by Joy Casey 

This has been a wonderful, full day.  I spent most of the morning in the orphanage organizing the storeroom and having old and broken items hauled away.  It was ‘spring cleaning’ and felt good!  We have one special needs little boy that will be transferred to my friend’s orphanage designed for special needs children, so we set that process in motion.  It is a transfer between two orphanages located in two regions, so there is a lot of paperwork and approvals from various governmental departments before we can legally move him.  He was born without a membrane between the two halves of his brain that causes global developmental delays, vision impairment and cerebral palsy.  I talked to his doctor this morning to get an EEG for his medical history as I suspect seizure activity.  We have an excellent nurse on our staff who is highly capable and dedicated, overseeing the care of all the children.

In the midst of all this, a police officer arrived with another lady holding a baby.  The story they told is a familiar one.  Outside the gate of Lomi’s house a baby’s cry was unrelenting so she went to investigate.

She found an infant wrapped in a blanket wedged between two rocks.  She, of course, picked up the frantic bundle and brought it inside.  Tenderly she cared for the baby boy from Friday until Monday when she called the police and reported the incident.

We were presented with a beautiful, perfect baby boy!  The first order of business was to give him something to eat and a good bath.  We needed to determine his approximate age.  His umbilical site was completely healed, and he tracked movement with his eyes – we concurred he was about one month old.  He did not have a name, so I gave him a strong biblical name:  Daniel.

Daniel is tiny but exquisite in every way.  The picture doesn’t do him justice!  Even during his bath, he whimpered a little, but overall was mellow, looking around taking everything in.  Eventually, he fell asleep … but not before completely stealing my heart.  What good things does the LORD have in store for him?

Tearing myself away from Baby Daniel, we headed to the hotel where the missionaries and their wives were checking in for the upcoming retreat starting tomorrow.  It was a reunion amongst themselves as most of their churches are far apart.  It was also a time for me to greet missionaries I pray for by name regularly and to see their wives whom I have grown to love over the years.  We stood around laughing, talking and hugging (lots of hugs!) and at one point the thought came to me, “I am standing in the midst of giants [of the faith].”  These men have dedicated their lives to achieve one purpose:  to further God’s Kingdom among their tribe.  And doing so is not easy and not without suffering.  Tomorrow morning Dinah Monahan, Abonesh Kebede, Mars Pera and I will share God’s heart with the wives while our Country Manager, Abebe, and Zerihun, our Evangelism Director, will have time with the men.  Our hope is that the upcoming days will be relaxing and provide inspiration and encouragement to these front-line warriors.