The Gift Of Life

Sunlight filtered through storm clouds over Jerusalem as Sophie, Brian, Rebekah, and I began our early morning journey to Tel Aviv. We worshipped together, then prayed for God's healing and anointing over Hiba's surgery day. Wolfson was a quiet place when we first arrived, which gave us the perfect opportunity to open the Scriptures and ask the Lord to speak to us from His word. One verse that particularly struck me was Psalm 81:16. God says to Israel "with honey from the rock I would satisfy you." The idea of honey from a rock is physically impossible, but I believe this is an image of God doing the "impossible," of bringing sweetness and life out of adversity. In the same way, Hiba's situation appeared dismal, so I prayed that God would bring "honey from the rock" for Hiba and heal her!

Sophie and I were able to pray over Hiba in the ICU just before they wheeled her downstairs to the OR. Her mother clasped her daughter's hand as she whispered words of love and comfort. This brought a peaceful expression to Hiba's countenance. Around 8:30am, we escorted Hiba's gurney downstairs, where her mother stood and watched as her precious girl disappeared from view. Her eyes were wet with tears, but she made her way to an outside courtyard with an air of confidence. This was her daughter's third operation, and she was now the veteran. 

Hours passed. Hiba's mother spent much of her time outside speaking with family in Kurdistan, as well as other parents in the hospital. At one point, we had a large group gathered for a picnic in the sunshine, which did everyone some good. Times of quiet and rest were also sought out and benefited from. At one point, I told Hiba’s mother that this week, followers of Messiah would be celebrating His resurrection, and that because He is risen, we trust that nothing is too difficult for Him in Hiba's life.  

Then word came around 2pm that the surgery was finished!! Dr. Alona told us that the echo in the operating room looked good and that Hiba was off the bypass pump (heart & lung machine). This was welcome news indeed. She was quick to add that Hiba still has a long way to go and that bleeding in the OR was causing a delay from her transferring to the ICU. Close to five o'clock, we finally caught sight of the OR team wheeling Hiba's bed towards the ICU, and there was much rejoicing! 

By 6:30pm, Hiba's mother and I were invited into the ICU to speak directly with the surgeon, Dr. Sasson. Many doctors and nurses were working around Hiba's bed. Dr. Sasson began by saying that her leaking tricuspid valve had been repaired and was continuing to function. He continued by saying Hiba's situation is still very dangerous, with every hour being critical. She is currently combating an infection as well as internal bleeding, requiring her chest to remain open. "We haven't given up. We are fighting for her life," Dr. Sasson said. It was very clear how much he and the entire medical team care for Hiba. I tried my best to convey our deep gratitude for their devotion and sacrificial care for Hiba and the children. I told him how we have been praying for him and for a miracle for Hiba, to which he humbly nodded his thanks. I left the ICU with Dr. Hanita and Dr. Sasson stationed directly beside Hiba, their eyes fixed on her and her monitors.

Meanwhile, Hiba's mother had received Dr. Sasson's words well, taking in the severity of the situation, but praising God for the good news. Her daughter was alive! After several minutes, Hiba's mother told me she was ready to leave and wanted to rest. I was amazed at how well she was doing. Sophie and I stayed with her for a while longer, and were blessed to see her laughing and joking with Duaa's mother before we left. This day was holy and it persists to be, as we wait, and pray and look to Messiah for His resurrection power in Hiba! We, and Hiba’s mother, send our thanks and gratitude to all of you who are interceding for Hiba. To God be the glory! 

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