To the shock of everyone involved, the Father called Saif’s spirit back to Himself early this morning. We drove the family back to their home in the hills on the outskirts of Hebron, where the extended family quickly gathered. After a time of preparing Saif for burial, he was parted from his mother’s arms and taken by the men to the family burial plot, which directly overlooks the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah are all buried.
The grief of Saif’s young parents is great, and Berith, Margarita and I were grateful we could be a support alongside them on this most difficult day. We hope to visit with the family again soon, and meanwhile we are asking for the promised Comforter to be with them.
Saif comes through his first surgery
Saif Al Din came through his first surgery this morning at the Hadassah Medical Center, the placement of a BT shunt, which is the first of three surgeries to help him live with a heart that has only ventricle rather than two.
Recovery after this surgery can be difficult, and we’ll be watching for the next milestone which will be weaning him from the ventilator. Saif’s father was on hand today to watch over his firstborn son, and give encouragement to his wife who is only 19 years old.
Saif’s father has been working to support his family since he was 14 years old, and he has a sincere and caring heart. This evening we were able to sit together and talk for over an hour, and we’re already planning our first visit to the family home in Hebron, God willing.
Stable and awaiting surgery
Saif Al Din is stable and awaiting his surgery which is now scheduled for Tuesday. Please join with Berith and Margarita in praying for the salvation of the Lord to be revealed in this little life:
How good and how pleasant
A humble 25-year-old man from Hebron approached the admissions window this evening at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, anxious to get his firstborn son Saif Aldin in for emergency heart surgery that couldn’t be done in the Palestinian territories:
I stood over his shoulder and listened to the admissions clerks talking about whether they could let him in. “Only if he’s from Shevet Achim,” the more experienced one said. “Call the ICU and ask if he’s from Shevet Achim.”
My first response was to chuckle. If only they knew that Shevet Achim was nothing but a handful of people crazy enough to believe that God would somehow pay for all these surgeries at the end of each year.
Later I remembered it was right here at Hadassah that I heard the words back in 1994 that helped call our community into existence: “That boy could be dying in the doorway to our emergency room, and we won’t let him through the door until the last dollar has been paid.”
And I realized that when they say the words “Shevet Achim” it’s not about us. They’re actually speaking the word of God: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity…for there the LORD commands the blessing, even life forevermore.”
It’s a holy thing to see, and I’m so grateful that Saif Al Din was indeed admitted to the ICU tonight when he was wheeled in in an incubator:
Here’s the video of what it looked like as the Israeli staff accepted this newborn Palestinian baby into their hands:
And yes, how good and pleasant it is to see when our Jewish neighbors treat their Muslim neighbors as precious brothers: