too small for God.  Even before we think our thoughts, Psalms 139 says He knows my thoughts.  My physical needs are on His radar.  Though it seems so insignificant a request, for my God, he arranges everything beautifully in His perfect time.

 

And now, ONWARD for the journey ahead!  :)

Susan

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Tennessee was whooped, and Philip laughed in Georgia’s face!

Filed Under (Blogs) by Susan on 03-10-2017

PhilFootball-youngI’m not sure when Philip started loving football.  I have a feeling something invaded his system through osmosis from this preschool       picture!! He started with just watching the games on television, then watching old documentaries and films on the internet.  The statistics and facts that are stored in his memory amazes me. (How can he NOT remember where he kept his black dress socks?!?)   He would have loved to play for the McCallie School’s football team, unfortunately for him, his pediatrician (and me, his mother) will not give clearance to play contact sports.  Philip, did not let that stop him.  He approached the head football coach and asked if he needed an assistant.  This will be Philip’s third year in a supporting/managerial role for the football team, and he loves every minute of it.

 

He has this competitive streak in him as well.  We don’t need to even mention the Baylor – McCallie rivalry!!!   It extends to the SEC and the NFL.   No one beats his Vols or his Titans and goes unscathed!!   Unfortunately, this weekend BOTH the Vols and the Titans lost!  :(  Philip - football

 

Well, after Tennessee’s horrible 41-0 loss to Georgia, we were ministering on Sunday morning at the Atlanta Revival Center in Douglasville, Georgia.   There were many in the audience who were proudly wearing their Georgia Bulldog Red and Black!!   Well, before introducing Philip to come and speak, Pastor Vance made the church announcements, one of which was a men’s retreat where they would cook “any wild meat” and treat the men in attendance.  I saw Philip suddenly sit up, perk up and smile.  My heart sank, what was going on his mind? He was introduced and his first words to the Pastor and to the church congregation was about the men’s retreat.  “So, Pastor Vance, since you will be cooking alligator and any other meat at the retreat, how about some bulldog?”    My mind immediately thought of Jesus at the temple and how he escaped the Jews who picked up stones to throw at him.  Where is the nearest fire exit?!?  This boy continued on with his testimony, and in between “With God nothing is impossible, even for the Volunteers!”

 

The congregation was generous and loving to us all, rolling in the aisles with Philip’s comments.  But boy, for a while there, I was worried for Philip!  It is amazing how the Lord can use the weak to confound the mighty.  Many may look at children with disabilities and think there is nothing good that can come out of them.  But in the Master Potter’s hands, all things are possible for those who believe!!

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