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Overcomer

A Layne Post

I found myself frustrated.

Jon took off Pedro’s bandage and for the first time in 4 years I felt that familiar wave come over me.
Woozy.
I quickly made an excuse to go to the kitchen and left Jon to continue cleaning and changing the bandage. I stood there in the kitchen with Karasi on my hip determined this would not win. Hadn’t God done such a transformation in me? I often testify to His graces that I am able to see and visit some patients with large tumors or wounds; however, hands on involvement was proving to be a whole new level. I got some fresh air and returned to look and conquer this involuntary feeling. I managed.

The rest of the day I wondered if I would ever be able to do wound care. I was jealous of Jon’s “dive in” mentality and his courage to do what was set before him. In faith that afternoon I told our new patient Rosa that if she would like some help with her bandage the next morning, I could help. She had previously said she could do it, so I expected a “no thanks” and not the enthusiastic “yes please!” I actually got.

“Phew. Here we go,” I thought.

I had a serious conversation with the Lord that evening. I begged, yes, begged the Lord to give me courage and to calm this silly tummy. I was desperate to serve our patients in this way, but I was going to need some supernatural intervention.

The next morning came and there with knees bent before Rosa, I did my first day of wound care and while the wounds were worse than expected, I continued without the slightest flutter of my tummy. Hallelujah. He overcame.

I quickly decided that if I was going to do this, by golly I wanted to do it well. So, thanks to much research, reading, and study (thank you Google machine) I feel like I have learned how to work with the supplies we have and care well for the wounds Rosa has. Would you believe that I now am anxious each morning to take off the bandage and gauge our progress? I actually find it extremely satisfying to see a nice clean wound! Miracles happen, my friends, miracles happen.

What sweet intimate conversations are possible during these times of dressing changes. They have becomes little gifts to me – these moments on my knees whispering hope to a sick, sick friend.

Oh Jesus, thank you for being my Overcomer.

 

Below are some pictures from our recent beach day! Enjoy.

 

 

 

Learning to Create Family Out of Brokenness

A Jon Post

There is much brokenness here. There are broken families, broken spirits, broken bodies and broken hearts. We swim in it.
One shares about a faithless husband who brought a deadly virus into the bed with him which only adds to the mountain that she must climb to find health…
here is brokenness…

Rosa

Rosa

One shares about the family that sent her away because they were afraid of her cancer and her tumor, thinking it was infectious and that the plague of cancer must be driven from their house…
here is brokenness…
One shares of a child not 5 months gone… lost to malaria, tuberculosis, or some other preventable sickness… and now cancer is ravaging the child’s mother…
here is brokenness…
One shares of a 6 year old son who misses his father beyond words… and while the father sits in my back yard his little son cries out to his mother to please let me talk to daddy on the phone first!!!
here is brokenness…

But there is still life.

There is life when Anita comes out of her room singing praises to God in the morning.
There is life when Pedro plays checkers with me and doesn’t want to stop.
There is life when Inês laughs.
There is life when Rosa finds her appetite again.

Though these small things seem inconsequential and minor in comparison to the agony that threatens… these humble signs of life are the driftwood that we find in this tempest of cancer.

Pedro

Pedro

 

So this is our broken little family; Jon, Layne, Anaya, Jovie, Karasi, Anita, Inês, Pedro, Rosa and Gasher.

Pedro and Rosa just joined it last week.

We need help.

Our family is running out of money. Pedro and Rosa both need some special care (they both have open wounds that we clean and dress every day) and that only adds to the speed that our bank accounts are drying up.

We need help.
I know there are a lot of people who read this blog and pray for us. The biggest focus of this blog is to keep those who already DO give to us informed and to try to help them feel a part of what is happening here with Casa Ahavá. But beyond that, I know that there are many people who read this who haven’t given.

Please. We need help.

Family Dinner Time

Family Dinner Time

Would you share this on your social networks, tell your friends, tell your church, try to find someone who can do what we cannot: Fund this thing.

We need about $1000 more per month to keep this family going.

We will continue to try to be the hands God uses to heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.

Would you help those hands keep working?

To those of you who are already helping; thanks. We really, really, really do know how much of a sacrifice it is. We do. It’s not small. It’s not forgotten.

Thank you.

Life

Life

 

People Come with Stories

A Layne Post


IMG_6318
People come with stories.
IMG_6336

 

Some will make you laugh.

Some will stir rage.

Some will make you cry.

 

And slowly unveiled amid warm afternoons passed under shade cloth, surrounded by giggles and cries of three little girls, they begin to unfold, these people, these stories.

And we find, not to our surprise, they are so much more than a cancer diagnosis.

 

And so we minister, as desperate people serving desperate people in need of Savior.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And it isn’t grandiose.

In fact, it seems small this “ministry” we do.

 

Sometimes it may be a morning spent at the beach, or a few new colorful skirts bought solely for pleasure.

Sometimes it is tossing bean bags into wooden holes.

Sometimes it is singing along with the strum of a guitar.

Sometimes it is sitting on tree stumps bearing souls and airing hurt.

Sometimes it is a big stinky dog catching slobbery toys thrown to-and-fro.

Sometimes it is watching television with the air conditioning on.

Sometimes is is plate of fried chicken or the cooking of comfort food.

And then in the quiet stillness found at the end of the day, we find ourselves drifting to sleep and thanking God for these stories collided into ours, and begging His smile as we try to love those He loves.

 

Thanks for being a part. Thanks for seeing people and loving people with us.

Things I am Praying for in April

A Jon Post

These are the things I’ve found myself praying for this month:

Trust

Trust

  • That my faith would grow as strong as my obedience and that my obedience would grow as strong as my faith.
  • That Casa Ahavá’s ministry leader would teach me to follow Him closely and that I would never think I’m leading it.
Brave

Brave

  • That Anaya would always trust her daddy.
  • That I would always look to be the servant of society, not its leader.
  • That Jovie would be brave.
  • That my beard would look good with a little grey in it.
  • That my knees and back would hold out a few more years.
  • That Christy would remember her husband well and that her children would find their heavenly daddy while they miss their earthly one.
Mending

Mending

  • That my gratitude would always come before God’s provision for my family and my patients.
  • That Layne would always melt when I hold her
  • That my dog would stop making such a mess.
  • That I Anita’s broken heart would mend.
Pirates

Pirates

  • That my hands would stay strong enough to catch my daughters when they fall, soft enough to hold my wife when she’s weak, skilled enough to make nice things for my patients and tender enough to hold theirs when they are sick.
  • That my kids would be able to memorize and sing the pirate song with me that Tigger sings in Winnie the Pooh… “IIIIIIII love to live the piraty life, sailing the seventy seas…”
  • That I may continue to learn about self-sacrifice and servanthood from the way Layne serves me, my kids and my patients.
Teaching

Teaching

  • That we would keep getting to know Anita and Inês as they continue to know and trust us and our family.
  • That Layne would always believe how much she captures me.
Strong

Strong

  • That Karasi would be strong.
  • That Christ would redeem and have mercy.
  • That I could learn from Inês’s years and scars.
  • That my children would not grow so used to death that they don’t mourn those who die and that they would not be so broken by it that they cannot find wholeness.
Scars

Scars

  • That Layne’s eyes always find mine.
  • That no one in our home would be afraid to live or scared to die.
Melt

Melt

New Patients at Casa Ahavá

A Layne Post

Casa Ahavá currently has two patients – Anita and Inês. Just typing their names and thinking about them gives me a warm feeling in my heart. I am really enjoying these two ladies. So here is a little about them:

Anita is the Mama of 4 girls. She is very active in a Baptist church in Beira, Mozambique. She loves the Lord and the members of her church with a passion. Sometimes when I knock on her door to give her some news or information about doctor appointments, I find her sitting on the floor reading her Bible. Back home she worked for a day-care/preschool at her church and had begun learning sign language to work with deaf students. Lord willing she regains her health, she would like to continue studying sign and have the ability to teach others. She is wonderful with my girls! I love hearing her call them into her kitchen and my girls run in and out giggling. Anita is extremely responsible and independent, an absolute joy to have here at our home. She is currently at the hospital receiving a Chemo treatment and then, so long as her tests come out clean, she only has one more chemo course next month before returning to her family.

Inês is a great-grandma! You would not believe it seeing her because she is so lovely and still strong and lively. Her family is her pride and joy. She loves to talk about them, and I am often confused as she tells of so many members – I get lost! As soon as she arrived at our house, she took Karasi out of my arms and placed her on her hip. Karasi was at ease with this well experienced avó (grandma). She speaks Portuguese, but definitely as a second language so I feel like we are often losing some things in translation, both ways! But she is gracious and has an awesome smile and laugh that just makes it all okay. Her family has a large dog at home, so she surprised me when she had no fear of Gasher. I often see her roll her eyes at his annoying ways and pat his head. Because she has only been here a week, we are still getting to know her, but she is already well loved. She should start her second of six rounds of Chemo next week.

Our family had the most wonderful time camping. It was refreshing and rejuvenating, making us well prepared and ready for this new season and community at Casa Ahavá. Jon’s weeks have been full of early mornings and lots of time in traffic to and from the hospital. The staff have been so helpful in our partnership, and we continue to stand in awe of the Lord’s favor He grants to us as doctors and nurses shift schedules and fit our patients in, making appointments happen.

On my drive home from the hospital yesterday I was reflecting on my girls and their adjustment to new people in their space. They don’t skip a beat. It is normal and natural for them to have new Tias and Tios come stay in the rooms at the back of our house and to play in the afternoons. I am so grateful they get to grow up this way. My heart just melts when I hear Anaya tell me her stuffed duck Katy is a little sick and at the hospital, but that she is going to go visit her and make her smile. May the Lord have my sweet girls’ hearts and may He always mend them when they break on His behalf – loving the sick and dying alongside their Mama and Dada.