She knows who healed her son

Dear coworkers,

Two weeks ago I wrote you about the Syrian refugee baby Mohammed. His acceptance broke open again the doors to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where management agreed to evaluate Mohammed, although skeptical that he could still be helped after being neglected for so long.

Well this week doctors performed the fateful catheterization to measure Mohammed’s pressures and see if he was still operable. We heard the results Tuesday morning: against all odds they believed his life could still be saved. That same afternoon they rushed him into surgery:

syrian mohammed postop

Today Alena, Mary and Yousef went looking for Mohammed to check on the outcome:  

We went to the room he had been in since his admission, only to find it was empty. A nurse saw our confusion and Yousef asked her where he was, to which she replied that because he is doing so well, he was moved to the fourth floor, which is a pediatric ward. “It is a happy surprise to all of us,” she said with joy. 

When we came to his new room on floor four, Mohammed and his mother were asleep. They woke up in time for the lunch the hospital provides, and it was so nice to see Mohammed and his beautiful mother again. She immediately seemed more relaxed than when we first met, which is probably due to the surgery being over, and Mohammed recovering so well!  Overall, she was shining and joyful, and Mohammed even gave us an elusive smile which I tried to snap a picture of. 

syrian mohammed and mother

While we were with them today, Mohammed had an echo which showed the results of his surgery were very good, but his lung pressure was still high, so they will put him on medicine for that. Please be praying for this treatment to work, high lung pressure is something we’ve all become familiar with because of how often it effects our kids with heart defects. But praise God this didn’t hinder his surgery, and far from it; to everyone’s surprise, this sweet, boy is thriving. 

Before we left, Mohammed’s mum showed a video of a new toy car that his dad got him to ride around the house on. His mum was beaming as the video played.  I can’t imagine her relief, her joy, of thinking of the prospect of going home with her sweet boy, who had made it safely through surgery.

We are indeed familiar with the risks of high lung pressure (pulmonary hypertension). Our miracle boy Zhya was so borderline that cardiologists argued seven weeks ago against taking him to surgery; only the mother and the surgeon had faith to press ahead. And Alena and Virginia were there Thursday when that mother flew home with her beautiful healed son:

zhya flies home

The word privilege scarcely describes what I felt bringing Zhya and his mum to the airport. I was there for his surgery day and I won’t ever forget his mother’s heart wrenching anguish, nor my own hopeless resignation to what most of the doctors said, which was that he would not live. So it’s crazy to think that in those agonizing hours of waiting for Zhya to come out of surgery, God not only saw us there, but He saw us as we were today; Zhya, a little boy so healthy that you wouldn’t guess he ever had open heart surgery, and his mother crying tears of joy as she departed for her gate, to go back home with her son alive and so, so well.

When Zhya and his mum were discharged  back to the Jaffa base after his surgery about one month ago, it was the day of a goodbye party for another child, and Jonathan pointed out the joy surrounding the occasion was all the more increased because Zhya was back at Shevet. His prognosis, which was projected to be death, was miraculous because against all odds it was life…Zhya’s mum agreed with Jonathan at this party, she said that it was Jesus who had heard our prayers. She knows who it was who healed her son and who gave him life.

Friends, you can see how walking together through these situations changes not only the families we serve, but also our own hearts. Last week I updated you on the story of baby Reem from Gaza. Look at the response we received this week from Mikaela from Finland, who volunteered with us seven long years ago:

I just want to thank you for your wonderful Sunday letter which touched me so deeply. The picture of Dan carrying a 4 kg weight to symbolise Reems body sent me into floods of tears. I felt the Father God’s heart for our situation and how powerful intercession really is. I felt God saying that’s how I’ve carried you and your daughter. Our daughter was born 3 months too early 11th May and her due date should have been on the coming Monday. It has been the most difficult, stressful period of my life. We lived in the hospital in the NICU for 2 months and have been home for one month. 


I’ve felt the whole time how we’ve been upheld by people praying fervently for us. The moments I’ve doubted God and felt hopeless he surprises with sending angels to help us to prove to me that I’m not alone. Your letter did just that for me. Everyday seems like a struggle still yet words like yours encourage and bring me so much hope! 

God bless you and the whole Shevet family that I miss dearly, Mikaela 

Friends, we are not alone in this fight. God is with us by his spirit, and he is with us through his living son, and he is with us through the body of believers. Let’s treasure and nurture the relationships he has given us. 

Jonathan for Shevet Achim

“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133).