We both had a hunch just from the symptoms that it was whooping cough, but we hadn't ever seen or heard of an outbreak, so we had to do research and talk with lots of medical personnel outside the village to confirm that it is indeed whooping cough.
It has been a stressful, heartbreaking time. We've spent the last two+ months studying up on Whooping Cough and treatment options & having to do a lot of waiting which has probably been the hardest part. It's frustrating to feel like there's nothing we or anyone else can do. One of our supporting church in the States offered to send medical supplies for the outbreak, so we spent the last couple of weeks waiting for those supplies to arrive, trying to figure out how to get them to the village, since we are about to leave for our Stateside furlough.
The feeling of being responsible for the deaths of our friends' infants if we didn't do something quick enough was pretty heavy on my heart the first couple of weeks. After many sleepless nights and after the Lord closed all the doors we were trying to open in our search for a way to help the people, the Lord finally gave me a peace that He is in control. He is the ultimate Healer. He finally gave me a peace that it isn't our responsibility "to help" by providing medicine or a cure this time. He was calling us to walk alongside the people and weep with them over their loss.
- the Lord ended up closing the door to receiving the medical supplies that we were hoping to receive from our supporting church in the States. We fought hard to try and get them here, but it was a clear "no" from the Lord. So we are left with praying and trusting Him with the situation.
- We've had a fear of calling Azalea's parents since we were afraid we would call and find that she hadn't made it. She's only 3 months old, so the odds have not been in her favor. And if we called into that situation or maybe in the middle of her funeral...what would we say? How do we hold it together ourselves?
- We ended up receiving a call from another friend from the village this past weekend and ventured to ask how Azalea was doing. This friend lives a good 30 minute+ walk from Azalea's family, but he assured us that the last he heard she was slowly recovering!! We still need to follow up and make sure that that is what is happening right now in her case, but that gave us the hope that she may make it! Praise to our awesome God and Healer!!
That's the latest! We'll know more once our pediatrician friend who works for the government health care system gets back to the village in a couple of weeks. Thanks so much for your prayers and heartfelt concern!! We have felt and see your prayers in action the last few weeks! Please keep them coming!