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.