Friday, August 22, 2008

Philip update

Thanks so much for everyone who is praying for Philip. He is doing well and at home. We all get excited here in the Gwartney home when someone mentions having a "Philip sighting". We have had more "Philip sightings" lately as he is getting stronger and is feeling like getting out and playing more. Please continue to pray for him and for his strength to return. Thank you!

Dermabond to the rescue

Since the older children are at camp, we decided to take the younger ones to KingFisher, a resort nearby, for a afternoon of swimming. Two of the house moms and I took all the little girls yesterday and Mark is there with the little boys today. While we were there yesterday, I was running from one tier of the pool to the other and did not notice the broken coke bottle scattered on the sidewalk until I felt a sharp pain in my foot. I looked down to see myself surrounded by broken glass including the bottom part that was sticking up with sharp pieces all around. I also noticed lots of blood coming from my foot. Long story short, we finally got the bleeding stopped and Mark met us up there with Dermabond that the Hancocks had given us from the states! We put it on and then went to see a doctor today. She said the Dermabond is working and that I need to keep my feet up for a day or so. I am so thankful as it could have been so much worse and that it was not one of the little girls!

Water fight!

There is a tradition here at the orphanage that when it is your birthday you get doused in water. Well, Mark's birthday was Wednesday but he thought he wasn't in danger because the big kids were all gone. Well, he was wrong. All the little girls hid behind one of the shower rooms with basins filled with water. As he walked by, he realized what was going to happen and ran into the shower room and grabbed a basin filled with bath water. He dumped it on one of the girls before anyone had a chance to dump some on him. That began a good old fashioned water fight. By the end, all the little girls in the area were wet and so were Mark and our whole family. They actually dragged me to the shower room and doused me several times. I think they were getting me back for keeping my birthday a secret. We all had a great time!

a new addition

A sweet little baby girl came to the orphanage on Wednesday (Mark's birthday). She is 2 weeks old and most likely a preemie weighing in at 4 lbs.. Her mother died on Sunday and there are conflicting reports on the father. Please pray with us as we care for one so little. One of the missionaries is caring for her now and we will begin caring for her in our home on Wednesday. We are going to take turns until she is big and healthy enough to be in one of the homes. We would appreciate your prayers for this sweet baby girl.

The Holiday blues

We are adjusting to the kids (all 89 of them) being out of school. The 32 teenagers went to camp this week so we only have the 12 and unders. The other morning I had about 15 of them at my door wondering if I could open the pavilion so they could play video games. (Someone donated a play station or something like that). I told them that I was opening the pavilion at 2 for crafts but not video games and they had plenty to do without video games. They gave me the sad looks that every mother gets when their “bored” children look at them during the school break. I gave them a bucket of chalk and said to go have some fun with that. About 10 minutes later, I was then summoned by the kids saying “Auntie Amy, we want you to see what we wrote.” I went out and they had drawn all these little kids with sad faces and then above it wrote “please can we go for video games please.” So funny! I told Mark I feel like I have 50 kids home from school break!

A Modem!!

We now have a USB modem for our computer! This means we now finally have internet in our home. It also seems a little faster than the one we had been using at the guest house! We still cannot send emails but can receive and get on the internet. We hope to get that problem remedied soon! We are hoping that having internet in our home will now help us keep connected with you all more.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Here at Good Shepherd's Fold we have 7 kids with HIV. It takes special care for them to continue living healthy lives. Three of these kids (we think) have Tuberculosis right now.

Philip is seven years old and he has become very sick in recent days - losing lots of weight, not able to eat, etc. After "unloading" the high protein drink which was given to build up his strength, Philip had to be taken to the hospital last night (Thursday, Aug. 13).

Please pray for Philip as such illness is critical for a kid with HIV. He needs God's touch to restore his strength. Thank you for praying with us!

Passing out bandages

"Auntie Amy, I have a wound!" is a phrase I hear a lot. Because bandages and ointment will not get used or will be overused in the houses, we see lots of scratches, scrapes and cuts (or as they say "wounds"). I believe I have put bandaids on more cuts and scrapes since I have been here then in my entire life. I also give lots of hugs and sympathy which also keeps them coming back for more. I pray that as I give out bandaids, I also am showing the love of a mother and being a reflection of the love of their Heavenly Father.