Amidst the Covid pandemic, Dengue Fever epidemic and continuing to live in planet prison as one friend hilariously referred to it as…. this month has been sprinkled with several small victories to celebrate.
In our newsletter last month we shared about the Dengue Fever epidemic our community was facing. At the time, Jamie and I were recovering and slowly regaining our strength. In these last 4 weeks, all three of our kids also fell sick with Dengue Fever as did at least 50 of our friends, staff and ministry partners. At this time, nearly all have recovered and we’re celebrating the victory of returned health and zero confirmed covid-19 cases in our city!!!
Postpartum care is a crucial missing piece in the comprehensive care of women and babies in Madagascar. Throughout the pandemic, the midwives of the Sarobidy Maternity Center have continued to provide postpartum care, education and guidance to new moms and their babies. Emilienne recently delivered a preterm baby with Dr. Candide, the backup doctor for the Sarobidy Maternity Center. Weighing less than 6lbs at birth, our midwives closely monitored baby’s weight gain during postpartum home visits, helped sort out breastfeeding difficulties and implemented kangaroo care for the two. Now at 17 days old, we’re celebrating the victory of weight gain for Emilienne’s baby girl.
One of the joys of living on the Northwest Coast of Madagascar is enjoying the delicious seafood at affordable prices! Earlier this month, a woman came to our gate selling fresh shrimp. This is something we rarely pass up! In talking with her, Jamie discovered that the shrimp were caught in the mangrove channels within our city’s limits. She proceeded to tell Jamie how shrimp haven’t been caught in this area for many years but the fishermen are seeing the shrimp returning. Jamie proceeded to ask her if anyone was planting mangroves in the area and she replied, “yes!”. Jamie and the seller continued to talk about the connection between restored mangrove forests and the return of the oceanic ecosystem. Little did she know that she was selling shrimp to the International Director of Eden Projects— the organization replanting these mangroves! We’re celebrating the victory of habitat being restored, men and women being employed and shrimp returning to an area once destroyed!
This week, our oldest daughter, Isabella graduated from 8th grade with her friends and classmates in the USA while being halfway around the globe in Madagascar. This beautiful girls amazes us! Over the last decade she has transitioned between three countries, three educational systems and learning in three languages with grace and resilience. We’re celebrating the victory of Isabella’s hard work and dedication in reaching this milestone!
In these days of overwhelming uncertainty, global disease, racial violence, indescribable injustices and our broken humanity, we’re celebrating the victory of God’s incomprehensible love for our world. A love displayed in Christ Jesus– the ONE born of God, who walked this earth, died for our sins, conquered death and rose again for each.and.every.person in all countries and for all time.
Jamie, Alissa, Isabella, Eliana and Gavin
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