Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dear friends,

Let me being by thanking you again for all your help, support, prayers, and just being there to listen to these emails. It means so much to us. Also, maybe you’ve noticed a pattern, more emails and updates when things are rocky, less when things are fine. This is how I cope with stress, I email and blog. So if you haven’t received recent updates, don’t panic I am probably resting and not stressed. As the nurses here say: “No news is good news”. Madeline has been real good the last couple of days. They plan on starting her feedings again today and see how she does. She is on a little morphine to hep with the discomfort from the surgery and stitches in her side and back. Otherwise she is tolerating everything quite well. She was able to video Skype with her Aunt Bonnie and Aunt Lariate this morning, they loved seeing her sleeping peacefully, it was a real treat.

Sunday I went to church with my brother Dhondi and Molly and Miranda. It was good to be around fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to worship together. The real treat was holding little Kahlan, born to Adam and Amy while we were at the NICU at St. Joseph. Amy was so gracious to let me hold her. She is beautiful and I can’t wait to hold Madeline in the same way when she finally upgrades to wireless. The sermon was probably the most direct, concise, and immediately applicable sermon yet. It was all about bearing one another’s burdens. Paul’s letter to the Galation church says in Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” I don’t think this was so much a new lesson for us to learn, but rather an explanation of what God had already been doing for us through all of you. I appreciate how you carry this burden with us and in this way fulfill the law of Christ, God is so good.

More and more being here I am realizing how Madeline is a small part of a bigger picture. So I’ll take this time to update you as well on others here.

I talked briefly with Austin’s dad Virgil (Virg) and younger brother Eric. Austin is the 15 year old who had his second heart transplant and hasn’t recovered normal brain activity yet. We see them around but rarely get a chance to talk with them. They are still waiting for a miracle, Virg just seems angry. I asked if there was anything I could do for them to help out, they just asked for prayer. I don’t know if they know the Lord. Pray for them and for a miracle for their son Austin. I told him there were lots and lots of people praying for them, let me be right.

Michael, who had the same surgery that Madeline had is doing great. He came off the ventilator and is feeding and is supposed to be transferred back to the NICU today. His parents Kate and Chris (the ones who had visited our church) are also doing good. We run into each other and chat often. They told me about a huge prayer session they had a church yesterday for Michael, Madeline, Austin and his family, and Dan & Danielle who lost their son Aaron. Pray for Michael’s continued recovery.

I haven’t seen or heard from Dan and Danielle yet I continue to pray for them daily. Please pray for them also, that their faith will be strong enough to carry them through this trying time, although I already know it will be. Pray that God comforts them abundantly.

Lisa had made friends with Tessa in the NICU, she is the mother to premature twins. I saw her this morning in the elevator and she said all is well. She is from Montana and is staying at the Ronald McDonald house nearby. I always see her here alone, I wonder if she has friends around, someone to go shopping with, or a family to share a meal with. Pray that God would provide that for her, pray the God would use Lisa and I and our friends to be a support and encouragement to her and meet any needs she has.

It is awesome to see God working through all of our lives. I am so encouraged and blessed through this experience to interact with God in a very REAL and PERSONAL way. He is definitely being glorified through all of this. Amen.

Shanker & Lisa

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