Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Having a Hard Time

I'm going to share the rest of our Christmas activities with you tomorrow. Happy kids with new toys. What could be better?

But right now I need your help. Please pray for me today. On December 28 we received a little 10 month old baby girl. She was pretty sick and weighed only 11 pounds. The very next day we took in a 5 week old baby. She was healthy but tiny. Because the older little girl was a bit scared of me because of my white skin she moved right into the nursery. I took over the care of the little baby so she could get stable and on a schedule before moving into the nursery.

On New Year's Day, Trixie--the 10 month old baby--took a turn for the worse and despite our best efforts she passed away at 9 PM. Returning her body to her family in a village near here was one of the worst things I've had to do in my life. Children and women were weeping and wailing, her dad was crying, and there were  drunk men everywhere. I left there feeling absolutely sick to my stomach.

I didn't have much any time to think about or reflect on the grief I feel at losing another baby because my hands were full with a very fussy little baby. Slowly, with much time and care, she started to sleep well at night and ate a lot. 

Remember how I took the week following Christmas off blogging so I could catch up on paperwork? Well, taking in these two little ones kinda made it that I was not able to get very much done on the computer. I did what I could while holding Joy but my movements were a bit hampered.

Two nights ago little Joy had been sleeping so well that I moved her down to the nursery with the hopes that I could get rest at night and work more productively during the day. By the next morning she had developed diarrhea and was vomiting every feed and even though I spent the whole day and night holding her and giving her rehydration fluids by the morning she had developed pneumonia. 

I reached a low point this afternoon because I don't understand why the Lord keeps sending us babies that fall sick. He knows that I'm swamped with work--running a business, no matter how charitable, means a huge amount of administration work and paper that has to be moved, processed and dealt with. Being a charity actually means even more work because we need to be accountable to our partners. 
  I'm starting to wonder if I should be turning away babies right now so I can catch up on what I have to do in accounting and reporting. If I don't do my work properly we won't be able to carry on looking after all the children we already have. But will I really be able to send a needy baby away?

It isn't just the admin side that suffers. My health takes a beating when I lose sleep day after day while still trying to work through the day to keep up with my work. I can't exercise regularly and then the more tired I get the more I crave sugar to replenish my energy stocks but that just creates a vicious cycle. No exercise + extra sugar = depressed immune system. Last year I was sick more days than I was healthy.

I try to delegate the baby care but I worry too much about the little ones when they are out of my sight. It's my control freak nature and something I have to work on but still, I feel like it's my responsibility to give the babies the best possible care.

While writing this and trying to get it posted before 8 PM when I would take over the night shift of looking after baby Joy, I was called down to the infirmary and found that she had stopped breathing. I massaged her heart and tried to rouse her to no avail. She was gone.

I believe in my heart of hearts that God is in control and knows the falling of every baby sparrow not to mention baby girls but my human heart cries out "WHY??"

It is not my intention to write this so that you 'feel sorry for me'. I really just need prayer for wisdom. and also healing for my broken heart. Pray also that God sends a missionary nurse to work with us here. We could sure use the help.

One thing that I have learned through this is more empathy for the local people. They lose friends, family members and neighbors on a regular basis. Until last year I had hardly had to deal with grief. God does bring good out of all things. I believe that and when I feel like it doesn't make sense I will carry on by faith.

I'll leave you with the lyrics from one of my favorite hymns:

Until Then

My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a path that's winding always upward
This troubled world is not my final home.

But until then my heart will go on singing
Until then with joy I'll carry on
Until the day my eyes behold my Saviour
Until the day God calls me home.

The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they're borrowed for a while
And things of earth that cause this heart to tremble
Remember there will only bring a smile.

But until then my heart will go on singing
Until then with joy I'll carry on
Until the day my eyes behold my Saviour
Until the day God calls me home...

(Stuart Hamblen)


  1. Amy, my prayers are with you right now. This is a very difficult time I can see and I will be praying that He give you strengh and guidance.

  2. Praying for His comfort, wisdom, peace, healing and joy for you--and for Him to send that missionary nurse you need. God is indeed in control, and He loves you.

  3. Oh my. I can't imagine what you are going through, what the people there are suffering. You have so much faith, and do so much good-but you know you can't give to others until your own cup is full-particularly your health. I couldn't imagine turning away a sick baby, but at the same time, it isn't possible to care for others if you yourself are sick. I pray for your health, and for the health of those babies. You are truly an inspiration to me!

  4. I never understood why people say "God is in control." He gave us free will so he would not be in control of us. These kinds of things happen because countries in Africa are largely ignored my mainstream media. Life simply sucks sometimes, it's not because God planned for these babies to die or for you to suffer in trying to care for them. I pray God gives you the wisdom and money that is needed to help the beautiful children you care for! May God bless you and keep you.

  5. I will be praying for you. How hard. I can't even imagine your sadness. I DO believe God is in control in a sense that He can redeem ANYTHING. Romans 8:28. I pray God will give you some insight and comfort, something that will bring peace to your heart. God be w/ you, dear sister!!

  6. Stopping by from SITS and wishing you a Happy Thursday!!! :)

  7. That's one of my favorite hymns... brings back lots of memories of troubled times and when God would comfort me.
    We so like to read your blogs and know what's going on, but if you have to forgo it to get your sleep and do other things, I don't think anyone would begrudge you. But maybe this is a release time for you...
    Praying that all goes well for you.

  8. JoAnne, this really is an outlet for me. Writing always has been therapeutic for me and this way I can also share with others the story of life in Africa. I took the week off after Christmas to try to work and found myself writing in my head anyway. lol

    It doesn't really take me that much time and I am getting faster at it all the time. I do need to discipline myself to just get on and write and not then meander down other paths on the web.

  9. We are praying for you too.

  10. Maybe He brings these babies to you so that they know love and comfort in their final hours. But you are a gift to these little ones, make no mistake about it.

    I am sorry though that it's so hard for you!

    You are in my prayers!

  11. Dearest Amy, My heart goes out to especially you, but all of your family. I do agree you cannot help others if you are not in good health yourself. But I'm not there facing a family in need. Anywhere you can request volunteer nursing help online?

    We continue to pray for wisdom, guidance, strength and health you, you all. May our Lord of All comfort you in mind and body.

  12. I love the picture of Joy sitting comfortably in your lap as you type. That's how you should remember her, in your loving arms...Now Jesus's.

  13. I don't have any good answers for you. It is possible that God knows that by sending those sweet babies to you they will be held and comforted and given very special care during their time on this earth. Whatever the reasons or the decisions are, I just wanted to tell you that I will be praying for you.

  14. Amy, I just found out about this today. The girls were telling me while we were at Starbucks tonight. I asked them how the two new babies were doing and they told me what happened. Somehow I missed your post. I'm sorry. I have talked to you a lot and I'm sorry that I didn't know. I wish I could find a nurse to bring with me. May God hold you in the palm of his hand, my dear friend.


Come hang out with me. Your comments brighten my day and make me feel less lonely in my corner of the globe. .Wanna know more about my crazy life? Give a shout!

You can also email me at amymorrowinafricaATgmailDOTcom

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