Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Luka had a doctor appointment yesterday. He is doing great! He no longer has to take medicine for high blood pressure and the protien in the urine is almost normal again. He next doctor appointment is in three weeks. The doctor said we are on schedule to go back to Uganda end of May. From there Luka will see the doctor every three months (most likely in Kenya). The doctor said the kidneys are a silent disease so there aren't any warning signs and that is why he will continue to see the doctor and have tests done. We are so thankful to see continued healing in Luka.

We are doing well. It is our second time in 9 years that we are home for Spring and we are enjoying it! It is beautiful. How fun to take walks, ride bike, play in the yard, go garage saleing :) ... amd all without being stared at (like we would be in Uganda). Josh student taught the other day and loved it. He hopes to have the opprotunity to do it again. Lydia loves school. Grace and Luka are my little shadows. We are thankful for everyday.

(I will try to get the whole Luka story on the blog this week!)

Friday, April 16, 2010


Join us in Thanking God for Luka's Healing

We want to give God the glory for healing Luka & thank all of you for praying for us. What a time to give thanks!

You are invited to a thanksgiving service:
May 2 at McBain CRC at 2pm
May 9 at Ivanrest CRC at 5pm

Following the service there will be a fellowship (open house). Come see Luka - and the miracle you prayed for!

Praise God Again!

Another answer to prayer, Luka is HIV NEGATIVE! We also foundout the protein in Luka's urine which was at 5 (very high should be .2) is now down to 1.5. What great news. God continues to heal Luka. Thank you for praying with us!

Luka goes to his kidney doctor now every other week. The doctor said to plan on being here about six weeks (if Luka continues to do well) before we can go back. So we hope to return to Uganda by the end of May.

Monday, April 12, 2010

HIV Test

Luka has an blood work tomorrow to test him for HIV. (Because he was hospilized in Africa and had blood tranfussions.) Pretty weird to know your one year old son will be tested for HIV - maybe a bit scary. The test is a DNA test I guess and is 100% accurate and a one time test (some you have to wait three months and then six month to test agian). I am not sure when we will know the results. I free at peace about it all. Like Luka's pediatritian said Luka is in God's hands. Josh is more worried. This is a big test with life changing results. Please pray with us that Luka is HIV negative!

Lydia and Grace are home! We are back together as a family after a month. It feels so good and natural. The girls are doing so well. We are thankful for our family!

We have been so blessed by seeing some of you at churches and around. God's people pray! I am touch by your tears, your love, your excitment to see Luka. Again we at a loss how to thank all of you. (So I will just keep saying thank you!) So glad that you join with us to thank God for the healing He did in Luka's life.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

March 2010 (244 photos), by Mandy Shaarda

I'd like to share my Snapfish photos with you. Once you have checked out my photos you can order prints and upload your own photos to share.
Click here to view photos

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Settling In

It has been so exciting to see Luka so happy here. He is a new little boy. He is no longer afraid of people, he talks and laughs, and is enjoying life again. We arrived here Wednesday and already Thurday had him to his doctor -actually all three kids. Everyone had bad colds, coughs, and fevers. Turns out Luka has an ear infection -poor guy. We also had to take Grace and Luka for a chest x-ray to rule out phemonia. As we were heading to the clinic our van broke down. What a day. Thankfully, no phemonia!

We were so happy to see our girls and be with them, but then they left us. They went with their grandparents to Gulf Shores for the week. How fun! Their Daddy is having such a hard time away I think he may head down there himself.

Luka saw his kidney doctor on Friday. They are keeping a close watch on his urine and blood pressure. The blood levels all looked great. They haven't said how long we will need to be here but I am sure they will know in time. For now we will see his doctor once a week. After just one visit to the doctor it was fun to see the differences from Africa.

We are living at Georgetown's hospitality house. We are so thankful for a house to call home. What a blessing! They even had our refrigerator full for us. If you want to get a hold of us our number is 802-4312.

Seems Luka is quite famous. Everyone knows him and his story. So many people prayed for him and love him. We are truely blessed!

As we celebrate Easter and remember good Friday, I just think about all we just went through. How much Christ sacrificed for us. How alive and real He is. How submitting to Him brings Him glory. How thankful I am. God is truly a reason to celebrate!

Finally, LOTS of pictures!

So the pictures are in reverse order but that's okay. He is Luka giving Daddy a kiss happy to be healthy and out of the hospital. Below is the beautiful mission retreat center in the mountains where we stayed the night before we flew.

Our "angel" in Kenya, Tim, who helped us in so many ways.
We had a fun day out of the hospital last Sunday. Here we are at the giraffe center.

Over looking the rift valley.

We did LOTS of walking at the hospital - like miles and miles! Anything to keep Luka happy.

Family photo at the hospital before the girls flew to Michigan

Ice cream with grandma!

We had a fun afternoon with our girls at a waterpark.

Grandma and the girls arrived!

Our friends and fellow IT missionaries Dotun and Ami. They were so kind and helpful to us!

Luka first time walking again!

Playing with Uncle Ryan.

Happy again!

Our new room in Jean Ward out of ICU.

First walk outside together.

Happy to hold my baby!

Monkey at the hospital - they were around a lot.

Josh and I had this room just down from ICU.

Luka's dialysis machine.

Josh giving Luka oxygen.

Luka with all his tubes and cords in ICU.

One of Luka's ICU nurses.

Luka all hooked up for an EKG test.

Gertrudes Childrens Hospital - our home for three weeks.

Aunt Rebeka reading to Luka.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

We made it!

We are home - okay we are in Michigan one of our homes. Thank you for all your prayers! We got to Niarobi airport Tuesday night just in time for Luka to vomit on him, myself, and the floor. He had a fever and was shaking. Josh and I were pretty worried. We immdiatly prayed over Luka. God is so good the rest of the trip went very well. Luka slept the whole first flight (night flight) so we did too. It wasn't until the last little flight to Grand Rapids did Luka let us know enough is enough. It is a long journey but we are here safe.

Luka seems so happy to be here! He is more alive and content than we have seen him since the ordeal started. Luka's grandparents, sisters, aunt, and other friends were at the airport to welcome us. Luka went right to them - a big surprise because he hasn't liked people. He is laughing and playing. We are so glad.

Have to go now but will keep you posted. Luka's doctor appointment is Friday so we will see. Thanks again everyone!