Returning to Gaza through a forest of green
I was glad to pick up Hassan, the “little parrot” (as I call him) and his father and take them from Hadassah Hospital to Gaza. We had two other children from another hospital with us, so the vehicle was full of new hearts kids.
I call Hassan “little parrot” because he was talking all the time in the car, “Papa papa.” I think Hassan knew he was going back home because he did not stop babbling and smiling all the way.
Actually it was my first time to drive from Hadassah in Jerusalem to the Gaza border, and Google maps took us through an amazing new route through the Jerusalem forest. You can see it from space as the green area in the middle of the country:
Hassan’s father and the other two moms and of course me were so amazed by the beautiful gift that God gave us to see his creation.
As soon as we reached the border the return was not very complicated, praise the Lord. Due to the corona virus crisis the border officer have to check everyone’s temperature before they cross. And finally they were all so happy to get through, then the usual “Yalla, bye or ma asalama (go with peace).
Praise God, doctors at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem decided today that Hassan is well enough to safely return to Gaza! He returned early this evening, where he and his father will have to enter quarantine near the border for three weeks before continuing on to their home. More details on his homegoing tomorrow.
we don’t have too much to report other than to say Hassan looks much better than yesterday! His father wants to go back home as soon as possible, understandably.
Tomorrow will be Hassan’s scheduled Echo, we don’t know the exact time. Depending on the results, they will go home or not. Please pray for a positive Echo result so these two can go home to their family.
A loving but stressed young father met me and co-worker Margarita while entering the Hadassah Hospital room assigned to little baby Hassan today. The father of Hassan was happy to see us and showed us his precious little son. The boy was wired to several machines, and his father let us see the compress over the operation scar.
Through translation on the mobile, we had a good conversation. I encouraged him in his role as a father.
Please pray for this little boy to have a good recovery and to grow strong. He has a father that deeply loves him, and wants to teach him to play football when he grows up.
After his successful cath yesterday, Baby Hassan could finally go home to his mommy today and it was our task to bring him there. But before Anna and I noticed that there is no child seat in our vehicle which we call Junior. After a short brainstorming with the other community members we decided to go to Yad Sarah, where you can borrow anything for rehabilitation and social services. Thanks God, that they had exactly the perfect size for Hassan and so we could start off to Hadassah Hospital of Jerusalem.
As we arrived at the children’s department, Dr. Ibrahim (at right in the picture below) ran straight to our arms and welcomed us: >Shevet Achim, right?<
The discharge report was already finished and he said that they will tell us Hassan’s surgery date after a final meeting. This should be expected in April. Dr. Ibrahim is a really cool guy and he is a big supporter of Shevet Achim. He was excited for our coming and expressed his respect to us.
Now we went finally to Hassan’s room and met the first time this little cute baby with his irresistible smiling and his amazing dad. We informed the dad that we came to bring them home. The first words he told us via Google translater were: >Respect and Love, Thank you!< With this answer we began to see how grateful he is for the help of Shevet Achim.
Dr. Ibrahim explained to the father everything in his language, and he advocated that Hassan receive his medicine supply for the first month from the hospital, because it’s not so easy to get in Gaza. What a blessed man! After one hour of waiting and packing we were ready for discharge and so we started towards border. Baby Hassan had already fallen asleep and probably woke up at home in the arms of his mother.
Please pray for this little fighter and his family, that everything will go well and he will become completely health after his surgery in April. And also thanks for Dr. Ibrahim – he is a great guy, a gifted doctor and exactly the right contact person for our work. God bless him!
I visited Hassan in Hadassah hospital today. His catheterization was scheduled for one o’clock, but they found that Hassan had a bit of flu so they did new blood tests to determine if his cath could be done today or not.
While we waited for the results, Hassan’s father , an Arabic speaker, and I, a Spanish speaker, found that we both could speak in the common language of English. We talked about my beloved Colombia and its soccer players, I was surprised that he knew some names, but then I discovered the reason: he is a soccer player in Gaza! I discovered this when we started using the translator with our cell phones. And with the coming and going of many questions and answers, I also found out that Hassan is his first son.
He is a caring father who does not rest from holding his baby, and who does not let him cry, even for a second and fills him with kisses every time he has opportunity. It made me think of the love of the Father, who filled us with kisses when he sent his Son and who never lets go of his hand.
The wait always seems endless.
This evening, every time the hospital room door opened, the hearts sped up with wanting to see Hassan come out of it. Then the highly anticipated moment finally came, and the doctor approached with the good news of a successful procedure which brought a big smile to Hassan’s dad’s face.
For now, Hassan is left with medication for his heart and his case will be studied so that he can have a future surgery to correct things. Keep praying for this beautiful baby!
The happiest baby I ever met
Co-workers Joseph, Almuth and I drove to the Gaza border to pick up Hassan, he had been here before with his grandmother, but this time his escort was his father. It suprised us because a father is rarely the escort for a child from Gaza, it is almost always a female relative.
The first thing that struck me when Hassan and his dad came to the car was how smiley this seven month baby is! And he stayed contented most of the day! As we drove to Hadassah, I saw his father regularly fidgeting with the seatbelt making sure Hassan was comfortable and offering endearing caresses to his son. He was extremely attentive to his son’s napping and eating schedule.
Once we got to the hospital, our day was spent going back and forth between rooms and departments to get everything Hassan needed to be admitted for his catheterization. Everyone was very kind and accom-modating, and there was a really sweet peace and friendship between us and Hassan’s dad. This is his first child, and he gave up a lot to come and take care of his beautiful boy. His eyes were so full of love towards Hassan, it was really sweet to watch.
Hassan might be the happiest baby I’ve ever met. He didn’t cry once except when he was unhappily woken from his slumber by a needle being inserted into a vein in his foot (I might add that anyone would be quite rightfully upset if that’s how you woke up from a nap). But after that he snuggled with Almuth and fell asleep again.
The doctor of the catheterization explained everything to Hassan’s dad in Arabic, again, the doctor is a wonderful man who made everyone feel at ease. Please pray for Hassan as he undergoes his pre- Glenn surgery catheterization. He had his first of three surgeries a few months ago, and now we look to his future needs. What a lovely day spent with a lovely family.
Today I had an awesome date with this little gentleman Hassan who came from Gaza to Hadassah Medical Center for an echo, but he was dressed for a date: he was wearing the most beautiful outfit I saw ever, a little Tuxedo.
During the waiting time Hassan was so hungry. He couldn’t wait for his bottle so for that reason decided to start eating his grandma’s pita. He sure was enjoying it.
As the hospital is warm, this handsome baby decided to show us a new outfit which captivated one of the hospital staff who was helping him.
We hope to see you soon for the next surgery, Hassan! The echo results were good. We are moving forward!
It was my first time meeting baby Hassan and his grandma today, and it was a real pleasure to visit them in Hadassah hospital. Also, this was my first time in the hospital, as he is one of the first few babies that we have sent to Hadassah. As we found our way through this modern, clean and big hospital, even though I didn’t know the baby, the area of the hospital, or any of the staff, I felt confident of what I do know, and that is that God is always with us. So, when the task seems impossible to me, nothing is impossible for God.
I think this helped me to feel like I was in a familiar place. I also felt that God was really giving us favour with our directions and meetings with the hospital staff today. Each person was kind, helpful and caring. They were interested in our organisation, and spoke with care and love towards Hassan and his grandma.
I really praise God for the time which we had today, and I feel grateful that he showed us how his Spirit is hovering over this place.
For sweet little Hassan, there isn’t too much of a change in him. The nurse told us that he is slowly slowly improving, and he is currently stable. The grandma was so proud to show us him sleeping peacefully; the first grandchild! She shared how the family back in Gaza are tired for him, and so is she, so please pray for strength for this lovely lady, and for continued healing for Hassan.
Almuth and I were privileged to go to Hadassah again today, to visit baby Hassan. His beautiful grandmother was lying back in the recliner in the room, when we went in. It was a joy to see her at peace, well rested, and bright, as the whole experience of urgent ambulance transport and Hassan’s admission was a major upheaval for both of them. The only time I saw the exhaustion of the first day creep back into her countenance was when Hassan started to whimper before falling asleep. It’s hard to fully comprehend the toll seeing a beloved child or grandchild go through all of this takes on a parent or grandparent. Even though it means their health is being restored, and that may be the only thing that makes it bearable, it is never easy. Please pray that we can continue to minister to Baby Hassan’s grandmother, and to let her know she is not alone.
She told us the good news that Hassan had surgery on Thursday! He was extubated yesterday, and will possibly start taking milk tomorrow! Praise God! The full operation will be done in stages so he will come back for another surgery in four months, once he is recovered from this one.
Almuth, Hassan’s grandmother and I spent time together, (we met Hassan’s father via video chat!!) sometimes sitting in silence watching Hassan, sometimes talking about the Muslim holiday that is being celebrated or how beautiful the landscape is. At one point, with the nurses’ okay, we all went right outside the ICU to a sitting area named the Healing Garden. We sat on the ledge of a huge window that spans most of the wall, and overlooks the mountains around Hadassah. For a few minutes we just gazed at the window, and I had this thought that all of this beauty belongs to God. The Creator of nature and humans alike. He’s Lord over little Hassan’s life, and I pray that through this time, the Holy Spirit will continue to work in his body and to stir his grandmother’s heart to know Him as saviour.
Baby Hassan, only 15 Days Old
Today, Almuth and I went to Hadassah hospital to meet the new baby Hassan from Gaza who came by ambulance this morning. When we got there the doctors were performing in his room, and his grandmother was sitting outside clearly shaken up. We went to go introduce ourselves, and despite how exhausted she was, she was so warm and grateful. We could see the dark circles under her eyes, which were always on the verge of tears; we talked and prayed together as we waited for the team in the room to finish. She told me that her son was Hassan’s father, and that today Hassan is 15 days old. And sure enough upon entering the room you could see that he looked as young as he is. Little Hassan lay under a heat lamp and was attached to tubes that dripped different medicines into him. Not for the first time, I was bewildered as to how this tiny baby was clinging to life, and Almuth, whose first time at the hospital it was today, took in the scene before our eyes.
As we spent time with his grandmother, the scripture from Matthew came to mind; “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Our families need the yoke of Jesus, always, but these situations make it especially apparent how acute our need is for him. Please pray for Hassan’s precious grandmother to come to know her savior. And please pray for Hassan, praise God for his life, and wisdom for the doctors as they discuss what they saw in the echo.