First, remember my friend Libby? She finished her chemo this week!!! Six hard months, and she is still as beautiful and encouraging as ever. If you haven't been in a while, check out her blog here.
Second, I have another story I want to share with you...
Meet Baby Juddah:
Last Sunday, he was sitting next to me in church. And, I'm just going to be honest, I didn't hear a word of the sermon. Have you ever seen eyes like that in your life? Jeff literally had to contain me in my seat.
Later, when I got to talk to Cherrie - Juddah's caregiver - and hear his story, I fell even more in love. Juddah is from Korah, Ethiopia -- a city that, literally, serves as the "trash dump" for all the surrounding areas. He and his twin sister Sarah were born in October among urine soaked towels with no food or clean water. While Sarah seemed to be developing normally (although very small) with her mother, Cherrie - an American missionary with Project 61 - could tell baby Juddah was not healthy. Finally, weeks after his birth, a doctor in Ethiopia diagnosed him with hydrocephalus - a life-threatening condition indicating that there was fluid around the brain. Then, sadly, he explained that in Ethiopia they simply "do not treat" this condition; only in America would things "be different.
|Juddah at ten days old, when Cherrie first met him.|
So Cherrie, unsatisfied with that answer, began her search to find an American hospital that would donate the services Juddah would need to survive...
Right before Christmas, she heard from a neurosurgeon at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke.
With permission from his mother, Cherrie packed up the now three month old Juddah last month, and moved to Roanoke for a strenuous six months of appointments, surgeries, and recovery. Cherrie and Juddah are living with a family from my church, the mother a nurse at Carilion, during the process. And, already, staff at the hospital and other members of the community are rallying around those precious eyes - raising money and donating clothing, food, etc. Many of the nurses are even looking into making a trip to Ethiopia next year to serve.
You know, in the media, we hear a lot of BAD news. We hear a lot about all the horrible things people do. But, this story is one of encouragement and goodness. Thanks to the unending commitment of a team of missionaries and the generosity of a hospital and its staff, baby Juddah will go back home a healthy little boy. And, when he's old enough, Juddah will be part of Project 61's education mission, which pays for 250 children who were living in the dump to attend boarding school.
That's a story worth sharing.
If you'd like to read more, visit Cherrie's blog here. Or, if you don't have HOURS to spend reading this story from the beginning, check out the article in our local paper today here.
All photos are from Cherrie's blog.