I was sad not to see Allison go to big school for the first time.
We have been so encouraged by all the people praying for Benjamin and we are so thankful for you. Words cannot express how grateful we are to God for answering our prayers so completely. I just got off the phone with Anita (it's Thursday afternoon 8/22) and we have really good news - BENJAMIN IS SCHEDULED TO BE DISCHARGED TODAY! We feel so undeserving and yet so blessed by Him. But there is still much to pray for, so please do not stop praying.
Yesterday, the neurosurgeon met Anita and Benjamin first thing in the morning in the Pediatric ICU. He said he was very pleased with Benjamin’s progress. He asked Benjamin about pain and Benjamin said that his head does not hurt anymore – with the size of the fracture on his head, we are all amazed by this. The doctor told the nurses that they could remove Benjamin’s IV tube since he was able to eat and drink himself. This was really a true praise.
In spite of the progress, He agreed that another CT scan was necessary to make sure that the bleeding under Benja’s skull fracture had indeed stopped. Anita didn’t see the surgeon again on Wednesday but he did call the ICU after he received the CT scan report and said that nurses could remove the neck brace (another big praise).
Last night, Benja was not hungry so he didn't eat his dinner and this morning (Thursday) he ate breakfast but vomited it up shortly afterwards (apparent vomiting is common with head injuries). ONE OF OUR BIGGEST PRAISES TODAY IS THAT THE BLEEDING UNDERNEATH THE SKULL FRACTURE HAS STOPPED AND THE "ACUTE SUBDURAL HAEMATOMA" (THE BLOOD SPOT) THAT WAS THERE -- IS NO LONGER THERE! We are so overjoyed by God's gracious answer to that prayer.
The Neurosurgeon has approved Benjamin's release today but he would like him to stay in South Africa (with Anita at her parent's place) and the surgeon would like to see Benja again in two weeks.
Please pray that Benjamin can keep his food down. Please also pray for continued progress over the next six months (which is the expected recovery time). We are not sure what challenges lie ahead for Benjamin but would ask that you continue to pray for a full recovery. Considering the severity of his fracture, we could not be more pleased with these recent developments.
Back in Malawi, the first day of school went well. Our other three children wanted to hold a picture of Benja during their “first day” photo this year so that he would know they were thinking of him. They really, really miss him and can’t imagine life without him. This trial has produced numerous conversations with our children about God’s grace and an eternal perspective on life. We are thankful for that.
I have learned so much this week as well. Last Sunday, I cut off my sermon before my third point (because I spent more time on my first two points than I had planned). I still had two and a half pages of prepared notes to go but looked at the clock and figured I would probably rush through the notes and lose the attention of our flock. My third point was that when believers are strengthened inwardly, God is glorified. And the text for that last point Paul’s famous doxology – “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21). This is the passage I plan to preach on this Sunday and it has been my primary passage of meditation this week.
I know that many of the people who are praying for Benjamin are receiving updates through Facebook. I don't usually post directly on facebook but I send out these emails to our mailing list. The service I use to do that is mailchimp and mailchimp automatically posts my updates on facebook. I imagine that my updates on Benjamin will be less frequent as he improves. If you would like to sign up for the email updates directly, you can do so at: http://eepurl.com/D4Z8D
This is the same mailing list that we use 3 or 4 times a year to give bulletin updates for the work in Malawi. All praying friends are welcome to join that list and you can unsubscribe or update your details at anytime.
Thank you again for praying. Please continue to praise God with us and pray for Benja's recovery.
Grateful to our Lord,