Posted by: thaufler | July 19, 2010

July 19th, 2010

Little Evan went home to be with Jesus tonight, his sweet little face will meet his Saviour’s face before ours, and when I arrive there in all His glory I will see him again and sweep him up hold him tight and whisper… gamardjoba little one… gamardjoba.

God bless all the men and women who tried to help him, and especially for those who prayed. Parents, please tell your little ones that God heard their prayers but He had other plans for Evan, and we will see him again. His journey home was not what any of us anticipated, it was into the arms of his Christ, the Son of God.

Details to follow regarding our return home…

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Posted by: thaufler | July 18, 2010

Day 3

Spent some time with Evan this morning and evening… it’s very hard because he doesn’t know we are there. Got to hold his foot again and stroke his hair, kissed his forehead…

Met with the staff at the hospital whose job it is to insure Non-Israelians are well cared for, they wanted to make sure we understood that we are not alone, they also took care of the hotel accomodations for us insuring we do not have to move out at least until Tuesday. This is truly a wonderful facility, and a very loving/caring staff.

In the bed next to us, a young child lays in a cast over most of her/his body. The mother is constantly by the child’s side in this Israeli hospital wearing a Burka beside a white couple with a child who could be her own, life could be stranger I guess.

Tomorrow we meet the doctor again in the morning for an answer to more definitive test to help us understand the next step…

Pray for wisdom, pray for strength…

Posted by: thaufler | July 18, 2010

I believe… the story doesn’t end here.

Posted by: thaufler | July 18, 2010

A boy without a country?

Evan is a Georgian citizen, with a Georgian passport and a Visa to travel to America where he instantly becomes a citizen when he steps on American soil, and we are in Israel… could this be any more complicated?

It’s Sunday, the day after Shabbat here in Tel Aviv where random electrical devices are not in use and all the stores are closed except Toys R us and McDonald’s. We have one elevator that will only go to the 12th floor in respect of Shabbat, so I took this elevator yesterday morning to breakfast, which is on the 12th floor, and couldn’t get back down because that same elevator will only go back down to the lowest floor and I am on the 4th floor, and every door I opened hoping to find stairs led somewhere else. 

How closely this resembles our situation here… I want to go to the “4th” floor (which is to bring Evan home healthy happy and whole) but no matter what button I push the only one that lights up says “0”, yes “zero”; not the 1st floor like most elevators… “zero”. I’ve got food and drink in my hand and I want to go to the 4th floor but I can’t and no door will lead me there, God has only given me the “zero” option. So is it “zero” me or “zero” God, is it simply myself I must rely on to get through this, or is it simply God… it is all God, I must hit the “zero” and see where it takes me. I get out and look around and see another elevator where the “4” button lights up.

Perhaps someday we will find this elevator where the “4” button lights up and God will make all these things clear to us… 

I miss our Georgian family and so wish they were here to help us with our decisions the next few days…

Alicia’s still sleeping. God has given her a precious gift, the ability to sleep soundly regardless of what the world throws at her… I lost it yesterday and in my panic state of mind couldn’t be there for her; please pray that I will stay rational and calm so I can hear God’s voice and trust the “zero” button.

We meet with the doctor today at 12:00 to talk about Evan’s condition and deliberate options we can’t render a decision on because it’s Sunday in all three countries…

…and a shred of hope remains.

Posted by: thaufler | July 17, 2010

This wasn’t on our list…

Spoke to the kids this morning and tried to help them understand our circumstance… Nick my thoughtful one, and Carrie the unflappable listened while we did the best we could to squeeze out what we know about Evan and his chances without conveying our emotions through the wire.

God how we miss them… I ache for them and dreamt of holding them both tight until the thought produced panic because of my desire to be home. We must endure the next few days, and I must be strong for Alicia, she has never needed me so much and I have never felt so inadequate. My thoughts cast back to two weeks ago and the analogy of the “cracked pot” from 2 Cor 4:7… what if your pot is shattered… what do you do then? Perhaps it’s these times when God’s glory isn’t designed to shine through the cracks of your “Earthen Vessel”, and He lays you open for all to witness His steadfast love.  

We went to see Evan a while ago, and I held his little right foot tight, all puffy now, while stroking his coarse black hair remembering it was the only way I could comfort him that first night in the hospital. The only thing missing from my formula was the whisper of shhh… in his ear because it just wasn’t necessary tonight, he was quiet and peaceful.

… my face is dry now, my spirit numb, my mind blank and Alicia’s sleeping. I so long to be somewhere that I hear the muffled tones of English from the crowd around me, where people don’t stare because I look different, where I can look at a menu board at McDonald’s and know how to order a hamburger, or read the package of an instant noodle meal and know what I’m eating and how to cook it.

There is no protocol for the situation we are in, there is no hardware or software that can process this data, the code hasn’t been written, there are only minutes clicking by, and one foot slowly forward into a future we didn’t plan… this wasn’t on our list.

Posted by: thaufler | July 17, 2010

Even now, He is still enough…

Posted by: thaufler | July 17, 2010

Hope…

July 16th

I lie here with money in my pocket from three different countries and all of it is useless to me… I hear the echoes of voices from home speaking in dispassionate unbelief bouncing off the voices of others screaming in pain and I am caught somewhere in the middle wondering where is God… how will I ever get through this. My poor relentlessly compassionate wife with her ruthless love for children lying here beside me with her heart ripped from her fragile ribcage hears these echoes too while almost every child she see’s reduces her to dribble. This woman has become the most beautiful creature on earth both inside and out to me and now I have to learn how to help her pick up the pieces of her just days ago glowing life and restore any meaning… any sense …any comfort. The anger boiling in me rises up while she sleeps and wants to vaporize with a ball of nuclear fire the selfish motorist outside our window blowing his horn at someone in his way…

I’m in Israel, the land where Jesus once walked and I could care less, I don’t even want to look out the window of my small hotel room. I told her today, if the unthinkable happens… “We’ll see him in heaven”, and maybe this wasn’t really about him at all, maybe this white-hot pain has another meaning, another reason, just give me a minute and I’ll figure it out…  it will take a lifetime to comprehend the steps God has ordered for us. I frantically search my internal hard-drive while there by his bedside for a verse that explains my assurance, and nothing comes, nothing concrete. Could our deep love for this child we only met a few days ago infuse the adopting love of Christ for him, is there any room in all of scripture that gives me hope… yes and it can be found in the mystery of God’s word, that which is unspoken. The ultimate end of all theology is mystery… to think we can fully comprehend the vast love of God with our six inches of gray matter is arrogant at best… my assurance finds a home in His big hands, hands that have held me tight every moment I’ve been gone from home.    

She’s still sleeping, foolish me, I actually thought a car horn could wake her up… I don’t think she wants to wake up, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to sleep for more than a few hours at a time. Every couple of hours I wake up with the blinding thought, “This is happening, this is happening… why is this happening?” 

It’s 10:00pm and we go see him again. The care this hospital gives him and us is so tender it should be a model for even the best facility in America. He looks so peaceful, so beautiful, it’s hard to believe what they’ve told us… the male nurse caring for him looks like he was peeled off the interior wall of some ancient Egyptian pyramid, and the soft chatter behind us in Hebrew with all the inflection of my own tongue somehow breeds peace in my torn spirit. It looks like they’ve given him another bath… the whole week in the ICU in The Republic of Georgia water never touched his thick black hair, even though it was constantly running five feet from his bedside and he has the sores to prove it.

We return to the small expensive room over-looking the hospital and eventually sleep comes for me in the glow of our daughter’s computer with Alicia toiling over the many email responses we’ve received from America… another day.

Yes, there is still hope…

Posted by: thaufler | July 16, 2010

We are here…

…and Evan needs a miracle.

Please pray.

Posted by: thaufler | July 15, 2010

Where to next…

A brief history of the past few days would fill more volume than “wordpress” will allow me to post for free, so here is an edited synopsis…

Evan is being transferred to the closest most capable hospital who can treat his condition. The facility in Tbilisi Georgia has done all they are able to do because they do not have the equipment or knowledge to help him, so we were faced with a tough decision, explored our options and our Georgian family came through again with solutions. For us, it would be no different than if Nick or Carrie were lying there in the hospital bed… Evan has been our’s for over two years and we have fought hard for him and will not give up.

He is being medivac’d to a hospital in Israel who can insure the best care for him by a team who have provided this service four times in recent months for children in Georgia. They have reviewed all his medical records and are confident they can help, we will leave sometime this morning from Georgia and had to say a tearful goodbye to our dearest friends from this wonderful country.

Evan’s condition is stable but serious. From what we understand his blood chemistry has returned to normal; normal blood sugar, normal PH, normal temperature, but it is strongly suspected he may have some form of a Metabolic Disease which can easily be regulated with diet once he is well. Until our intervention this was all a mystery and was treated with medications which may have exacerbated his condition according to the specialist in Georgia.

It’s important to note that the staff in Iashvili Children’s Hospital in Georgia has been wonderful and done everything they can to help but the facility they are forced to use would probably be equal to an average hospital in the 1930’s. Roughly twenty years removed from Soviet rule, some of the archaic philosophies still remain intact as well and it’s seems to be a great mystery to them why we would go to such great lengths for a child like Evan.

This city is filled with glorious monuments and fountains, some draped in gold which you’ve seen pictures of, and yet the children of this country when ill are subjected to an environment I am not willing to speak about at this time… stay tuned.

Perhaps the greatest monument this great country could ever erect would be a hospital that has the ability to care for it’s most precious treasure… it’s children… it’s future.

(A heartfelt and sincere thanks goes out to my employer, Pierce Aluminum Co., who has extended grace for me to be able to respond to this need and the deeply compassionate people at Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare without which Evan would not be able to get the care he needs.)

Posted by: thaufler | July 14, 2010

Update…

Evan’s condition is still very serious, we will update you later today when we have more news.

Please continue to pray.

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