Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Second Chances

I'd like you to meet some very good friends of mine. You'll need a little background information first.

I met John in the Spring of 1988. We were attending the University of Arizona and shared the same major so we had several classes together. (he slept through Analytical Chemistry and got an A, I stayed awake and didn't) In the fall of 1988 I ran in to John on campus and he invited me to his college group's fall square dance (not as a date, just as friends). This is where it gets amazing and this is where the Holy Spirit worked....I showed up! By myself and very scared. I didn't know a soul except John. When I arrived John introduced me to a very cute roommate of his and the rest is history, in fact, 17 years of history as of March 24. :) Ok, back to the story. I was a baby Christian and spent my Sundays at either a Lutheran church or a charismatic church, to say the least I was very confused. The square dance was on a Saturday night, I joined John and Dave at their church on Sunday and became a 'regular'. Within a few months I made a public confession of my faith and was baptized. Karen came in to the picture shortly after that time, John and Karen shared a long distance courtship (she was at Biola) that most of us homeschool moms would envy. They got married 3 months after us in June of 1990.

All that to say that John and Karen are very precious friends of ours and we are so thankful to the Lord for blessing us with their friendship.

Now John and Karen do humanitarian work in Kunming, China. John is a pediatrician and Karen works very hard at home caring for their 4 children and spends time caring for children at an orphanage. I asked if they would mind me sharing a recent email with you.

As I look at our six years of life in China, (yes, almost 6 years!!) many memories of joy and delight come flooding into my mind. However, some memories of regret and discouragement come as well.

One of the most discouraging series of events took place in the summer of 2003 when a 19 month old boy named Wu Xiao came to see me at the clinic. Wu Xiao had bright eyes and was as sharp as could be. (see photo) His language was quite precocious in two dialects. His Mandarin was better than mine.

But Wu Xiao could not walk. Birth injury had left him with severe cerebral palsy primarily affecting his legs. A CT scan of his head clearly demonstrated where an area of his brain had essentially dissolved after his birth trauma.

We started Wu Xiao in the physical rehabilitation program at Project Grace, and his progress was remarkable. Within a week, he was able to stand by bracing himself with his arms.

Then something happened. Wu Xiao’s family took him out of rehab and had him admitted to a local hospital. There, local doctors claimed they could heal Wu Xiao by injecting fetal stem cells into the injured area of his brain. Instead of healing, Wu Xiao developed encephalitis, a severe infection of his brain. After several weeks in the hospital, he and his family just disappeared.

For almost four years, I thought he was dead . . . until this past week. There he was, sitting in the exam room with his dad. I could hardly contain myself! His language is now a bit slurred, his eyes are crossed, and he has an ugly scar across his temple. He still cannot walk. But he is alive; a precious little boy and the apple of his father’s eye.

Wu Xia is now back in rehab learning to stand. I am so thankful for a second chance to help this boy.

It would be easy to chastise Wu Xiao’s family for the damage and delay this boy has suffered. But how often do I do the same thing? The Great Physician has clearly prescribed what is best for me. Yet in unbelief or impatience, I walk away. And just like Wu Xiao, I bear the scars, the consequences of my disobedience. I too am grateful for the mercy, grace, and patience of the Master Healer.

Please remember Wu Xiao and his family. May they come to know the Great Physician who can bring true healing.

Would you pray for my friends and the amazing work they do in China?

Would you pray for little Wu Xiao?


Donna Boucher said...

That is heartbreaking.

I will pray for dear Wu Xiao and his family...and for John and his family.


Anonymous said...

This is an amazing story and your friends sound so lovely.
I would like to pray for the little boy whose name I can't pronounce.

I enjoyed reading a little history on you! And I love seeing God's providential hand giving us little encouraging pats as He guides us through life!


Janet said...

Hi Anita, thank you for visiting and commenting! You are so right about God's providence.

Kirshner said...

I would like to contect with the little boys family who live in China or perhaps the doctors family in China. I repersent a medical group in China and we might be able to help this young boy. Please contact me at Thank you