**update: At his last pre-op appointment, Joel’s hemoglobin levels were low, so the doctors are treating that and have rescheduled his surgury for Tuesday, December 19th. Thank you for praying!
If you keep up with our review posts, you know little Joel from our Children’s Church in India. Joel is four years old and has pressure behind his eyes that cause them to bulge.
Please pray! The doctors said Joel is ready for the surgery to remove the mass that is causing his eyes to bulge. The operation is now scheduled for December 19. We are so grateful to all of you who pray and support our outreaches that make all of this possible. Thank you!!
The whole story of our involvement with this tribe is a message of how much the Lord loves us! It started with Parvathi, who came to love Jesus when she learned why we were helping her. She came from a tribe that had never heard the name Jesus. It was her childlike faith, in spite of her terminal disease, that brought many in her tribe to Him—including Joel and his mom, Rathna. Joel is another testament to this tribe of how much Jesus loves them.
Joel’s father fell from a coconut tree and died when his mom was four months pregnant with him. He was born with a deformity. Some, outside their tribe, told Rathna that Joel would bring them bad luck if she let him live. They told her to leave him down a well to perish and save them from bad luck. Rathna loved Joel, and defied their advice, but was still worried. She didn’t name him—she just called him her son.
A few months ago we took Joel to the hospital the first time, to remove a tumor in his sinuses that blocked his breathing, the doctor, a believer, said he must have a name and Rathna asked the doctor to name him. The doctor named him Joel. A Hebrew name that means Yahweh is God!
We didn’t know it then, but his mother thought Joel would die in the hospital. When Joel came out of surgery, so happy he could breathe, Rathna finally relaxed, and praised God! She took him back to their tribe and told everyone how Jesus healed Joel and that he belongs to Jesus. They asked us to have a hair cutting ceremony for him! They wanted to show he is a new creation. Rathna knew Joel wasn’t bad luck—he was loved by the Creator of all. She got him back alive and better. Praise the Lord!
The doctors wanted to give Joel plenty of time to heal before correcting the cause of the pressure behind his eyes. That time is now! They have scheduled this surgery for December 12th. Please keep Joel, his mom, and the whole hospital staff in your prayers.
I, personally, am also asking the Lord to heal little Joel quickly from this surgery so he can participate in our Christmas outreaches! This is the tribe’s first Christmas. I know, as first-world people, we have a complicated relationship with Christmas—its pagan roots and commercialism. But this tribe knows only Jesus! We have the opportunity to let them celebrate His birth for the first time and share in His love. To let Him give them good gifts through us! We are planning food, and songs, and even some gifts. And a whole month of only Jesus!
You know we don’t fundraise or ask for donations. We rely on the Lord to prompt those He has chosen to give. And we share in these posts what the Lord is doing! Many of you have asked me to make it easier to donate by including links to the donate page in these posts. ♥ If the Lord is prompting you to join us in giving His love, I’m so grateful for your support!
As always, fill out our Contact form to contact me directly with any suggestions, feedback or questions you have.
Thank you for joining with us in praying for Joel and all involved in his care!
May the Lord richly bless you,