Cirque du Schaller
Lydia opened a letter addressed to her. It was from Hyssine, her best friend from our old school. Inside was a postcard from last summer and a card apologising for having forgotten to send it! We laughed and sent this photo of Lydia to H’s mom. Tara received a quick reply which read, “Thank you. Please pray as I am being induced now at a hospital in Paris.”
Tara texted back with a prayer, then asked, “Why are you in Paris?” (They live in Rennes.) For the next two hours, the women texted back and forth while waiting for the induction to work. Tara learned that the pregnancy had been quite normal until 7 months when they discovered a severe heart defect. The medical staff told the family that the baby had almost no chance of surviving the birth if she were to make it full term. They were asked to consider an abortion to save them all from future trauma. They responded with a resounding “no.” Her text read, “Even if we had a 0.000000000001% chance, that is enough to keep me fighting for my child! Our God is a God of miracles. A sonogram does not know what God knows. And so we have named her Hope, and we’re trusting God with her life.” Beautiful Hope was delivered safely. She even cried a bit, which was a great blessing for her parents to hear. Her mama sent Tara a picture of sweet, full-faced Hope hooked up to machines. We rejoiced and kept praying for miracles. God had made sure to connect us at their moment of greatest need through a postcard that was 9 months late! 25 hours after Hope’s birth, Tara received a text saying “She is gone.”
Tara, Lydia, and Elise went to the burial. It drizzled nonstop. There were a total of fourteen people huddled by this small grave, including us three and Hyssine’s family of five. We were the only non-family. That’s when Tara knew how important our presence, our prayers, and our support were and are. The mama (whose name I’ll keep private) told Tara, « I hadn’t told anyone except family about the heart defect. While texting with you in teh hospital was the first time I came to terms with it. » The rain joined her tears as she expressed her gratitude for a full day with Hope. Her birth and presence among us was a divine miracle. They had fought for her and gave her the dignity that all image-bearers of God deserve. And God allowed Hope to wiggle happily when her mama sang. No moment was taken for granted.
God has forever bonded us with this family. Hope has changed us. Our eyes and ears are more open. We pray God will fortify their marriage and the faith of their three remaining kids. May they be like Tara’s mom, who lost a newborn sister and has always trusted God will reunite them again someday. Hope has given us a deeper appreciation for this vapor that is our life. Last Sunday, Tara met a gal at church who, like Hope’s mama, is from Gabon, loves the Lord, and lost a baby girl two months prior to Hope’s birth and death. We hope to connect these two grieving friends.
1) Our first dance performance went well! We are performing twice on Tuesday the 14th: once in front of the school, and once at a park. Please pray that many friends will come and that it will open conversations.
2) The Monday morning mom’s group is off to a good start. Tara’s neighbors and new friends Pauline and Rose have come to check it out, and Alice plans to come. Rose especially seems interested in learning more about Jesus.
3) Trent’s new role with the global technology team is going well. He is helping to move more ministries around the world onto our secure technology systems. Pray for good communication across multiple cultures and time zones!
Thank you for your prayers and support!
Love, Trent, Tara, Lydia, Rachel, Tessa and Elise