Omar's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

May the Lord Be Glorified

Posted on Sun, 08/05/2007 - 07:50 by Jenae_Kennington

As I write this, Omar is back in Iraq, reunited with his parents and three brothers after his flight home on Sunday afternoon. We are thankful to the Lord for his successful surgery and stay with us in Israel. Omar's stay was extended an extra day in Amman, Jordan due to a cancelled flight. This gave Yuliya, a friend of mine from college, and I a chance to take Omar and his mom to visit the Roman amphitheater downtown.
It's amazing how this gregarious kid attracts attention wherever he goes. He proudly shows off his scar and then his mother explains that he just had surgery in Israel. I can't help but wonder what kinds of conversations his scar will trigger in the future. May the Lord be glorified and proclaimed through this little boy's miracle! 

Up to Jerusalem

Posted on Tue, 07/31/2007 - 07:50 by Jenae_Kennington

We've been enjoying the company of this cute, bright-eyed boy and his amiable mom here in Jerusalem since Monday evening. Omar found himself in the company of a bunch of playmates within minutes. Maryam and the Berg children were all eager to meet a new friend and show him the ropes of life at the Shevet house. Nathan, one of Martha's children, was especially excited to share his action figures with Omar. Omar has his own share of action and adventure from this summer in Israel that he'll be able to share about, even if it is just from photos and the stories his mom tells him.

Omar and his mom will travel to Jordan later this week to fly home on Saturday, Lord willing. We look forward to getting to show them around Jerusalem some more in the next couple of days and help them prepare for their return home.

Visions of Jesus

Posted on Mon, 07/23/2007 - 07:50 by Pastor_Philip_Saad

Yesterday evening was a very special night at HaifaBaptistChurch. It was a great time of praise and worship. The word preached was from Acts 2:14-21. At the end of the sermon my wife Violet shared a testimony about God speaking to people through dreams and visions.

Um Zhino shared about a voice she heard, while she was still waiting in Amman for the visa. She heard Jesus telling her, "Ahlan wasahlan." ("Welcome, welcome.") She knew that was Jesus telling her that she would get the visa and enter Israel for her daughters surgery.

Then Um Omar shared with the church people the dream she had the first night after Omars surgery. She saw pastor Philip laying hands on Omar and praying for his healing, and Jesus holding Omars hand and her hand, and telling them to go back home-- Omar is healed. She said that Jesus face was like the sun at noon time. Everybody at the church clapped their hands and shouted halleluiah.

Then Sam's mother shared about the three visions she saw of Jesus standing behind her and encouraging her and telling her that He is with her in her difficult time. Then we asked the three ladies and their children to come back forward. We prayed for them and after the desire of their mothers we presented and dedicated them to Jesus. Our prayer is that they might grow in wisdom, in stature, in favor with God and man.

Though Younis and his mother were not with us at the church service, we lifted them up to the Lord in our prayers as well.

We indeed had a great time with the Lord and with each other on this Sunday evening service. Then we moved to the reception room for fellowship and some delicious food. Please pray that these precious ladies will go back to their people with new hearts and hope.


At the Beach

Posted on Sun, 07/22/2007 - 07:50 by Pastor_Philip_Saad

Over the weekend, Omar finally had his chance to go to the beach at Bat Galim near our apartment, and boy, did he enjoy himself. He walked and walked and walked all over, refusing to be hand-held, as if to make up for the full week of lying in bed after his surgery.

Omar had a great time with Zhino looking for the stray cats under the rocks by the beach. Believe me, his squeals and screams are really loud, and Zhino is ever ready to be his back-up screamer.

Meanwhile, Omar eats and sleeps well, maybe because he is very active, and his walking exercises give him a good appetite!

He is due for an echocardiogram this Thursday morning.

Homeward Bound

Posted on Sat, 07/21/2007 - 07:50 by Lee_Liang_Chian

Last Thursday, Omar was required to put on a halter (pictured at right) for 24 hours to monitor if his body is fit enough for him to return home to Iraq. Today, after the Shabbat weekend, the halter was returned. A couple hours later, Dr. Lorber announced the good news -- Omar is all clear to go back to Iraq! Dr. Lorber jokes that Omar's next visit to Israel will be on his honeymoon.

While waiting for the final medical report, Omar visited with Zhino and Younis, and the latter particularly enjoyed his company and cheerful chatter.

Omar has a "beautiful" scar. This may be because he is not fussy where food is concerned, and he has a healthy appetite! Good nutrition does speed up the child's healing process.

There was a show put on by some clowns at the children's ward. Omar took part in some games and won several prizes! Today is indeed a great day for Omar, and Um Omar is looking forward to go up to Jerusalem tomorrow to visit the Old City before leaving for home.

Leaving the Hospital Today

Posted on Thu, 07/19/2007 - 07:50 by Lee_Liang_Chian

Good news greeted me when I arrived this morning at Rambam -- Omar is well enough to be discharged today. He was busy making his rounds at the ward, saying his good-byes to everyone and everything, including the bottle of orange juice on the corner table!

We went upstairs to get his appointment date for the next check-up, and there we met his doctor, Dr. Lorber. It was a great opportunity for a group photo with the medical staff, who are also rejoicing with us over Omar's speedy recovery.

Staff Nurse Haya (carrying Omar) is especially pleased with this photo opportunity since she'll be away on vacation from tomorrow. And our grateful little Omar just couldn't keep his eyes away from his hero Dr. Lorber!

Omar and his mother will be staying at the apartment, where Zhino and her mom are waiting for the girl's turn for her operation.

The Joy of New Life

Posted on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 07:50 by Pastor_Philip_Saad

Omar and his mother are beaming at the news that they will be leaving the hospital in Haifa soon following his successful open-heart surgery! Praise the Lord.
But not before making new Israeli friends. In spite of the language barrier Lior and Omar communicate very well and play with each other. They will miss each other. Let us pray along the lines of our ministry theme (Psalm 133) that the brothers will indeed dwell with each other in love and peace.

Reunion of Iraqi Families in Haifa

Posted on Sun, 07/15/2007 - 07:50 by Pastor_Philip_Saad

Today was a glorious day for several reasons. First it was the Lords day. Second it was a reunion day for the Iraqis, as all three mothers and children in Haifa got together. Third it was a day of great healing. Omar is recovering amazingly. He ate a big piece of pizza. Fourth Sam was off of the oxygen for much time, and also ate several times, praise the Lord. He's pictured below as a living doll for Zhino's amusement!

As you can see, Omar is looking better and more cheerful with each passing day.

Lighting Up Haifa with a Smile

Posted on Thu, 07/12/2007 - 07:50 by Lee_Liang_Chian

Yesterday, the good news was Omar walking gingerly for the first time since his surgery. Today, he was smiling radiantly when he showed me that he has the strength to pull the rather stiff trigger of his toy gun, albeit with both hands. Omar and his mum even visited Younis when the younger boy came back to the ward after his catheterization in the morning. He was showing Younes how brave he was when he had his operation... although just an hour earlier, he was crying like a baby when he had his hair shampooed at the wash basin in the ward!

It is so good to see Omar "back in action" and not listless as he had been for the past two days. Praise the LORD for His healing touch on Omar! 

First Walk Since Surgery

Posted on Wed, 07/11/2007 - 07:50 by Lee_Liang_Chian

After almost a week in bed post-operation, Omar was encouraged to walk around today. He was assisted by his mum and Uncle Tino, a member of a local Arabic church who had dropped in to visit the Iraqi children at Rambam.

Omar's mother opened up his shirt to show us the brave little boys battle scars, but he didnt seem too thrilled to show off! Nevertheless, a picture was taken for remembrance, as well as to show his dad who will be checking Omars blog to see how his boy is progressing.

Omars apparent listlessness yesterday could have been due to tiredness, and today the doctor once again told us that Omar is doing good! He obliged with a sweet smile when his mum asked me to take a photo of them posing with a huge orange bear, borrowed from the girl from the next bed.

When it came to lunch time, Omar licked his lips after taking each spoonful, savouring the real food he can now eat to his hearts content.

Omar is indeed well on the road to a quick recovery. Praise the LORD who hears the prayers of Omars family and friends, including all of you faithful saints.