Saturday, August 21, 2010

God's Gift of Hope

Just before Christmas the Principal Nursing Officer brought Ana to our home. Some of the babies in the orphan nursery had died during the past week and the staff did not know why. They new how much Hilary and Donna loved Ana and how hard they worked to keep her alive. They thought it best to bring her to us and live with us. She had survived almost three months and needed every opportunity to become healthy. For the last month we had been buying infant formula from South Africa. It was very expensive and we had to buy it in the Zambian run store. The small amount of American funds we had was gladly used for the formula.

With Ana in the house I had more time with her and I must admit that my heart was very guarded. I thought a lot about Donna and Hilary and how they would deal with Ana's death. I didn't want to get to close so I kept up an emotional barrier. She was so weak and sickly looking that it was upsetting. She still only weighed a little over ten pounds. Her eyes seemed to bulge and I thought she could not focus her eyes very well.

The rains were coming to an end and I was due a few days off. We decided to travel into Zimbabwe and spend a weekend at a motel that serves families on missionary service. We arrived at the motel, after an hour at the border. The girls wanted to go swimming so we put on our swimsuits and walked to the pool. Donna had a tiny red striped bikini that she put on Ana. Well, we went swimming and all of my defenses crumbled as I held on to Ana and played in the water with her. In fact, I sensed a great love for the little fragile life I was holding in my arms.

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