Going home

Tonight, after two surgeries and nearly seven months in Israel, our sweet friend Hena is boarding a plane to go back home to Kurdistan!

Possibly no one is more excited than her uncle, who expected to be in Israel for a couple of months, but has patiently stayed the course and taken wonderful care of his little niece. At the farewell party for them this afternoon, it was repeated over and over how beautiful it’s been to see his love for her over these past few months. Some of the staff at Sheba were surprised to learn that he is her uncle and not her father because of how lovingly he has cared for her.

Between a farewell party and the drive to the airport, we made a quick trip to the beach, where Hena’s uncle was eager to get lots of photos with her to celebrate their last evening in Jaffa.

The time we’ve gotten to spend with these two has truly been a beautiful gift. I’ll miss coming into our staff apartment most days to find Hena smiling and giggling in her stroller. Some of us remarked tonight that Hena’s uncle has become like a brother to us, and we’ll miss our conversations with him just as much as we miss playing with Hena.

Most of all, though, we are so thankful for Hena’s growth and healing and that she is well enough to go home to her parents and siblings. God willing, she will return to Israel in six months for a third surgery to correct her heart condition. Until then, praise God that she can be home with her family, and we look forward to seeing her again!