The past three weeks have been extraordinary.
They began with a bouncy little boy heading to the hospital to undergo a serious but routine heart procedure. They ended with Levi coming home, a little less bouncy, but future bright. In between was a case gone wrong, a death sentence, a lot of second opinions, another surgery and a recovery that, I believe, was miraculous.
The future isn't exactly a blank check. There will be more visits to the cardiologist, more tests and constant vigilance. A big question mark still hangs over Levi's lungs. But, we take the events of the past week (his quick recovery and the cautiously optimistic prognosis of the medical professionals) as a promise for what's ahead.
So what's next?
Even though our focus and your focus has been on Levi the past three weeks, it seems like what has happened is much larger than him and us. We have been thinking about ways this community could continue to affect the lives of, hopefully, many more.
Here is what we're mulling.
In Uganda, where Levi was born, there are a large number of sick and disabled children who now do not get the care and medical attention they need. Although numerous organizations have started traditional orphanages there (which is a tremendous need as well) there are many children who live with birth defects or illnesses, and who need either full-time or part-time care as well as medical attention, procedures and devices such as wheelchairs and prosthetics. In Africa, the disabled are often considered outcasts, so although in America they would be able to become contributing members of society, their futures in Uganda can be pretty bleak.
In conjunction with the orphanage that Levi (and three of his siblings) came from, Welcome Home Africa, we are considering laying plans to open a home and day care center for sick and disabled Ugandan children. We are working right now with Mandy Sydo, who runs Welcome Home, to pull together information about the finances and organization needed to open the home. We would also hope to coordinate some regular mission trips to address medical and other needs of the kids there.
Although this is still definitely a work in progress, we wanted to put word out so that you can begin praying and, hopefully, thinking about getting otherwise involved. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have specific questions or want to be personally notified of developments along the way.
This is definitely not the end of this blog. We will continue to post Levi's progress and, hopefully, there will soon be others just like him to add to your prayer list. In fact, we hope this is just the beginning.