Fellow Christian homeschoolers, Brigitte and Craig V, have three sweet children. Their youngest is little Joe. Soon after he was born, they discovered he was blind. This was indeed devastating news. But the prognosis has only deteriorated since then, involving neurological problems. The stress on this poor family is astronomical. And yet, despite the heart-ache, despite the pain, despite the feelings of helplessness, they continue to trust in Jesus – their faith is testimony to His greatness and a wonderful and true picture of the words from the old song "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus" featured here in this YouTube video.
Please pray for little Joseph and the V family (not related to the video) as you read this, their most recent newsletter…
15 May 2010
To our dear family and friends,
Many of you have been asking for an update about our darling little Joseph. The last one was dated 12 April, and was written after our awful measles marathon. Thankfully that is now in the past and in the course of time we have all, except Joseph, been restored to health and strength.
As always, your care and concern and your prayers for Joseph and our whole family are very much valued and appreciated. We believe that it is because you are praying that we have kept going. The situation with Joseph is very sad indeed and it is stressful for us as a family to be experiencing what we are.
After staying with Brigitte’s parents for four weeks, and having recovered sufficiently to cope, we went home on 17 April. Joseph was still having seizures although he is on medication to control these. On Saturday 24th he had a bad day with many seizures so the neurologist decided that another EEG was necessary. This was done on 1 May and the following week we had an appointment with the neurologist. Her findings are not good and are not positive.
They are that Joseph has severe epilepsy which apparently is unusual in such a young child. This situation has arisen because his brain is dysfunctional. Even though the architecture of the brain is in place the brain is not functioning as it should. The huge concern is that the neurologist says that the brain is not developing and maturing as it should. She says that the problem with Joseph’s eyes has come from the brain.
This is a very serious and complicated situation, the cause of which is unknown. Tests are still being performed on the blood samples which were taken a while back. So far there is no obvious or probable cause or reason for Joseph being as he is, and we have been told by the Professor of Neuro-development at Wits University that something randomly went wrong early in the pregnancy. Sadly this is the result.
Please pray about this problem with the brain and the seizures. They are closely linked.
We have been asked a few times what the future holds for our little Jo-Jo. We do not know and the specialists don’t seem to know and have given us no prognosis. What we do know is that our heavenly Father knows the situation exactly and that little Joey is in His loving hands.
There was also a further problem with Joseph’s eyes. Unfortunately the right eye has not grown and scar tissue has developed inside the eye and closed up the pupil completely. The ophthalmologist will not operate again as this will cause more damage, so at present there is no vision in the right eye. The left eye has grown a bit, and there seems to be light perception. What Joey is actually able to see is unknown and to what extent the brain is able to interpret visual perception is also unknown. Please continue to pray about Joseph’s eyes, especially that the left eye will not develop scar tissue and that it will continue to grow and develop.
It is crucial at this stage for Joseph to have effective occupational and physio-therapy to stimulate all his senses and improve his muscle tone. He has been seen by a very helpful occupational therapist in Cape Town and will also be seen by a physiotherapist. We have been advised by a few people that the Baby Therapy Centre in Pretoria, which is an integrated sensory practice with different therapists, does very good work with babies.
With assistance from very kind friends, we are taking Joseph to the Baby Therapy Centre at the end of May (the girls will go with us). He will have one assessment session with all the therapists and two therapy sessions over three days. We are hoping to get some good direction from this visit. We ask you please to continue to pray for little Joey. The situation seems to become more bleak as the weeks go by, and yet we are often reminded by friends that it is under God’s control and care.
The Bible says that nothing is impossible with God (Mark 10:27) and we know that He can heal Joseph completely if it is His plan and purpose to do so. We are encouraged in the Bible to keep on praying (Matthew 7:7) and to present our requests to God (Philippians 4:6). Our request is that God will heal Joseph completely; however, it is not our place to make demands of God or dictate to Him. Brigitte says that we must ask God for the best possible answer to this situation knowing that God knows what is best for Joseph and for all of us, and to this end we ask you to pray for us.
We also ask for prayer for all the specialists and therapist who work with Joey, that they will be given special insight and guidance into his problems, and how best to treat them. The Pretoria visit will be from 25-30 May and we ask for special prayer for everything involved in this trip i.e. for safe travelling, good health for the whole family, especially Joseph, positive input and a good, effective therapy programme for Joey.
There are two questions which we are often asked:
Are you angry about what has happened? The answer is that we are not angry but very deeply sad, and words cannot describe how hurtful it is to see our darling little baby as sick as he is.
Don’t you ask why the Lord has allowed this to happen to you? The answer is that the entire creation was affected when sin entered the world. We live in a fallen world and are all affected by it in different ways. What we need to do is to ask God to be involved in our situation and to help us, knowing that He is in control of everything and of our lives.
Thank you for praying with us and for us. Please continue to uphold this situation before the Lord in your prayers. We are thankful for the kindness and help from so many of you in different ways. May God bless you.
These Scriptures have repeatedly come up over the past week:
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is a resting place, and underneath are the everlasting arms …
Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
: 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
John 14:1 Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
: 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
PS: The last few days Joseph has again had seizures and there are many other days when his waking hours are plagued by epilepsy. The result is that time which could and should be spent in therapy, stimulation and interaction is totally wasted. Apart from the potential brain damage that seizures cause, the medication is not without negative side-effects. We feel that Joseph’s quality of life is being greatly compromised and are asking for specific prayer that the epilepsy and whatever is causing it will be brought under control as the situation urgently needs to improve.
Lots of love
Craig & Brigitte