Many of you have been following our journey with this precious guy for the past four years. For those who are new to his story here is a quick overview. Abdul was born to a Muslim family. Due to his disfigurement he was given away for his grandmother to raise. He grew up thinking his grandmother was his mom. When Abdul was 12 his grandmother died revealing a whole new secret, he had a family and the mother that had nurtured him, loved him and cared for him although the rest of his community looked down upon was really his grandmother. Abdul moved up from the countryside to live with his family. A mother, a father, and 5 siblings. His heart was confused and hurt and now living in the city he would come in contact with many new people that would look, stare, point and avoid. Soon his father would die leaving his mother a widow with 6 children.
Fours years ago is when God crossed our paths with this guy. As soon as I saw him tucking his head in between his shoulders, wishing to vanish at the pure existence of his being, I was drawn to HIM. The Holy Spirit called me to go and love on him. It was rainy season and my boots were muddy so they could use a good cleaning by this bashful shoe shiner. The moment I sat down you could tell he was uncomfortable. I just sat and smiled at his beauty for what seemed a lifetime. Beginning to ask questions I learned a bit about my new friend. I went into his world and began to build a relationship with him.
Abdul began to come to our house to get a basic need met, hunger. His trips became more often, leading up to this Muslim boy coming to our bible studies. Always always hiding behind his hands I recognized my new friends shame. We began to share Gods truth with him about how he is perfectly and wonderfully made. It was beautiful to watch the glimmers of hope become real inside the twinkle of his eye. His hands began to slither down to his sides revealing he was comfortable and trusted us to love him just the way he was. He soon would give his life to Jesus. Normally this would be an exciting time for the individual but for Abdul it was very scary because the rest of his family followed Alla. Never did we expect this timid one to go home and immediately share that he gave his life to Jesus. The result of him sharing became a threat to being a part of his family. His mother threatened to kick him out and said that he could not follow Jesus. Since then it has been a peaceful roller coaster so to speak. His mom later changed her mind saying it was ok to follow Jesus but not to influence the family in that way. Mom has allowed us share the bible to her littles. We assured her we would only focus on the common ground of what was common in the bible and Koran.
Over the years the pressure from the Muslim community watching this young boy walk into a church began to stir up some concerns. So Abdul began to be a pleaser for the sake of his family and theirs and his safety. He began going back to the Mosk, meeting for prayer times only this time something ha changed, his heart. He is secretly doing all these things worshipping his sweet Jesus. He often goes through time of fear, doubt, and the unknown like any baby believer. through all of this God gave us vision early in our time with our friend. That we should pursue seeking a Doctor that could do surgery on his face. SO for the past 4 years we have prayed and sought as much as we could from 8,000 miles away from American territory. We have had a couple friends give suggestions and even did some footwork but it was always a no to the capacity of what we could do being so far away.
So the purpose of this blog is to share some exciting news that we need covered in full prayer: So God does crazy things right? We have prayed for 4 years for God to open a door for Abdul to get surgery. Do you hear me??? 4 years we have prayed and taught Abdul to pray and keep asking for Jesus to do this for him. I had posted in an fb group here in Addis seeking a private clinic for one of our girls because the care we had been receiving over the past 2 years was pathetic and I was at my wits end. A man that saw my post sent me a message to my inbox on facebook. Due to the fact we were not friends it went to my outbox and I didn't get it for a month. Once I saw it we began to communicate about our love for Ethiopia and what we each did in this country. Well he is the founder of an organization called Facing Africa http://www.facingafrica.org/ that comes to Ethiopia twice a year to do surgery on kids faces with Noma.
Noma (cancrum oris) is an acute and ravaging gangrenous infection affecting the face. The victims of Noma are mainly children under the age of 6, caught in a vicious circle of extreme poverty and chronic malnutrition.
So I mentioned Abdul to him. I sent hime pictures and he sent them to his cranium surgeon who identified Abduls disease as Treacher Collins Syndrome.
Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS), also known as Treacher Collins–Franceschetti syndrome, or mandibulofacial dysostosis, is a rareautosomal dominant congenital disorder characterized by craniofacial deformities, such as absent cheekbones.:577 Treacher Collins syndrome is found in about 1 in 50,000 births. The typical physical features include downward-slanting eyes, micrognathia (a small lower jaw), conductive hearing loss, underdeveloped zygoma, drooping part of the lateral lower eyelids, and malformed or absent ears.
And guess what, at the time the team of surgeons, dr's, and nurses would be arriving in Addis in 2 weeks. Well today we are just 2 days away from our meeting time with them. On Saturday we along with Abdul's mom will take him to meet the surgeons face to face and see if they will be able to do the surgery here in Addis Ababa. It would be a very complex surgery and could be 6-8 hours possibly. If they are able to do the surgery they would take bone from his skull, or his ribs and put them into his face for cheek bones.
From the beginning when we met Abdul we had a vision of him getting surgery, his family recognizing Jesus as the source of making this happen and turning straight to Him giving Him all the praise. We also saw a Muslim community that knew Abdul in his disfigurement and standing in awe of what was now before them. In time we saw Abdul being brave enough to tell all who opened this great door of opportunity.
We do not know what will happen when we go to meet the doctors on Saturday. It could be a yes or it could be a no. But what i do know is that God is the only one who could write a story of this magnitude. If they say yes Abdul will have one day to return and get operated on. He would stay at the facility until he was free from infection and healing was in process. So pray with us friends. We are walking through this open door with so much excitement at what could happen. If its Gods will pray that it happens. If it is not the will of God pray that He closes this door as soon as we step foot in. We are freaking out in so many exciting and nervous ways. We can't wait to share with you what happens.