Dan, Heather, Jeremiah, Tory, Emma, Tye, Claire, Levi, Josie, Jane and Ethan

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Newness and Renewal

Heather was induced because she was diagnosed with Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) and her OB did not want to going past her due date (because of increased risk of still birth).  Here, I am helping Heather through a contraction (or sleeping...can't remember).  The interns and residents thought her water had broken, but in reality, it hadn't.  So after "laboring" for almost 24 hours, her OB "broke" the water, and real labor began...Jane was born 45 minutes later.  Ahh, teaching hospitals!!

Jane was predicted to weigh less than 5-1/2 lb.   God answered our prayers and she came in at 6 lbs, 14 oz. and perfectly healthy!!  So much for this diagnosis of IUGR!

Levi, although he wanted a little brother, was so happy to meet Jane. 

Poor Josie's face communicates the fact that she is no longer the queen.  I love my girls!!   Lord help me!

Two sets of grandparents.  Thankful my parents were able to come and meet their 28th grandchild!

Levi, Emma and Claire on the first day of school at Veritas Preparatory Academy.  I cannot tell you how thankful I am that my two teenage daughters have to wear uniforms!!!  It curtails so much potential drama!

Jane is pretty much held all the time.  I'm hoping she'll be quite well adjusted as an adult with all this love!

Fully content...

One of the unexpected blessings of this year will be more time with Jeremiah before his next phase of life (and because he is an awesome chef).  He has applied to the US Naval Academy, and is currently working towards his congressional nominations.  I am sure he would appreciate your prayers for God's provision and direction!

This picture captures Josie and her expressions around Jane ALL THE TIME.  She continually giggles and shouts "Jane loves me!"

The recent Galat family events could surely be described in one word: “newness.”  In the last few months, we transitioned Stateside for several months of Homeland Ministry Assignment (HMA), graduated our oldest, Jeremiah, from RVA and got him settled into classes at Arizona State University, had our 6th child, beautifully healthy baby Jane Kathyrn Galat (her name meaning God’s pure and gracious gift), and started our three middle children (Emma, Claire and Levi) in a new school in Phoenix.   Heather and I feel like we live between two worlds (…or five) with our kids spanning such varied ages and life experiences: college, high school, middle school, toddler and newborn!  This, all the while living literally between two worlds: Kenya and the U.S.  There are times when I wake in the middle of the night, and it takes me a few seconds to recall exactly where (and even who) I am.   I remember my mentor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Dr. Paul Hiebert, a long time missionary to India, saying that the call to missions is like a call to cultural schizophrenia.  We can relate on multiple levels!

But even in all this blessed “newness,” God has been leading us to pray for one thing for our family: “renewal.”  Why? Because we came back from Kenya feeling tired, disheartened, and worn, in large part because of all these major family changes/stressors, but also secondary to the major events of the last two years at Tenwek.  God heard these prayers and, as he often does, began to answer in mysterious and miraculous ways, drawing us to drink more deeply from His word and seek Him more earnestly in prayer.   When Heather returned to the States in June, concerned about homeschooling our kids during this time of HMA, she made applications for Emma, Claire and Levi to attend a relatively new classical charter school here in Phoenix, just a few blocks from where we live.  All summer long, all three kids were way high on the wait list (more than 100), until (of course) the day Jane was born, when we received an email that Claire had been accepted.  The following day, we received a second email that the school's offer had been rescinded because we did not respond in a timely fashion.  You can imagine our surprise when we finally got around to checking our email again after returning from the hospital!

Not wanting to miss a possible opportunity for our kids, I called the school, and told them the reason we didn’t respond in a timely fashion was because…well…we were having a baby (akin to “the dog ate my homework”).  They believed my story and graciously reopened their offer for Claire.  Long story short, after Claire was accepted, Levi and Emma jumped to number one on their respective class wait lists, and within a few days of having a baby, all three were in school.   These events happened so quickly (and around other major life events), that I struggled to process what all this would mean for us as a family, and for our lives and ministry at Tenwek.  But what God made clear though this unexpected gift (especially for Heather having a new baby) was that we would need to extend our HMA by a few months so that our kids could (at least) finish this school year before heading back to Kenya.  Could be this the beginning of our prayers for renewal?

The state of orthopaedics at Tenwek is such that the team needs me back yesterday, not next summer.  And I struggle wanting to faithfully balance the needs of my family with these huge needs at Tenwek.  However, we believe that God is leading us into what we have been praying - a season of renewal - so that we can go back to Kenya stronger, more compassionate, and better equipped to love deeply.  There are still several unknowns.  I would like to work while I am in the states to keep current with orthopaedic technology and skills, and I am still praying for God to miraculously provide a way for me to finish my board certification process.  He knows the importance of such things.  Would you please join us in praying for renewal for our entire family, for strength and wisdom for Dr. Kiprono and Dr. Dylan (who will be joining the team soon) and for God to provide the means by which I can work and finish the board certification process?  Thanks, and God bless you for your ongoing prayers and support!


Unknown said...

Hello to all of you! Dan and Heather it is so fun to see pictures of your growing family and am amazed at how grown up they look...except for the last two. :-) We love you all and are excited to see what "renewal" Christ has in store for you as you switch life back to the Phoenix for a while.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your joys and concerns with all of us so that we are better equipped to pray. God is great and God is good (this is not the child song :)) and knew all of these things from the beginning of time. He will care for the Kenya team, and God will provide for your family here while He rejuvenates your spirits. When we wait on Him, taking steps toward the Spirit within us, He blesses beyond our asking.
Looking forward to see what God provides next!!!