Sunday, March 22, 2009

Youth Impact III

Last Night was a special night at the Comunidade de Cristo.  It was the third annual Youth Impact.  The young adults invite their friends to see a theatrical presentation and hear a biblical message about what they just saw.

They did an excellent job presenting a piece in which three armed men enter the church and force members at gunpoint to admit their sins in front of the congregation.  The leader of the three insists that there is no such thing as true conversion, and tells the congregation that everyone who claims to be a Christian is only wearing a mask.  He says that they only act Christian at church but have secret lives outside of church.  For the first several hostages this is true.  But the last one the gunmen force to confess is a true Christian who has been genuinely converted.  This drives the gunman mad.  He cannot accept that it is possible because he doesn't believe in the power of Christ.  In the end, he turns the gun on himself. 

John had the honor of following the play with a message about wearing masks in church.  He talked about the fact that the world loves us because of something we have to offer but that God loves us in spite of the fact that we have nothing to offer.  He said God is not impressed with our masks and loves us just as we are.

There were over sixty people at the event last night.  Over thirty of those were visitors.  We were very impressed with the great job the young adults did to prepare the evening and we were very happy that they managed to get so many of their friends to attend.  If just one of them is reached for Christ, the whole evening will have been worth the effort.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Return to the Hospital

What looks like "Baby's First Tanning Booth" is actually a special bassinet to treat jaundice.  
Just two days out of the hospital, we took Ben to the pediatrician to see about treating acid reflux.  Jonah and Andy both had it and we saw signs of it in Ben.  We just needed to confirm the dosage of medicine to give him since he's smaller than either of them were. The doctor took one look at him and said we would have to deal with acid reflux later.  She said his color didn't look good and she ordered an urgent blood test.  Two hours later we discovered that his bilirubin level, which was supposed to be between .8 and 12, was 21.  He was severely jaundiced.  We immediately took him to the hospital to be admitted for phototherapy.

When we arrived they said they didn't have any vacancies.  They called the only other hospital in town that takes infants, and they also said they didn't have any vacancies.  John put out an a.p.b. for prayer and within fifteen minutes we had a room.  Ben spent three days and nights in the light bed that simulates sunlight.  I stayed next to him the whole time.  It was my job to make sure he stayed in the bassinet when he wasn't nursing or getting his diaper changed.  A canvas mask was taped over his eyes the whole time.  

His levels have returned to within the normal range and we were released yesterday afternoon.  I've heard it said that babies don't smile this young but I know Ben smiled at me when the nurse took his mask off.  Monday we will have his blood tested one more time to be sure his bilirubin levels aren't rising again.  Then he'll finally be free of all the poking and prodding until his next vaccines are due.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Welcome, Baby Ben

We just got home with this little bundle of joy:

He was born Tuesday night, March 3 (one year to the day that we left the States for Brazil).  His name is Ben Marshall Jewell and he weighed in at six pounds and four ounces.  I was induced a couple weeks early due to complications involving gestational diabetes and an unexplained intense itch.  After a ten-hour day, Ben arrived at 9:44 pm.  He and mom are doing great.  Jonah and Andy are thrilled, and Dad is on cloud nine with boy number three.  Thank you all for your prayers and your concerns during the difficult pregnancy.  I knew the minute I saw baby Ben that it was all worth it.