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Category: Casa Ahava

Picture Update on Casa Ahavá

A Layne Post

Casa Ahavá currently has 7 patients with one more lady coming on Monday! I will give you more info to come, but for now at least you can see them. Thanks for your patience, as we’ve been behind on our updates. Life has felt particularly busy and overwhelming. We cherish you prayers and support!

 Isaura

 Joana

 Isabel

 Irene

 Eugenio

 Custodio

 Torres

 

Group Photo: Joana, Irene, Isabel, Isaura, Eugenio, Jon, Cutodio, Torres, Pedro (our team mate)

Jon and I recently celebrated our birthdays and our patients blessed us so much!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carpenter

A Jon Post

I don’t think of a person’s soul as see-through.
I think of it like lumber.
Some is hard, some soft. Some is flexible, some splinter and crack under strain.
But I can’t usually see through it.
Watching what cancer does to a person reveals the lie that a soul cannot be torn so thin it can be transparent and bare.
Cancer does not work with a soul the way a saw works with lumber. There are no quick clean cuts, no straight edges.
Cancer scrapes along a person’s soul the way a hand plane pulls ribbons from a pine plank.
Irene arrived in our home 4 months ago and I’ve witnessed ribbon upon see-through ribbon be planed from her person by this disease.
You would be so proud of my wife and the 24 hour care she lavishes on our precious Irene.
When the hand plane of cancer stripped Irene of her ability to walk more than 20 feet without stopping to catch her breath, Layne was there to hold her upright and wrap her in arms of love.
When Irene’s lesion on her jaw clamped her teeth shut and refused her the ability to eat normal food, Layne was there to endlessly prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner in unceasing variety, all liquefied and made edible for Irene’s handicapped state.
When Irene began losing vision due to tumors and lesions in her brain, Layne was there to spend the hours it took for swelling to subside and vision to return.
When the hand plane passed again over Irene’s ability to take her medication and morphine, Layne faithfully ensured that to the minute her 24-hour medication needs were met.
When Irene’s pain management required hours and hours by her side praying, talking to her to get her mind off the agony, and holding her hand through mind-numbing suffering.
You would be so proud.
And you would marvel at how thin a person can be shredded by this disease.
Maybe to a carpenter this all makes sense. But to the lumber it just hurts.
It’s easy to tell the lumber that in the end, it is made beautiful, but that don’t seem to matter down here.
Ribbons of transparent soul keep shedding from our precious Irene.
Please pray that the carpenter finishes His work soon.


Meet our Patients!

A Layne Post

I can hardly believe how long it has been since we’ve posted. I am so sorry! I believe we are close to being settled into our new normal now, having moved house, unpacked, and started taking new patients. Hopefully that also means a new rhythm of blogging. I keep wanting to do a video tour for you, but there are a few final details I wanted to be included, mainly finalizing the rooms on the men’s patient side. Next week! We’ll tour it up. Okay?

We currently have 5 patients living with us, and two others we are trying to care for from a distance, as they are home with family, likely approaching their last days/weeks/months. I’d like you to meet the 5 though, because they are gems… seriously treasures planted in my backyard, in my heart, in my forever being.

 

Judite is still with us. She is loved by all. When Selah saw Judite after she had gone home for a short visit, she ran up to her and gave her the tightest squeeze. She is strong, maintains such a positive attitude, and leads naturally around here. You will find her listening to praise music on her phone pretty much any time of day. If she is physically capable, you better believe she’ll be in church on Sundays. Pray for our friend, she is so dear to our hearts.

This is Marinela. She has been with us since the end of March/beginning of April. She has won me over wholeheartedly. I love her. She is honest, welcoming, sacrificial, and an absolute delight to have with us. She has two little ones at home, an 8 year old and a 5 year old. As you can imagine, it is hard to be away. Pray for her. Pray for her kids.

 

 

This is Isabel. She’s only been with us about a week, but she is so easy to be around. That smile is a guarantee when you talk with her. She is the mother of 5 grown children and already a grandmother. She had four girls and one boy, so I feel like we have a little bond. I look forward to hearing more of her story. Please pray for her.

This is Felesta. She, too, has only been with us about a week. You’d never know her two boys are grown to the ages of 17 and 24. She is lovely inside and out. We laughed over our birth stories, over sneaky kids, and shared our families’ struggles as she poured out her advice. She farms corn and works hard for her living. We look forward to her help in our upcoming garden! Pray also for her.

And here is Irene. She came with Isabel and Felesta a week ago. This girl. She is 32, just like me. She has 3 girls, ages 12, 9, and 6. I love hearing her stories, she has added such joy to my afternoons. She has already done this Chemo thing in 2015 and she’s back. She is struggles with fairly intense pain, but you’d never know it, as she handles it with such grace. Can you pray for her?

 

And the two at home are Helena and Maria. Pray for them and their families caring for them. They holds pieces of our hearts

 

 

Jon and I are so happy to be transitioning out of construction mode, that demanded such a division of our time and energy, and back into full time parenting and patient ministry. We are not 100% finished with things around the house, as building in Mozambique come with it’s own unique challenges, but we are “oh so close”.

God IS good. He has poured out upon us such abundant blessing. May this home be His first. May He use it, and us, to fulfill His plans and purposes here in Maputo, Mozambique. Thank you for journeying with us. My heart is full of anticipation for the future.

 

 

 

 

 

Trembling Hands

Hands

A Jon Post

For the second time in as many days I’ve held trembling hands in mine and given the news that all is not well.

Fingernails scratched against the concrete walls of cancer while her tears stained her face and I sat with an x-ray in my hand.

X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans and scribbled doctors notes on paper all telling us that pain will only increase and rest will only flee frail bodies.

There I sat with an x-ray in one hand and her trembling hand in the other.

Last night a different hand but equally as precious lay limp in mine as I repeated the CT scan results about a 6 centimeter tumor eating at liver tissue and causing the growing pain in her abdomen. A cancer that grew with a placenta and a new life inside a swollen mothers belly took the life of that baby months ago and now gnaws at the mother’s liver splashing malignant cells around her body like dirty grey paint.

And her limp hand sat in mine while I pleaded internally with a silent God to give words where mine failed.

I heard none.

An ironic smile appeared on this orphaned-of-her-child mother’s face and she acknowledged the inability in our lungs and vocal cords to blow or shout against this cold wind that cannot be warded off with blankets and grows equally difficult to guard against with chemotherapeutic treatments.

Prayers fell in Portuguese like wounded sparrows from my lips and fell, splat, splat, splat, on this chipped tile floor in front of the bed we sat on.

This silent God once promised He cares for those sparrows and that not one of them falls to the ground unless He knows about it.

Maybe he caught the ones that fell last night but didn’t tell me.

The dark glass that we see through seemed especially dark last night as I hurled my prayers against it and succeeded in shattering only the glass yet not the darkness.

My wife picked up the pieces of this broken window of prayer and held them tight while finishing the plea to a Savior who weeps. I watched in silence marveling that, though so little light pierced through the hole where the glass once hung, how brightly shone that broken glass in the hands of a broken person.

We waited for I do not know what, sat and looked into frightened eyes, then put our children to sleep.

My daughter at bedtime thanked God for flowers and butterflies and in the same breath asked God to help the owner of those trembling hands to rest well. More shattered glass cut its way down my cheeks and I wondered if the faith of a child could be so much more than mine.

I live next to death like he could come over and ask me to borrow an egg or some flour or the soul of a sick friend, and yet each time he closes the gap between us only seems to make me more weary of his presence instead of accustomed to it.

I’ve never looked him in the eye myself but I’ve seen his reflection shining in the wet eyes of too many of my friends here.

And now his reflection looks back at me from two more sets of eyes.

Oh, Silent God.

Speak now.