Sunday, December 04, 2011


"Lover of peace"--- that's what this little African boy's name means and peace is just one of the things he desperately needs right now.

Swazi child Thando from Allison Clyburn

Amy McAdams, Adventures in Missions staffer in Swaziland, just posted a prayer request concerning this precious boy. Would you please take the time to pray for him right now?

Thanduxolo is a 9 year old little boy who is in the hospital now for at least the third time in his life. He has a disease that keeps his colon from working. It has expanded to the point that his belly is distended grotesquely. His diaphragm, liver, stomach, lungs and heart are displaced by the enlarged colon.

He can't eat, can't absorb nutrition from whatever he does choke down, so he is severely malnourished. I can easily touch my thumb and finger around his leg just below his knee.

But he is so beautiful! Smiling and smart, a 3rd grader who reads, colors and wants to play. He helps care for the younger children who live on his homestead. He lives there with his grandmother as his primary caregiver along with aunts, uncles, cousins and great grandparents. He has no father. His mother works in another town and only sees him occasionally.

Until a few years ago, he was in the care of his great-grandmother who only used "traditional healers" to care for his obvious medical problems. I'm not sure what that would have put him through, but I am certain it wasn't fun and it wasn't helpful.

But his experiences with "western" medicine haven't been all that positive up to now, either. He has a scar from his sternum to below his belly button from "exploratory surgery" since CT scans and other diagnostic tools are not readily available here. He has a scar down the back of his left leg from corrective surgery when he was an infant, a good thing, but also a big scar across the top of his foot which his grandmother says came from being cut by the saw used to remove the cast after the surgery. Seriously?

So, now he has been in the hospital for 6 days enduring laxatives, enemas and a "liquid only" diet in preparation for another surgery on Monday. The doctors will do a biopsy of his colon and create a temporary (hopefully) colostomy. This will give his intestines time to relax and hopefully shrink to a more normal size. It will also give him the ability (and desire) to eat and gain some strength and nutrition. The biopsy will allow a definitive diagnosis (probably Hirschprung's disease).

Then, hopefully, when he is strong enough and stable medically, he will have a surgery to "bypass" the diseased bowel and reverse the colostomy. This surgery will be difficult, and expensive, and most likely will need to be done in South Africa.

Through a long day of 3 doctors, 4 x-rays, an ultrasound, lab work and lots of poking and mashing (including 2 rectal exams), he shed only a few quiet tears and managed lots of smiles and a few giggles. He is really a special kid.

The first surgeon we saw reminded Thanduxolo's grandmother and me that Jesus has his hand on this boy. Before he was conceived there was a plan for his life. He doesn't have a "daddy" but he has a Heavenly Father who loves him and cares.

This doctor reminded me to feel and to see Jesus in these people. To learn from their faith and to see Jesus at work. I get so discouraged. It is so overwhelming. But He has been faithful to encourage me and show me love and joy and hope through the people He loves.

Please join me in praying for Thanduxolo tomorrow during his surgery and then during his lengthy recovery. Pray for his grandmother, Domsile, and family as they care for him and help him adjust to life with a colostomy. Pray for the surgeon a hospital staff. He will probably be in the government hospital for a couple of weeks following surgery. This is no American "Children's Hospital".... it is a struggling, African hospital with limited resources and grossly overworked staff.

Thank you for your prayers. They are crucial.

Amy McAdams and Baby

To read more about the ministry in Swaziland that God has called Amy and her family to, visit their blog:

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