While driving to the Erez border crossing of Gaza from Jerusalem, I'm always curious about the families coming out. Today, were traveled there to pick up two families and escort them to Wolfson Hospital. We had to wait about thirty minutes for them, but in no time we were on our way up north to Tel Aviv. Every time we make this drive, we pray and trust God for a safe arrival.
The families we transported are staying for surgery or other medical help at Wolfson Hospital.
We also used our time at the hospital to visit with and see the other Gaza children recovering from their heart surgeries. We saw Walid and Munsour who were waiting to be released.
A few days ago, my co-worker Muna gave me a lovely stuffed sheep to give to Monsour.
It was fun walking in the hospital with it. Many people stared at this small animal and some were laughing at me too. All I could think to say was,
As Yousef and I pulled up to Wolfson hospital in Tel Aviv today to transport a Gazan child to the Erez border, I was wondering if I would recognize the mother or child. I hadn
Since I started to serve with Shevet Achim almost six months ago, I was naturally more involved in the care for the Kurdish children who live with us in Jerusalem, and did not spend much time with the Gaza children. From time to time I would meet some of them at the hospital, but usually I would not get he chance to know them well. This started to change when I met the grandfather of Walid several weeks ago. I was asked to take a picture of Walid and because of that I had to introduce myself to his grandfather. Fortunately for me he speaks English, which helped with the communication. During my next visits at Wolfson I tried to stop by and check on Walid and his grandfather regularly. These personal encounters helped to form a relationship, and it is my wish that I can more and more have the same with other families from Gaza.
Yesterday an opportunity arose as Gerret, Mikaela and I went to Wolfson to pick up little Shaida from Kurdistan. Before we went, I talked with Lina, our Gaza coordinator, and asked her for the names of the children who are currently at the hospital. She gave me three names, including little Walid, and with the names on a piece of paper we left for Tel Aviv. We arrived during a busy time at the children
For the third consecutive week, the clinic at Wolfson experienced a large number of Gaza children coming to be evaluated by Israeli doctors. I had a busy day helping, translating, chatting with the mothers, and hearing some stories about their life in Gaza. One of the stories that touched me the most, and even made my co-worker Fatima cry when she heard it, was the story of little Doa.
Doa is a five-year-old girl from Gaza who comes from a very poor family. Her family
Our visit to Wolfson today brought opportunity to meet Walid's mother and chat with his grandfather outside the ICU. Yesterday's report indicated that perhaps doctors would be able to close his chest this morning, but Walid's grandfather stated with concern that such was not the case. It was clear he was feeling the strain of waiting for better news. I was not able to enter the ICU just then since Ramyar was on his way to the echocardiogram clinic, but looked forward to getting updated news later.
Garrett spent time with Walid's grandfather while the rest of us were pursuing the echo, and it was several hours before I was able to return to the ICU. When I entered, neither Walid's mother nor grandfather were there, but Dr. Alona was making rounds, and took time to give me the latest report on his condition. The news is good! Early this morning Walid's condition started improving when his kidneys began functioning well again. Thank God, throughout the day his progress continued, and currently the doctors have a plan to close his chest tomorrow morning. If his healing goes as hoped and expected, Walid will be well enough to be removed from mechanical ventilation on Sunday morning.
I didn't find Walid's mother and grandfather before it was time to leave, but telephoned our Gazacoordinator, Lina, with the good report so she could share it with the family. She said she'd just spoken with Walid's father, and would call him back with the encouraging news. Please keep Walid in your prayers, as well as his anxious family, as we watch together for this precious baby's healing to continue.
(This blog was co-written by Shevet volunteers Lina and John.)
On Tuesday (yesterday) we drove to Erez Crossing at the Gaza Strip. It was raining cats and dogs. At least it wasn
Little Walid did not end up having his heart surgery today. His procedure had to be rescheduled due to a child with an emergency case needing surgery today. We found Walid and his grandfather, as expected, in the same room they have been occupying in the children
Today we went, myself and Aad, to visit Walid at Wolfson Hospital, and to check on him. The grandfather was so happy and excited to see us. I asked him if Walid had had the surgery, and he said not yet, probably tomorrow.
While I was there the nurse came and confirmed that if Walid's blood test is good they will take him to surgery tomorrow morning. She thought the chances to stand at 50-50. So please pray for him, that his results will be good and he can go to surgery tomorrow and may go home soon to his family in Gaza.
Today I had the opportunity to join a team from Shevet Achim, getting to know the work here for the very first time. In my current two-week trip to Israel, I did not think I would spend time close to Gaza, especially not at war. But this morning I gave my day fully to Jesus and trusted that he is going to make things good, that he has got a plan which is full of love and hope, and that he is about to create new things - in Israel, among the Jews and Muslims, and in my life as well.
So as I arrived this morning at Shevet Achim I was asked to join the team which went to Gaza, and I did. A five-month old baby named Walid (pictured above with his grandfather) is in need of heart surgery to correct oxygen deficiency. Our task was to pick up the baby right at the border to Gaza, and to bring him to the hospital in Tel Aviv. We had a 1.5 hour ride down to Gaza, which I felt was protected and blessed by God. The area we passed has been shot with about 1,000 rockets in the previous days, so we are grateful that God kept us safe.
As we arrived in the area of the border there was a road block. Israeli soldiers told us they would not let us in for security reasons. We waited a long time while the soldiers discussed our case and made phone calls. About half-an-hour later we were very happy that the baby and his grandpa were brought to us by a driver, and the plan was going to work out. The baby Walid looked quite content and dear driving with us in the car, and soon fell asleep.
Arriving to the hospital, we brought the baby to do a heart echo, to gain evidence for the surgery. I was impressed to learn about the site there at WolfsonHospital, which is doing a clinic for heart-sick children every Tuesday at no charge. The responsible doctor told us that he was concerned about the situation between Israel and Gaza. However he does not want to be a politician or any other high-positioned person trying to solve the problems. His purpose to bring peace and love is to do what he can as a doctor, in his environment.
Walid stays with his grandpa in the hospital now and will undergo surgery soon. During the ride in the car through the critical area I was reminded about verses in the bible which tell that the name of God is our protection and our hiding place. Once again today I saw how true that is, and I know that God is the same for the baby Walid. His little heart is kept safe in God's heart, with his great love for him.