Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Avigail’s Birthday

So, November 19th marked our baby girl’s second birthday. Guess that means she isn’t really a baby anymore. This also means we’ve been in PNG for over a year now, since we celebrated her first birthday while doing our initial language training in Madang.

Avigail puttered around the house with mommy all morning, not knowing what was about to happen. I guess you could say it was a surprise birthday party. (I just didn’t feel like listening to her asking for all her friends by name over and over all morning long!) So you can imagine her delight when they suddenly began appearing one by one. We sang to her, and Tim read Psalm 71:5-6:
           For you, O Lord, are my hope, 
           my trust, O LORD, from my youth. 
           Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; 
           you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. 
           My praise is continually before you.
We ate birthday cake, and then went outside to play a game with water balloons.

But then something happened which could have turned a lovely child’s birthday party into a horribly tragic event. One of Avigail’s little friends found a way into the pool area all by herself. The girl’s older sister innocently commented to me that her sister was in the pool. I said, “No, she can’t be. No one’s in the pool right now…” And then a horrible sensation filled me and I felt compelled to go over just to be sure. I cannot begin to describe the dread I felt as I ascended the steps only to find her little body floating in the water. We didn’t know how long she had been there. When we got her out, we immediately prayed over her and began administering first-aid, and she eventually came to. We took her to the hospital as fast as we could. And just like that, the party was over.

We spent a suspenseful hour in the waiting room as they did tests to ensure that she was alright. Thankfully there was no brain or lung damage—just a big bump on her head. There were many people praying for her, and God graciously answered our prayers, because when she went back the next day for follow-up assessment, they said she was doing so well no further tests were needed! Praise God!

But the event certainly made a deep impression on Avigail, because for quite some time afterward she would ask about her friend and say “fall in pool!” often followed by “Thank you, God … OK!” We really are so thankful to God that he spared her life that day.