Please pray for beautiful Hala and for the doctors to have wisdom as they discuss her case. We praise God for the connections and doors He has opened to continue to allow these precious children to find the help they need. Not one of these is forgotten by our loving Father.
During the ambulance trip to Sheba Medical Center, Habiba started to deteriorate, and needed to be brought urgently to the first hospital outside of the Gaza border. They stopped at a hospital in Ashkelon, where the pediatric cardiac staff treated her until they deemed her stable enough to transport the rest of the way to Sheba Medical.
Habiba and her mother arrived at Sheba and were brought to the neonatal ICU, but within a few hours this beautiful nine day-old-baby passed away.
Today Colin and I met her mother right outside the doors of the Sheba infant ward. As we received this woman who seemed to bear the weight of the world on her shoulders, it struck both of us that all around us were families wheeling their newborns out of the ward and extended families coming to meet their grandchildren for the first time.
Habiba’s mum’s eyes were clouded with disbelief. Nine days of life and now no more. After obtaining the necessary papers, we drove to the morgue to bring her body back to Gaza. She was in a blanket inside a box small enough to hold shoes.
Please pray for her and for the authorities which decide the quarantine, if they may be stirred by mercy to shorten her quarantine term or make some allowances or forego it all together. Whatever happens, Lord, we pray you would be with her. May the hope of the resurrection be hers through our Messiah. For the words that the angels at the tomb of Jesus spoke to the women, those words are for Habiba as well. Though her body lies in Jerusalem, “she is not there, she has risen.”
The three children Majd, Merfat, and Amjad from Gaza were admitted to Wolfson Medical Center for heart operations.
Eleven-year-old Amjad was calm and ready for his second operation. His father, a surgeon himself, was very kind and helpful to the other families. Please pray for peace and strength for these three children and their families.
She was diagnosed with PDA and needed to come from Gaza as soon as possible, so thank God that she is here and in the capable and caring hands of the team at Wolfson!
My day at Wolfson started quite delayed. Due to complications, the families arrived a little late. Since we had eleven families today, the room in Wolfson was packed. But even though there wasn’t a lot of space the families were joyful and created a lovely atmosphere.
Malek is only three months old, but she was already responding to my facial expressions and she eventually started laughing. Since her mum spoke very good English, she told me that this had been her first laugh. Being here with these families is such a privilege especially being able to witness special moments like this first laugh. It is such a beautiful experience and such a blessing.
After this beautiful start of the day, I got to know the other children. Our encounters started out mostly shy, but ended in laughter and fun. The families were in a good mood and seemed to enjoy their time, even though they had to be in a foreign place and hospital.
My day was especially blessed by a fourteen year old girl named Shoreg. At the beginning of the day she was spending her time on the phone and did not want to color or do something else. As I approached her later and tried to have a conversation with her, she opened up and asked me to color with her. As we started to clolor, we gained the interest of two more girls, and ended up with all of us coloring together. It was beautiful to spend this time with them, and especially to be able to talk to the older girl.
At the end of the day, three girls had created unique masterpieces and I felt so blessed to be a part of their experience at Wolfson. In these moments it seems surreal to think about how different their childhood is. I don’t know what they are experiencing day by day inside Gaza. All I can do is use these few hours that I get to see them, for practical interaction and to pray for them. While we were coloring, I was singing silently some prayers over their lives. I witness how beautiful and uniquely God has created every child, and I pray that somehow they will be drawn to him and will someday step into His loving arms.
Today was definitely my nicest experience ever in the Gaza clinic. I can’t put into words how much I love, love, love these kids and their mums. Spending time with these beautiful children is nothing but balm for the soul.
The morning was crazy busy. The echo department was overflowing with people from all over the world. Of course mainly children from Gaza and the West Bank, but also from Ethiopia. In addition, there where reporters who interviewed the people the doctors, nurses and 0ther hospital staff. It has always been a great help and joy to work with the hospital staff at Wolfson Medical Center. It’s so lovely how different organizations work together to help these children.
Today’s visit included roughly seven children from The Gaza Strip who received permission to come to the Wolfson hospital. Four were admitted for a catheterization or surgery, the other three were given follow up appointments.
Of this group, my best friend became most definitely seven year old Ahmed.
When I saw him first he looked so hardcore. But as soon as we arrived to the children’s unit, he started to weep. He was so terrified. I sat next to him and took him in my arms but he wouldn’t stop. The mum asked if we could tell him that he will only have a catheterization and not a surgery. But the Arabic nurse (which was so loving and helpful) saidshe wouldn’t lie to him. I told her how much I appreciate that. What amazed and surprised me was that during his blood test the twelve year old boy didn’t make a sound. He was so so brave. It was quite hard for me to leave him and his beautiful mum. She took some pictures of me and her son and some selfies before I left.
Another special moment was when I was holding Mohammed. His mum gave him to someone else and he stared crying so I offered to take him. He didn’t stop looking at me and when I started singing he moved his little legs to the beat.
Our day at Gaza Clinic started with a time of waiting as the families arrival was delayed. The Echo Area of Wolfson Hospital and it’s grey walls seemed empty and lifeless as we were sitting there, but this feeling changed in a second as the nine families arrived. The Kids, even though being shy at the beginning, brought such beauty into this area and as the time progressed joyful smiles lit up the room.
We gave the children colouring pens and books and quickly discovered some talented artists who coloured flowers and cars. But their creativity was not limited to a piece of paper. The “Save a child’s heart” volunteers had brought a game that Sahar used to create a beautiful picture with colorful sticks. Her beautiful smile grew wider as she was able to forget about being in the hospital and just let her creativity out. Sahar also engaged in solving a jigsaw puzzle with Almuth.
Little Narbil, who was not very happy about being in the Hospital, seemed to forget about that while using water-colours. His eyes were filled with pride as he showed the picture to his mum. The black and white car on his paper had turned into a colorful racing car.
One of the elder boys was able to speak English so we talked to him. He told us that his aunt spoke English and that he enjoyed learning and speaking the language. He and his father were great translators for the rest of the group which was a huge blessing for us as well.
As the day ended, Narbil stayed at the Hospital for a Cath. Two Boys – both named Yahya – and one girl named Batul came over to the Shevet home to stay with us for a few days before they go into their procedures.
The day at the Wolfson Gaza clinic today felt less like a day at the hospital and more like a family reunion.
The clinic seemed to bring so many people together from so many different backgrounds. At the beginning of the day, two “clowns” came to visit, handing out toys and blowing bubbles everywhere. Then later, some young people from an Israeli organisation also joined us, handing out colouring pages and pens.
It has been a few months since I was at a Gaza clinic. I remember the hustle and bustle of many families packed into the waiting area, the constant flow of Arabic, and many children running around. Today, Ruth and I and a visiting nurse, Lindsay, were in the midst of everything at Wolfson. Nine families came to the hospital, two for the first time! Out of the nine children three were admitted to the hospital, one for a catheterization, and two for surgery!
Soha, Zaina and Yousef, the three children who were admitted, are all a bit older, and for much of the time that we were there, we played with them. Soha had her own coloring book which she brought, so she colored a beautiful picture of a floral bouquet.
Zaina, who was of a similar age to Soha, drew a poignant picture of herself, studying at a desk with the Palestinian and Israeli flags jointly in the background.
Zaina eventually joined Ruth and I at a puzzle that took us most of the day to finish, but we were victorious in its completion!
Although we couldn’t have done it without Yousef and some of the mothers.
Yasmine was a beautiful baby who was there for an echo, she reminded me a lot of our coworkers’ daughter, River, who is also learning to walk, and eager to test out her legs at every opportunity!
She was one of two babies, the other was a four month old named Muhammed. It was his first time, and he enjoyed the comfort of his grandmother’s arms, although he cried during his echo, he was soothed by his blanket from home and his pacifier.
I’m so thankful for the time today, initially being with so many people is overwhelming, but I find every time, that the Holy Spirit directs me in interacting with each child; the people of Gaza are beautiful, I know Ruth and I truly felt the love of God for the kids today, and in that way, every moment was a
Today was a very special day at the Wolfson clinic. Only four children had permission to come today, which meant we could spend a lot of time with each of them and their mothers.
Lila was a slightly older girl, wearing a beautiful pink cardigan. She was tired and quite shy, particularly in the packed ward at the start of the day. After her assessment she fell fast asleep in her mother’s lap. Once she’d woken up she did a little bit of coloring with us and seemed to really enjoy the colorful bouncy balls we’d brought.
The fourth mother will really stick with me. She didn’t seem well herself, and seemed so worried and weary. Her eight month old daughter was so beautiful and curious about the world around her. She was completely in love with Joela (one of our volunteers) – breaking into an enormous smile when she saw her face. I can’t put into words how special it was to watch her face light up with joy.
I always see a change in the children at the Gaza clinic. They arrive to this strange and unfamiliar place understandably quite quiet and shy. As the day goes on, shy smiles turn to laughter; fear gradually begins to melt away.
A little group of us sat in the middle of the crowded waiting room – colouring, making pipe-cleaner people and lollypop animals, designing paper planes and stacking dominos. Soon the room was filled with shouts of “طائرة” (tayira – plane) and an array of colourful artwork. To be honest, I had just as much fun as the children! They are such a huge blessing to be with; I feel so refreshed and joyful after spending time with them.
It was beautiful to see the mums smile as they watched their children get lost in the fun of the moment. I felt them relax a bit as children played and Archie handed out the food we had brought. What is it Jesus promises us? He gives us peace – not as the world gives it. The gift of his perfect love casts out fear. When I see fear disappear and joy spread among these families I know it’s not because of the colouring sheets and dominos, or even the pitta bread. It’s because God is at work in their lives. Every week I am in awe as I watch him at work.
It was lovely to chat to the mums a little bit, despite the language barrier. They are so kind and gentle, and they have a great love for their children. As I was talking to some of them, Archie spent some time getting to know the paediatric cardiologist from Gaza. They got on really well and the doctor insisted on getting a photo with Archie afterwards
Somewhere in the middle of a thousand smiles, God’s love speaks. Breaking through language and culture, borders and fears, his love cuts through. It is deep, powerful and limitless.
Please pray that God will keep moving in the lives of these families and they will know how much they are loved by him.
Lovely Sewar, a one year old girl from Gaza, had a post operative follow up echo. Frank and I picked up both Sewar and her Grandmother from the Erez border to take them to Sheba hospital today. Even though she was in Israel before, I hadn’t met her yet. Sewar was very attached to her grandma, and from the comfort of her arms, would often doze off or else smile at us when looking around. Frank made wonderful company for them as I ran around the hospital trying to find milk because they couldn’t bring their own through security back at the border. It was cool in these small instances to see God provide for even the small needs that are pertinent to how the day goes.
Sewar had a wonderful echo, although she didn’t like having it done. The results were so good that the doctor prescribed she follow up with a cardiologist in Gaza six months from now and come back to Sheba in one year for another check up! We drove them back to the border and said goodbye there; it was a beautiful day with only good news for Sewar, I’m so thankful for all this day has brought.
Seraj traveled to the hospital today for a follow-up echo, after a pulmonary artery balloon valvuloplasty. Seraj’s echocardiogram revealed good results from the previous catheterization, and has been cleared to return to Gaza with no restrictions.
Seraj and his father were brought to the hospital by a family friend who first befriended Seraj’s sister 8 years ago. The family friend established rapport with his sister, who is very kind and smart. She has overcome many obstacles, including adjusting to life despite being blind. Seraj’s sister is one of eight of the many gifts from God. Seraj is one of three boys, and his sister is one of five girls. Seraj is the youngest child. Every child is a gift from God.
Please continue to pray for Seraj and his family as he continues to grow!
We arrived at the Gaza clinic at the same time the families did this morning, we passed off the blood they brought to Colin to be shipped off for testing, and shepherded our little group up to the echo waiting area.
It is mostly a long narrow hallway which makes it tough to interact with everyone, but we made it work. We passed out the sandwiches we had made and some apples and helped get everyone settled. There’s a wide array of faces in our group today, some sleeping babies, some timid and shy, and some smiling brightly, but all thankful to be here! Tuqa chatters with Lisa because she can speak some English, and Lisa gets a chance to practice her new Arabic speaking skills as well!
It’s so much fun entertaining them with pop up toys and wind up trains and watching the delight and surprise on their small faces. Alah loves the handmade teddy bear I hand him, and as I hand it to him I think of how many prayers have already been prayed over this little bear by the hands of someone who made it with love, and will never get to meet the recipient, but shares our Father’s love for them. Each child gets some little thing to take home, some get games, some stamps or drawing supplies, and some stuffed animals or dolls.
We had a great time coloring, doing crafts, and putting together a puzzle. I pray continually throughout the day that our Father will touch each life and use something we say or do to draw them to the Savior.
As the day goes on each family goes in and the others wait. We enjoyed a delicious lunch, yet another gift from our loving Father because he loves to bless his children just because he can.
We visited with the Dr who accompanied the children today, he is a pediatric cardiologist from Gaza and longtime friend of Jonathan and Yusef who spent his whole day here with these families to get their children the help they need.
By afternoon nearly everyone is finished and we round everyone up to head out to the van that will return them to Gaza. Colin returns with the ice packs to give back to them and they are on their way. We return home with full hearts praying for the hearts of each person we helped today. May God continue to work in each life and each family!
Hassan came to Sheba today for a follow up apointment after his previous discharge. This was my first time meeting him and his aunt; I was so touched by them both. Hassan’s aunt had the most beautiful smile – the kind that lights up a room and makes everyone else want to smile too. Every time she looked at him, even in his tearful moments, she couldn’t help but smile. Her love for little Hassan was written all over her face.
I only had a short time with Hassan and his aunt today; after the appointment, they returned to Gaza. Yet even in this short encounter, they left an impression – Hassan with his big round eyes, soaking in the world around him, his aunt with her gentleness and love. They are two very special people.
Please continue to pray for Hassan’s health. Pray that God would bless him and his family and that they would know God’s love for them.
With open arms and hearts we welcomed Hussein and his grandma in the morning at the Gaza border to bring them to the hospital for a Follow-up. What a privilege to meet them again and to see how our loved little patient is developing!
He has grown quite a bit since he left the hospital 43 days ago! But even more we recognized that he got much stronger. When our lovely boy was laying on the doctor’s couch during his Echo, he didn’t stop wildly moving around. He just continued having fun moving his two little arms as well as his tiny legs and larger head. He looked like he wanted to swim in the air!
But what we were most amazed about is his handsome smile. He also improved his charming smiling skills in Gaza. Little Hussein smiled a lot and therefore not only our hearts were touched, but he melted the hearts of the doctors, other patients and their parents as well! He really has a reason to be happy since he is doing very well. The result of his Echo is great! Praise God, the doctor was very satisfied. Also the cute Grandmother was in a very happy mood today. She seemed to wear her best clothes and showed such a joy to see the country outside of Gaza. Our beloved Grandma even asked me to bring her to Jerusalem for one or two days…
Thank God for his healing and caring for Hussein and his family! Please continue to bring them to God in your prayers.
Seven children had permission to come for appointments in Israel today. Despite the chaos of the crowded Wolfson waiting room, there was an underlying sense of peace, like God’s signature – written across every smile and every conversation.
“Holy is the Lord God Almighty; the Earth is filled with his glory”. The words of the song Julio had sung this morning kept going round and round in my head. My hope was for the children and their families to experience something of this incredible truth in their short time here. I felt very aware that those few hours were an opportunity for us to show something of God’s love for them.
From the first moment she arrived, Ramas didn’t stop smiling. She came to sit next to next to me with such amazing confidence and was so excited when I brought out the colouring. It was lovely to see the happiness Abear and Ramas found colouring together. Like little artists they brought the pictures to life and smiles to their mother’s faces.
Meanwhile, Lisa spent a lot of time sitting with Halima and Noor, holding these beautiful babies and talking to their mothers. It was obvious when we waved goodbye later that this time had meant a lot to them; though it was brief, their smiles spoke of their appreciation for the love we had shown.
Sitting with Nabeel, watching his shyness transform into a radiant joy, filled me with a tremendous sense of wonder and fulfilment. His eyes seemed to dance around the room as we watched the little paper aeroplane glide past his tired mother. As it hit the floor, he erupted into squeals of laughter, excitedly sending it on its return flight.
Watching nearby, Zena soon joined in the fun. Eventually tired of colouring and paper aeroplanes, we moved on to playing “bus”, using the plastic hospital chairs. Nabeel took the role of bus driver very seriously, directing us to our seats and even asking for our bus fare.
Bringing light out of darkness, healing out of pain, joy out of fear – this is the heart of God, the very essence of his character. His wax seal on the envelope of every day are these gifts, the fruits on the spirit I see him pouring out abundantly. It is so hard to see the pain these children are in. The severity of their conditions is not something you can miss. Yet we must cling to God, the anchor for our souls, trusting that he is still working for good.
Our day at the Gaza clinic at Wolfson can only be described as an adventure. As we only had six children with appointments it was decided to travel to the border and pick the children up rather than the children arriving in a taxi. This meant we took two cars with Jana and myself taking the first three children while Yousef and Moshe waited behind until the remaining children were able to make the crossing. This was not without its challenges.
I have never been to the Wolfson hospital and Jana had to get fuel which meant she dropped the children, their accompanying adult and myself at the front entrance. We went to go through the security gate but where directed to the main security checkpoint which Yana had told me we do not use. The children’s and women’s visas were taken and we waited.
And waited. By this point I was worried and madly praying that the security would let us through so that the children could go to their appointments, some of which were urgent. And so we waited some more and then amazingly the senior security officer let us through. Even though it was frustrating that we were made to wait, I was amazed at how helpful everyone was, they were just doing their job, protecting everyone in the hospital, even us. Goodness knows what we looked like, three lost looking women with children followed by a bewildered, out of place Australian.
Once we arrived at the hospital we then had to navigate the through the maze of corridors which is Wolfson hospital. Luckily the women knew the general direction and after an accidental detour we made it to the correct clinic where Jana and later Yousef met us with the rest of children.
It was a busy day at the clinic, the children had fun playing in the morning, many of them enjoying the colouring and games Jana had brought.
Four of the children were admitted, only one of which had been planned. Normally the children have an ECG and an echo before returning home so the fact they were admitted is of concern. As we learn more we will keep the Shevet community updated.
In the afternoon they became tired and took naps until a final burst of energy and then beginning the long trek back to Gaza.
On our way to Wolfson this morning I prayed that God would give us favor for the children there and that he would show us how to treat them with love. Therefore I’m so grateful that the atmosphere in the hospital was so lovely today. Seven beautiful children from Gaza got permission to come. They were all so calm and happy.
Ahmad loved to take pictures.
And Alaa is a talented painter.
Ragaey was so cute, he jumped around like a ninja.
Most of the children only had an evaluation or a follow up to make sure everything is alright. However Alaa and Ragaey had been admitted for a cath and a surgery. Besides I was very happy to see Asaed again.
A few days ago I picked him and his grandmother up from the border to bring them to Wolfson. Asaed had a successful cath yesterday. Please keep him in your prayers as he is having a fever and needs to stay a little longer in the hospital.
In the afternoon Ahmad’s dad wanted to buy some food so he just handed his sleeping baby over to me. It was very lovely to hold the little one and sing to him: “The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
Thank you, God, for this blessed day at Wolfson!
As it was the first time that I went to the Gaza Clinic at the Wolfson hospital today I was a little worried. I didn’t know what to expect.
The beautiful children that I met at the entrance of the hospital made me feel better. Especially Sami who couldn’t stop smiling at me.
Seven children had gotten permission to come. Most of them at the age of two or younger. I was very happy to meet Fatima, who is working in the Gaza Clinic. She answered all the questions I had and told me among other things that four of the children already had their surgery.
The afternoon was very quiet and peaceful. While earlier in the day, some of the children cried a lot as they felt uncomfortable getting the sedation for their echo, many of them slept in the afternoon. It was lovely to color with the others. And little one year old Jana really enjoyed playing with a balloon.
Thank you God for making it possible that so many of this beautiful children can come to this hospital to get their medical treatment! I proclaim healing over each one of them!
There was a lovely atmosphere at the Gaza Clinic at Wolfson hospital today. We were blessed to have 3 toddlers with us who all enjoyed playing together, colouring and occasionally trying to eat a crayon or two when their mums weren’t looking!
Firstly there was Jamal, he has an older brother in Gaza and the two love to play on the beach together. Jamal’s echo today was to investigate next steps for surgery. He has some medicine before the echo which made him sleep throughout.
Beautiful Arwa apparently has changed a lot since she first came to Wolfson. She now is able to walk and is very happy in herself. She had fun rearranging the furniture today in the waiting area. She had a good echo.
Yemen has 1 brother and 3 sisters and is a very confident 1 year old. He enjoyed pretending to be on the phone with big puzzle pieces and laughed a lot as we played catch. He has already had his surgery and he had a good echo today.
Mohammed is a very sweet 7 year old. He was very worried to be in the hospital and cried a little as he waited for his echo. However, we were able to see his lovely smile and laugh as we played with some bubbles in the waiting area. At home he is not yet able to go to school but he attends a day care.
Finally, Mariam came to Wolfson today to be admitted for surgery. She is a beautiful hound baby and she was really taken with a little knitted octopus we had with us today. Please pray for her surgery this week.
We are so grateful to God for the opportunity to be able to meet these lovely people from Gaza. Please pray for the healing of the children today, for the medical team at Wolfson and for ease of movement for these families as they travel to and from Gaza.
As you can read in the title, we felt really blessed to have this lovely day with lovely parents and kids today.
Sadly, out of eight children, who have been invited to Wolfson hospital, only four showed up today. The other four, so 50%, did not get their permission to leave Gaza. This maybe does not sound too bad as it would “only“ pop up once a time. But unfortunately, it seems that the percentage of kids without permission has slowly increased within many months. So if you have those Gaza children on your heart, one thing you can pray for are the permissions – one of the most important steps to be able to help them.
However, today we welcomed four lovely families. Deiaa, Nour and Salma were our older children between the age of seven and eleven years. They were all really busy playing with all the different toys we took with us. So it’s been so nice watching them painting together, puzzling patiently, building creatures with lego and being just in their own small world. We also played frisbee and another game together and it’s been really nice seeing them playing so calm and peacefully with one another. Also one of their mums could speak English and has been so open for any question. I felt so blessed to talk with her.
Our smallest guest has been our wonder Akram. As I’ve seen his grandmother walking down the corridor she was smiling and I came, hugging her with an extra long kiss at the end. When I first met Akram October last year, he was in such a terrible condition. So small, blue and only one month old. His grandmother cried desperately as the doctors did not know whether he was operable. They even had phone meetings with New Yorker and Londoner physicians to receive advice about his case. After this intense process, they agreed to try to operate him as their first kind of this operation they ever did. And now look at him. He is doing so well with his chubby cheeks and his nice skin color. Even their doctors were so excited seeing him and called other doctors to see him. Praise God! Only he did this miraculous healing in this boys life. Thank you God for what you did for Akram! All four of them could go home with good echo reports. Let’s also thank God for his healing and his love for each an every child around the world!
Today, we had the pleasure to meet six precious children from Gaza. Four children came at first and as we just left two more rushed in, happy to finally reach the hospital.
First of all, our beautiful Ali. He was a bit unsure and unhappy when he arrived. But after his treatments he was very happy and enjoyed painting, eating his pita and especially moving a sticker around his fingers, face and tummy.
He has already received one cath and a surgery and will stay for another surgery.
Yousef with big brown eyes and a huge smile looked around the room and laughed at us all. He is so active, cheerful and it’s difficult to believe that he is sick at all. Still the echo didn’t looked perfect, so they are thinking about a surgery for him.
Hashim was easily amused with some crayons and a picture to color in. And once he had finished his treatments he enjoyed the chocolate and licked the last of it off the wrapper which he stucked to his face. The chocolate spread all offer his big smiling face. That brought a smile to all of us watching and especially to his mother.
Eleas was our oldest boy, already ten years old. He has been monitored since birth and has been declared fit for sport and unrestricted way of life, his father told us.
He was thankful that his son has not required any surgery.
Later on, as we were just about to leave, two more kids rushed in. One is the beautiful four and a half months old Mira.
The other one is our toddler Qusi.
We were really happy for them to get permission and having the chance to receive echoes. You can pray for good results, also for the two of them.
It is a privilege to support their parents when they are in this stressful situation. We meet some very lovely people this way. May God protect them and touch their lives.
Praise God for a wonderful Gaza clinic! Most of the Gazans that came out were follow up appointments, so six of the children had echoes. But one girl, a 22 year old named Hadeel, was admitted for a battery change in her pacemaker, so please be praying that the procedure would be free of complications and her time in Israel would even bring the joy of the Lord to her life. The follow-up echoes were all good news!
A toddler named Sham had her first echo since her surgery a month ago, she came out with her aunt, and sweet 24 year old named Souzan had a very good appointment, the doctors were well pleased with her continued progress! The doctors also gave good reports for Aisha, Hanan, Salma, and Hayat who will have varying future follow-up echoes, but praise God their health is good and please pray with us for continued healing! All in all it was a beautiful day.
Adrie and I had the privilege of spending much of the day with Salma and Hayat, who were both around eight years old. We quickly transformed the waiting area into a play area as we spread out paper, pastel crayons, puzzles and dominoes. I almost didn’t bring the dominoes this morning before we left, but thank God the Holy Spirit gave me an inkling to bring them along because some of our most fun moments came from building structures around the teddy bears we gave them and multiple attempts at making a long line of dominoes which inevitably one of us would accidentally knock over.
What a privilege the Father gave us today to interact with these beautiful families and for all the great reports we receive. Thank you Jesus!
It was such a joy today to learn that beautiful Leen would be visiting hospital today. She and her mother are very much loved by our Shevet community as we have had the pleasure of meeting them both many times before. Leen’s mum has such a kind heart and asks after everyone at Shevet by name whenever we see her and today was no exception. Praise God we were actually able to stop quickly at home before going to the hospital today and many people couldn’t resist coming and seeing Leen and giving her mum a big hug.
Today was a wonderful day at Wolfson. The echo clinic was attended by 5 children and their guardians with others present from the West Bank.
Today we had 8 families arrive at the hospital from Gaza for an echocardiogram. These children ranged from only a month old to 11 years, but all of them waited patiently and spent their time talking, coloring, and playing tic-tac-toe.
While we were at the hospital, we brought pitas filled with meat and vegetables to the kids and their families which allowed us to interact with the mothers. These people who made it here are all so strong and we are so thankful to have had the opportunity to make an impact for Christ while also being impacted.
From Volunteer Amanda:
My time was mainly spent with Hala. Hala is 6 years old and has such a sweet demeanor!
When I first learned her name and introduced myself, a small smile lit up her face. We were able to color together and she colored in lots of red tigers, black and pink birds, and many other animals found on Noah’s Ark. I’m very thankful to have had this time to spend with her today.
From Volunteer Meredith:
Today I spent most of my time with Tala. She is ten years old. She was shy when I first approached her but quickly warmed up to me once we started playing tic-tac-toe!
She even beat me two times! She understood a little of English so we were able to talk a little and laugh together. She was so sweet and had such a genuine smile on her face at all times. She was so mature for her age in the way that she interacted with me and others.
From Volunteer Magda:
I spent quite a lot of the time with Reeta, a 2.5 month old baby.
She was very cute and wore a cheetah-print onesie even though it wasn’t that cold today. Her grandma managed to get her some milk from the hospital which they will take back with them to Gaza. Reeta slept the majority of the time so I was able to use the time and have a little chat with her grandma.
Today arrived also an urgent girl from Gaza that should have had already surgery two years ago.
Please pray that she will be able to get her treatment very soon and that it will be successful.
Sham has finished her surgeries in Israel. She has traveled today via ambulance to another hospital in Gaza. She still has some significant difficulties; today her oxygen went as low as 40%. She has a tracheotomy and feeding tube, and the medical team predict that she will be requiring long term care.
Today for Gaza clinic we were anticipating a large group of children however only 2 children were able to come for an appointment. Both Malik and Saleh had an echo and ECG.
Malik is a 10-year-old clever girl who I had the pleasure of coloring with while we waited for her appointment. Today’s appointment was a simple follow-up for surgeries that she had when she was younger. Her results showed that her heart is still well-functioning, and she does not require any further intervention besides regular follow-up.
Saleh is a quiet 12-year-old boy who had a very sweet mum that helped us a lot with her English skills. His appointment was also a follow-up from surgeries when he was younger. His results showed that he will need surgical repair in the future. The doctors will continue checking his heart every six months with the plan to repair his heart in two years time.
Praise God that they both continue in good health! Please continue to pray for their futures and for the families that were unable to come for appointments today.
Today, we had the chance to get to know our Gaza families for the first time. Seven families, we welcomed in the morning and another one, our urgent Mohammed, came later. Two girls, our three-year-old Hoda and seven-year-old Heyat, will stay for their catherizations.
Our first impression of the Gaza children was that they looked happy and healthy. We did not expect them to look like that, because of their sickness and diseases. So it was really encouraging for us to see them!
Dima, who was nine years old, came with her mother. She has some speaking difficulties but that does not hinder her from being really happy and commanding us to take pictures with us. She had a lot of pictures on her phone which she liked to show us. It was her way of communicating and showing what she felt. She was very happy about getting attention from us and, even though she was in a difficult situation, it was not taking her down.
We also met two other one-year-old boys, Abd Allah and Yazan. Both of them have had surgeries, so they came for check-ups. The echos went well and they can go home safe.
At one o‘clock also our urgent child Mohammed arrived.
He is suffering a lot from his heart disease and therefore needs a surgery really soon. So God will, he will receive his open heart surgery next month.
Please pray for those children and their families as they are going trough a tough time even at the beginning of their lives. May God completely heal them and give them hope for the future. We also pray that he will comfort the families who recently lost one of their children, may he touch their hearts! Please also remember Yousif and Amar in your prayers as they are giving their best and doing such an hard, intense and challenging work with everything included the treatments of those families.
Being at Sheba hospital today, I was quite happy to see Sham again. The last time I saw her, her heartbeat was really high and her oxygen extremely low. But now, after an intensive care and many treatments, she is looking a bit better. Sham is still at the ICU. Today, she received a catheterization and a small surgery to put her dislocated vein from the heart to the lungs in the right position. And – thank God- they succeeded! A small step forward is done today for her. Now she is stable, but her grandmother is really exhausted. Please include little Sham and especially her family in your prayer. But please also remember the hospital team of Sheba Medical Center. They are really doing everything which is possible to save the live of each single child, no matter how big or small the success rate is. We can really thank God for leading all those people in this hospital and giving them so much encouragement, passion and patience to work as nurses, secretaries, charladies, doctors or anyone else to help those precious children.
Today, we welcomed quite a few active and sweet kids, their lovely guardians, and we had a nice day together. All of them came for follow-ups and – thank God – also everyone received good news. The echoes went well.
Most of the time, the waiting area was a big mess with toys everywhere and the children sitting right in the middle. But I found it nice just to distract the children and not let them feel the weight of being in the hospital. It also passed the waiting more quickly.
One of our artists was 6 year-old Moortaz. As you see in the picture, he was really precise. Also he gave a wonderful, unbiased smile.
Our little “doctora’s” name was Baraa. She really likes to play being doctor. In the end, we adults had received a full check-up by this 6-year-old girl. Fortunately, we are all well according to her examination.
The last girl I would like to mention is 4-year-old Laian. From beginning to the end, she kept a bit quiet. But she really got us with her beautiful, shy smile and her bright eyes. She also liked to paint, but enjoyed being a doctor too.
At all, we had a nice time together. Please pray for those families as they have to undergo quite a long procedure to attend examinations. And please also pray for all those families who could not come today. May God shine through us and cross all walls of language, prejudice and culture.
Today, we had a good time with our Gaza families. Nine families arrived at Wolfson this morning. Three of them, we accompanied to the admission so they will receive catherizations the following days. One child, our five-month-old Ibrahim, we also took there.
He will have his big cardiac surgery soon. It was really nice to comfort him. During the walk to their room he cried a lot. When we arrived we tried to calm him with giving milk, taking off some layers of cloths and changing his diaper – nothing worked. But when Diana turned her music on and started to dance and sing it really calmed him. He stopped crying and smiled constantly. Such a sweet boy.
Another patient we guided to her room was our 16-year-old Rawa:
Tomorrow, she will receive her eighth catherization. She also has had three open heart surgeries. But still she is not feeling well. Please pray for her as she undergoes another treatment. We pray this will totally heal her and help her return to full strength.
In comparison to the calm of Rawa, 8-year-old Mai was very anxious about her catherization tomorrow:
Her father tried his best to calm her, but she also needs our prayers.
Also we really had a good time with the others families at the waiting area while they waited for their echos. At the beginning some kids were a bit shy but at the end we all played together. Even Yousef joined us and we played different games with balloons:
Also we played with blocks, coloring books and a German game called Mikado. We laughed a lot.
Aisha, we found as sweet as we know her trough all her time at Wolfson. We had a beautiful time with our her. Also her lovely mother is much better.
She smiled all the time. It filled our hearts with joy and tenderness. But, the best new was, that she was discharge from the hospital. So, we help her mother to carry all of her staff to the taxi that would take them home. During all the time her mom was very happy. Aisha herself will have a follow up in one month.
The day was really amazing. We enjoyed each moment that God gave us and also we can thank god for the good echos for every child. But please do not forget to also keep our admitted kids in your prayers. May God will strengthen them and restore their hearts.
A successful day at Wolfson!
Today, we welcomed seven families from Gaza. Four of them had quiet young children between six and twelve months. Also a two-year-old girl and a eleven- and 19-year-old boy joined the group. This week all of them came only for echos.
Here some examples:
One-year-old Asil was a really shy girl. Because we blew bubbles she slowly warmed up. At the end she smiled a lot and was trying to speak with her baby talk.
Our next sweet patient was Sharif, one of those kids, who grow up in very difficult circumstances. Being pregnant and already having three other children, her mother lost her husband. He passed away. Please pray for them.
Nawal, an active cute two-year-old girl, played a lot with us. The small chalkboard was her favorite toy. She really loved the different colors and carefully explained me the name of every color in Arabic.
Last but not least, we had lots of fun with Marwan, an-one-year old boy. We played with a ball and he even tried to walk his first steps. He slowly ate his pita bread with pleasure, so sweet!
We really spent a nice time together.