Life is…messy, exhausting, hard, beautiful, precious.Jenny
Life is messy, literally. Oliver is almost 8 weeks old and spits up with the best of them. He also has a running total of peeing on Jared 6 times since birth. He has also only had one poopy diaper blow-out, which was also on Jared. Since Jared is the pediatrician who had an amazing puke, pee, poop-free record with his patients, its only fair his son make up for his clean history.
Life is exhausting. Again, we have to place most of the blame on the baby that loves to eat all day and all night. He is growing really well and definitely outweighs Sophia when she was his age. None the less, it is resulting in some brain-fogged days for both of us. Jared takes the early shift with Sophia (around 6:30AM) and the baby, letting Mama get a few precious hours of additional sleep.
Life is down-right hard, especially for Sophia who is an almost 4-year-old with lots of transition and limited ability to process and deal with all the changes. Kenya is the only home she knows, and she really misses it. This morning when she woke up, the first thing out of her mouth was “When are we going home?” She is processing a different place, new sibling, stressed-out mom and dad (see above) who are pulling out suit cases, and preparing to make the trip back to Kenya.
Life is beautiful. We have been able to watch Sophia play with her grandfather and sing songs to her little brother to make him stop screaming. She is forever wanting to help care for Oliver, and when she can get him to keep his pacifier in his mouth she jumps up and yells, “I did it!”
Life is precious. This pregnancy was harder than the first, and the complications that followed Oliver’s birth were life threatening to both of us. After being born blue and floppy, Oliver did well for the first 18 hours, but then his body began to fatigue, and he couldn’t keep his blood sugar up or manage all his oral secretions (he choked and turned blue a couple times). He was put in the low level NICU for 2+ days, but praise God only needed IV fluids for 24 hours. The second and third days were for observation and to work on feedings. It could have been so much worse.
Jenny developed atypical preeclampsia an hour or so after delivery and required IV medications and extended observation as well. It resolved quickly, but again it could have been so much worse.
Women and babies in both of theses situation die everyday in developing countries like Kenya and Malawi. We praise God for allowing us to make the journey back to the USA for the safe delivery of our son.
Life is moving forward. Jenny and Oliver are both doing really well since getting home from the hospital, and we are preparing for our journey back to Kenya in July. We are only a couple of weeks from our departure date and list of things to buy, organize, store and throw away continues to grow. Somehow, it all has to fit into 6 suitcases, 3 carry-ons and a diaper bag.
We cannot even count how many times we have flown our family across the world since moving to Africa, but God always makes a way for us. We are so thankful for this time together as a family, however all of us are ready to go back home. Sophia is ready to get back to her friends and routine back in Kenya, and we are ready to continue serving our community in Chogoria as Christian physicians.
Life is expensive. Over the past five years so many individuals and families have given so that we can serve the underserved, share Christ’s love with our patients, and teach many young African doctors and clinicians how to serve the whole person, both physically and spiritually. In order to serve, we fundraise and rely on support from our family of donors and a couple churches. We are truly blessed and praise God that we have such a wonderful support family for our ministry.
Many of our supporters give monthly and some have even been giving since the beginning (Every month for the last five years which is amazing!). If you are not already partnering with us monthly, you can go to our Donate Now page and sign-up to become a recurring monthly donor. Other supporters continue to financially partner with us by giving one-time gifts. We rely on these one-time gifts throughout the year to help with ministry expenses and travel.
At the end of last year, we estimated our 2019 one-time financial need to be about $45,000, and set a goal to raise $25,000 of that by January 2019. Though God’s grace and generosity from many, we met that goal. Now we are 6 months into 2019 and in need to raise the rest of our 2019 one-time financial need, $20,000, to sustain our ministry in Kenya through the end of the year.
Will you partner with us and our ministry by giving a one-time gift today? You can go to our Partner With Us page to learn more about how you can give a one-time gift. Whether you can give $100 or $1,000 today, every gift will help us to continue to serve the physical and spiritual needs of our community and to continue to display Christ’s love daily with our patients and their families.
Please continue to pray for us while we prepare for our departure in a couple of weeks. We are excited to make our transitions back into family life and service in Chogoria.
-Jared, Jenny, Sophia, & Oliver