Friday, June 5, 2009

The Lord gives, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord! Job 1:21
Lots of emotions, too many words to really even write. Above all else, I am resting in knowing sweet Happy is whole and rejoicing with Jesus, Oh thank you sweet Lord.
Yesterday I was sad and frustrated. Not sad that Happy was with our Creator, not frustrated that she had passed away - I know that was His plan for her sweet little life. But seriously. 4 months old. 4 pounds. 9mm hole in her heart. The doctors at the government hospital where treatment is supposed to be free for everyone equally, looked at her, looked at her mother, saw they had no money, and sent her away. Look at that sweet face. Sent her away. There is a heart surgeon there that could have fixed the hole. She didn't have to struggle so much. There is medication IN THIS COUNTRY that would have helped. Had I waltzed in to that same hospital with a baby in the same condition they would have treated her based on the assumption that I am wealthy. It is a bit overwhelming.
Yesterday I was tired. Not sleepy. Just plain worn out. I knew Happy for about 72 hours. Sure, I was able to help her for those 72 hours, to comfort her mom, to rock her to sleep. I fell in love with this sweet baby girl who barely had the strength to breathe but would clutch my finger with all her might. But why? Why am I constantly falling in love with people that I cannot help, people that are taken out of my life so quickly.
As I read my Bible last night after falling into bed, the Lord continued to take me to the miracles of Jesus. And something really stood out to me that I have never noticed before. The Bible tells us of Jesus magnificently raising Lazarus from the dead, healing numerous deathly ill people, and feeding thousands. What the Bible does not mention, but what must be true is that years later, Lazarus still died. The people Jesus healed were inevitably sick again at some point in their lives. The people Jesus fed miraculously were hungry again a few days later. More important than the very obvious Might and Power shown by Jesus's miracles is His LOVE. He loved these people enough to genuinely care, to do everything in His power to make it better. He entered into their suffering and loved the right there. We aren't really called to save to the world, not even to save one person; Jesus has already done that. We are just called to love with abandon. With EVERYTHING we have. We are called to enter in to our neighbor's suffering and love them right there. Maybe I did NOTHING but allow Happy to struggle a few days longer. But I did love her, and she now has a spot in my heart that is forever changed.
Today I am rejoicing in my sweet few days with Happy. I am rejoicing that one day I will see her again and I will be able to tell her how she changed my heart and taught me about Love. I have received countless emails and phone calls in the last few days from doctors, nurses, friends and strangers offering all different ways to help and all sorts of encouragement. What a beautiful example of the Body of Christ you all have been. I received several emails last night and this morning from different doctors that had been helping me, all telling me a bit of how Happy had changed their hearts and given them a stronger desire provide better medical care in Uganda. In a meeting with doctors from all over the world at UNC yesterday they had talked extensively about Happy and how they need to find a better way to get accessible health care to Uganda. Sweet Happy, you are paving the way for greatness. In 4 months you have brought about change, you have taught people, you have changed people, you have broken people's hearts. We love you sweet baby girl.
Thank you, sweet friends, for your prayers.

51 comments:

Carrie S said...

Katie....
You touch my heart and my soul so deeply..your words are touched by our Father and I have and am learning so much from you. Thank you for sharing Happy with us and loving her so much.
God bless you.
Carrie

Terry said...

Praising Jesus with tears....

Joyful Living said...

Wow-in 4 months Happy has touched so many lives around the globe. God is amazing. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Jenn said...

So beautifully put Katie. Lifting you and your dear ones up!

Blessings,
Jenn

Jill said...

Katie! OH how I prayed for Happy and my prayer was for her healing...ultimately God did indeed answer my prayer. My heart goes out to you and her mother as you miss her sweet face here on earth.
Jill

Lauren said...

Happy's legacy continues as the docs work to figure out how to help other children like her.

We are praying for your heart too, Katie!

Suzanne said...

Thank you! The Lord continues to press on my heart the importance of seeing His people through His eyes and living today fully in the plans He has. May my life reflect what you said and He calls us to... LOVE with abandoned and let His name be glorified.

Diane and family said...

Praying and praying.

Mark, Rebecca and Sophia said...

So sorry to read of Happy's passing. My husband and I were touched by her story. As you and others have said, she touched many in her short little life.

Melissa Irwin said...

I have barely stopped thinking about her since the post yesterday. But I am so relieved today to know that her short life was the topic of heavy discussion for improving the process for getting medical care to those in need, in Uganda and other areas. That is truly a blessing.

Tracy said...

so grateful for happy's beautiful legacy created in her short life....and so grateful God led her mom directly to you! love you sweet katie!

Dietrich & Amy Lusse said...

Thank you for this post...I'm so thankful for what God taught you..thankful you have passed it on.
Need to go wipe my face and nose and remember for the rest of my life what I am called to do...LOVE
~Amy in California

The Keffer Crew said...

Katie,
I found your blog several months ago and check in daily for updates. Our lives were profoundly altered almost a year and a half ago when we were graciously allowed to host three oprhaned Ugandan boys in our home through Childcare Worldwide. Africa is embedded in our hearts and I struggle so much with the worldliness of our existance and the inability to help as much as I'd like. Please know that I pray for you daily and was begging God to heal sweet little Happy. I know in his infinite wisdom she is now whole and sitting with our Father. Thank you for sharing her with us and I pray that God will continue to give you the strengh and courage to continue to do his work. Work that I so strongly wish I could partner with you in on a daily basis. Hoping that at some point God will take our family to Africa too.

Patty said...

"Called to love with abandon!" Yes!

Tammy On the Go said...

You have my attention sweet girl. I met you through my friend Leslie Guilaran..can never spell her last name. I am so blessed and happy to know you. Missions has been in my life since i was born in the home of missionary parents.

will stay in touch.

anna said...

I have a quote from a post of yours from a long time ago and it is written on a sticky note and has been stuck on my computer for almost a year and it is, "Love knows no language," and I believe that to be so true...thank you Katie for being such a great example of how God calls us to love others...

Love ya,
anna

Brooke said...

Your words are so true, and I was truly amazed at the NC Uganda meeting how many people came knowing about and praying for Happy. Loving and caring with abandon does make a difference--even if just in our hearts.

Mom Of Many said...

Such beautiful insight sweet Katie.....my heart aches for Happy and the countless other "Happys" in the world....dying before adequate care could heal them...

May sweet Jesus bring you comfort...you are loved!! xo

David and Sarah said...

Yes. She certainly has touched many hearts. Thank you for loving this sweet girl, with the love of Jesus.

Blessings,
Sarh

jena said...

Thank you for allowing us a glimpse of what God is teaching you. Thank you for allowing God to teach you. It's a lesson we all need to pay better attention to.

Kristi J said...

praying for you all...beautifully written Katie,
Kristi

Stacey said...

Katie,
Thru reading your blog, which I just came across two days ago and thru this story about Happy, I believe God is confirming some things in not only my heart, but my husbands also. We have a medical business in the US and we do ultrasound, mainly Echo (heart) ultrasounds.
We have had several of our employees who have said if there is a way, get a medical team togehter and we will go to better educated or give of our time.
I am planning a trip to Uganda at the end of July with Sweet Sleep. I am not sure where you are but I would love for our paths to cross some how.
I will be praying for you, what an awesome testimony you have for the Lord.
Stacey

Andrea said...

You have my prayers!

Anonymous said...

You have definitely touched my heart, Katie. May your work continue with abandon.

Malia'sMama said...

You are a much nicer person than I am, girl. I get soooo angry when hospitals in the 3rd world put money above life, and it isn't the first time that I have carried a sick child in myself, and MADE them treat her, even calling the embassy to make sure they were aware of the situation. I then check up on the doctors and if they have not followed through, they have no rest until they do, or make up for it with another poor child, beleive me.
I think it totally sucks that this child is gone when it was preventable. Period.

Anonymous said...

katie. you may get a lot of requests like this... but i am going to be in uganda for a few days and would love to visit you. i am working in sudan and have a few days in uganda before i leave. i have a place to stay with people that i am working with, but i would love to come and meet you (and the kids?) if you are open to it. i totally understand if this weirds you out! know that my prayers are with you and the kids! i have followed your blog for some time, thankful for your example of christ to uganda. thank you thank you for the example that you are showing to your kids and to the many following your story.
jess

The Ferrill's said...

Yes, Katie! At only four months, Happy was sure to have received that "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
You are right, we are called to love with abandon....and to persevere! That is exactly what you are doing....keep on keeping on!
Laine

auntie katie said...

Dear Malia'sMama,

It is infuriating for sure.
I am very sure that I am NOT a nicer person than you are, I just believe that we are all in need of the undeserved Grace of our Savior. I believe that I need and deserve His death on the cross for my sins just as much as Paul, Hitler, Mother Teresa, Saddam Hussein and those careless doctors at Mulago Hospital.

I believe that beauty came out of Happy's small life in the Duke University medical conference where she was talked about extensively by many and thus prompted doctors from all over the world to bring better medical care to Uganda.

I rest in Jesus's promise that we WILL have troubles in this world, but at the end of the day, He has overcome this fallen place.

gloria said...

katie,
I am catching up on your blog.. and just read about precious Happy. I am so glad she no longer suffers but is safely in the arms of our precious Jesus.

Thank you Katie for your willingness to be the arms and hands of Jesus .......

I rejoice to here how she touched the lives of so many in so many good ways.

All things work together for good to those that love God.

Praising Jesus,
gloria

drea said...

Oh Katie,
Thank you for encouraging us and helping me to remember that God is still in control. He did suffer along side of the people who were suffering. What a great example of Jesus you are to so...many.

Praying still

beloved.adventurer. said...

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Praying for your sweet spirit, Katie, that the Lord fills you even more deeply as you fill others.
Chloe in Austin

Keisha Suzanne said...

We spoke a bit last year while I was in the states, and now I'm back again. This time to tend to my mother following a major surgery.

I'm still so encouraged that God allowed our paths to cross and I've had time here in the hospital to catch up on your blog once again. I've even been reading entries to my mom while she recovers. We both have such a love for your willing heart to serve.

I'm praising God that you have emotional, financial, physical, and spiritual support all around you. GOD IS GOOD! And my heart aches for the many trials that you face day after day. YET, through Christ alone we are VICTORIOUS! And You will continue to move mountains all around you as you SERVE HIM and LovE OTHERS.

I miss Africa more and more, but I pray for those of you left loving and serving the un-wanted and un-loved.

THANK you for being the example that is changing lives all around the world!

Kathryn said...

Wow! In 29 hours with my son, I learned so much about him and how he was to change others... In 4 months, amazing things happened in Happy's life, and she will always be remembered, and embraced!
She's up there, in God's glorious playground, with my two little angels, 'Happy', free, and so loved..

God bless you!
~Kathryn

Michelle said...

I have tears streaming down my face..This blog has touched my heart so much. I have such a heart for the people of Africa..I sew..if I can make you anything for those precious children PLEASE ask.. it would be my honor! I also paint murals, I told my husband that my ultimate dream would be to go and take all of those kids clothes and blankets and to paint murals on their walls..sigh.. one day! God bless you.

Rebecca said...

Katie--I found your blog about a month ago through a friend who is trying to help me prepare for a trip to Uganda in July. I've been so engrossed in your blog and amazed at how God has been using you there. I praise Him for your tenderness and your reminder to love with abandon regardless of the risk. May God bless the work of your hands and your heart!
rebecca

Ria said...

hey sweet katie... thank you for sharing happy's story with us and for literally being the hands, AND heart of Christ for her. one of my boys also has a VDS heart defect so it breaks my heart to know that she could have been completley healed. Still being inspired by you everyday...

love you!
Ria

Wife of the Pres. said...

Katie, I am so sorry for your loss. I'm sorry for this awkward transition, but it has been awhile since I checked in on your blog and it is just no coincidence.

I am the proud momma of a little girl who survived against the odds with a very defected heart. She waited almost 3 years for surgery with no one to call her own. I do not understand why God gives to some and takes away for others, but I know He has given us our daughter for this time and that we have seen and cannot be silent any longer.

Just today, I was able to learn a lot about a project of Samaritan's Purse called The Children's Heart Project. Have you heard of it? They are at work IN UGANDA. I would love to get you connected w/ them so that if you were ever made aware again of one of these precious heart children, maybe they could help? I will be posting more about this mission on my blog tomorrow.

Again, I am sorry I didn't learn of Happy sooner. You are so blessed to have experienced knowing this child whom God must have loved very much to give her such an important role as just a babe.

Blessings, L (roomforatleastonemore.wordpress.com)

kjvindian said...

how may I subscribe to your blog? I do not see a button to subscribe. Thank you. I think you are an amazing young woman.

Anonymous said...

Katie; Your blog is amazing! We love to read about the different things happening in your life. The story about Happy is so sad, yet I remind myself Happy is in heaven with Jesus! Jesus has given you a love for the African people, the poor and needy. We are praying for you. Since Shana, our daughter recently joined you I have shown several friends your blog and they too can not stop reading! Blessings; Pat Plett - Shana's mom

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Katie,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Happy's mother now!

Big hugs and thank you for shining His love and light SO BRIGHT!

Blessings to you precious Sister!
Jill

shepherdsgrace said...

well...I typed a note, and it go deleted...I shall try again...

so much weariness and loss, but praise to God who strengthens us, His weary pilgrims..

Papa, please comfort and encourage these sweet mothers overseas experiencing such deep and profound loss, and the two sweet mothers I know here enduring the same thing...
Papa, please hold them so close, breathe on them...

thank you, Papa, we love you...

Lori Anne said...

Love you Katie. Still praying for you, your girls, and Happy's sweet mom.
LORI

Kim said...

"Love with abandon" and "to enter our neighbor's suffering and meet them right there". That is IT!

So very thankful for how God is using you to teach me and for the life and legacy of Happy.

Love and Blessings,
Kim

Morgan said...

Hi. i just wanted to leave you a msg saying that you are amazing. i could never be able to do the things you are doing. and i wanted to tell you a story .. well we call it emerge and its our youth leadership training, lead by the (already) youth leaders and our youth pastors and we have it the first and third Sunday of the month, and this past Sunday Robbie spoke, he reads your blog when hes at work sometimes.. and he keeps up with it ALOT. and (honestly) its thanks to him that i began reading your blog. he was talking about Happy and you, and everything thats happened. it touched my heart so deeply and i fell in love with your devotion to God and helping others, you are one amazing woman! :)and ive spread the word through myspace and facebook. :) just so you know.. lol*

much love and peace*
morgan

John said...

My sis passed me your blog knowing that I might find like minded and hearted peace in your experiences. Praise God for the stirring he is moving in and through you where you are! Your experiences will be shared with those who are looking for God's love. Thank you for sharing! Blessings!

Carey said...

Sweet girl, you are constantly falling in love with those dear ones...because you have the heart of Christ.

I am teary as I write this. And praying sweet Happy, with her short little life, has changed many lives for good.

Blessed Mom of Four, Now Five said...

Oh, to love like Jesus, to have compassion on the multitudes, to know that others see Jesus when they look at us!
Robbie

Perry said...

Katie, God is doing such an amazing work in you. As I read your bolg my heart breaks and breaks again. I am holding you up in my prayers and thank you for giving yourself completely to His service. You reminded me of John 13:34-35, You have His great love in you.
God Bless you,
Perry

Anonymous said...

Hi... a friend led me here via facebook. I live in Kampala -- in Lubowa (on the way to Entebbe). Do you know about the urgent care department of the International Hospital of Kampala? There are numerous ways to get access to health care here, but you have to know how to do it (sad, I know, but it's better than nothing). Also, do you have access to micro-insurance? It's 20,000 shillings a month... might be worth looking into.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your story. If you want more information... of a friend in Kampala (although it seems you have many): theloveofgodismadness (at)gmail (dot) com

Karen said...

Katie - You are such a blessing to all of us and in so many ways that I can't even describe. God knew exactly what He was doing when he chose you for life in Uganda and not on some American campus! Remember how much everyone does love you and is praying for you and all your children. Hope you're all feeling better - one thing for sure - your house must be "really clean" :) BTW - We miss you in the halls of R.E. - Love ya - Mrs. R

Karen said...

Katie - You are such a blessing to all of us and in so many ways that I can't even describe. God knew exactly what He was doing when he chose you for life in Uganda and not on some American campus! Remember how much everyone does love you and is praying for you and all your children. Hope you're all feeling better - one thing for sure - your house must be "really clean" :) WE mis syou in the halls of R.E. - Love ya - Mrs. Reamer