Sarbast has been enjoying his stay in Jerusalem since his discharge from the hospital. He is doing fine, and he loves to play with the other children at the Shevet house. The trip to the park did him a lot of good. He loved riding the merry-go-round, and he even made up songs about the other children as he rode. Sarbasts mother is very anxious to go home. She has been very disappointed over the past few days as their visas have not yet come.
Short-term volunteer Amy had this to add: Last night around 10:30 p.m., tears of joy were shed as the mothers of Sarbast, Aryan and Cheya were informed that today they would be on their way home to Iraq. Prayer has gone before the throne of God for this to happen. There is thanks to the Lord for this prayer answered.
Before traveling today, we all gathered together to pray and give thanks to the Lord for all He's done, and to pray for traveling mercies on them. Alex and I then began the long-awaited journey to the border. As we traveled to the border, almost everyone in the van fell asleep, except for Alex of course. When arriving to the first checkpoint, they waved us through without a long wait, thank goodness! When we arrived at the border there seemed from the mothers to be nervousness as well as excitement. They were probably too excited to really express it. Because Alex and I were close to missing our bus back to Israel, we had to say our goodbyes quickly. I'm glad that they are able to go home to their families. Through the goodness and grace of God, Sarbast, Cheya and Aryan may now have a full, healthy life.
Sarbast underwent his catheterization this morning just before Shaima was expected to go for her open heart surgery. The doctors found that Sarbast does not need another surgery - praise God! This news turned his mother's apprehensive countenance into a big smile. Sarbast didn't take long to recover from the procedure and was happy to leave his room and come to check on Shaima as we waited for her to return from her operation. This good report means that barring complications, Sarbast can leave for home when he finishes a course of antibiotics he's taking for the infection he had last week. We will keep you informed as plans for their return come together. Meanwhile, please pray for him to remain healthy and strong, and the visa process required for their return to be done quickly.
Sarbast still has fluid draining from his lungs, and he will need to stay in the ICU until this problem clears up. When we saw him, he was sitting up in bed with some of his toys, and he seemed to be in good spirits. His mother, however, is very tired and quiet. One of the doctors said that she is "in despair." Please continue to pray for Sarbast and his mother.
Sarbast underwent heart surgery this Sunday. The nurses told us that he is doing fine over all, but he is low on hemoglobin. During our visit, they were giving him a blood transfusion to fix this issue. At one point an alarm began to go off next to his bed, and a nurse rushed to his side. We watched as he tried to move and open his eyes while the nurse lovingly calmed him.
She told us later that this little Iraqi fighter was already beginning to try to breathe on his own without the aid of the ventilator. Sarbast's mother was quite happy, but also very tired.
I visited Sarbast and his mother in the hospital today. Sarbast has been admitted because of a lung infection.
Sarbast, Nahro, Ghaith, and Aryan finally got the word that theyd be traveling to Israel on Monday. They along with 10 other children have been waiting in Amman for visa approvals and funds for their surgeries. Since the screening in early March, every day has been filled with the hope that it would soon be their turn to travel. The other families were encouraged that these four were finally traveling, yet disappointed that theyd have to wait a little while longer. Pray that they would stay encouraged, and trust God with the timing of their travel.
Before packing up and heading for the border, all the families enjoyed a beautiful day at the park. The children and their mothers had been looking forward to this outing for almost a week, and really enjoyed their time relaxing under the pine trees.
After eating lunch the time came for Nahro, Sarbast, Ghaith, Aryan, and their mothers to say good-bye to the other families. Many of the mothers and even some of the children teared up as they sent them on their way with the hope of joining them soon in Israel.
Since we got an unexpected late start, we didnt arrive at the border until it was almost eight. While Dirk was inside the terminal waiting for their paperwork to be processed, I took the families outside to enjoy the pleasantly warm evening. I enjoyed these last few moments with them as we spoke of the time theyll spend in Israel and what lay ahead in the coming weeks and months. The kids also took advantage of the time to run around and stretch their little legs. After about an hour of patiently waiting, the families loaded the bus and headed for Israel.
It was a joy and an encouragement to see these precious little ones on their way. Pray that the Lord will continue to give them grace, strength, and endurance for the road ahead as we look forward to seeing His healing touch in their lives.