Our Boy Is Healed.

My eyes teared up as I watched a four year old boy crying in his mama’s arms as Max played happily to the tune of the prayers of friends and family around the world. They found a brain tumour last week in the little boy; he had tubes in his noses and his arms and he was done with it all. Over it. “Everybody here is very mean mama. Everyone hurts me. I can’t stay here any more and you can’t make me. There is nothing you can do or say to make me feel better I’m going home.”

My eyes welled up as she bravely held a very articulate little boy, probably wishing she could make it all go away even more than he did, trying to find the words to explain, the courage to lend him, and the strength to keep herself going.

The next morning it was my turn. In the early hours of the morning, after a particularly challenging night when Max spiked a post-surgery fever and was up with blood tests, medication and cranky roommates for more than half of the night, I sent Jared home for a nap and let my little boy take his turn melting down.

He wailed in my arms and every trick I knew didn’t work. He just wanted to go home.

And as sad as that moment made me, my heart welled up with joy. We desire to cultivate a home that is a place of security, of peace, and of the presence of God. And in that moment, as heartbroken as I was, my heart soared because to Max, that’s what our home has become. It felt good to hear it and to know it. A parenting high in the midst of a heartbreaking challenge.

There may have been some tough moments during our time in the hospital, but for every challenge, there were a hundred blessings… at least.

Not the least of which is that our boy is healed.

I prayed God would do a miracle and I remember one moment in the wee hours of the morning, weeks ago when I couldn’t sleep, I heard Him whisper back, “What if I want to use surgery to heal him, Rebekah?”

And it appears that that is what He’s done.

The infection is gone. It was a nasty one, embedded deep and strong and resistant. The team involved were confident that this was the very best course of action.

In addition to this miracle, we saw so many moves of God’s grace along the way… the fact that Max was a near perfect patient. At each shift change the nurse would ask why he hasn’t had more pain medication and the other would say, “He’s been content so we’ve held off.” The wound care team said, “I kept expecting him to jump but he just laid there. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

No, he wasn’t perfect. He got emotional. He couldn’t sleep to the tune of emergency buzzers going off every half hour and children screaming in pain and discomfort. The bandage hurt coming off. And sometimes he just reallyreallyreally wanted apple juice.

But that’s when the grace turned up too. A nurse just who popped over with the apple juice just in time… and some tylenol. The cleaning lady who kept bubbles in her cleaning box. Surprise visits from our favourite nurses who have been seeing Max throughout this ordeal, even though it wasn’t their job to pop by. Friends arriving with treats at just the right moment.

They may seem minor. But in a Children’s Ward full of aching families, every bit of joy and hope we experienced was acknowledged with deep gratitude. There were challenges… but we were so blessed in the midst of them.

When we got a visit from the lead surgeon who has been seeing Max, we saw the wound for the first time. It was bigger than I expected… but we learned that one of the larger abscesses had popped during the procedure and the fact that he didn’t have an infection already was a surprising result. (Lord, is that You?)

We also learned that there was indeed some minor nerve damage. That would explain the slacking we had noticed on the left side of his lower lip… the one I had been hoping was the bandaid pulling his skin… I saw the look of relief on the surgical assistant’s face when she said, “I wasn’t sure the extent of the damage. I was so relieved when I heard he could eat and talk completely normally.”

Just one more moment I counted our blessings.

We were there longer than anticipated. And though we were very well taken care of, we are ALL glad to be home – in our place of refuge and peace.

Max spends most of his time asking to run outside or sing and dance inside. He is visibly relieved to be back. He melts down every now and then – we give him some pain medication and he seems to morph back into himself within around 20 minutes. I think he is still hurting more than we realise … or even more than he is willing to admit.

Playing football with daddy is just too much fun. Its a good thing the paediatric outreach nurses are doing a house visit tomorrow. Seems he popped open part of the wound during a tackle. Oops.

We’re all catching up on sleep, enjoying a relatively lazy weekend, bursting into spontaneous prayers of gratitude to God because it truly could’ve been a different result in many ways.

Thanks for so many who prayed. We are grateful for you all.

Our boy is healed.

Almost Famous.

On 6:30 Tuesday morning we were drawn to our entryway window by the sounds of incessant splashing.

I looked outside and all I could see were teenage boys. Dripping wet teenage boys emerging from our swimming pool.

“We don’t place a big priority on hygiene.” one of them told me with a cheeky grin. After all, why would you want to shower when you  could take a quick dunk in a tropical saltwater pool surrounded by palm trees?

Welcome to our world for the next three weeks.

It is Mission Adventures season here at YWAM and for the next three weeks, we will have groups of high school youth rotating in and out of our centre as they learn more about different people groups and how to engage their faith serving them. We have the privilege of hosting the boys in the self-contained unit below our house.

And evidently I also have the (privilege?) of washing their clothes in our shared washing machine. I’m still not certain who threw their clothes in with ours. (Jed? Andrew? Phil?)

The first group of boys and their teachers have been so lovely, as have the DTS students who have been living downstairs to look after them.

Everyone is making such a big deal about being quiet to let Max sleep that he has practically become famous around here. Everywhere I go someone is saying, *delightful gasp* “Is that Max!?”

Its been great to hear some of the stories of the youth who have come – and their teachers – and to see them so eager to not only have their own life impacted but also impact others.

We were reunited with a lovely student we met last year. I was pregnant. Her mama was pregnant. And we found out this week that our babies were born on the exact same day. So special and sweet.

These are definitely some awesome groups of world changers.

And we get the privilege of watching… helping… and praying.

What. a. joy.

Do good, guys! We’re cheering for ya…

Moving House

Okay, its been far too long since the Hoovers have done any updating. Blame it on the pregnancy exhaustion… or the busyness of leading a DTS… or starting a new medical ship ministry… or any number of other things.

Life gets busy but we want to make sure we keep staying connected because the reality is we love you… and we need you… and we like to hear about your lives so we’re guessing you like to hear about ours! 🙂

So a bit of an update, we moved house last weekend. This new place is such a huge blessings! (Huge being the key word!) We went from a tiny little two bedroom (or as I like to call it 1 bedroom with a big closet) flat into a huge three bedroom house. There’s space to do my pregnancy pilates exercises without kicking the furniture, a DISHWASHER (which we have not had in 5 years), a beautiful bay window in our bedroom, and even a real driveway (which means less car washing since we were on dirt before and it was filthy constantly!) We are feeling pretty darn blessed. And even though we have a fair bit more moving in to do and a lot more housework/yard work to maintain, it is really really lovely.

Jared & I are travelling our separate ways again… he is in Papua New Guinea and I am off to Canberra and Brisbane. We’re both actually doing preparation for the ship which is exciting. Its been amazing to see all the doors open up in this area and we are stoked to be a part of it.

No pictures this time… Jared has the camera in PNG… so I’ll keep it simple and sign off! 🙂 Miss you and love you all!

With much love from all three Hoovers,
Jared, Rebekah, and the little baby the size of an orange!