There are days when communication goes well; on these days we can make ourselves understood and Bow can make herself understood. We are gradually learning each other’s distinct languages. We know the danger zones for misunderstanding and try hard to anticipate them, especially anything regarding time and place and distance!
After one miserable weekend hospital appointment we found ourselves caught in rainstorm on our way to the motorbikes. We ducked into a Lebanese restaurant and had a meal that was all the more lovely for being spontaneous. For once there was no ordering drama and the kids all found something they enjoyed eating! There was a sports channel playing on the TV and we noticed that Bow was enthralled by the women’s tennis. We asked her if she would like to play tennis one day and she lit up.
Taking the opportunity to encourage her to dream big, we talked about how she would be able to play tennis at school when she is older, and if she trained hard she could be really good. Following the conversation there was lots of excitement and pretending to swing a tennis racket around, we thought we had planted some hope and done good!
When we eventually got home, Elliot and Sam went off to prepare their school stuff for the next day and Bow followed. We found her rooting through the school clothes and looking confused: ‘where is my uniform?’ Somehow, from the conversation in the restaurant, she had concluded that she was going to be starting school the next day in order to play tennis with her brothers. We were heartbroken.
This is the most memorable of our miscommunications, but they are frequent and hard to avoid. All it takes is a bit of distress/excitement or something outside of our normal routine for Bow’s listening skills to disappear. It feels like the times that we need her to understand reassurance most are the times when she is least able to comprehend.
We are therefore thrilled to announce that Bow has been approved for Cochlear implant surgery and been given a date that is sooner than expected – 27th August! While this won’t be a magic cure, there is the potential that Bow will be able to hear speech sounds clearly and her language ability is expected to progress rapidly.
We have the daunting task of raising a huge amount of money upfront for the surgery to go ahead. Please visit our campaign page here to read more of Bow’s story and find out how to donate. The response so far has been amazing!
Bow has continued to collect friends in all kinds of places. She has certainly brought a lot of joy to the UNOH office where her clear preference is watching the women make jewellery in the RoyRak room and building up a collection of her own designs! She is fascinated with the daily life of our community, especially the pigs that are butchered in the back of a truck and the process of steaming and selling rice. It is wonderful to see these friendships growing (until we are in a hurry and don’t want another demonstration of the anatomy of a pig!)
We recently took our elderly neighbour to visit his wife in prison again. Bow was not allowed in to the visiting room but enjoyed ordering ‘presents’ for her from the list of basic supplies. This ‘Aunty’ of ours is coping well in prison and looking healthy which says a lot for the quality of life that she had outside. The conversations we have through the glass panel are significant and we continue to pray that she will know her value and encounter God’s transforming love.
The RoyRak team have done spectacularly well at developing a new range and re-launching the website for online orders. The Paypal facility is finally up and running again after a frustrating 10 months of being investigated. This has led to a real knock in our sales and we would love for as many people as possible to check out Royrak.net and get shopping! We’re seeing a lot of growth in the women employed by this project and want to see them recognised and encouraged!
Elliot has had a big few weeks completing his primary school journey! International school has been a wonderful opportunity for him and fed his thirst for knowledge and variety. He currently wants to be a politician or a journalist. There have been various rock band performances and speeches keeping him busy, as well as a year 6 prom! He goes from being head boy to being at the bottom of the ladder when he starts at his new school in August! We will be driving to three different schools so are not as excited as he is!
Sam has loved year 4 and was sad to reach the end of term. He will miss his friends over the long holidays when everyone seems to disperse. He is looking forward to our trip back to the UK in a few weeks and is hoping to climb a mountain at some point during our stay!
Please join us in praying for the following:
- Applying for a Visa for Bow to visit the UK was more complicated than we anticipated and we won’t hear for certain if she gets it for another few weeks. Flights are booked so please pray that those processing the application are favourable. It feels really important to see our families!
- The fundraising for the cochlear implant – please pray that word will reach the right people and that God will provide in good time. Pray for us as we prepare Bow for the idea of surgery. She is currently freaking out over her first wobbly tooth(!) and has so much hospital related trauma that this will be hard.
- We still don’t have a firm diagnosis for Bow’s metabolic condition and it is worrying to see symptoms and not know if we are doing everything we could be to treat it right. We are now giving two night feeds of cornstarch and seeing a general improvement in growth and stamina but it feels a bit like guesswork. There are a few pathways for getting a diagnosis but they are complicated and need a lot of factors to line up first. Pray for Bow’s health and for some answers!
- Pray for the five of us surviving without school for two months!