Mohammed Nears the Finish Line

Not a day goes by without Mohammed saying or doing something to make me smile. His joy and enthusiasm for life are contagious, and in the weeks following his heart surgery, they have only increased. Medically, his body has also continued to heal per weekly follow up exams. Ruth and I had the pleasure of escorting Mohammed to another such appointment this morning with two other children. I could tell he had the hospital jitters and started giving him a pep talk outside the echo department. The prospect of going to the sea afterward brought a big smile to his face and helped him take courage.

When Mohammed's turn came, he started whimpering and clinging tightly to his mother's hand. With continued encouragement, he made it through the entire echo without a single tear shed. Dr. Hanita chimed in to say, "You are such a good boy today!"

The ultrasound revealed that Mohammed's heart is in satisfactory condition. It is not contracting quite as strong as doctors would like, but is functioning consistently nonetheless. Dr. Alona decided to reduce his medications and invite him back this Thursday for his final echo. She believes that Mohammed will be ready to return to Kurdistan by week's end! His mother rejoiced in this announcement and thanked Dr. Alona profusely with several kisses.

A quick trip to the Mediterranean before heading home was the perfect way to celebrate Mohammed's progress. He reveled in the lapping waves, beckoning me to take him deeper. At one point, he even assigned me the task of catching a fish for him with a sand strainer. When I came back empty handed, he frowned, obviously disappointed in my lack of hunting skills and asked, "No fish?!" Thankfully, the Kurdish mothers came to the rescue with a picnic lunch they had prepared.

These next days are sure to be full of joy with Mohammed. As his time in Israel draws to a close, a new season awaits this adventurous boy. I believe the vast horizon we gazed out at today is a fitting image of the limitless love and grace that God has prepared for him.

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