Many of you know Manga from my last newsletter. Some of you may not. Tomorrow she will have a long awaited surgery. It has officially been named a “frontonasal encephalocele repair” and it is amazing to see how God has orchestrated all the details over the past few months to bring her to this point. Forgive me for waiting until now to write this, but we have been without stable internet the past week or so and I have not been able to communicate what has been happening with Manga and her mother. My friend Stephanie, has so clearly communicated some of what has gone on to get to this point, so I want to share what she has written below.

“I think I have typed the beginning of this letter about 10 times now. It is hard to know where to start telling the story. I have watched over the last 3 months as the Lord has used His people to show extravagant love for one little girl. I want to ask you to pray for her, but before I do, I want you to know what you will be joining in on when you pray. (I apologize for the lack of pictures. I haven’t asked permission to share them yet, so I won’t. Just know she is completely adorable and as the week has gone on, a bubbly and giggly little personality has started to emerge. She is simply delighful.) 

My friend Ruth, a nurse practitioner with SIM who works at a clinic in Doro, South Sudan, met 18-month-old Manga and her mother, Sandy, a few months ago. Manga has a rare disorder where her skull has not completely closed in a place between her eyes, leaving space for brain tissue and fluid to come through and could threaten her life if left untreated. Ruth e-mailed our ENT here in Kijabe to ask what could be done. Once it was decided that he could do the needed surgery in Kijabe, Ruth went to work gathering all of the necessary documents, arranging for travel, places to stay, a phone to use, CT scans and funding….and probably a thousand other details she hasn’t told me about. From the beginning of this, I have seen Christ in Ruth’s love and compassionate care for this little soul.  

The team involved in this on the Kijabe side includes everyone from the employees at the guest house where they stayed to pediatricians to clinic assistants to missionaries new to the field. 

Kijabe has a number of nurse anesthetist students from South Sudan who have been so kind to help us with Arabic interpretation so that Sandy understands everything happening along the way and we can answer any questions she has. We have a neurosurgeon here and not just one, but two ENT surgeons who can work together to repair the opening. One of them just happens to have a specialty in facial plastic surgery. Just today, we found out that the cost (which will not be small) will be covered by one of our partner organizations at the hospital. 

As I have watched how the Lord is using His people to pour out His grace and display His compassion and very practical care for one little girl, I have been stunned by the beauty of it. All of us who have had the great pleasure of being involved in this keep talking about how amazing it has been to watch it all happen. What a great picture of those whose hearts have been captured by the Gospel working together to push back what is broken in the world. 

So, would you join us in Kijabe, the team in Doro and Manga’s family in praying for her as she has surgery tomorrow? Pray for her surgeons Anup, David and Humphrey – for good rest tonight, clear minds, steady hands and wisdom as they operate. Pray for the nurses and doctors who will care for her during her recovery. Pray for her mother who is young herself and who has made this trip alone. I cannot imagine the kind of brave you have to be to do what she has done in the last week. She will have a long day tomorrow waiting for her daughter to come out of surgery. Pray for comfort and for good rest tonight. Pray for a speedy recovery with no complications. Pray for their family at home as they wait for news tomorrow and for their girls to return home.” 

-Written by Stephanie Cox, Audiologist, SIM, Kenya

Thank you for being part of this journey with Manga and Sandy. Whether through prayers, helping orchestrate details, or giving financially, God has used many to come together to help this sweet child. I will continue to keep you updated, but please keep praying.

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