Asmaa is admitted

As our community morning Bible study came  to a close, Luzma, who was sitting next to me, whispered, “Are you ready to go to the hospital?” That wasn’t what the original daily schedule said, but as with every volunteer, their schedules and most everything can change. In this case, it was decided in the morning, that little Asmaa, who had been exhibiting an unexplained increased rate of breathing, would go into the ER especially because these symptoms have happened before, a few days after her last trip to the ER. I was blessed to go to the hospital with Georgia and two Danish volunteers, Jonas and Carre, along with Khalid’s father, whom Asmaa’s grandma had asked to please come along for translation. We started at the ER, and then after an examination, the doctor sent us up to see a cardiologist at the clinic, which is where we usually work.

Words can’t describe how much we love Asmaa. For much of the time Jonas, Carre and I were with her coloring, and  playing around the hospital. One of my favorite memories of the day was when Asmaa, who was sitting on the table where the echoes are done, saw Jonas in a mirror in front of her. He started doing silly faces and she copied them. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much during these moments. For the echo, Asmaa was consoled by YouTube videos of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ and the cardiologist spoke then with Georgia about the concerns over having Asmaa in Jaffa with serious symptoms. The doctor agreed to admit her to the hospital and hopefully her surgery will be this Sunday.

The sense of community in this day was beautiful, especially Khalid’s father volunteering to stay the long hours to help Asmaa and her grandma. It was also striking to watch the Danish volunteer immediately care for Asmaa, treating her with kindness and gentleness. They were authentically interested in interacting with her and in making her day more beautiful. More than once, I had the thought that they treated her like a princess. At the end of the day, when Asmaa had her room and bed secured, and they were settled in, we said goodbye and Asmaa burst out into tears as we left. It was heartbreaking. I really pray that Asmaa can experience the love of God through us, and that’s why long days at the hospital are a blessing, though it can be tiring, the word that comes to mind is devotion. We are devoted to one another and to the care of these precious kids.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

Georgia brought the car from the garage which had Asmaa’s overnight bag in it. I ran it up to them and gave Asmaa’s grandma one last kiss and hug and gave Asmaa a kiss on the cheek, and then went down to the car, thanking God for this beautiful girl, and praying that her treatment may come soon, and her healing will be complete.