Prayer Updates

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

He’s two months old

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Or t minus one month, depending on how you look at it (full gestation is April 25). Full disclosure: we prefer to look at it as two months old. He has been so strong and calm through this whole ordeal – we are proud parents.

Thanks for your prayers concerning the MRI. Henry did not require anesthesia – if you can believe it, he stayed perfectly still during the half-hour of loud imaging (those who have had MRIs know…).

The preliminary report indicates no change from previous scans. Our doctor believes this means that there probably is no cystic development so far because that is something the MRI folks would report. Two months ago when our doctor told us of the possibility of cystic growth in the brain, we asked what we could hope for, and he indicated that scans that show no change would be best. So we are thankful to Jesus. But please continue praying as his brain develops.

Also, lets pray Henry out of the NICU – here are the immediate needs: 1) that he would feel fully without tube. 2) that he would not brady, 3) that he would wean off oxygen help.

resting only in Jesus,

Joe & Josie




In Uncategorized on March 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Hey friends,

Today our doctor decided to schedule Henry’s MRI. This is procedural: all babies get it done before they leave the NICU. However, this is often when doctor’s can tell you that the baby’s brain has suffered permanent damage or not. Please pray for positive results. Also, you can pray – if you read this before 3pm today – that Henry would not require anesthesia for the MRI. It sounds like there is a chance that some do not… but I could be wrong.

Henry is improving in so many ways. Last week nurses and doctors were predicting quite an early discharge for Henry, provided he goes a whole 24 hours of full feeds without a tube; and does not Brady for 5 days. He was on track last week, but after they stopped his diuretic, Henry retained too much fluid, which wore him out, and knocked him back a few steps.

They gave him his diuretic a couple days ago, and he has improved again – and is feeding well.

We can pray our little man out of the NICU – please approach the throne and ask in Christ’s name, that Henry would receive the strength to feed well and not brady. This would be a massive relief to us – we obviously do not want Henry home if he needs to be in the NICU; but we feel Henry would receive great care at home if all he needs is feeding and typical newborn care (and even oxygen – but pray he doesn’t need to leave with oxygen, too).

Thanks for your prayers,

Joe & Josie

Continue to pray

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Hi friends,

I realize it has been a while since I have last updated. This is in part because as Henry has stabilized, many of our immediate prayer concerns have melded into two: 1/ that he would grow (feed), and 2/ that his breath would be deep and constant (no brady’s). Please don’t read into our lack of posts, a lack of need to pray. We realize more than ever our absolute dependency on prayer. We have no control; we can’t protect our son; we need God to protect – and Jesus gives us access to His throne.

Henry is doing well in the NICU. He is growing according to charts’ expectations. He just received his first full bottle feed. He is getting bigger. He has the lowest level of oxygen available assisting his breathing, and they are taking the oxygen away one day a week to help wean. We are thankful.

We need you to pray for his little body. Pray that his breathing would stabilize and “normalize.” Pray against bradycardia. Also, pray that Henry would take to feeding. Josie has been nothing short of heroic in being present and persistant to help Henry learn feeding. Obviously, it is easier for Henry to simply receive his food from a tube – but this cannot remain the case (if we want to go home!). So pray that God would give him grace to feed and grow well. Please continue to pray that his brain would sustain no long-term damage from his birth.

Pray for Josie and me. We are pretty weary. While we rejoice that Henry is doing well, we are definitely feeling the cumulative effect of life in the NICU since the end of January. We desire to be present emotionally with our other son Jude – but the feeding schedule at NICU makes it hard enough to be present physically (let alone, emotionally) with Jude in a way we would like. So ask God to give Jude grace in this season.

Also, it seems all around us is suffering and death. A young woman and dear member of our church died of cancer on Sunday. A church planter friend of ours in Columbus lost his 2 year old son just last night because he was hit by a car. It makes us sick. Also, as we get to know a few families in the NICU with little ones, our hearts break when their’s break over complications. It feels like we are in a fox-hole, and the attack is palpable. This of course is always true of everyone at all times – we are just currently feeling it in new & exhausting ways.

Though our hearts are weary, they are not lost – because of the promise of God in Scripture: “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Prayers appreciated. Pray also for the families mentioned experiencing suffering in profound ways.

Love Joe & Josie

A day without oxygen-help

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2011 at 7:44 pm


In Uncategorized on March 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Henry has moved to a crib. Obviously, this is a great milestone for him. Yet, it is also much more emotionally difficult to be apart from the NICU, now – as you can probably imagine why!

Please continue to pray. Short term needs are that he would continue to grow in weight and would transition well towards breast feeding. Long term prayer would be for his long term health in every system: lungs, heart, brain, etc.

Saying with the multitude, “He has done all things well” (Mk 7:37),



In Uncategorized on March 9, 2011 at 9:14 pm

This past Sunday, at our church-plant gathering, we looked at Mark 2:1-12. This is the well-known (maybe not?) story of the four men who carry their paralytic friend to the crowded house; inside Jesus is unpacking the story of redemption, and his central role in it. The door is blocked. The house, like all houses of that day, had a mudded roof for fresh air and prayer. So these four men, walk up the stairs to the roof, and proceed to dig.

Before he is healed, Jesus forgives the sins of the paralytic, which incited understandable rage in the minds of the religious gate-keepers of the day: “Only God can forgive sin.” They are right.

But here is why I share all of this (please forgive – this is a long-winded pastor’s way of saying a simple thing): These men were interceding for their friend. It was because of the intercession of the four he was in the middle of Peter’s living room amidst a pile of broken roof-mud. In a very graphic way, we see a group of guys exercise their faith – and their muscle – to present their friend to Jesus.

Regarding prayer, Paul would call this “making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18). One writer calls intercession “a way of loving others.”

Thanks for your intercessory prayer. It brings glory to Jesus. More updates to come.

From Josie

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Occupational and physical therapists came to see Henry yesterday. They will be checking in on Henry twice a week to gauge when he is ready for his “next steps”.  I received training in holding Henry and how to help him not waste his calories. They showed me how to recognize when Henry is in pain and what I can do to help him through his hurting moments. Henry is 33 weeks Sunday–seven more weeks until his original due date.

I’ve been processing my feelings, as they regard Henry’s pain, with Jesus and with Joe these days. I hate that Henry is painfully premature, I hate his daily struggle to breathe, beat (heart), and eat. I am most and honestly only, comforted by the resurrection of Christ and the beauty that is Christ Jesus, risen and exalted. I have two dominant emotions towards my son–I am so proud of him and I think he is beautiful. I realize I only have these secured thoughts because of faith in Christ’s resurrection.

Henry, Henry, Henry my love

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm

“The best prayers have often more groans than words.” Costly wisdom from  John Bunyan, a man well acquainted with grief. Josie and I appreciate (appreciate? – such an inadequate word!) your prayers for our boy(s), our marriage, our ministry, and our hearts.

We have all been praying that God would bind up his broken heart (this one time I mean it quite literally). Recently Henry’s cardiologist explained that Henry’s murmur has so decreased that he does not think he will require surgery. “If Henry was in outpatient care for his heart, we would send him home.” Praise! – the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

We have all been praying that God would increase his weight. Very soon Henry will breach 1800 grams (about 4 pounds). This means he might be transfered to a crib. The small victories, Lord.

Henry still struggles with his breathing. “Bradycardia” still intrudes. Each day he seems to improve – but this is on close watch. Henry will not leave the isolette until the doctors are convinced his lung desease is improving.

But clothes! Pacifier! Cries! Eyes! We celebrate the milestones – trying not to diminish our hearts delight in God (He is the prize), by cynically waiting for the “shoe to drop.” That’s my struggle, anyhow.

Thank you for your prayers.