Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 NIV

Today, after nearly three months in Sheba Hospital, three surgeries and a successful course of rehabilitation, Ahmed has finally been discharged to Gaza.

When I entered the hospital this morning, I found Ahmed’s mom waiting for me in front of the ward, happily waving with the discharge report for Ahmed.

It was very sweet the way all the nurses of floor three came with us outside to wave goodbye to Ahmed.

Ahmed arrived from Gaza exactly one week after I started my time at Shevet and was the first child that I collected from Erez.  I still remember how we were playing together in the waiting area and how much he smiled on that day. In all the time after his surgery that he was not doing well, it was so hard to visit him in the hospital and to see how he was not reacting at all to what was happening around him.

Probably we can’t even imagine how hard it had to be for his loving mother, who stayed so faithfully and patiently with him for such a long time. But even though the circumstances have been everything but easy, she was nearly always smiling at us and full of joy and hope. This made me think a lot about the fact that also our joy should not be dependent on our circumstances, but should be inspired by and from God.

To make this day perfect, when we were leaving the hospital, and after Ahmed’s being three months in the hospital,  he was again smiling at me and was the happy little boy I remembered from the first time I saw him. Ahmed will come back in one month for a neurological and cardiac appointment.

The only thing that we can do now is rejoice and thank God for all he has done in the life of this boy!