Thursday, January 17, 2008

Elijah Update (January 15)

For new readers to this blog, the following update is about a strong and brave little guy named Elijah, born February 6, 2007. His mom and I worked together at Rift Valley Academy in 1996-1999. Elijah has Hemophilia B, but more importantly, he has a worldwide prayer support team! Since my initial post about Elijah and his mom's initial update the very next day, posting updates from Elijah's parents on this blog is a small way I can give support from far away and generate much-needed prayer for Elijah's continued growth and healing. So please, join the praying!

Dear Praying Partners,

Elijah is such a blessing. We look back over 2007 and rejoice. We can see the amazing hand of God in our lives and in the life of baby Elijah. On April 19, 2007 we wrote the following:

Before Elijah was born, Joel and I led the latest Beth Moore Bible study, Daniel, at church. We both learned so much through it, and I have a few things to share with you. We were studying Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown into the fiery furnace. Remember that story? What a fun story, worth reading again -- or for the first time. (In the book of Daniel... Check it out on any on-line Bible resource if you do not own your own Bible.) So many “mini” miracles occurred during that entire incident, and we see mini-miracles in our Elijah's experience. We learned that God delivers us in one of three ways:

1. He delivers us FROM the fire (makes it go away)
2. He delivers us THROUGH the fire (walks with us all the way through)
3. He delivers us BY the fire, into His loving arms (uses the situation to bring us home to Heaven)

In our class we had about 10 people. One of our members began to get sick during the study and said that she felt that God was delivering her BY the fire. She had a peace about it all, and now she has gone home to be with Jesus. We heard that she was working on a blanket for Elijah when she died. We pray and pray that God will deliver us FROM the fire. He has chosen not to make it go away quickly. Right now we feel we are being delivered THROUGH the fire. Elijah and his mom and dad are being held close to Him the whole way. Thank you for being with us in this fire and for carrying us THROUGH.

Well, in 2007 God delivered us THROUGH the fire. We experienced so many hard moments in the fire, but now we are experiencing the "Gentle Whisper" of His presence. We know He was present with us as He walked with us all the way! Since April, two more people from our Bible study have gone home to be with Jesus. Although this is a time of sadness, we are rejoicing as we know they are celebrating with their Savior.

Elijah is doing GREAT! He went on his first plane ride without medical staff around. He seemed to love the planes, and once we were airborne and he finished looking out the window he settled down and slept. This was great for us because then we could sleep.

We had a great time with Judy's family in Virginia. So many met Elijah for the first time and were overwhelmed with seeing in person the miracle they had been praying for. We had people tell us: "I had chills all over when I saw you walk in the room with Elijah." We had people weep when they saw him. We had such excitement and cheers for the little guy. It was wonderful for Joel and me to see such love for this little one everyone claims as their own. We’re in awe of the Lord who healed him. His Mimi and Pop-Pop, aunts, uncles and cousins all spoiled him rotten. Needless to say, Elijah loved all the attention.

The weather was amazing, and we loved feeling warm again. We returned to Kansas to see 13 degrees displayed on our bank sign. AUGHH! I remember Christmas in Africa being so nice and warm. :)

We pray that, as you go through this new year, you’ll also rejoice in all the Lord has done -- both the good and the bad. Through it all, God teaches us and molds us into his instruments. He desires to use us for His glory!

Pray for Elijah's strength. He’s sitting up better but as yet does not want to do it without one of us sitting behind him to fall onto. Pray for him to build up strength in his arms for crawling. He prefers to stand than do anything else. It is easy to get frustrated and think we’re so far behind. Joel was saying how great it is because God is giving us back the months Elijah was sedated, just lying in his hospital crib. We get to hold him and teach him things instead of chasing him around.

We’re also praying that God will touch Elijah's blood clotting abilities. The medical evidence may say that he has severe Hemophilia B, but we’re asking God to allow him to clot well. We haven’t had to use Factor IX to help him for six months! Please join us in prayer for this. Elijah is already a medical marvel, and we’re praying that God continues to touch lives through Elijah.

Also, would you please pray for a young mother who was just diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She’s the mother of two young children. Pray for strength for this family as they face confusing days. We know that many in our “family” are warriors in prayer! Thank you.

Love in Christ,
J,J and E

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