… Those words became a tangible reality, as I held the two coins in my hands, each of them bearing this amazing proclamation of faith in God. We were sitting in the emergency room waiting area, as Doctor Bairos proudly presented the fruit of his labor: a plastic bag containing two coins, which he extracted in a complicated procedure out of our daughter Lily’s esophagus. She had swallowed them 5 hours earlier when her little hands opened Deb’s bag and her purse in no time. Her attention to detail and her habit of sticking anything in her mouth became a life-threatening emergency. But God hindered those coins to block her breathing at all times, he provided the immediate help of a nurse, the ambulance that took us to the hospital, and the care of the emergency personnel. Even the anesthesiologist acknowledged after the 1-hour operation that this was not the first time angels had helped him.
You may say this is the achievement of modern technology or the careful hands of an experienced surgeon, who was able to go into the esophagus with a scope, separate the two coins glued together by saliva, grab them with those microscopic tweezers and pull them carefully out one by one, while two nurses were controlling Lily’s air supply, monitoring her heartbeat and oxygen levels and assisting the surgeon and anesthesiologist.
For us it is a miracle. It is God working on our behalf, spurred on by the prayers of around 150 students on the YWAM base, our church friends in Pennsylvania, Deb’s mentor who flew to the hospital as soon as she heard what had happened, and Lily’s shocked parents.
Today, the day after the operation, Lily was as lively as ever, happily drinking her juice and swallowing her yogurt. The world is back to normal, only the mark of the IV on her arm and the color photo of the inside of a blocked esophagus gives away what happened… and of course that plastic bag with two coins…
The grass is always greener on the other side… but sometimes it really is! When you think of Hawaii you, like me, most likely have an image of a lush green tropical paradise full of rainforests and blooming flowers. Well, surprisingly our side of the Big Island is really a lot more like a desert than an oasis. As you drive along the coast, it looks like a lava rock graveyard with some barren leafless trees and even a few cactus. Any place that is not watered by sprinklers is dry dust and brown. Our campus is beautiful, only because we have a sprinkler system that runs twice a day and keeps us from being swallowed up by the desert around us. It seems the ocean is the only thing that keeps the tourists coming to this side and maybe the coffee too.
When you live in a drought it becomes normal and ordinary. We have only experienced rain twice in the past 10 weeks and not much at that. So when we ventured to the other side of the island yesterday and crossed over the mountain and saw green grass and forest for the first time in weeks, we realized how much we missed life. Even the air smelled different and was easier to breathe. All of our senses were awakened by beauty and life in ways that we forgot were even possible.
God is doing a new thing on the earth. He is bringing us out of drought into an age of his Kingdom coming to earth in a new way we have never known before. Though we have become content in our ways and life as normal, he is ready to fill us with a new hope that there is such a thing as greener grass on the other side. It is not for some time when we die in the sky but it is a Kingdom reality that He is longing to pour out on the earth now.
Haiti is a picture of this new reality. We had a fellow Haitian YWAMer visit this week, who lost his wife in the earthquake, yet he was full of such hope for his nation. Just watch as God redeems and restores this land. It is a picture of what He will do in all the earth in this age. Watch this video and get thirsty and hungry. Don’t you want to be a part of it? “Let your Kingdom come, let your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”