Seven years ago, in October, was our first stay at the Ronald McDonald House. Our baby # 2 was born early due to complications of pregnancy (Rh incompatibility). We were swept up in the moment trying to cope with the situation of having a sick child, being 2 1/2 hours from home, having a 19 month old to care for etc. when the kind hospital personnel referred us to the Ronald McDonald House.
We arrived on Thanksgiving. Some people had prepared a Thanksgiving dinner for the residents that day. During dinner we discovered that another one of the families in the house was from a small town very close to our own. She asked me, "Don't you long for that simple country life?" They had arrived at the house approximately one week prior to us. Their young son was battling cancer and just beginning treatment. His mom told me about the "beaded journey". For each significant step (a poke, chemo, remission, trip to the clinic etc.) the child receives a bead to add to his string.
During our time in the house, we prayed for each other and encouraged each other in the Lord. She photocopied a devotional that she found encouraging. After we came home, we exchanged Christmas cards and updates. We would follow their family from afar through mutual friends and the local newspapers.
A few weeks ago they invited us to a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House and the Kids Cancer Society that they were planning. We were excited to attend and celebrate 5 years of recovered health for their child. God is faithful and we are soooo thankful. What a joyous occasion!
It was great to visit with the families. Our boys had a great time mini-golfing & getting their faces painted. But what really arrested me was seeing the "beaded journey". It was about 3 metres long. I'm still speechless. The reality of seeing each bead as a representation of a step toward health that a young child and his family took together. Praise God that he is healthy and whole today! What a long way they have come.
I went home and prayed for the families in the Ronald McDonald House that we stayed at and all the other ones worldwide. In each one are families fighting for the health of a child. They are seperated from familiy and friends and walking an often very difficult road. I pray for healing, health and wholeness for each one.
Our son is well today. From looking at him now you would never guess his difficult start in life. We thank God! Jesus said that he came to give life and life more abundantly. Thank you for that life!