Dleza was cleared today to return to the Shevet Achim Jaffa Center. She will need to continue to have follow-up blood test and an echocardiogram. Hopefully she will be able to return to Kurdistan soon.
The transformation in Dleza’s life has been remarkable. We love seeing Dleza smile and care for the other children. Dleza has cared for, with sisterly love, many of the other Shevet Achim children, including Ali and Gashbin. Ali will need a Fontan surgery and Gashbin recently had her Fontan surgery. I remember telling Dleza that Gashbin was also receiving a Fontan surgery, the same surgery Dleza had performed on her one month ago. When she heard that Gashbin was about to have surgery, Dleza kindly encouraged Gashbin from the outside of her room.
Dleza not only empathizes with these children because she has walked this journey of a series of heart procedures, but also because she deeply cares for these children with her presence. Thankfully we worship a God who empathizes with suffering because he humbly suffered for mankind and served as the propitiation for our sins. He not only suffered, but also cares for us as we walk through our journey of life with him by our side.
As Dleza and Talal approach returning to Kurdistan, please continue to pray for their family and the circumstances there. Throughout the day, Talal was intensely watching videos of the recent offenses occurring in Syrian Kurdistan. We earnestly pray for transformation in the hearts of those affected and the effectors of change as well. May they be filled with joy and peace rather than animosity.
Today was the awaited today of Dleza’s catheterisation, and like many other days at the hospital consisted predominantly of waiting. Sitting together in the now familiar seating area of floor 4, we found ourselves watching the double doors expectantly for any sign of Dleza.
Finally, after 4 hours and 40 minutes she was wheeled through and everyone could relax again.
Please continue to pray for Dleza and her brother; thank God for everything he has done so far.
Our Strong and Beautiful Warrior
Our beautiful Dleza had to be admitted to the hospital once again. After her unstoppable joy of being able to leave the hospital, her reality crushed again. Due to the many medicaments Dleza had to take, she had to throw up very often. The moment she started vomiting blood, our team couldn’t find a better solution than to bring her back to the hospital. Hearing the news Dleza was very sad but accepted the decision bravely. Still, Dleza was not alone in this situation, our lovely families accompanied Dleza to the car and waved her goodbye. It was incredible to see that even though Dleza misses her own family a lot, God provided a new family for her here in Shevet.
Since Dleza wasn’t very pleased with being in the hospital the last time, I was very worried that she might be very sad to be there again. But our brave girl conquers this circumstance like a warrior. When we visited her today we were welcomed by a smiling Dleza. Her smile lit up the whole room and my heart. Dleza was not beaten down by the fact that she had to be in the hospital, she kept her hope and joy. It was so encouraging to chat with her and we were able to joke around a little. It showed a small portion of normality for which Dleza fought. We were able to make her smile even more, when we showed her presents that were sent to her from America. I couldn’t help but admire the strength of this young woman. She has had to go through so much at such a young age still, Dleza keeps smiling and being joyful over the little things. Dleza is a strong warrior fighting against her disease and whatever comes along with it. She is amazingly created by our father in heaven who loves her so deeply.
Please pray that Dleza will continue to be this happy and joyful and that she is able to go back home very soon.
Waiting can be very exhausting. That’s how Dleza and her brother felt this morning waiting for her doctor to look at her wound. But once we saw him good news poured out for Dleza. The doctor is very happy about her wound, which made all three of us very happy. After she took her blood test very bravely we had an appointment with Dr. Varid. With him we talked about Dleza‘s medication, because they made her sick. He told us how happy he is about Dleza improving and said there will only be one cath for her next Thursday. If this goes we she can go back to Kurdistan. This amazing news drew a bright smile on her face and we all were celebrating. It is so heartwarming to see Dleza, after such a long time of pain and sadness, happy again!
Praise God who stayed with her through all the trouble and who will be with her in her cath. Please pray that our happy Dleza can go home to her family soon. She misses them badly.
Dleza and her brother care for the children of Shevet Achim as their little siblings. Her brother always warmly greets the new families upon their arrival to the hospital and cares for his own sister, Dleza, with kind compassion. Dleza delights in caring for the other children, despite her own battles in the hospital.
They greeted us upon our arrival to the hospital, as they often do. Dleza stated that she was not feeling well, but was reluctant to explain why. It was difficult to hear that, as some days she would be cheerful and other days rather saddened.
Today the brother excitedly told us that the doctor had said Dleza could return to Shevet Achim for a few days. This was a surprise, as we had been previously told that she needed to remain in the hospital to continue her antibiotic treatment and for her routine blood tests. The doctor confirmed this news, and told us how he advocated for Dleza to return to Shevet Achim–for her own psychological care. Though she has to return to the hospital in a few days to get a blood test and an exam, she will be able to obtain some rest at the base.
Hospitalization can be distressing, especially with the constant alarms and invasive tests. Though Shevet Achim may not be equivalent to her home in Kurdistan, at the Shevet Achim base there are people that truly love her. Though she needs to continue her medications, she is not restrained to an intravenous medication pole…or a yellow wrist band identifying her. She is free to enjoy the company of the other children here and the seasoned food the mothers cook daily. She is free to roam the streets and the colorful bazaar.
After a few hours of waiting for her medications and discharge letter, we finally were free to return to the Shevet Achim base. The brother excitedly packed their belongings, and Dleza was so full of joy. At last we removed her intravenous cannula and we were at liberty to officially leave the hospital. Dleza could not wait to remove the yellow hospital identification wrist band, and she even used her teeth to hastily remove it. We embraced in joy and excitedly headed out the hospital doors.
Please pray for her perseverance and strength with her medical care. Please pray for her to have a restful time with the families here at the Shevet Achim base. And please continue to pray for doctors to continue to offer holistic–physical, psychosocial, and spiritual–care.
I can’t imagine what it would be like, being a teenager in the hospital for weeks. What a blessing it is that Dleza has a devoted brother that looks after her. There is disappointment that Dleza will need to stay in the hospital for one week longer to finish her antibiotic treatment, but Dleza’s brother was optimistic about further days in the hospital–especially compared to the last month that she has endured in the hospital. I sensed a sadness about the news, but I believe that Dleza is in God’s hands.
Dleza had an echocardiogram today, which was not scheduled. What a blessing! The echo revealed that her heart is responding well to the surgery. The doctor said she will need to stay to finish her medication treatment.
Her mother must be missing both Dleza and her brother terribly. To be so far away for so long must be difficult for her. Please pray for a soon return to her loving family, who will be so happy to see her.
I feel like Dleza’s time at the hospital is comparable to a roller coaster. One day things are looking up, another day it’s going down rapidly. When I visited her last time I was so sure and full of hope that she will be discharged in a few days. Instead I found her in the secondary ICU today. This time she didn’t even talk to me. Just looking at me with these sad, tired eyes. Dleza’s wound has been infected which is why she had a small surgery yesterday. She had to go to the ER where they cleaned her wound for almost 2 1/2 hours.
It was nearly embarrassing to visit her, I felt so, so sorry. I didn’t even know what to tell her so I held her hand through the blanket, knelt next to her bed and started praying, asking God that she could come home to Shevet. She was so so exhausted she slept all day long.
I know that God has a great plan for Dleza’s life. She has such a beautiful character. Please pray:
…that she will feel Jesus’ unending love especially in this time at the hospital.
…that she knows she is not going through this alone even if it feels like that.
…that she will have even more joy than she ever had before.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
We were actually waiting for Ali‘s echo this morning when suddenly Dleza and her brother came around the corner, probably doing their random hospital walk. Another lovely example that God‘s timing is always perfect. We got a message from Georgia just in this moment that Dleza needs to go downstairs to do an eye test and that the nurses on her ward can’t find her.
As none of us really knew why she has to do this eye test things got quite stressful and confusing. The only thing I had was Dleza’s ID number. No papers, no appointment letter.
It took a little time until I figured out that they had just sent us downstairs to organize a van which would bring us to another building of the hospital. Once we arrived there the receptionist told us that we are three hours too late. Dleza was supposed to have the eye test early in the morning. I don’t know why it was nevertheless somehow possible to do the eye test. And Dleza did such a good job. Even though she had no idea what was going on. During the eye exam she had to read the English numbers, and It was just beautiful how she knew all of the numbers even though this is not her first language. Afterwards we had to wait to see the doctor. I got a phone call that Dleza needs to come to her room immediately, as she has to get her antibiotics. I don’t know how I managed that we were the next ones that could talk to the doctor. He told us that one had forgotten to give the eye drops to Dleza which would dilate the pupils and which are necessary for the doctor to inspect her eyes. Conclusion: we had to come back. Dleza burst into tears without warning. I felt so so sorry for her.
I’m more than thankful that I had “by chance” parked the car exactly next to the building we were in so that I was able to drive Dleza and her brother back to the children’s unit.
But the stress didn’t end. When we were finally back in Dleza’s room the nurse had to take out her cannula and place a new one. Poor Dleza hates that so much as it’s very painful (it took a little time until they found a vein). When I asked Dleza why she is so sad she looked into my eyes and said with a tearful voice that she is always smiling at Shevet but here in the hospital she just can’t be happy.
Finally Dleza’s brother wanted me to talk to her doctor who told me that Dleza is reacting very good to the antibiotics. She has to take them for three more days and will than have a blood test and an echo and can hopefully come home. I asked what it was about the eye test and she apologized that there was a communication gap and that since Dleza doesn’t have any fever anymore, there is no need to do it.
I was so so happy and relieved and thanked her many many times as this was a long desired light of the end of Dleza’s sad tunnel. This day just showed me once more that God is always in control especially when we are not. It was so amazing to experience his guidance and protection.
“For you are my rock and my fortress, and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me.” Psalm 31:3
Dleza is a beautiful girl with an amazing heart, and for me it’s so difficult to see her sad, in pain and weak. She was in our house around one month waiting for her surgery and she was so special, happy, and had so much love for our children. She said that she misses us a lot, and she does not want to be at the hospital anymore. But for now she needs to be there. I’m so thankful to God for her brother who really loves her, and is so patient. He asks the doctors about Dleza’s condition and also tries to encourage her. I know sometimes it’s so difficult to be far away from family, and even more so when we are going through a really difficult time. A time when we can not see the end. But God is always there!
When I went into the hospital I saw her brother and he told me that Dleza is not doing well – she is so sad and crying a lot. When I went to visit her she gave me a big smile, but I could see that she was not well. The doctor was getting everything ready to take her for a chest x-ray and an abdominal ultrasound. When the time came to perform the tests, she was really in pain and she cried. She still has liquid in her lungs and in her abdomen, and a fever almost at some point every day. The doctors don’t know why this is happening – all of the blood tests and cultures are normal. They started some medication to help. They also told me that they know our beautiful Dleza wants to go back to our Shevet home and leave the hospital, but they can only do this when it is going to be safe for her.
God put in my heart to spend almost all of my afternoon with her, and it was an amazing time with her and her brother. We enjoyed an amazing ice cream for free, watched some cartoon movies, and we walked and talked. One volunteer nurse that joined us last month sent her a beautiful Bible verse:
“I have made you, and I will carry you, I will sustain you, and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4
And I declare that God made her, and God keeps his eye on her because she is his princess. Please pray for complete healing in her body, and also that this can be fulfilled with an inexplicable peace and joy that only our God can give. Please pray also for the doctors to find the reason for her symptoms so they can treat her.
We spent quite a lot of time with Dleza and her brother and it was great. First we visited them in their room talking, finding out how she was and noticing how her brother has improved his English immensely. Dleza was very quiet and introverted only smiling a few times. She is okay but first of all doesn’t like being at the hospital and secondly is missing home and her mom a lot. Right now the doctors are trying to figure out the cause of her fever and the siblings hope to be discharged tomorrow in case Dleza is in a better condition.
In the meantime the brother takes good care of his sister and is also an important support for our other families. While he spent time with one family to help them, Dleza and I sat outside of the hospital enjoying the sun and a change during the daily routine. I really enjoyed the time at the hospital and felt God’s blessings during the day. Both are very special to me.
Let’s pray she doesn’t have fever during the night and can be discharged tomorrow which would make them really happy. Also keep their hearts in mind to soften and open for God’s word and the Gospel.
Dleza bravely, but tearfully endured an echocardiogram and multiple blood draws to determine the cause of her arising symptoms of fever and pain. Her brother patiently and kindly comforted her during her examinations. The echocardiogram revealed pleural effusion and ascites, or fluid accumulation in the lungs and abdomen respectively. She not only appeared physically in pain, but also lethargic from the emotional uncertainty of her condition. The pain medication temporarily subsided her physical pain, but could not alleviate her frustration with the hospitalization and the seemingly unending exams. Despite the uncertainty, God is sovereign and omniscient. May we continue to seek knowledge with the understanding that God is omniscient despite a medical field of uncertainty. It is humbling to acknowledge our limited knowledge and to surrender to God: the giver of peace, source of comfort, and the Great Physician. Please continue to pray for Dleza and her family as they patiently wait to hear back regarding the lab results. Continue to pray that Dleza and her brother find solace in God and develop relationships with him.
Written by: Diana and Colin
Grateful for a Good Operation
I met Dleza’s brother in the waiting room, and he looked tired. He told me that Dleza had gone in for the operation at 8 o’clock. After many hours the doctors came out and told us that the operation had gone well and Dleza’s brother was happy and grateful for this.
Dleza was very tired but even though she was tired she showed her love for us. God bless this girl!
We got the phone call unexpectedly yesterday, to invite Dleza into hospital for her surgery. We were expecting to wait a few weeks longer but, when I told Dleza about it, she squeaked with nerves for a few seconds before breathing deeply and announcing in English, “I’m ready.”
So, today we had the pleasure of bringing her to the hospital with her brother. After some tests, we met with the surgeon who will operate on her tomorrow. He explained the whole procedure which was translated to them by Tara (although, Dleza was excited that she could understand some of the words in English). So, she is prepared for the big day tomorrow. Their main question was about how much of a risk is there with this surgery. We were all happy to hear the surgeon reporting a 98% success rate.
Please keep Dleza in your prayers ahead of tomorrow. She is a very special part of our family here in Israel, and already we miss her at home! Praise God for giving her peace, and pray a blessing over the hands of the surgical team for tomorrow, in the name of Jesus.
Koinonia Day Camp will work and pray for Dleza
Word just in that Koinonia Day Camp kids will host a yard sale this Friday on behalf of Dleza!
Koinonia Day Camp has been a ministry of West Newbury Congregational Church, located in West Newbury, Massachusetts, USA, for almost 30 years! We are a six-week Christian summer camp that provides a fun, safe environment for children between 1st through 10th grade; our main goal, besides having fun, is to help children & teenagers learn more about God. As a ministry of West Newbury Congregational Church, we believe that the church as a whole is called to be salt and light to the world. We take seriously the need to spread the good news locally and world-wide. We endeavor to do this in the love and the power of the Holy Spirit, encouraging one another. We take the teachings of the scripture as our guide in spreading the truth through the gospel, all year long, but specifically in our six weeks of summer camp.
Sweet Dleza was discharged because her cath was postponed until next Tuesday. As soon as we turned the corner into the 5th floor ICU we ran into her and brother, who told us the news. They were both very positive and didn’t mind returning home at all, and it was nice because they got to be here for Darbaz’s going away party.
Because of the high volume of children in the ICU plus the urgent cases that crop up, the cath lab has been very busy lately. One of the doctors asked me today, “Are you guys bringing more kids than you used to?!” It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the sheer magnitude of need, but then you think about the individual, like when I saw Dleza today and we hadn’t seen each other in a few days, we collided into a hug. You remember each child has hopes, fears, likes, dislikes, a past and a future, and all of this is known by God. If He even takes care of the sparrows we have nothing to fear, for we are worth more than many sparrows to Him. And that’s when I think what a privilege this is: to know Dleza, and to become as close as family. Please pray for Dleza and her brother to be open to Jesus our redeemer, and that He would guide the doctors in her cath on Tuesday.
After a long day of tests and waiting, Dleza got admitted to Sheba Medical Center tonight, with plans for a heart catheterization tomorrow morning.
During her stay at Shevet, we have seen how Dleza tires very easily, gets headaches, and her oxygen levels are in the 60’s and 70’s. She points to her fingernails and lips, and sadly says, “blue.”
We believe that this precious Yezidi refugee was brought here for a purpose, and that she and her brother will see the love of Christ while here. Dleza has a sweet spirit, helps out in caring for and playing with the toddlers, and loves to hang out with some of the Shevet staff.
To boost her spirits during the long wait for admission, we went to the Sheba pharmacy, then to the McDonald’s next door, so she could experience her first McFlurry.
Please pray for peace, and for good news for Dleza and her family.
Dleza is a really beautiful and sweet girl. She is like a big sister for our babies here and she always wants to help us with everything we need. Today we had the pleasure of taking her and her brother to Sheba hospital for her first assessment. She was a little anxious, because she knows that her heart is not healthy. In the hospital they performed an echo – she was so shy and nervous – and then they did a ECG, checked vital signs.
The doctor checked the echo and the report and told us that for now she needs a cath to gather more information, and after that they will decide the next step. Praise the Lord our new volunteer can speak Kurdish and English so she was able to translate everything. Please pray for her cath to be scheduled soon.
Beautiful Dleza arrived in Israel this morning, the only girl of the group, and accompanied by her brother. She is 13 years old and I have already really enjoyed getting to know her.
She greeted me so politely saying, “how are you?” in English. She was stable from our assessments at the airport and we brought her home. She is so friendly and really lovely with the babies in the house already! She is also able to speak Arabic and some English in addition to Kurdish, and so between these three languages we have managed to have a lovely chat together about our families and so on.
Dleza is going to be going to the hospital on Tuesday for her first assessment, and so please pray for her to feel peace as she settles in, and for God’s blessing over her time at the hospital.