Monday, June 30, 2014

Out of the Darkness

Rosie stopped speaking at about 18 months. After several years of trying to get a diagnosis, we finally found out that Rosie most likely had contracted encephalitis about that same time. This left her unable to speak. Her needs were communicated through screaming or tugging on her mother, leaving the entire family feeling hopeless at how to help her. It was as if Rosie were walking in the dark with no way to communicate to those around her.

The biggest problem Rosie's family faced is that there really aren't any resources available for situations like this where we live in Mozambique, and the situation continued to become more and more frustrating the older she got. 

Then I found out about a DVD program that teaches sign language to children. A donor offered to buy the set for Rosie, as it seemed it might be the answer we were searching for. At first, though, Rosie's parents thought the idea was crazy and that it wouldn't work, and even I was skeptical. You have to realize that we don't know of anyone here who speaks sign language and likely they have never heard about it. And on top of that, Rosie's mom never finished school and certainly wasn't a teacher. How could she teach her daughter something she didn't know?

The result, though, would prove to be phenomenal. Rosie's mom embraced her new role of teacher with determination. The ECHO Project provided simple workbooks, at first pre-school and kindergarten, to combine with the sign language.

Four years later, Rosie's progress has truly been miraculous. Click here to watch this short video documenting her progress.

Rosie today.

Today, Rosie loves school. She loves math and reading and reads well. She is able to communicate with her family and others as even her speaking has begun to slowly improve. The ECHO Project has continued to provide Rosie with workbooks, readers, and more advanced sign language DVDs. We continue to be amazed at what God has done and is doing in the life of this sweet girl who turned ten this past month. Please continue to pray for this family, and thank God for how He has brought Rosie out of the darkness.


The last report from Janu's doctor after his surgery was that he was doing extremely well. Scott is planning to drive to Maputo this week to pick him up. Please continue praying for this sweet young man!

Jano before surgery with his mother.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

UPDATE: A huge answer to prayer!

Praise God for His faithfulness! In our last post, we shared about a young man we have been trying to help, who is suffering greatly from the effects of hydrocephalus. (You can read that post here.)

A Russian doctor in Maputo has been trying to help Scott make the necessary arrangements, but they have to take scans of his head, and at their last trip, all of the scanning machines in the capital were broken. This morning, a doctor from a private hospital in Maputo called. Their machine has been fixed, and he is going to do the scans for FREE! This is a huge blessings because it normally would cost hundreds of dollars, so we are praising God for his faithfulness!

Please pray for their trip to Maputo tomorrow and that the doctors will find out what they need through the scans. Praise God as well for those who have been so willing to help this sweet young boy.

JUNE 18 Update: The doctors have done the scans and have scheduled surgery in one week. They will put in a tube to slowly drain out the liquid around his brain. Until then they will run tests and get him ready for the surgery. He will be in recovery about one week after that. The doctor has been incredibly compassionate and helpful during this process, and we praise God for that!

JUNE 25 Update: Janu had his surgery Tuesday morning--a drain put in to relieve the pressure in his skull. He is now in recovery and so far doing well with no complications. Please continue to pray for this sweet boy and his mother during the recovery. If all goes well, he should be released early next week.

Monday, June 2, 2014

JUNE UPDATE: Seeking to serve one individual at a time

We will be starting up our blog again this month, in order to share what God is doing through The ECHO Project as we strive to meet people's physical needs.

This past week, Scott drove to Maputo (about seven hours) to take this sweet young man to the central hospital for medical help. He has hydrocephalus, and it has got to the point where he is struggling greatly physically. He's unable to move his legs and more recently his right arm. While he has been going to the local hospital for therapy, they do not have the equipment here in Inhambane to do the necessary tests that would determine if surgery is still an option.

God had opened doors for Scott to take him, including a meeting with a Russian neurosurgeon who helped set up the appointment with the doctor in the capital. Unfortunately, once they arrived, they discovered that machine needed to do the scans is broken, so they were not able to do the tests and will have to return.

What is so amazing about this young man is that he is always smiling and never complains. He is a joy to be around despite the pain he is constantly in. He loves Jesus and always has a smile to offer you. Please pray for him and for his mother who his his caregiver. The ECHO Project will continue giving them monthly food packets as they have to stay in town to continue his physical therapy. We will be following up with the doctor to arrange for him to return as soon as the machine is fixed. Scott was able to get him a collar that will help hold his head up, so that will be a big help for him.

Scott took him and his mother out to ice cream while in the capital!
Another thing that is hard to take care of where we live is eye exams and glasses. While Scott was in Maputo he took this young man (below) in for an eye exam. He recently moved to the capital to attend university. While he is top in his class, he has been having great difficulties with his eyes. This will be a huge blessing for him and his studies.

Thanks so much for stopping by. You can watch a short ECHO Project video here 
and find out how you can help us help others through The ECHO Project on our website.