Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Prayer for Olive Hope

I am asking your to pray for an old friend, Lynette, and her baby girl, Olive Hope. Lynette and I traveled on a ministry team together across the U.S. years ago. On Friday, Sweet Olive Hope Polinder was born prematurely at only 28.5 weeks in Chiang Rai, Thailand where her parents, Rusty and Lynette are now missionaries. In addition to being being born premature in an area with limited medical care, Olive has suffered a level 4 (most severe) intracranial brain hemorrhage. People around the world are praying for this little one as she fights to live. Please join with us.

Psalm 52:8-9

"But I am like an OLIVE tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will HOPE, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints."

Below is a letter from Lynette that can help direct our prayers:

Dear loved ones,

Yesterday was such a special day. We were both able to spend hours holding little Olive on our chests spending time talking to her and singing over her, We have been overwhelmed by the e-mails, phone calls, facebook messages, and visitors. We are being held up by the prayers of so many we know and love, and also by many who have heard the news who we don't even know personally.

Today has been like each day so far since little Olive Hope has arrived...filled with moments of joy, moments of fear, moments of uncertainty, sadness, hope and thankfulness.

This morning she had an ultrasound done to assess the level of intracranial hemorrhage that she had the other night. There are four levels--one being the least severe with little long term complications and four being the most serious and highest risk of long term complications. Olive had a level four intracranial hemorrhage. The doctors are telling us that if she makes it she will certainly have serious cognitive and motor damage..(mentally handicapped, cerebral palsy...and the list could go on). There is also a high risk of blindness due to the high concentrations of oxygen they have had to keep her on. She is also still anemic so she is getting blood transfusions. And this morning she was very jaundiced so we had to keep her under a photo-therapy light most of the day. Because of her brain damage she is no longer able to blink her little eyes. They remain open ALL the time unless we reach and blink them for her. They only have her on IV so far and say she can't have any breast milk until they hear bowel sounds. My milk has come in, so as of now I have been pumping and storing it in the freezer.

Our hearts are aching for this little one. We are willing and ready to care for a little girl with handicaps if Jesus chooses to give her to us. Part of us is also hoping and longing to see a miracle. Another part of us feels very afraid...of all the unknowns to come. She has had every possible complication and to the most severe level thus far...and yet there is something in me that keeps holding onto some sort of hope. And another part of me that doesn't want her little body to suffer any longer. Thoughts are going and coming in all directions.

We have been asked today if we want them to continue aggressive treatment measures, or if we would like to stop those treatments and simply let her go. Yesterday I thought we were feeling ready to let her go because of how much misery she was going through...and now we have been through two days of holding her and seeing her vital signs increase...and I'm not ready yet to let her go.

All this to say...decision making has felt difficult, but today has been a day when I am going to bed with hope for life for this little one...

And just enough strength to make it through this day by threads. And exhausted.

Jesus has indeed been drawing us closer and closer to Him through this journey...our only place to find any hope in this circumstance.

We can feel your love and support all around us.



Sunday, September 13, 2009

‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus… Waiting on God’s Goodness

Sometimes we get stuck in this self-defeating mindset of “waiting around.” All we can think about is how we’re waiting for God to do this, waiting for God to do that… waiting, waiting, waiting… poor pitiful us.

I certainly don’t think waiting is always a bad thing. In fact, I would call it a skill, even a discipline. But it is only such when our hearts are expectant of God’s move. Wait in misery, and we find ourselves doubting that God will ever show his face. But wait in faith, and there is hope. I’m a firm believer in the concept “You can’t walk in hope if you’re thinking in defeat.”

When I read Isaiah 30:18 today, I realized we’re not the only ones waiting… God waits too.

God's not finished. He's waiting around to be gracious to you. He's gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. (The Message)

God is not afraid of waiting. He’s not afraid to take his time. And he is certainly ok with waiting on us if it means we will eventually see his face.

What good news. He was waiting on me long before I was ever waiting on Him. If I’m worth waiting on, so is He.

Waiting on God brings to mind the story of Louisa Stead and her famous hymn, ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus…

As the story goes, Louisa Stead had always felt a calling to be a missionary and go to China. But due to fragile health she was kept home in the US. She married Mr. Stead and had a daughter named Lily. When Lily was 4 yrs old the family went on vacation to a nearby beach. While there, relaxing and enjoying their vacation, they saw a young boy drowning in the ocean. Mr. Stead swam out and tried to rescue him, only he was pulled under by the boy and both Mr. Stead and the boy drowned as Louisa and her daughter watched from shore. Louisa was left without any means of support except for God's care. She and her daughter were in dire poverty - one day when there was no food in the house and no money to purchase any, Louisa opened the front door to find someone had left groceries and money sitting there for her. That same day she sat down and wrote "Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus...". She later became a missionary to Africa, remarried and once again was forced to stay in the US due to her health. But once recovered she went back into the missionary field in Rhodesia and later died in Zimbabwe. Her daughter Lily married and became a missionary as well.

(above story courtesy of Hope Chest Legacy)

(sung by Casting Crowns)

’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

(1) 'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at his word,
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord."

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more.

(2) How I love to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood,
Just in simply faith to plunge me
'Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

(3) Yes, I've learned to trust in Jesus,
And from sin and self to cease.
Now from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest and joy and peace.

(4) I'm so glad I learned to trust Him,
precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that He is with me,
He'll be with me to the end.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

rare & beautiful treasures

Sometimes we all need a deep breath of fresh air. Sometimes we need a word encouragement. And sometimes we just need to be reminded of the simple beauty in life. If today is one of those days, I have just the oasis for you: Rare & Beautiful Treasures is a light in the darkness, a refreshing breath, and beautifully written by my dear friend. I promise she won't disappoint.


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