I bring another immense prayer request before you. I met Jason and Rhonda Holtrop in the family lounge at the hospital just over two weeks ago. It was a Wednesday morning. I remember that it was Wednesday because it was Mighty O Doughnut day, a day I looked forward to with eagerness and anticipation each week. On that particular morning, as I awaited the 9am hour when the doughnuts would arrive, I gazed at a man and woman praying together and reading their Bible together. I felt compelled to thank them for the encouragement it was to me to see them there, together, seeking the Lord through His Word. That began a number of wonderful, invigorating conversations over the following weeks about our mutual hope in the Lord in the face of the brokenness and illness of our children and the possibility of death.
Rhonda gave birth to little Esther who had CDH which is in brief a hole in her diaphragm which allowed her organs to shift upward and also caused the severe underdevelopment of her lungs. You can read more details on their blog. I read today that little Esther died sometime this early morning. Friends, these are the stories that are real that surrounded me at the hospital and that even though I am no longer present there, these realities persist. These are the stories behind the beautifully written names in the Memorial book in the chapel. These are the moms and dads, the husbands and wives, the grandparents, who go home empty handed. Please pray for Jason and Rhonda and their family as they look to the Lord to uphold them. Please pray for the many whose names we don’t know, who are in a battle against sickness and death. Pray too for the battle that is not seen, the battle of hearts, of spirits. Pray that God’s voice would be heard in the midst of such deafening trial and sorrow.
This is a picture of Jason and Rhonda; Jason looking rather silly because I caught him just after he ran his hand through his hair and I requested the photo shoot prior to him patting it down. They are joyous people, determined to seek the Lord with their whole hearts, and like Abraham, have entrusted their child to Him.