On April 10, 1979 I came into the world. Strong and healthy. My mom always told me I was "right on time". She missed a concert because she thought "surely this baby won't come on the due date". But I did. You could say I was predictable from birth. I have walked a fairly narrow path with few surprises. That is why it is no surprise that I celebrated my birthday here in Kenya with some very sweet people. The day started off a little rough. I was grumpy. I was up every hour the night before either nudging Kyle to go answer the phone (he was on call) or feeding Jude. But my sweet mother in law woke up with a servant's heart. She and Hudson excitedly made me a cake. I even was able to take a nap that afternoon. We invited all the visiting doctors and the Kenyan residents to attend my birthday party. We would serve the traditional chai tea and eat a scrumptious cake. But things turned out a little differently. Kyle did not come home for lunch. We later heard that at around 10:30 am Rosalyn was scheduled for an elective c-section. Rosalyn has lost 3 babies and they were hoping to prevent death by delivering 2 weeks early. Kyle was responsible for taking care of the baby once delivered. Little baby Hope was born. She did not look well. Kyle then began resucitating the baby. He bagged her for approximately 3 hours because they did not have another ventilator machine. At one point Hope made some efforts to breath and we were praying for a miracle. Things looked good for a while. Kyle came home for dinner. But the birthday party was low attended and some seemed a little sad. We later found out that baby Hope had taken a turn for the worse. Another one of the visiting doctors took care of her until 11:30pm. But Jesus loved her so much he took her home to be with him. When the doctor (Christina) told Rosalyn what had happened, tears streaming down her face, Rosalyn began to pray for her. We came to Kenya to give light, and love and hope of Jesus to them, but instead this is what they have given us. So, it is no accident that I was here on this birthday because now I will never take for granted another birthday I have been given. Each day is a gift. Every moment with my husband and family I will treasure. There are now 2 baby Hopes I can't wait to meet in heaven. Both have impacted the lives of so many in the short time they were here. It wasn't the happiest of birthdays, but it was very significant and one that I will never forget. Thank you to all that wished me well. I love you all very much. It is such an encouragement to us when you read, post and pray. Thank you faithful family and friends.
On a lighter note...we went on a little weekend safari. We saw lots of exotic animals. Kyle even petted a baby Rhino. Kyle spotted a lion from a far distance and we drove right next to it (5 feet away). It was amazing. The boys loved it. We'll try and post pictures as soon as we can.
I also got to go to the hospital NICU last week and hold some premature babies. It was such a sweet time to pray for them as I know the Lord has good plans for their lives.
We are all doing well and miss you very much!
Great to hear your perspective Vanessa. Thanks for sharing that special birthday with the rest of us. I don't remember ever crying while reading email before. We continue to pray and rejoice and mourn. Hurry home.
I just love you, Vanessa! You are salt, you are light in this world. I pray as you feel the emotion of the moment-whether it is sadness or joy, you continue to truly feel what our Savior no doubt feels for us-it sure is real. .
Just today, I realized that I can write you all. Happy Birthday belated Vanessa. Good thing I saw your note of thanks for those who wrote. Now I can communicate too.
What a joy your letters have been. What a blessing you are receiving from God as you serve the dear people. I can understand how the people to whom the apostle Paul, wrote felt when they got a letter from him. As he wrote in the end of Ephesians..."that you may know our affairs and how we are doing" and ends by saying Peace to you, love with faith..and grace to all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
It is such a wonderful service you are all doing for our dear Lord.
I hope you got my e-card! I thought of you several times. What a memorable birthday. I pray all is well with you.
What a sad but sweet post. Vanessa and Kyle - you are both such compassionate people, I have no doubt that the Lord chose both of you for these exact experiences and tasks, knowing that your compassion and sensitive touches would help to heal those who are hurting in so many different ways. And it is only the Lord who would think to orchestrate those same people to minister right back to you! Praise Him!
Kyle & Vanessa, thanks for sharing about what God is showing you and doing through you. Praying for you and the li'l ones. Much love, Christine L. PS Love the pic of Hudson in Sunday school :)
I think I've cried as I've read all of your posts. Ironically, as I read this one, the Carolyn Arends's song "Seize the Day" came on. God always knows what we need to hear. I love you, and I'm so happy you get this experience, Vanessa. Happy Birthday, too. The Lord was good to all of us when He brought you into the world! Hold a baby for me!
Hi Vanessa! Thanks for your post. It has left me crying, but thanking God for you and praying that the rest of your time in Africa is as rewarding for you and for those that you are blessing. We love reading what you are doing. Noah and Nathan love looking for new pictures of Hudson. Know that you are in our prayers.
You all are learning life lessons that most of us only begin to learn WAY on down the road....listen and learn carefully, joyfully, thankfully...you are an inspiration to this old soul....we continue to pray for you all....
My dear Vanessa, I miss you so
much and I cannot bear to think of another B.day without you.
You cannot imagine how God timed your phone call today. Tiff and I went together to have her first mamogram and ultra sound. they said it is not a cyst and want to do a needle biopsy. She was upset and being her mother I did my best to show her love and compassion. but your call was better than any hug I could have received. Thank You! I was not sure I wanted to post all of this on here but Tiff needs your prayers. All my Love, Mom Hurry home ,be safe
The hardships that some face are just overwhelming. Oh, sweet Hope. God did know exactly where you needed to be for your birthday.
What an amazing journey you are on together as a family. I can just see all your kids sitting around 20 years from now looking at their time in Africa!
The precious stories you will be able to share with them about what you saw, learned and how God moved will continue to impact them forever.
Praying for you on the other side of the world (in my grandmas house in MO!)
What a blessing you all are. And what wonderful life lessons to carry with you all your days. God has special plans for you and we are blessed to be along for the "ride". Hug all those babies for me and Hope's precious mom (and yourselves!). What an appropriate name in light of Christ. We love you. Take care and we'll keep praying. Romans 15:13
Wow, that was beautifully written, Vanessa! We'll have to do something fun for your birthday when you get back. Jude and Hudson are the cutest little missionaries ever. They look like they are having a great time. We are praying for all of you.
Justin and I send our best and were praying for you on your birthday. Looks like you are having an amazing time and God is teaching you many things and blessing you in return. Ours thoughts and prayers are with you and can't wait to see the family soon!!
I'm glad God is teaching you many things in Kenya! I'm sorry about the baby Hope. I'm glad God granted you another year, and surely many many more. Linda and Lisa are a little sick, so please pray for them. I will continue to pray for Hudson and Jude that they will enjoy their time and keep being healthy. We thank God that we got accepted to the MedSend program!!!! Well, I'll write later! keep posting!
I'm loving your posts. This one broke my heart but encouraged me at the same time! You are in your element with those babies. I'm glad you got to go to an orphanage...what a great experience. Ok...remind me when you get back...my friend showed me a website where you can turn your blog into a book...this would make an amazing coffetable book!
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