Monday, August 31, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Yes, it finally happened. Today Moises walked out of the hospital. They gave his life back to him. He arrived in Amarillo inches from the deaths door. Today he is a happy and healthy boy again. For the next two weeks he will be at the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital. For the next two weeks his skin graft will be monitored. He will get to experience some of the fun things Texas has to offer while we fatten him up for his return to Belize. There were many touching moments today as he said goodbye to his doctors and nurses, watered the flowers and vegetables he planted in the courtyard, gave flowers which he had planted months ago to all of his nurses, and moved his belongings to his last temporary home here in Amarillo at the Ronald McDonald House.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
The special bandage and suction device was taken off today.
Gauze and tape now cover the skin graft area on his abdomen. I didn't get
to see it as I hoped I would but Moises described it in great detail. He is
fascinated by all the medical things that happened to him.
But the really exciting part today was that they capped his IV line and he
was freed to move about without any medical machinery. And Lizzie, his
Child Care Specialist arranged for him to go outside today for over an hour.
As soon as he was disconnected from the medical machinery Moises put on his
new cowboy boots and hat grabbed his scooter and took off down the hall of
the pediatric ward.
I wish I had the capability to send video so you could see his amazing speed
and balance. Next we went to the park and fed the ducks, we played on the
slide at the playground, and we went to a new Mexican ice cream store where
they had lime juice and mango ice cream. The great joy is mixed with a
little sadness because everyone can see his time with us here in the states
is about to come to an end. There is talk about him moving out of the
hospital next week into the Ronald McDonald apartments as they begin the
transition back to normal family life.
Me, no sadness here. I'm about to go down to Belize and maybe be there to
greet them when they get off the plane.
Tomorrow our staff in Belize meet with Moises' father to finalize the plans
for the addition on their home, and then, we jump in and see how far we can
get before they arrive back in Belize.
Another $900 for the house came in today.
A local children's clothing store delivered three new outfits for each
member of the family.
And the local volunteers here prepare to go to Belize on August 9th to help
with construction on the house.
More volunteers are welcome. Give me a call.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
More good news
I am happy to be able to report that Mo
ises is recovering well from the surgery and boy is he hungry!
The doctors say he can eat whatever he wants, though greasy and spicy foods might not agree with him at this time.
During his stay in the hospital he grew tomatoes and strawberries in the hospital courtyard.
Yesterday we went out to check on the tomatoe
s and they went right into his mouth.
His strawberry crop had already come and gone, but one of the hospital staff brought him a box of fresh strawberries and
he devoured half the box while I stood beside him.
Moises has become a fixture in the pediatric ward. It still may be a month or two before he
returns home but the staff are already feeling sad about the thoughts of Moises leaving. No such thoughts for me though.
With all the time I spend in I assume our friendship will continue.
Now - Help is Needed
When Moises first cam
e to the states there was an outpouring of generosity far beyond what was needed.
We kept telling
people all their needs were met, just need prayers.
But now as we begin to think about Magdalena and Moises return there are
some needs that I would like to share.
Magdalena is expected to give birth to a new baby in November. There are some lab fees from the
obstetrician we need to take care of ($300).
At some point we will need to purchase plane tickets. And the other thing I have in mind is to surprise Magdalena with an add
ition onto her house.
Housing for the poor is a regular part of our ministry in Belize. In the past few years we have built nearly 20 houses. Often times the house's a
re for people we don't even know, they just happen to be the neediest in a given community. So it seems all the more appropriate for us to help with the housing of
one we know so well.
Currently the family abides in a space approximately 10 foot by 10 foot. It is a cemen
t slab with wooden walls and a metal roof. There is no running water, only a deep well with a ro
pe and bucket. Of the 9 children, seven sleep on the floor and the two smallest ones in a hammock. Once Magdalena gives birth to her fourth child in November, together with her husband's six childre
n from a previous marriage, this will mean 12 people total sharing this tiny 10 by 10 living space.
What I am proposing is to begin a fund for this building project. If we're able to supply the funds for building materials the hou
se can be built with volunteer labor from the local community in Belize and perhaps some
volunteers from the states as well.
In summary your help is needed for:
1. Obstetrician bill
2. Plane ticket expense
3. Donations for building fund
4. Volunteer labor between August 1-15
5. Keeping this a secret from Mois
es and Magdalena!
Keep in mind for
any donation you make to The Word at Work.
100% of your gift goes directly t
o the needs expressed.
All donations are tax deductible.
The Word at Work
Visit website www.twaw.org
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The first was titled "Moises is going back into surgery in 1 hour," and said the following
"Moises has a lot of swelling in his bowels which is not too abnormal after a major surgery.
Unfortunately this has put undo pressure on his lungs and kidneys.
Midday he had to be put on a ventilator to help him breathe.
They are going in to unstitch the stomach muscles to create more room and take the pressure off the other organs.
Instead they will now sew an adjustable mesh, something like Velcro that can be tightened down as the swelling drops over the next few days and eventually they will re-sew the muscles closed again.
This operation should take about an hour.
The doctor sees this as a small setback.
Magdalena keeps hanging in there. Lisa hanging with her."
The second was titled, "Surgery delayed till this moment," and said:
"It wasn’t until just now that anopened to take Moses.
It is a little more complicated than I last reported.
Another part of the cause of his swelling is internal bleeding.
They have given him seven units of blood but very little has come out the drain which they put in during the last surgery.
Add to your prayers that they are able to find the leak and repair it."
Finally around midnight, Tim sent this final email of the evening titled, "cautiously optimistic:"
"Moises is now out of surgery
They found several places where blood was coming from any finished patching him up.
He is in much better shape now.
The doctor says he will be on the ventilator for 3-4 days until swelling drops and abdomen muscles resewn.
Magdalena and the small crowd sitting with her all all relieved now and will be able to sleep.
We spent the last 2 hours looking at photos and videos and retelling the story of Gods miraculous work and how his invisible hands have orchestrated an amazing chain of events that no one else could have planned or even imagined.
A Happy Magdalena sits behind me now giving the good news over the phone to her husband and children who have been keeping watch….waiting for this good word."
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The surgeon said it went as well or even better than expected.
It lasted less than 6 hours. We couldn’t get mom to walk or eat anything today but after a post-op visit from the surgeon she was smiling again and began to eat the food she had been carrying all day.
Now the intestines are connected, abdomen muscles sewn back, skin remains open till threat of internal infection passes. Over the next 10 days the bowels are expected to become active and then slowly introduced to food again.
From his TV viewing he has already decided on a local Mexican restaurant for his first meal.
In a month or so the skin over the abdomen will be stitched up and perhaps a return trip to Belize can be scheduled.
He will have a couple of rough days now as is normal for post-surgery. His mom has moved from their regular room to a chair beside his bed in the ICU.
She will have a rough night tonight as well but from exhaustion and not fear. Before the surgery Moises saw her sadness and told her not to worry because God was with him.
Thank you all for helping to carry him through this on your prayers.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
In addition, our Agape singers/ringers performed on three separate occasions (once at a church, and twice at retirement homes). We have quite a few pictures to share, and many stories of how we saw God at work. For now though, we wanted to share three pictures of our team and various times throughout the week.
This is a picture of the majority of our team on Sunday morning (taken just before we loaded into our vans and headed down Galveston).
Wednesday night the Agapes sang/rang at St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church in Houston. The church treated us to a delicious dinner, and it was a wonderful night of fellowship with another church community.
This picture was taken Friday morning, our last day of work in Galveston. We stayed at Galveston Bible Church (the men slept on bunk beds in the Sanctuary and the women slept on bunk beds in the Sunday School class rooms).
It was a wonderful week, we saw God at work in amazing ways, and hopefully we will be able to make additional trips to Galveston in the 2009 year.
Almost 6 months since the accident and tomorrow morning is the big surgery.
Lots of love, prayer, and incredible medical care has brought Moises from the edge of death to this point of health and strength to undergo this major surgery.
Today he received a blood transfusion to further strengthen him and to compensate for any blood loss associated with tomorrows procedure.
This afternoon I went over to play with him and asked if he was nervous about tomorrow. He just laughed. He was disappointed it wasn’t done last week and looks forward to getting it over with and back to his home in Belize.
Though he is still a little jaundiced, he was in great spirits and exploding with energy.
He has a good understanding of what to expect for tomorrow.
It was hysterical listening to his conversation today with one of the doctors.
In one of the attached photos he is instructing the doctor not to use tubes through the nose because they are uncomfortable and will only make it difficult for him to breathe.
We have a date tomorrow before surgery to go for a walk in the hospital courtyard and see how the tomatoes he planted are doing.
Perhaps these will be part of his first real meal after surgery which the doctor says may be 2 weeks after the surgery.
As for mom…………she too is very happy. She says she is without fear. We watched videos of her children and husband that made her cry. She really misses them and her home. Though her new baby isn’t kicking yet, its presence with us is plain to see.
PRAY………….is the reason for this email
Please pray with us through tomorrows surgery.
I will let you know how it goes.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
A birthday party was held for him in the playroom at the hospital in Amarillo Texas. I am so glad to see this day come. There was a time that no one thought this possible. Secretly, I myself had doubts. Moises shared a dream he had while we were still in Belize before the jet arrived. In his dream the angels were preparing to have a birthday party for him. Remember, during that time he was having lots of significant dreams and visitations by an angel, "the man in white who was helping him". I wondered whether this dream meant that he would be with the angels on his next birthday. So I decided not to mention it to anyone, and to hope and pray that angels would protect him and insure that he would live to have another birthday. And so they did. He still isn't allowed to have any food until the surgery when they reconnect his intestines. So there were lots of presents and for they had snow Cones, a fancy substitute for
He is doing so well that they have planned to move up the date of the surgery to June 8th.
He's been in Texas for about two months now and yesterday for his birthday he finally got a cowboy hat.
Please continue to remember Moses in your prayers. It's not over yet.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Here is a before and after picture to show how incredible this journey has been,
Thursday, April 16, 2009
"I continue to be amazed by the favor God brings on this little guy. On Monday Moises was registered with Saint Andrews school in Amarillo. This is THE most prestigious private school in Northern Texas. Headmaster Ron Ferguson has travelled with me in Belize. His school has founded one library in Toledo District and is doing a book drive in the spring to establish another. A banner hangs in Moises' room from Saint Andrews children. Moises has stacks of get well letters from their students. Tutors will come from the school to the hospital. They will continue coming through the summer.
Paramount Baptist Church send "prayer quilts" to Moises and Magdalena. They first received prayer requests from mother and son and offered up prayers for each knot tied on the quilt.
Moises' favorite TV show? The Food Network...........for hours on end. If I wasn't able to eat for months I would avoid the channel. Moises makes his mom watch so she will learn to cook him everything when he gets back to Belize.
Hundreds of letters and get well cards continue to flow in from all over. Still no need for anymore toys, books, clothes, toiletries, games,...........only prayer
Yesterday Moises requested to phone his Favorite nurse from the Belize City hospital....very touching to watch them catch up....very encouraging for her to speak with "her little boy".
On Friday my wife and I return to Belize and plan to visit the family in Corozal Town. Moises has loaded us down with toys and stuffed animals for his 8 brothers and sisters. We also will be carrying video greetings and messages for the family and will return with the same."
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Moises has gained weight but has had an infection and twice had fevers that caused us great concern. Tonight he is feeling great and looking good. Tomorrow we meet to discuss his enrollment in school, which for him will be done with personal tutoring.
His education is about to take a huge leap. Moms days are no longer grief and hopelessness but continuous smiles.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Sophie and Michelle made the journey out to Amarillo on Friday to see Moises. Early last week Moises' central line had become infected, and he developed a 103 degree fever. They removed the central line, treated the infection, and his fever went down. Without a central line, however, Moises was receiving no nutrition last week and so by Friday he was fatigued and weary. But, while Michelle and Sophie were there, the doctor came to take Moises in order to install a new central line. And the latest report that has come in is that the procedure went well, he is receiving nutrition again, and is regaining strength.
On Monday, Tim Tam sent the following email with updates on Moises' condition
"'The fool says in his heart, there is no God'. Psalm 53:1
I am witness to an amazing phenomenon which is occurring around little Moises. Whether in Belize, here in the states, or across the Internet so many who meet him or hear about him are strengthened and encouraged in their faith. Over and over again I hear the affirmation that God is real and is working amongst us. While Moises was in the hospital his mother, Magdalena, was instructed in a dream to read Psalm 53. Not being literate, she got her mother to read it to her. The words of the chapter brought her to tears and she immediately shared it with her husband who also broke down in tears at its hearing. At that moment he was in a jail cell where he spent a few days while police were determining whether negligence contributed to the accident. With his stepson injured, separated from his family, stuck in jail, he was at the end of his rope doubting god's goodness and even his existence. He told Magdalena that the scripture from her dream was meant for him, yet both of them knew God was speaking to them and both of them were encouraged in their faith. The chapter goes on to say "God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God". God has given us a great gift in little Moises and is using him to provoke many to seek Him.
Shortly after Moises arrived in Amarillo an infection was detected in his central line. For several days we were concerned and Moises was again in pain. Now the infection has passed and again he is gaining strength and without as much pain. This morning Moises was mad because he was hungry. It had been an hour since his last popsicle and he wanted another. But he can only have a popsicle every 4 hours. I remembered how just a couple of weeks ago he was quiet, lifeless, and beyond hunger pangs. Oddly, even these new complaints about hunger were an encouragement to us all. Everything seems to be going so well now. The memories of former suffering and hopelessness are beginning to disappear under piles of smiles and laughter. Today Moises was up out of bed if to visit the hospital playroom to color, play board games, and drive the electric car down the hospital hallway.
What else is happening?????
He came to us at 15 kilos. Today he was at 19.2 kilos.
He gets visits from his new friend Sadie, the licensed therapy dog, who climbs up on his bed and lets him feed her snacks.
My wife and I are her new “mother and father”.
Mary Kay, the nurse from Accolade who secured the life-saving TPN, came to visit. Since Mom can’t read she brought her the entire Bible on CD. She brought Moises a children’s book of Bible stories with CD’s of bible songs which already he sings along.
Magdalena’s husband calls every day. She misses her other children badly but is content to stay at Moises’ side.
The Big surgery will be in June or July after he gains significant weight.
No financial needs at this time due to generosity of Belize, Canadian, and US. donors….God is Good!
What are we learning about God through Moises?
The same lesson we hear about in Hebrews 1:6
'And without faith it is impossible to please god. For the one that comes to god must believe that he existsand that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.'
The fool says in his heart, 'there is no God'.
Moises not only believed in God but he never stopped seeking him in prayer."
Also, Tim sent out a link to an article written in the Amarillo paper on Moises -
Into the Arms of Strangers: Generosity Saves a Life
Sunday, March 29, 2009
"Things are settling down here in Belize for me, so let me catch you up on Moises.
He made it into Amarillo Texas before the winter storm hit.
His mother had difficulty with her visa but he was able to travel with Dr. Eck, his Physician.
His mother was able to be reunited with him yesterday evening.
I will follow up this letter with some photos and short videos.
The doctors there are very encouraged about his condition.
Moises himself, is having a blast. See in the photos his first encounter with snow.
While Moises was making a snowball in his room, Dr. Eck was outside playing in the snow, a new experience for him also.
The current plan is to help Moises gain weight before surgery. This may take three months. He needs to be at least 70% of normal body weight. Currently he is less than 50%
Part of the plan is to introduce nutrition through his lower intestines.
He is getting regular visits from local schoolchildren and a big welcome banner from them hangs on his wall, see photos.
They tell me he charms everyone who enters his room. He gets out of bed quite a bit. My wife tells me the hospital has large electric cars which he enjoys driving down the hallways and a nurse runs along behind him holding his IV bag. I myself will be seeing him back in the US on Wednesday. Please continue with us in prayer, and again thanks for all your support for this miracle child."
Tim Tam in Belize.
Friday, March 27, 2009
After a delicious breakfast (this was what our normal breakfast was everyday),
we all headed off to the Burial Grounds. The first task was to unload a truck load of cinder blocks to finish off the floor of the school addition.
In case you still have a hard time picturing where we were every time we mention the Burial Grounds (the part of Belize City where we spent most of the time working, where Unity Presbyterian Church is located), here are a few more pictures.
A few more shots of the different houses.
Stacy, Michelle, Jennifer, and Sophie headed out to Belmopan to visit King's Children's Home. Unlike the government run children's home we visited earlier in the week, this was a place full of hope. Leonie, a former abuse survivor herself, felt moved to start a home for children from similar of upbringings. She is a licenced social worker, and a strong Christian who runs her home on Christian values. The children are up by 5am to have a time of devotionals and worship before school. Leonie is licenced to have up to 45 children in the house at any one time, and right now there are 42 children from the ages of 0-18 living there. From the time the home first opened in 1985, over 600 children have lived there.
This home was run with love an compassion, and it had such a different atmosphere than the state run children's home in Belize City we visited earlier in the week. The only problem is that the kids and Leonie are living in a very tight space. This is a picture of the land that makes up the majority of their back yard.
The good news is that Leonie has recently purchased 14 acres of land just outside the city limits of Belmopan. The goal is to have a road built to that land by June, and to begin the construction on a volunteer village and the well (currently they are paying the equivalent of $1,000 US per day for water, and having a well would drastically reduce that cost). It was so inspiring to hear Leonie's incredible vision for how this land can be used.
We quickly learned the benefits of having brought our very own paramedics with us (none of us sustained major injuries on the trips, but it was still nice to have them around to help with cuts and bruises).
Originally we were told that cameras would not be allowed in the prisons, so Michelle and Sophie were surprised to find one of the women from Lubbock taking pictures when they arrived. The women inmates were thrilled to have their picture taken, and were constantly asking to be in another picture. These are just a few of the many pictures taken that day.
A side project was painting quilt squares. We asked the women to paint images of what made them happy on quilt squares (and then the Lubbock group will sew the majority of the squares together in a quilt and auction it off to raise money for future Belize mission trips). Right before we left the prison on Wednesday, the women asked us for extra squares. During the night they painted the following:
You might have noticed in some of the last few pictures that a few of the women from our team had braids in our hair.... Many tourists pay for their hair to be braided when they go to Belize, or other tropical locations. We have woman and youth at the children's home and prison volunteer to do it for us.
That last night we had a BBQ of chicken and tapir. This was the crew that cooked dinner (with Kenny in the background).
Before dinner we played soccer with the boys of Belize. After dinner, however, the boys entertained themselves by climbing on Scot and Jerry.
Michelle brought some relief by bringing bags of candy (though it disappeared in a matter of seconds).
The next morning was our last morning together as an entire group. In case you are curious why there is a seventh person in this picture, that is Beth. She works for the Word at Work. She was with us in Belize all week and was a tremendous gift and blessing to our team.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
"Tears of joy shower down today all over Belize City and beyond.
It started with me today when my wife called and gave me the word that Baptist Saint Anthony Hospital in Amarillo Texas has agreed to receive Moises as their patient. It took me a while to stop crying so I could begin to share the good news with others. Our God once again hears the prayers of his children and brings hope to the hopeless. For the past several days I have been fused to the phone and my computer. A network of caring people, friends connecting with friends all over the United States nonstop, thousands of emails, everyone striving to secure help for this little guy who refused to die. I lost track of the number of hospitals and medical facilities who were contacted and are considering our case. Even now many are in the midst of a decision process, waiting for boards and committees to cast their vote. But now, help has arrived and we must act while there’s still time.
Perhaps on Thursday, at least by Friday, a private jet will arrive in Belize to transport Moises, his mother and his Dr. to Texas even faster than a commercial airline. BSA Hospital in Amarillo is fully equipped to handle the case. If however the possibility surfaces for one of the major children’s hospitals to take the case, BSA will be happy to redirect the patient to wherever he can receive the best care.
Early this evening I went to the hospital with Jackie and Marta Woods to share the good news with Moises and his mother. Unbelievable joy has pushed away all the sorrow in their rooms. And Moises is showing new energy and great improvement. Only days before, one of the nurses from Accolade Home Health Care (www.accoladehomecare.com) secured the TPN that was desperately needed to get nutrition into his body. Cars from distant cities drove through the night to hand off the medicine to a mission team from boulder Colorado bound for Belize who then rushed it to the hospital at the moment they arrived. The results were almost immediate. Tonight we noticed that the sores on his scalp and arms were now healing. There is new life in his eyes. But here is what blew my mind…… Perhaps you remember from the last alert we sent out that Moises spoke of a Angelic visitations, a man dressed in white who was helping him. Here we had come to the hospital to tell them they were about to go to the United States, and his mother shared that he already knew it. She awoke in the night to find Moises sitting in the chair next to the bed. He has not been out of his bed for many weeks. The "man who had been helping him" told him that he needed to get ready to go. Moises got out of bed while his mother slept. He bathed himself with wet wipes and put lotion on his skin. He put Vaseline in his hair and combed it and then sat in the chair ready to go. She didn’t know what to think of it other than that she was glad he was gaining strength and, though it little bit shaky, was able to walk around.
At this point what needs to happen is....
-A massive offering-up of thanks to God for his mercy on this little one
-Continued prayer for god’s healing and protection
-Raising a little bit of money to help defray the fuel costs of our generous benefactor who dropped everything in order to make this happen
Thank you one and all,
Tim in Belize
The Word at Work
1400 Wolflin Ave
Amarillo, Tx 79109
Visit website www.twaw.org"
This picture was taken just recently and shows Moises, his mother, and Tim Tam:
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This is our team this morning, before we split up for the day.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Jennifer started her day in one of the classrooms to be a teacher's assistant.
The little girl that Jerry ate lunch with yesterday is very attached to him. She spends time with him every opportunity she gets -she eats with him, sits with him on the bus, etc.
Of course, Jerry the fireman was the perfect person to demonstrate how to properly slide down the pole.
And he was also the perfect person to catch kids taking a tour through the cab.
Jennifer, Jerry, and Michelle made it back by lunch time, and once again we had a delicious homemade lunch.