Saturday, August 13, 2011

Meeting Someone Special and Luke's Miraculous Surgery!

Last Sunday I was able to meet a very special person!! 
I had received an email saying she was in the area and would be singing at a local church.

REALLY? was my first thought? How could that be? 
Of all the places to go how on earth could she be here??

So Sunday Morning we ventured over to the church that they were singing at!

Where we met Gretl and Hannah and 11 of their students from Beijing that were singing in the USA!

Gretl is a very special person to us! She brought Luke to Israel to have his life saving surgery!

She took 3 months out of her life to travel with our son. She has never cared for a children before and as it turned out she was not allowed to leave his side.
It was a difficult task for this young girl but through this journey she grew in her faith and her desire to serve our Lord!

I never thought we would get this opportunity! 
It was incredible.
I felt connected to her right away!
We loved hearing all about her journey to Israel with Luke and about what she is doing now!

She was able to meet our little treasures from China! I am so sorry I did not get a picture but to be quite honest we were welcomed into the church and felt very much at home! After the concert and a potluck the children were off playing!
This church also has a Chinese service on Sundays at 12:00!

The students sang beautifully and were so friendly and personable!

So here is how Gretl ended up taking Luke to Israel-

Luke was born with a heart that had only one atrium and one ventricle(among many other things). His heart was not going to be able to sustain him for long. 
Luke was often short of breath and had blue lips.
If he cried for any amount of time he turned blue.

The family in charge of his foster home tried desperately to get someone to help him but the surgery was too complicated for anyone in Ch*na to do.

In the winter of 2010 Israel and Ch*na were celebrating 18 years of a stable relationship.
As a "good will" gesture Israeli Doctors went to China and preformed surgeries on 18 orphans.
The last surgery to be done was the most serious and intricate one. They choose Luke for the last surgery. Once they found out how very difficult it was going to be they tried to back out.
But the foster family would not let them- they continued to contact the Israeli Embassy and advocate for Luke!

The Israeli Embassy did not want the Doctors to back out and after 3 months they once again agreed to do the surgery. It was decided that the surgery should be done in Israel! They wanted all of the surgeries to be successful and this one was going to be very high risk. 
Through prayer and fasting one miracle after another was happening!
Luke was able to get a passport and visa in record time- that just doesn't happen for an orphan in China...

Gretl happened to be between schooling and jobs and agreed to take Luke. She had no idea what she was getting into!
The next thing she knew she was on a plane to Israel!

There was a lot of testing that needed to be done before the actual surgery. Finally after a month and a half they opened him up...
Only to say "we can't do this"
The other surgeon said- "we have to"
They knew people from all over the world were fasting and praying for this orphan from China.
So they proceeded...

The surgery that was supposed to take 9-12 hours was done in 6 hours...

Luke's recovery went well and he went home a month later!

Once we have him home we will see exactly where everything is at but for now he is doing very well!

We are so grateful to Gretl for all she did for our Luke!
We are so thankful to have had this opportunity to meet her!
We are intrigued with what she is doing now- hopefully I will share this in another post!

We are forever grateful to the foster family that has fought so hard for our son and loved him so much!

We our on our knees thankful to our mountain moving, gasp giving, awe inspiring GOD!


Susan A said...

I remember reading about Luke who went to Israel to have his heart fixed, I didn't realise that this is the same Luke, your Luke!!! :)

laurajonesjournal said...

AWESOME! I love this, Jean. I'm so excited for the privilege that awaits your family.
hugs from me, Jean.

Jennifer O'Cain said...

Amazing story, Love to see God at work.

Serving the King said...

OH MY GRACIOUS JEAN! You met her! You really met her!! That is amazing! Seriously, in all the world, in all the churches in the US, of all the days. That is nothing short of is his story. I remember when all of the advocacy for him to get treatment was going on but I had no idea of the full story! My friend can I just say that I CANNOT WAIT to see this boy in your arms?!

Sarah said...

Amazing! God loves to work out incredible details, doesn't He?!

The Heald Family said...

Wow! What an amazing miracle!!!
Thanks for sharing- I was wondering how in the world a Cinese orphan ended up having surgery in Israel- only our Lord works this out:) love you!

Sally-Girl! said...

That is just a God thing and that is all there is to it!!!!

Love it!! Love that you have another piece and connection of Luke's life to share with him as he is older!

Annie said...

WOW Jean! God is just SO great!

Jennifer said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing. We were just matched last week with a little boy who has tetralogy of fallot. We have been following with prayerful interest, the children who are in Morningstar Foster Home. How awesome(and yet so like our God :-) to give you an opportunity to speak with the young woman who cared for Luke. Wishing you God's richest blessings.
Jennifer from WI.

Jennifer P said...

This is an amazing orchestration of God. To have this piece of Luke's life is nothing short of miraculous. What a blessing.

Lori said...

Oh, Jean! How absolutely wonderful that God orchestrated this! I am so happy that you and Gredl got to Minnesota of all places!

So great! So GOD!

Martha said...


Lynne said...

WOW - just WOW !!! Thank you for sharing Luke's story with us. How fabulous that you got to meet little Luke's Guardian Angel. Fantastic !!! God's beautiful Angels........walking on this earth.

mary said...

I did not realize that your Luke was the little guy that went to Israel for his heart surgery! It is so amazing how our Lord is involved in all the little and big details....and yet, why are we constantly amazed...He is God!!! Can't wait to see pictures of little Luke in your arms!!!

Karin said...

Oh wow...SO COOL that you got to meet Gretl!! My parents LOVED her when they were visiting at Morning Star. They talk about her so much and were deeply impacted by her. She is a special girl, that's for sure!

Jodi said...

I also remember following and praying for Luke during his surgery in Israel - how incredible is our God!!! :) What amazing opportunity you received to meet her!

Dinn Family said...

I love Luke's story! God is so amazingly good. Can't wait for you to be able to talk to him about the people God weaved into his life!

TanyaLea said...

Jean ~ This has me in tears. What an amazing story and an amazing gift to have met Gretl... and that you met her HERE, on top of it!! God is GOOD!!

I remember over a year ago your emails telling me privately a little more about 'YOUR' Luke and asking for prayers. For months I had wondered how he was doing, but never had the right opportunity to ask you. I wasn't even sure if you were still able to adopt him or not. So just reading the 'miraculous' God-breathed details of his story and to know that he is coming home (hopefully this year yet!) just gives me full-bodied goosebumps! What a miracle child and what a testimony he will have to share with others one day. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for his life! " give him HOPE and a FUTURE!" ~that much I know for sure!

I, too, am so thankful to our mountain-moving, gasp-giving, awe-inspiring GOD!! <><

Blessings & Hugs,
~ Tanya Thom