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FSM 128: Our Special Gift from Heaven! --The Story of Gabriel        (FN 237)  DO
Copyright: May, 1989 By Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland

Our Special Gift from Heaven! --The Story of Gabriel, Our Mongoloid Baby--From Marianne (A Compilation of Reports)

       GBY! IRRLY & am so very thankful for you & your love & prayers, especially during this time. TYSM for your personal concern & the messages that you sent to me which always came at a very special time & have continued to be a great encouragement.

My Pregnancy & Delivery

       I had a very good pregnancy with no special problems except the fact that it was a big baby & it got to be a little tiring to carry at the end, also he was two weeks overdue, but all my babies have been at least one week late, so I wasn't overly concerned, though I was getting somewhat impatient. I'd been able to eat well, get good vitamins, good rest & good get-outs most every day, so everything seemed to be in position for a normal delivery, as I have had with my other five children. I went to see the mid-wife once when I was about six months pregnant & she told me that everything seemed to be okay, though she mentioned the baby was quite big in my womb, but nothing too unusual for a big girl like me.
       The labour & delivery was unusually ideal. I had contractions off & on throughout the day for a couple of days, & then I started to have contractions throughout the night every hour or so, then 30 mins., & then 20 mins. I didn't want to wake my mate Jerry or our national, Kenny, up too soon, because in the past several times I had gone to the clinic prematurely, only to have to wait a long time for the birth.
       Then around 6:30 A.M. we got up & my contractions got harder. We arrived at the midwife's home at about 8:15, & to my surprise she told me that I was 8 centimeters dilated & asked if I wanted to push. Well, I didn't really feel like pushing right there in the little examination room, so I asked her to move me to the delivery room, & one hour later little Gabriel came out head first & after only three pushes, with no tearing, & no cord wrapped around his neck (as has happened with some of my other deliveries).

The Baby at Birth & Complications

       The only problem was that the baby seemed quite blue when he came out, which the midwife said was due to the fact that he had swallowed a lot of mucous, which is not unusual. So they had to pump the mucous out of his stomach & quite a bit came out. When I asked if I could nurse him, they said that it would be safer to let him rest & make sure that all the mucous was out. So after they did that & cleaned the baby & wrapped him up, they put him next to me & he fell asleep peacefully pretty much right away.
       As I was just resting on the delivery table, I started to lose a lot of blood, so much so that the midwife got concerned, & they gave me a shot to help the blood coagulate. They told me that it was a sign of a Vitamin K deficiency, & they were a little concerned. I must say that I was feeling very weak; I think it was the first time in my life that I felt like I was going to faint. After a couple of hours it seemed that the blood flow stopped & I was able to move to the recovery room.
       I had been awake with contractions for the last two nights, & the only thing I wanted to do was sleep. The midwife brought the baby into our room & he rested peacefully next to us while we all had a nap. Around 4:00 p.m. the midwife came & asked if we wanted to go home. Any other time I would have jumped & said, "Yes", but I really felt wiped out & just the thought of putting my clothes on & having to go outside was too much for me.
       God bless the midwife, she said it wouldn't be any extra cost for us to spend the night & she said it was fine for Jerry to stay with me, so it seemed that it was an open door.--And it turned out to be really the Lord, because just a little bit after we settled down to spend the night there, the baby started to change colour. He turned bluish dark red, so we immediately called the midwife & she took him, shook him & then went into her room to extract a lot more mucous from his stomach. We were all desperately praying & a little while afterwards she came to tell us that the baby was fine.
       Around midnight, the midwife came to wake us up & she said that all of a sudden the baby had thrown up quite a lot & there was blood in his vomit, so she was quite concerned & she wanted to know if it was okay to take him to the hospital. She asked us first if we had any specific doctor whom we would like to take him to, but if not, there was a Christian Hospital 15 mins. away from her place, & she would like to have him checked there. So Jerry got up to go with her & they hopped in a taxi, & little Gabriel was soon checked into the intensive care section of the maternity ward.
       First of all they were quite concerned by the amount of mucous he had in his stomach, & also the fact that there was some blood there, which they said was not my blood, but coming from the baby. They said that it was probably due to the Vitamin K deficiency that I had, which consequently affected the baby. They were also concerned that this mucous had gotten in his lungs, which could cause pneumonia.
       For a few days the bleeding continued in his stomach, & they were pumping out a lot of the mucous through a tube. During that time they said that it was dangerous to try to feed him, so they gave him IVs (intravenous feeding) & since he developed pneumonia, they put him under an oxygen mask. After a few days, they said that they were detecting a little heart murmur, which they were a little concerned about, but they said that the murmur might be due to the strain imposed on him by the pneumonia.
       When they finally said that the bleeding had completely stopped & that the stomach juices had reduced to practically the normal amount, we felt that it was time to start feeding the baby, & that's when they told us that from the results of their tests & examinations, it seemed that there was an obstruction or a hindrance between the stomach & the intestine.
       The next day I went home while Jerry stayed at the hospital. I felt very wiped out & extremely emotional. It was quite a shock, after so many healthy children, to see the baby in the incubator with the tube in his nose & the drip in his arm. Also, I just didn't have any strength or stamina. My milk came in & that was another burden, because I had to start expressing it & I just had a hard time to keep my mind on anything else but this situation with the baby, especially since at that time every phone call was bringing me more bad news. First it was the bleeding in the stomach, next it was the pneumonia, & then the obstruction in the stomach, & so on & so forth. So every time the phone would ring, my heart would start beating real fast. I must say that at that time the Word was my salvation, & never has it been such a comfort & an encouragement & something I could stand on & cling to for dear life.
       During this time, Jerry, Mercy & Kenny were staying at the hospital with the baby fulltime       Normally, only the mother & the father are allowed to visit for 15 mins. at a time at certain hours of the day. But we were able to pretty much move in fulltime to help with the care of the baby. We had asked special permission to be able to give him my breast milk, which they said he might not be able to digest, but which we felt would be a big help to him if he could absorb it. So especially when we started to give him mother's milk, we were able to actually sit with him all the time to make sure that if he threw up, it didn't get into his lungs.

The Doctor's Analysis

       One morning Jerry called me & I could hear on the phone that he was pretty much at the end of his rope. He had been there for six days, & had only come home for a couple of hours to have a shower during this time period. They had been keeping pretty strenuous hours, taking shifts with the baby, sleeping & eating at odd hours. GBH, because he knew that I wasn't feeling so well & I was quite worried already, he hadn't wanted to tell me the whole picture that the doctor had given him, so he had carried the burden of it for a couple of days & tried to keep from worrying me. But I think he was getting weary in well doing, so he asked me to please come to the hospital so I could see the situation & talk to the doctor & see the baby.
       I think it was God's perfect timing, because I don't think I could have taken it before, but by this time I was feeling better.
       I asked Ezra to accompany me to the hospital & when we arrived, the main doctor--a very sweet 40-year-old man who has three children & who has been a pediatrician for the last ten years--sat down with us & with the other main lady doctor on duty (she was in her early 30's), & he started to explain what could be wrong with the baby.

       The main problem at that point was the fact that there was some sort of blockage just outside the stomach where the food is supposed to go down into the intestines. Due to this they said they would need to do an operation, which is not too dangerous, but it's of course taxing on the baby However, they felt concerned that they should not operate on the baby at that point since he had a weak heart & was not fully healed of the pneumonia.
       To top it all, the doctor said that besides all these illnesses, there could be a possibility of Down's Syndrome (mongolism) because mongoloid children are usually quite big (like Gabriel--9.3 lbs at birth) & also they have a lot of physical problems & ailments. So they said that they ran a blood test to check on this & we should have the results in a week. But in case he is a mongoloid, they were asking us what we wanted to do. Apparently in this country when parents find out that they have such a child, they usually lose interest in the baby. They're kind of ashamed of it, so they don't try to treat him, & they kind of let nature take its course & hope the baby will die soon.
       They said you get such a disease because of a chromosome problem which often is hereditary, but can also happen in some circumstances for no special reason (at least no special reason they can explain).

Local Medical Mentality

       They explained this very sweetly & they knew it was going to be a very heavy thing for me to hear. They said that normally when a parent brings a child to the hospital in this country, or when any patient comes, they agree to turn the responsibility for the person over to the doctors. Parents or relatives do not interfere with what the doctors feel led to do. This doctor said that they had worked with some Westerners previously & they knew that we viewed things differently, so they wanted to try to understand our way of thinking, though it was quite strange for them.

* * * * * * *

From Ezra
       It was amazing for me to see Marianne & Jerry & Kenny literally lecture the doctor on the why's & wherefore's of what we are doing, & the amazing miracle that the Lord had obviously done in that doctor's life to allow three adults, two of which were non-relatives, to be 24 hours of the day in this intensive care unit where they normally only allow two or three visits for a short time by the parents.
       And then to allow Marianne to feed the baby breast-milk, even with the risk that Gabriel's vomiting could further bring on complications of pneumonia, just clearly shows the Lord can do anything. This is a land where doctors are gods, hospitals are temples, & the mass populace bows down & worships every word that falls off the tongue of a physician. It's outrageous but that is the way it is. But these people have been so yielded to allow Marianne to go through with this.
       The doctor explained to us very sweetly that in his years of medical work, he never ever experienced anything like this. He said that they get foreign patients sometimes, but that we were definitely the most unique that he had ever come across. Because of the amount of communication that had transpired, & how we had explained our point of view to the doctor, the doctor overcame his "principles" & self-righteousness to uphold the rules, & allowed us to be there, & even went against his own personal medical judgement & allowed us to give the baby breast milk, PTL!
       This was a real opportunity for the Lord to do a tremendous miracle & use this situation to be a tremendous testimony to this doctor & to the whole staff of the hospital.
       Dear Marianne, GBH, sat there while the doctor explained all the series of possible horrible diseases that the child could have, & then at the very end dropped the bomb on her that he felt there is a high possibility that it could be suffering from Down's Syndrome & could be mongoloid. I was so impressed, that though I could see it was difficult for her to take, her attitude was one of trust & confidence in Jesus. GBH, I was just really impressed! I saw a real strength, a real faith, a real determination to give the Lord a chance to work, & not to just yield to every whim & fancy of the doctor's opinion. I could see the merit in taking time to explain in detail to the doctor why we took this stand about the breast milk, even with there being a risk to the baby, though we minimised the risk because of our sacrifice of spending 24 hours a day constantly watching the child.
       It was a lesson that communication really has a value. Even if for the reason of not letting the doctor draw the wrong conclusions, showing that though we are religious & though we have strong faith, we are also practical & pragmatic in our decisions in the event that there should be a major turn for the worse & an operation would be necessary. We clearly outlined that we respected the doctor's views & clearly understood how his train of thought & thinking brought him to those conclusions, but that despite that, we had our reasons for wanting the baby to be able to take this milk even though there was an obvious blockage in his intestine & he would have to eventually throw up the milk anyway. We explained that the baby being able to suck & take in the nourishment, & the comfort that the baby would experience from taking in the mother's milk, could have a tremendous healing effect for the baby! It would also prevent the baby going through hunger trials & crying, & he could be happy & able to sleep. We pointed out all of these things & he couldn't argue with the fact that our reasoning was good. So he allowed it to continue, which was a real miracle.
       We heard the next day that the baby actually passed something out of his bowels, & had a doo-doo, which was the meconium, which normally comes out right away after a birth. But the fact that he did have a bowel movement means that his plumbing at least down at the bottom end was working properly, TTL!
       They diagnosed that he had a stricture in the duodenum, just below the stomach, in between the stomach & the small intestine. That seemed to be pretty much confirmed by x-ray, so they decided to wait for the pneumonia to subside before doing a bypass operation. They also detected a heart murmur, & they felt that there is a possible hole between two of the heart chambers.
       Anyway, TTL, that whole situation, & being there & seeing that battle, just further evidenced what we were up against, & the need to stay desperate.

* * * * * * *

From Marianne

Battles & the Strength of the Word

       It really moves me to realise what a wonderful Family we have, the amount of love & dedication & wholeheartedness that our brothers & sisters have is something that you can never find in the System. Dear Mercy & Kenny have been just really laying down their lives & fighting the battle with us, & it makes me so very grateful for the wonderful spirit of our Family.
       In some ways it's been a battle for me to not be able to be more involved & a greater help. I honestly didn't have the strength at first, & now that I've been kind of in a daze for a week, I feel I need to get back to work & get my feet on the pedals, because the Work, the new recording projects, as well as follow-up, has to keep going       
       So in a way I have to leave the baby in others' hands & trust the Lord for him, but in my heart I've had to fight the battle of condemnation for forsaking the baby in his hour of trial. On the other hand, I realise that he's in good hands, Jerry's there & those there really give the baby all the love that I would give him. I don't think I would do any more for him. I would probably just get even more emotionally involved.
       For the last seven days I have wept & I have prayed & I have begged & I have claimed so many Scriptures & stood on His promises & implored the Lord, & I couldn't even put my mind on anything else. But now it seems the Lord wants me to get up from my knees & trust Him & let Him work, which He is doing, & leave that battle to others, at least the direct personal involvement in it. As for me, I need to go about my Father's business & not let the boat drift, but help those who have been standing in the gap here in the Home for me during the time I was recuperating.
       I don't want to overdo either, because though I feel better, I still am quite tired & there's still a lot of emotion involved. But it's like I've been in a daze for a week & I realise that things have to keep going & I'd better get back in the driver's seat & see where we're at.
       I want to say that during this time, the Word has come so alive to me. It has really been a shield & a buckler. Those beautiful song tapes that Dad has recorded, Mama's Victory & Comfort Quotes, & the Book of Psalms have just been such a comfort, help, & strength, & really the only thing I could hold on to, feeling totally weak & helpless. All I could do was just pray desperately & claim the Scriptures.
       It was very encouraging to see that what the Lord has shown me personally & what He has shown others were beautiful promises of real victory & that this was really a time to fight, that there is a great victory ahead. At such times your mind is going wild & you have to fight worrying & trying to figure things out, & have to take one day at a time. But I really learned to fully appreciate the project that you've initiated, dear Mama, in asking the musicians to put the Memory Book verses to song, because these songs on the Word & Faith & Prayer have been going over & over in my mind. I have been standing on them & claiming them & singing them, & those have been so powerful to help dispel the fears & doubts & worries of the Enemy, PTL!

What the Lord Has Shown Me

       Needless to say, this has caused me to really search my heart, because I know that all this wouldn't have happened if the Lord wasn't trying to get through to me on something       I know that the Lord must have allowed this to happen for some reason, & when the baby first went to the hospital, I started to search my heart. The first thing I got was that the Lord wanted to humble me, because I guess I'm proud & over-confident in my good health, & I know I've been proud of the fact that I've had easy pregnancies & easy deliveries, & the babies have been healthy. I'm quite proud of my children, & maybe the Lord is trying to humble me with one who is weak. It certainly has been very humbling to have to ask for prayer daily for all these sicknesses & for my health, & I practically had to be nursed back to health by the Family here who, GBT, have been so sweet & caring & have really gone out of their way to help & support us in this time.
       The other thing I got was that the Lord was displeased with me because, though on one hand I'm proud of my children, with this pregnancy I know I complained in my heart & questioned the Lord about why I was pregnant again so soon. It's like I've been questioning the Lord's wisdom, & though I didn't voice it so much, it was in my heart, kind of a silent murmur & maybe a resentment. So the Lord is making me really want this baby & want to fight for it instead of silently complaining that I'm having another child again. The Lord has really been so good & merciful to me, He's certainly blessed me in every way & given me all the desires of my heart, at least most of them. So the Lord had a right to be displeased with me for this secret murmur of my heart, or my questioning His wisdom.
       Murmuring is self-righteousness & it is the worst sin of all, especially when I think of how He's blessed me so much, giving me an ideal situation here, supplying all my needs, having wonderful people to work with, a sweet loving mate to help me, & even having the children come back to live with me. So I guess it must have displeased the Lord greatly that I wasn't more cheerfully accepting the blessing He was giving me. When the Lord gives a baby, it's like He's entrusting us with one of His little ones. It's not like we're doing Him a favour. In a way, He's doing us a favour by trusting us with one of His dear little souls.
       In my heart, on one hand I was overly confident that everything was going to go well, though I did get desperate & I did ask for united prayer for all the specific details of the birth, & I especially did get very desperate in the last two weeks. But on the other hand, I had been questioning the Lord deep down in my heart & this is one thing the Lord wanted to expose. Of this I have certainly repented & have begged the Lord to save little Gabriel's life, as He forgives me for my sins. All along none of us have felt that the Lord wanted to take the baby back Home. It doesn't seem the direction the Lord is going, but He's really teaching us to fight for his life, & when he comes through all this, I know he'll remain a very, very special child for us.

Fulfilling My New Year's Prayer

       Another thing that the Lord showed me is that my New Year's prayer was to learn to be more of a fighter, & also to be more like the true revolutionary that you describe in your Letter, "What Does It Mean To Be Truly Revolutionary?" (Maria 44), dear Mama.--Somebody who is totally yielded, willing & obedient. Well, this experience is really teaching me to fight & wield the weapon of the Word & the weapon of prayer, but I guess it's also exposing an unyielded area in my heart, where I wasn't as thankful for being pregnant as I should have been, taking it as an honour & a blessing as I should have taken it. So I could see that through this experience the Lord's already starting to fulfil my New Year's wish & purging me in those areas where I need to break more.
       I do feel there's going to be a real victory out of this whole situation, but in the meantime I really pray that the Lord can give us the wisdom to know how to handle it every step of the way & help us to make the right decisions & also help me to change, so the Lord can see that I have a true repentance, & so He can bless with healing.
       This situation reminds me somewhat of what happened with David Red when he had his stroke. It was something really unexpected that caught us off-guard, but it really united us & taught us to fight for his healing through prayer & through the power of the Word. At that time, Solo was the main one nursing David Red back to health. When David first went to the hospital he was basically a vegetable, couldn't talk, couldn't remember a thing, barely could move. But little by little through the power of the Word & continued prayer, he recovered, & from what I understand, he's now basically totally back to normal. (Ed.: TY for your prayers for David, who is helping at a large service center on the mission field, PTL!)
       We learnt a lot at that time about fighting & being instant in prayer, & about not giving up, & letting the Lord work at His speed.

* * * * * * *

       GBY! IRRLY & want to thank you again for your prayers which have really helped keep me during this trying time. This time has made me so thankful for you & for the Word & all you've taught us, & for the wonderful Family that we live in.--Most of all for all the truth that you've taught us throughout the years, which has really helped me make it through this time. These must have been some of the most trying days I've ever lived, & they've certainly served the purpose of driving me close to the Lord as never before. As I go along I can see little by little more clearly why the Lord's allowing this in our lives.
       After going through all the initial agony of feeling I'm just getting punished for all my sins, I'm starting to see more clearly that this gift which at first looked like a stone, is indeed bread, chosen by Him for us to fulfil a special purpose in our lives. I guess one of my biggest fears in life was to have an abnormal or retarded child, or a child who is sick. Well, now that this fear has happened, I don't have to fear it any more, but I realise that it's just a new twist in our lives & a responsibility to face up to, as well as a special blessing that He allowed to teach us lessons that we need to learn. I don't know exactly what the Lord has in store for us in the future, but I can see that this little boy has already done a whole lot for us as far as getting us desperate & breaking our hearts & humbling us, & even uniting our Homes here in desperate prayer, PTL!
       It was a real timely blessing that Josiah could drop by. He was a real strength & encouragement. It really did touch my heart a whole lot to have him there at that special time, & also to be able to talk it out together & pray together & kind of analyse the situation as it was when he came by.

Update on Baby Gabriel

       When we met again with the main doctor attending Gabriel, the first thing he said was that the results of the Down's Syndrome test were positive. He then proceeded to explain to us that there are three kinds of Down's Syndrome. Two are hereditary, that run either in the father's family or the mother's family. The third kind is just an "accident". Down's Syndrome is caused by one extra chromosome in the body. While normal people have 46 chromosomes, those with Down's Syndrome have 47. They don't have any explanation of it, or know exactly what causes this disease. They said that it is more common for women that are older to have such children than younger women. The kind Gabriel has is the "accidental" kind, the one that does not come by heredity.
       The doctor then proceeded to explain to us that the baby was healed of his pneumonia! (It is quite a miracle & an answer to prayer that the Lord healed him so quickly, as he got over pneumonia in just over a week, PTL!) But, as often occurs with Down's Syndrome children, or mongoloids, he has a weakness of the heart & a possibility of Hirschsprung's Disease, which is a weakness of the nerves of the muscles which push the BMs. He also confirmed the surgeon's diagnosis that we should operate on the baby, & said that we should actually operate on him as soon as possible because right now he's in good condition, but of course if he doesn't eat, his condition will deteriorate quickly.
       We explained to him that we understood this, & we had been very thankful that they had tried the natural method & allowed us to give him breast milk. Actually, when he was giving us the diagnosis, he said that the fact that we had given him the milk helped them to see certain areas which were functioning, which they thought weren't functioning, so they admitted that at least trying to feed him helped.--Yet the fact that he vomited constantly & didn't have normal BMs showed that none of the food was really passing through, hence that needed to be taken care of.
       We had a real good, sweet talk with this doctor & I must say I was really shook up by the whole situation, being faced with the fact that the baby was not healed of his stomach trouble & especially the fact that he had Down's Syndrome, which I had hoped he wouldn't have, & which of course has a lot further repercussions than just a technical problem which an operation could solve on a normal child.
       The doctor also admitted that if we did decide to switch doctors, he wanted to say that this situation had been quite a learning experience for him to have us around, seeing our attention for the baby & how concerned we were. Usually local parents just leave their children in the care of the doctor & just don't interfere or try to understand what's happening so much. According to Ezra, he was genuinely touched, quite sincerely & humbly admitting that he had learned something by seeing us operate.
       I was able to ask the doctor what a mongoloid child can do & what development can we expect from him, & the doctor very sweetly explained that here when people have such children, they pretty much dump them, put them in institutions or let them die of all their sicknesses because they are ashamed of them. But he said, "Well, I can see in your case there won't be too much of a problem, because these children grow as much as you put into them. They're slower children & they may not have a very high IQ, but they are usually very loving & very sweet. They love music & rhythm, they learn to take care of themselves & to talk, & basically just develop at a slower pace, but they do have physical weaknesses which often cause them to die at an early age." He said that a lot of them grow to be pretty much fully developed & live pretty normal lives, but of course there are certain things that you have to watch out for, & they require a lot more love & care & attention.

Decision about Hospital

       I was really kind of shook up after hearing the doctor's diagnosis, & so we prayed that the Lord would show us clearly & "lead us in a plain path" as far as what was best for the baby & the overall situation--if it was really the Lord that we move the baby to the care of a doctor who was a friend of the Family's, or if we should stay in our present hospital where we've already established a good communication with the doctors & staff, & where they had done a lot of the tests already. Our doctor had made a report of all the tests they had done & the results, so that our Family doctor friend & his specialist friend could go over it & draw their conclusions.
       Later we re-read the Letter "Open Doors", & the counsel in that Letter was such a confirmation, because it seemed that the Lord had led us miraculously to His place right from the start. But I know it was the Lord that we were very concerned about the operation, so that at least we went to get another opinion before we agreed to have it.--And also so we could see if we could get a better situation for the baby & for ourselves. But after discussing it together, it seemed more & more clear that & hearing that our doctor friend agreed that an operation was necessary, it would be somewhat irresponsible for us, & actually we (& of course the Family therefore) could even be accused of criminal negligence if we didn't see this operation through. There didn't seem to be much chance of the baby being able to be fed unless this operation was done. So since we agreed to that point, we all felt that the situation at our present hospital was the best.
       We'd established a very good rapport with the doctors & the nurses, & they were really touched by our love for the baby & all that we'd gone through. It seemed to us that there was more we could do to lead them to the Lord, but if we had pulled the baby out, we wouldn't have had a chance to. Also, if we had changed hospitals at that point, all the many tests would have to be redone, putting poor little Gabriel through even more, & I didn't really want to have to face that unless it was really necessary.

Meeting & Prayer with the Surgeon

       So we all had a real peace about the situation, & we called the hospital & said we wanted to go ahead with their suggestion to operate on the baby.
       As a confirmation of the leading we had about staying at this Hospital, the very same surgeon who previously had looked so impatient, & whom we really didn't like so much, came to Kenny & Mercy one morning as they were having breakfast in the cafeteria & he sat down with them & took time to talk with them. He said that he really understood our feelings & that he was very concerned for the baby. He related to what we were going through, he said, because one of his friends had gone to the States & the wife had suddenly gotten sick & found herself in a hospital where she couldn't communicate with the people & it was a very traumatic experience for her. So this surgeon really showed that he had a heart & he wasn't so mean after all. For us it was an encouragement because we hadn't had such a good feeling about him before.
       We then had an appointment with the surgeon so he could explain to us what he was going to do. Actually, it was quite something, because in this country it's not common for the surgeon to come & explain to you what he's going eople feel abroad, which was a real blessing because the other doctor we'd conferred with from the other hospital, couldn't speak a word of English & was kind of an old-fashioned, stuffy type of doctor who'd obviously never related to parents.
       We really had very sweet communication with this doctor, & at the end I asked if he would mind if we said a word of prayer for him since he was going to perform the operation, & he said, "I love God, too." I asked him if he was a Christian, & he said that he's a Buddhist, but he didn't mind us praying for him. A couple of nurses & the other lady doctor were there too, & they also respectfully bowed their heads while we were praying. Then they had us sign some papers, saying that we agreed to the operation.
       One point that we brought up was that of course we'd rather not have any blood transfusions, & he said that he agreed. He said that he doesn't like to do blood transfusions & he would try to avoid doing that at any cost. But if there was any blood needed, he asked if he could use either Jerry's or my blood, so we agreed to it, though we desperately prayed that he wouldn't need any blood transfusion.--And PTL, no blood transfusion was needed, & the operation itself went very, very well. What an answer to prayer! (Ed.: Although we do not recommend blood transfusions, & agree that you should pray that the need for one does not arise, in the event that it is necessary to have one, it would certainly be preferable to give your or your mate's blood rather than run the risk of your child contracting AIDS or other diseases from the blood of an unknown donor.)

Praying for the Lord's Perfect Will

       Of course, through all this we developed a special love for the baby. All the Scriptures we'd gotten, not only personally but from all sources, seemed to indicate that he was going to live, at least for awhile, & that he had a purpose in this World. But just before the operation I really did commit the whole situation into the Lord's hands. I honestly prayed that if his life was going to be miserable & full of sicknesses & pain & sorrow, that I'd rather the Lord would take him Home now, but I was ready for whatever was the Lord's Will. So we didn't just fight in prayer that he'd stay alive, but we really felt led to commit the whole situation more into God's hands at that point.
       I felt that if this baby was going to be a burden to the Family & to the Work, & if he was going to be suffering or sickly, well, I'd rather he be happy in Heaven. But if the Lord wanted to use him to teach us some lessons & break us & help us grow, then of course we'd love to keep him because we, of course, had grown to love him very much.
The night of his operation, we got to read the Letter "Handicapped?--It Can Be a Blessing!" (ML830) which was a beautiful encouragement for us, & we were so thankful for this Letter. It was interesting to see how the woman in this Letter knew right at birth that her baby had Down's Syndrome, whereas in our case the Lord only gave us part of the picture at birth. First the problem was the mucous & stomach bleeding, so we really prayed for the healing of his stomach. Then it seemed that the only problem was the Vitamin K deficiency. But then pneumonia developed & it seemed it was due to the fact that he had vomited at birth due to the first problems, so we were faced with two physical problems. Of course it caused us to be desperate, but all that the Lord showed us at that point was to really fight for his healing. And all the verses we & others got pointed in that direction.
       Then as things went on, it seemed the Lord was healing him of these two sicknesses, but after about one week we got the picture that there was a possible heart problem & the stomach seemed to be definitely blocked & possible Hirschsprung's disease, & possibly Down's Syndrome. I guess none of these sicknesses were sure, so what we got was still to fight for the healing of the existing problems because we weren't sure that there were any other definite sicknesses & handicaps.
       Well, the Lord waited ten days before He gave us the whole picture. I think if I had known at birth that there were so many complications & that there was even a mental handicap, I don't think I would have fought that much. I would have felt, "Well, if this child's going to be having so many problems & if he's going to be unhappy & sick & possibly a burden on the Work", then I would have prayed half-heartedly for his healing. In this situation the Lord didn't reveal to us the whole picture right from the start. Actually, all that He gave us was about fighting & claiming his healing & that the Lord was going to have a real purpose in his life, besides of course all the lessons that we've learned from it from the beginning, on the different things that I felt the Lord was dealing with us about.

Lives Changed by this Special Time & Baby

       Although the baby has had a lot of complications, he basically has really good health. It was quite a miracle that he recovered from the pneumonia in only one week. Though he has four heart problems according to the doctor, he took the operation really well & came out of it with flying colours. So it seems that for the time being he has a purpose. What I'm getting at this point is that He wants to teach us more humility, give us a more broken heart & make us more kind & loving & compassionate, besides all the things that I confessed before, which I believe are still holding true.
       We'll have to see how things develop, because as the doctor warned us, such children don't always stay in this World very long, though they may grow to be 30 or 40 years of age (TTL, we won't have that much time). But as it stands now, it seems the Lord has given us this special gift to accomplish a certain purpose in this World. I know that He's already changed our lives & the lives of many others. He has affected our Home life a great deal because everybody has been fighting in prayer for him. Also the miracles the Lord did at the hospital were a real witness to the doctors & the nurses.
       One thing that they have seen is the love that we as Christians have, "No greater love hath any man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."--John 15:13. To see our little team so desperate in prayer & holding & caring for the baby day & night & playing tapes to him & sincerely laying down their lives to fight for him has really touched that whole floor of the hospital. A German girl from another floor said that they had heard about us & the baby & how we prayed over him, & she came & said that she was a Christian too. I guess she wanted to encourage us, but the encouragement was that the news had spread throughout the hospital & had affected not only the few people that we have immediate contact with, but actually our situation was the talk of the town. PTL!
       It has all taught us so much in the last 13 days. Kenny, who is a very precious national, was telling us that this has been a real tremendous learning & life-changing experience for him. It taught him so much about decision-making & fighting & desperate prayer & trusting the Lord & relating to the World (he was the one who did all the translating for us), & also about having more faith & conviction. He said the fact that the top surgeon, who's also a famous professor, sat down with us & explained in detail what he was going to do when he operated on the baby, & that at the end he accepted us praying for him was in itself a tremendous miracle!--And that the other doctor admitted that we had really taught him something was another one, PTL! Though it seems that the last 13 days have been the darkest tunnel I've ever had to go through, I fell asleep with a real peace in my heart last night, & actually woke up with a heart full of praise for all the amazing miracles the Lord has done. It's actually quite incredible!

The Medical Costs

       One night after we had seen the doctor & had the confirmation that the baby had all these sicknesses & that he definitely needed an operation, I woke up in the middle of the night & I felt really condemned, that this is going to cost a whole lot of money to the Family. I had a whole string of worries, but I just had to finally commit it to the Lord. And in the morning I got a message that Lydia's (Mrs. N.'s) sister was turning over to the Family 10% of a large amount of money that she recently got, PTL! The Lord's certainly not failing!
       Well, I was worried that this whole thing was going to cost a whole lot of money, & I couldn't see spending this large donation just on hospital bills, when I know there's a great financial need in the Family. But yesterday we checked in the hospital, & because I was able to get insurance just before I delivered the baby, it's actually not going to cost that much, PTL! I think because the baby has Down's Syndrome, you get some special benefits. (Note: Though the bill was going to be US$35,000 for one month in intensive care, tests, operation etc., they decided that it is going to be free for us, PTL!)

More on Our Witness

       We had been really praying for our witness to the doctors & nurses because again, they've really been precious & affected by our sample. We really prayed that somehow we could lead some of them to the Lord. We had the children write the doctors & nurses thank-you notes. The one lady doctor, the assistant to the main doctor attended to Gabriel's care: She was really stiff & under the law at the beginning, but little by little her heart has softened & she's really opened up. She has taken a real personal interest in the baby, & when she went to the operation & sat there the whole time, & you could see that she was really personally concerned for him. At the end she said, "Oh, now I can go to sleep." It was like she was really suffering & enduring & rejoicing with us. We feel that she's a real precious sheep, so please pray that we can, in return for all their hard work, give them the most precious Gift we have, which is receiving Eternal Life through Jesus.
       I don't know how these people do it, seeing so much suffering & sicknesses, & working such long hours without the Lord, & still keeping a very sweet spirit. Next to our baby there's a poor little girl baby who's a real pitiful sight. She's already been seven months in the hospital, as she has a serious lung disease which prevents her being able to absorb milk. She's very, very skinny & it seems like it's quite a serious disease. The mother is a very beautiful woman & you can see how this whole experience is really breaking her.
       She sees us there with the baby & it really seems to touch her heart. She speaks quite good English, & she was asking me how my baby was going to be there. I told her probably ten days or two weeks more. I asked her how long her baby was going to be there, & (Marianne cries) she said, "Well, it could take years because of this serious lung problem." It really broke my heart for this poor woman. She visits the baby faithfully every day & sits there with the pitiful little child on her lap, looking at her, & I just don't know how you can take it if you don't have the Lord. It made me think of the little story about the man who complained that he had no shoes until he went down the street & saw a man who had no feet.
       I looked at our little baby, who is so cute & sleeping peacefully, & I was feeling we've gone through a lot. But then I saw this dear sweet woman whose child is in such a pitiful state & who doesn't know the Lord, has no faith to strengthen her & they may have to suffer for years. Well, she's someone I really pray we can minister to because she speaks very good English, she always talks with us & we've been trying to encourage her. We told her we're going to pray for her baby, & she thanked us for that, so maybe the Lord has us there for this woman, too.
       It is a blessing to be able to share the situation with the whole Home. We got to read the end of the class "The Advantage of a Handicap" in the Treasures. It has the story of Dale & Roy Rogers who had a little mongoloid girl & wrote the book "Angels Unawares", & how this little girl drew them to the Lord & how she affected their lives & made them so much more loving & humble & sweet & considerate. That little passage is quite beautiful, & I think it helped everybody to see the positive side of this situation, & everybody's had a real sweet attitude.
       Because of the sharing in our Home, I wanted to make sure everybody understood that this was not something hereditary or something that ran either in Jerry's or my families, but is the type of Down's Syndrome that comes by "accident", so that nobody is afraid. (--Not that we've been sharing any more than usual, but just in case this could help dispel any fears or worries.) I also made a point that this whole situation should not be discussed right now until we're able to explain it to the children.

Lydia's Witness at Deathbed of Brother-In-Law, & to Her Sisters

       During all this, Lydia (Mrs. N.) got a message that the husband of her younger sister was dying & that she needed to go & visit her. By the time she got there the husband was already in a coma, so she knelt by his bed & she started to really witness to him & tell him that he needed to receive Jesus, otherwise he was going to go to Hell, kind of begging him to make a decision. She asked him to pray with her & all of a sudden all of the machines recording his heartbeat & breathing, etc. registered a big change of rhythm!--There was a definite reaction! She felt that he received the Lord right then, & a few days later he died.
       Well, her sister was heartbroken & apparently she tried to commit suicide, so Lydia really witnessed to her & she ended up getting saved! She had a real Salvation experience, all the neighbours could see how changed she was, so she & Lydia apparently decided that she needed to come to our city to be near Lydia. The Lord opened the door for Lydia's sister to be able to find an apartment close by our Home, a total miracle considering how extremely difficult it is to find any housing whatsoever in our area. She picked up some of her assets from the bank, & then Lydia called us to say that her sister had a new van & a whole bunch of furniture that she wanted to donate to the local Home. We arranged for somebody to go & pick it all up, & I think it was a real blessing to them.
       Lydia's sister is a real sweet woman. When paying her first visit to our Home, right away she looked like she felt right at home & she especially loved the children. The next day, she was really on fire & witnessing to her relatives, & she & Lydia led their third sister to the Lord. PTL!
       Lydia talked to her about giving 10% to the Family, & this is why she tithed to our Home, PTL!
       Another miracle is that the sister used to be the head nurse in one of the top hospitals in her city! On top of that, she spent a lot of her nursing time in the intensive care unit of the nursery department, & apparently even worked for several years with mongoloid & handicapped children in the hospital!
       So this is all part of God's amazing miracles & set-up! This poor woman who wanted to end her life just a few weeks ago because she thought she had lost everything, all of a sudden found Jesus & the Family & even a purpose in life, PTL! I just cannot help but marvel at the fact that the Lord brought this woman at this special time just in such a miraculous way.
       Since from what I understand the baby may continue to be delicate, it certainly would be a blessing to have somebody nearby who has nursing knowledge. It would also make this woman feel needed & give her some sort of reason to live. TYJ! He certainly never fails, & all these things put together just made me wake up with real praise in my heart after days of fog & doom in my mind.

Special Prayer Request

       I would like to enclose a little prayer request & actually check if it is even okay to pray such a prayer. Maybe it's just a plain lack of trust, but actually in the last month of my pregnancy I really felt like I wanted to ask the Lord to not make me pregnant, at least for a few more years. At the rate that I've been pregnant, there's usually been only three or four months between the delivery & the beginning of the next pregnancy. Although up until now it hasn't even bothered me so much & I felt the strength for it, for some reason right now I feel my body is somewhat rundown. I have six little ones who are very young, including this new baby who will take some special care, & I have to admit that I'm a little bit afraid of getting pregnant right away again.
       I really want to trust the Lord about it all, & I know that He's only given what I needed so far & He's given me the strength & the help of the Family. He certainly hasn't failed me nor given me more than I can handle, but I feel that I should at least let my requests be made known unto God. I know God is agaiyou how my faith is getting tested, so at least I confess it & can go with whatever He has in store.
       (Maria: You have a good example in Jesus' prayer in the Garden, "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt."--Mat.26:39.
(For this is the Love of God, that we keep His commandments: & His commandments are not grievous.--1Jn.5:3. Teach me to do Thy Will, for Thou art my God.--Ps.143:10. Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the Will of God from the heart.--Eph.6:6. I delight to do Thy Will, O my God.--Ps.40:8. Labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect & complete in all the Will of God.--Col.4:12.)

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Reaction to Marianne's Battles & Baby Gabriel--From Josiah (formerly Paul of Marianne)

       I have also been going through the battles that Marianne has been going through. I don't know why, but I have felt quite a part of all that was happening even though I was at a distance. I really felt like comforting Marianne in these special times of battle, & the little time that we had together when visiting her was very precious. I haven't seen the baby yet except in a photo but I feel very drawn to this little boy, as if he were my own.
       I don't know why the Lord allowed it. I would have found plenty of reasons why the Lord would have afflicted me with a deformed or a disabled baby, but when I think of Marianne, I see her as kind of a saint, a fairly perfect person in the Family, & maybe it is a similar situation to what the Lord decided to do with Job. I don't think Marianne is self-righteous but maybe the Devil did come to the Lord saying, "Let me do this one thing to Marianne & You will see her worst". Well, personally I think she has been passing through these battles with flying colours & it makes me really admire her & love her even more. God bless her
       We had a real good talk on the phone one day shortly after she found out that the baby did have Down's Syndrome. I told her that when I heard about it, I had a real feeling of peace in my heart & I felt proud to welcome him into our own little family circle. I said that it would probably only benefit us all in making us a sweeter team. I said it is bound to have a good effect on the children & I know that our eldest son David particularly will probably really fall in love with his little baby brother & want to protect & care for him. The first time I saw the picture of the baby I knew that he must be mongoloid from the way he looked. There are some very specific traits of mongoloid children that really stand out at almost any age, even at birth.
       This whole experience that happened to Marianne really touched my heart & I really had a good cry about it all, not so much because I was feeling sad for myself, but I guess it just really broke my heart for Marianne, for all that she must have gone through. God bless her. I don't know why but it really affected me. Perhaps it is because I still kind of feel like part of that little family even though the Lord seems to have given me other loves & children as well. Sometimes I wonder how the Lord will untangle all these lines in Heaven. Ha! I guess we will all be so in love & so infatuated with Him, being so close to Him, that we ourselves will all drop our own lines & we will be more like friends than lovers. That might help take some of the complications out & leave just the virtues & the beauties of love. Anyway, my heart really goes out to Marianne at this time, & our new little messenger from Heaven, Gabriel! TYJ!

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From Marianne

The Baby's Progress

       The doctor seemed pleased with the way the operation went. For the first few days the baby was back in the incubator, but after four days he was moved from the incubator into a regular bed, which was a miracle!
       They started to give him glucose water, & milk soon after that. We were able to bring him home a few days afterwards, which was such a big victory, PTL! We were really desperately praying that the Lord would heal him promptly so that somehow it'd be the end of all this sorrow, so that we could bring him into Godly surroundings & he could make the progress he needed to make & we could all get on with the Lord's Work. We're taking it as from the Lord that that's what He's doing right now & this is the school that He wants to put us through, & He's teaching us patience.--But at the same time we do want to continue to be desperate so that this situation can normalise itself pretty soon.

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By Jerry Crusader
Dearest Loved Ones,
       GBY, ILY so much & really want to thank you for your prayers & words of encouragement during our recent difficult times. TTL, little Gabriel is doing much better now, & it seems it shouldn't be too many more days before he's able to come home if things continue progressing as they are now! It was a week ago today that he had his operation & now he's already drinking milk, the first that's gone down since he was born, PTL! He's been healed of so many things & progressed so well so quickly, that it can only be attributed to everyone's prayers & the resultant miraculous healing that the Lord has performed!
       I've certainly learned a lot through this experience, & as you said often happens through these kinds of experiences, the Lord has certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of these afflictions & used it to get me to repent of lots of sins & failures.--By His grace it means a lot of real deep changes in many different areas.
       My main lesson has to be that I was getting too busy with the Master's Work, to the point of neglecting the Master. I have one of the most wonderful jobs in the Family, in the World for that matter, & I do really love my work--but I was allowing my work to take more time & importance than it should have. I was working too many hours, especially on this exciting Memo Book Song Project, & wasn't allowing myself enough Word & prayer time, & my hunger for the Word & close link with Him were both weakening. I also was tending to lean on Marianne & her link with the Lord more & more for my inspiration rather than digging things out of the Word for myself.
       Well, He blew on that attitude real hard, because when the baby was born, Marianne was too physically weak to even be in this battle, so I was down at the hospital in a life-&-death situation where I needed to hear loud & clear exactly what the Lord wanted us to do. The slightest mistake could have cost a precious little life that seemed to be hanging by a thread. We all had to hang onto the Lord & His promises for strength, sanity, & to know what to believe & how to proceed, & I must say that He never failed us--though we often were faithless, He remained faithful & did not deny His Own!
       It was beautiful to see in the midst of all of this how the Lord spoke so beautifully from so many directions, encouraging us both that we were forgiven for all our personal sins & problems, & that He was going to heal!
       Another valuable lesson is that I really believed God was going to heal the little boy without an operation, & even got verses that seemed to indicate he wouldn't require one.--The Lord had healed him of seemingly everything we asked for except for the final miracle of opening the blocked passage in his stomach. So when we had done all we could & stepped out on the limb & He didn't heal completely, I was at first sort of thrown for a loop for a few hours. But I soon learned where my mistake had been, & that He wanted to do it differently than I imagined, for His Own good reasons.
       I learned that there comes a time when you stop the "Command ye Me" tactics & just "Stand back & watch Me fight" & watch Him get the victory in the manner He wants to do it. The recent Letter "Open Doors" (ML2472) was a real encouragement about finding God's Will, & helped me believe He hadn't failed us, He'd just led us some other way than we thought He was going to lead. I read "Interpretation" & "Leave Yourself Open" which also helped me to see more how the Lord works. Thank God for the Word on this, or I might have misunderstood how the Lord was working & thought His bread was a stone!
       Even the fact that this child will be a mongoloid at first seemed unbelievable, but it's easy to see from the Word on that how he's a special little man with an important mission, & will surely teach us a lot of things.--He already has in just two short weeks! I know having a "weaker sheep" will only cause his busy Daddy to have to slow down & spend more time with him & all the kids, when I was tending to neglect the children nearly as much as the Lord Himself.
       My New Year's verse & prayer was Romans 12:1, so I can see how the Lord sending this little one to me will certainly be a partial answer, since he'll have so many special needs & will need extra care. We're both really encouraged with the challenging possibilities of raising this special child with more intense training than we gave our others, as "on our more uncomely parts we do bestow the greater care", so PTL! Plus I can see that the Lord would want him to have a Mommy as wonderful & sweet as Marianne, who would really love & care for Him, so it's going to be a special blessing.

       We never could have made it physically, emotionally, spiritually or in any way without the support of this wonderful Family, PG! Thank God we didn't have to do it all on our own like so many of the poor people we see down here at the hospital.
       So it's been sort of a year-end cleaning & purging to get me ready for the New Year, after a long work period with few interruptions last year. It's sure got me in the Word & in prayer & closer to Him than ever before & taught me many life-changing lessons which will hopefully be long-lasting landmarks on the road of His loving service. I know our lives are permanently changed by this special child, so may the Lord have His way & may we not fail Him & our part in His plan. I love you, need you, & thank God for all you did to help us make it through this tough time--thanks so very much!

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From Marianne
       This situation with the baby has been very trying in itself, but it's also a situation that has caused us to be very desperate & to decide many things by faith & be confronted with a totally new experience that we have never encountered before. Besides all the emotional battles, there was the battle of wondering whether we were doing the right thing or not, making the right decisions or not, & also whether we were really getting what the Lord was trying to show us with letting all this happen. I guess it is one thing to go through a trial, but it is another thing to really find out what the Lord is trying to teach us through that trial.
       We realise that it has happened because of our sins, but we also feel that there is going to be a great blessing of lessons to be learnt from it. And on the other hand at times we've been utterly condemned, feeling that we must be really rotten to have to suffer seeing the baby being sick. There are a lot of areas we need to work on & we certainly are sinners, but I feel that we have to fight all the Devil's condemnation in this situation & not develop a negative outlook on it all, not seeing the baby as "God's judgement" on us.
       It seems people who have had children with various problems have gone through a lot of battles with it, & some have had a bitter attitude because they didn't really know how to handle their situation & it seems that people in their Homes didn't exactly know how to handle these special children either. When Mary (Kezia) heard about Gabriel's birth she said she got really excited because she felt that maybe the Lord is sending this special little boy to us to encourage all those who are going through similar battles. She even said that she always had fears that one of her children would be abnormal, & just hearing the fact that I had a special child took away that fear. She said that we would probably learn a lot of lessons with him & share these lessons with the Family & that those lessons could be a real help to many who are in similar situations.

Making Decisions about the Baby

       Four days ago we were able to get Gabriel out of the hospital. This whole situation has been such a new experience for me & I feel that I have so much to learn about the walk of faith.
       They had the whole staff of doctors of the pediatric department, about 5 or 6 doctors, standing around us explaining to us the dangers in taking him out. One doctor who has been really quite cold & businesslike with us explained that there are a lot of dangers in his situation considering he has four problems with his heart & that he definitely has Hirschsprung's disease & that if we do not give him enemas & help him have his BMs & relieve him from his gas his intestine could blow up inside of him. He also explained that now he is fine because he is a newborn but when he grows older, unless his heart improves, he may have spells & faint or die of a heart attack. Anyway, after talking to them, the situation looked quite bleak & I have to admit that a few times I even wished that the Lord would take him Home because it seemed that it was such an unbearable future to face.
       Actually, this has been one of the things I had to really battle in my mind & get a peace about.--That maybe we did interfere with God's Will in his life by letting him go through the operation on his stomach. If we hadn't brought him to the hospital, if there had not been any medical help available, our sweet little angel would already be with the Lord, which is probably the best place I could dream of for him.
       So I had to really settle in my heart that when he first started to have problems at the midwife's, right after he was born, we definitely didn't know what was wrong with him so we had to get medical assistance to at least find out what was the matter. When we brought him to the hospital we started to find out the problems, one by one. All along we tried to fight all we could to be with him, so we could watch everything that was being done to him & pray over him. This, in itself, was a miracle that they allowed us to do it. We also tried to do all we could in the spiritual, by having a prayer chain going for him & united desperate prayer sessions with the Home. We called for prayer, we searched our hearts & made confessions in front of the whole body & even anointed him with oil in the hospital & laid hands on him when he was still in an incubator. The Lord could have healed his body with no help from the doctors, but for some reason He didn't.
       When it came the time to decide on whether or not he should be operated on, this was a real tough decision because all that we had tried in the spiritual & the natural (like giving him milk by faith) was not helping, so we were faced with the choice of either pulling him out of the hospital & probably seeing him die of hunger, or going through with the operation. Knowing at that point that he was a mongoloid, that he had Hirschsprung's disease in his intestine & that he had a weak heart, we really wondered if the Lord wanted to take him. But we all felt that we just couldn't pull him out of the hospital & say that we would take him & let him die. After all that we had tried, I just didn't have the faith that all of a sudden when we got home his stomach was going to be healed & that he was going to make it.
       Going through the operation was really putting him on the altar, & either the operation was going to be a success or the Lord would take him Home. At that time, I really honestly put him back into the Lord's hands & I wasn't really holding on to his life. Actually, in my heart, I felt it was such an impossible situation, that maybe the best would be for him to go back Home. But miraculously enough, after the Lord healed him of his pneumonia, the Lord saw him through that operation in spite of his weak heart & he seemed to recuperate well, PTL!
       When we discussed the situation about the operation, as much       as we wanted to have full faith to not do it--maybe if it had been one of us we could have had the faith for ourselves--when it is for a child, you are making a decision for somebody else & you could be accused of being criminally negligent if the baby dies, thus attracting unnecessary attention to the local Work & our kings etc.
       Bringing him home from the hospital was another decision of faith too, because they clearly told us that they felt we shouldn't pull him out so soon, but on the other hand they seemed to say that it was according to our faith & it was not going to endanger his life. When it was time for the operation, they definitely told us, "If you don't go through with the operation, your baby is going to die." But about taking him home from the hospital it was up to our faith & we had the faith to take a stand. Even after this big sobering talk, the young lady doctor came to us & said that maybe being home would be the best for him, so it was a confirmation from her own mouth that we were doing the right thing.
       Now there was another decision of faith we had to take: Though the baby eats well now, he still needs to be helped with his BMs. The doctors told us to give him enemas twice a day & also once a day to put a little tube (made of soft plastic) in his anus to relieve him of his gas. They taught us how to do it & this was one of the conditions for us to be able to leave the hospital. If we don't do this every day, since he is not able to completely push his BM through & completely pass gas, the food inside would make him very sick & he would get infections. So we did learn how to do this, which wasn't so complicated & doesn't cause him too much discomfort.
       When we got home we had to really pray as to whether we would continue to do this or not. We read in the Childcare Handbook that enemas can cause children to fear going BM later in his life. When we were praying about it, we were trying to see how he would react if we didn't do it & he definitely looked very uncomfortable. When we do those enemas with glycerine, which is apparently a mild enema, the baby is much more relieved & he can eat. We are trying to find out if there is any way around it or a more natural way to do it, but so far it seems we have to do something to relieve him & if we don't do it, the baby is going to suffer & eventually probably die. I just can't stand to see him in pain, & this little procedure relieves him of discomfort.
       With all the problems that he has, the Lord can take him Home anytime. When we brought Gabriel back home, we gathered all the Family & explained to them that we had pulled out the baby on our own faith, but that the doctors had explained to us that he had these different problems, & that he could die anytime. We had laying on of hands for Him to rebuke anything from the hospital & against the fears & worries the doctors put in us. We also prayed for either his healing, or that the Lord would take him Home quickly with no pain.
       During the first days he was home, I was affected by the doctor's talk before we left the hospital & I felt it was too big a situation & maybe the best would be for him to go Home. I still feel the same, that I don't want to fight the Lord's Will in his life.
       We are trying to research if there is any way we can help overcome this Hirschsprung's disease naturally. Maybe as time goes on & as we find out more about his condition we'll find ways around doing this, but right now it seems only a little sacrifice, a little humbling of our so-called great faith to do these enemas twice a day to relieve him & see him happy & comfortable.
       He is quite an amazing little baby. He's so sweet, so patient, so longsuffering & he hardly ever cries, PTL! Now he has been home for a little over half a week & I have seen him really becoming more alert & stronger since he is with us & I am getting more faith for the situation. Since his birth he has definitely been a very special little boy. He has affected so many people's lives & has a special way to attract love. He's really like an angel.

Our Lives Touching Others

       The Lord really used him to touch people's hearts at the hospital. There was a very precious nurse who speaks a little English & a little French, who just really fell in love with him. Before we left she said how she was heartbroken to see him go. She said that just before Gabriel came to the hospital she was going through a very trying time & she was on the border of a nervous breakdown & on medication & was ready to quit her job, but when Gabriel came something happened inside of her (she didn't say when we came, but when Gabriel came). Somehow this little baby has given her a new will to live & to fight & she recently decided to get baptised! She wasn't a Christian before, but she decided on what amounts to receiving the Lord! She has been so sweet & we have been witnessing to her & we are hoping that she will visit our Home. She would always come around & tuck him in & straighten his little robe & turn over the tape in his little crib & put up his pictures of Jesus & take photos of him, it was just quite amazing to see the special love she developed for him. (PTL, she & another nurse have visited our Home to see him again & they recet she purposely came early & brought her husband so that she could say good-bye to us. She brought a little gift for Gabriel & we could see she really wanted to stay in touch so we invited them both for coffee & we had a very beautiful time witnessing to them for about three hours. She is definitely ready to receive the Lord (we had witnessed to her little by little all along) & her husband is really sheepy too, though it was all new to him.
       It was really touching to talk to them because you could see how this whole experience has broken their lives, but also prepared them to receive Jesus. The woman said that they are so desperate, they have been praying to all the gods, to Buddha, Jesus & their ancestors, etc. But she saw that the power of our prayers has been what has helped her little girl progress the most. They were also quite touched by the fact that we took a stand of faith about taking Gabriel out & they could see how we were not accepting everything the doctor was saying, but we were really taking one step at a time & really praying about each suggestion from the doctors, & they were admitting that they don't have that faith.
       The husband said, "You all have faith & you can center yourself around your faith, but we don't have any faith, so all we have is the doctors' words & in this country you just don't question the doctors' words. We don't know what to do & we feel trapped." The woman was explaining how because her little girl has been given pure oxygen for so long it will affect her eyesight & possibly her brain. Also that morning she had had to give the little girl some strong medicine & she doesn't know what side effects it could have on her life. It was a real open door to witness to them about Heaven & the afterlife. When we left I was able to pray for them both & the woman was crying We definitely want to follow up on them because they are a very precious, beautiful young couple who we felt the Lord had put there for us to minister to.
       The woman doctor who was very legalistic at the beginning, really standing up for the hospital rules & regulations, really changed, as mentioned earlier, when she saw our fight & love for the baby & it really moved her. She wrote us a beautiful little note before we left saying that she hopes our "little angel will be healthy one day". Actually, I think the whole hospital was touched by the situation as we camped out there for one month & everybody was greeting me in the days before we left. So this sweet little baby has really made an impact there. His little crib was covered with pictures of Jesus & wherever he would go, he would have his crib & his pictures to witness to those who examined him, PTL.
       Again I want to mention is how wonderful the Family has been. First, they have really been upholding us in prayer & we have received some beautiful notes from so many people, sharing beautiful Scriptures or stories from the Good Thots which have really encouraged our hearts at this time. I guess our hearts have been condemned a lot & all these little words are such a blessing. The Family has had such a beautiful & sweet & encouraging attitude. We have so much to be thankful for!
       I guess during this time we did learn a lot about the patient fight of faith: Both Jerry & I at two different times went through the same lesson. This had to do with faith & prayer. I think one of the revolutions that happened in the Family last year, has been a real "Prayer Revolution". A couple of years back we had a big Word Revolution, but more recently it has been a prayer revolution & I feel that last year we have really been God's pets. Whenever we got desperate in prayer for something, the Lord answered in such miraculous ways. Our lesson for this last year was to learn to pray militantly & stand more on His promises & be specific & expect miracles.
       However, in this situation it has been a crash course for us on desperate prayer more along the lines of "Lord, if Thou wilt, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will but Thine be done." At one point, after claiming so many promises & being so desperate & having the whole Home getting beautiful prophecies & having a prayer chain, we felt the Lord was going to answer by not allowing him to go through an operation, & just heal both his stomach & Hirschsprung's disease right there & then. I had accepted that he is a mongoloid & a special child, but for some reason the Lord wasn't answering about his healing by faith.

       So we had to go through with this operation & we have to go through with these daily enemas & I felt really discouraged, not understanding why the Lord was not answering our prayers when the Lord could heal him with no outside help. I felt that I had prayed with my whole heart, with full faith, but things were not happening as we had asked & expected. I have to confess that I got really discouraged until I realised that maybe the Lord was dealing with my self-righteousness & spiritual pride. I came to realise that the Lord was answering, but answering His way.
       So the Lord is not failing! Miraculously, the baby is still alive & growing & the Lord has been healing him, but not the way we wanted Him to & not as fast as we wanted Him to. I guess we are learning more about humble faith & submission & patience than the zapping "Heaven's Girl" type of prayer in this particular situation. It's definitely teaching us to be more importunate in prayer & patient & yielded!--PTL!
       So this sweet little child who has a very angelic face has really been worth it all & he has become very dear to us, & though these have been trying times, they have also been very precious & I feel that it is bearing a lot of good fruit in our lives. TYJ!

Copyright 1996 The Family