When I started this blog over a year ago, I didn't have a specific purpose in mind except to do a little writing and maybe meet a few people along the way. Recently, I have felt as though I am being 'prodded' to take my blog in a different direction and use it as a platform to help those in need. Honestly, I feel rather un-knowledgable in the area of how to specifically go about this and ill-equipped when it comes to ministering to those in need. And while I have big doubts about my own abilities in starting something like this, I know that the circumstances surrounding the initial idea of The Hope Road Trip and the people that have been put in front of me who need help are not of my own doing. I don't know how this whole thing will unfold or how long it will take, but in the meantime, I am going to follow my heart on this, obey what I believe God is asking me to do, follow where He leads and learn from the large doses of humility that it appears are much needed in my life.
After arriving at work the other morning, I opened up my email to find a message that had been forwarded to all of the staff. It was from the friend of a local family who have been a part of this community for many, many years and are in need of financial help for a severe illness their daughter is dealing with. The greeting read,
"Hi to all... This is a request for help."
Sherm and Janice Hess are friends of ours who retired after teaching many years in La Pine. Their son Steve and his wife Tammy graduated from Bend High. Steve and Tammy's daughter Keshia Cramer (husband Aaron) is being treated at Sacred Heart in Springfield, where she's been in ICU since July 5. A U of O student, Keshia was pregnant, contracted Swine Flu, and then developed severe pneumonia. Keshia is now a mother--though she doesn't know that yet--to baby girl Presley, who was about two pounds when delivered. Both are making progress although I'm sure you recognize the journey is difficult--and costly. Your donations, as well as your positive thoughts and prayers, are appreciated.
As of yesterday, the update on Keshia was:
It has been a blessing to finally have Keshia back! She was able to talk yesterday for the first time! No one can even explain how good it was to hear her voice. It had been over a month since the last time we had heard her talk! She is still on the vent when she needs to rest, but when the mask is put on over the trach; that is when she is able to talk. Her voice is still scratchy and she gets pretty tired from talking easily. She is working so hard with physical therapy and doing a great job! Hopefully today at six she will meet Presley for the first time! We are all just waiting for that time to come now! Keshia still has a lot of work ahead of her, but she can't wait to get started! Thank you for all the prayers and great thoughts!!
While Keshia is on the road to recovery, it is a long one and will continue at great expense. The exciting news is that after a month, she is finally going to meet her little baby girl who is a huge blessing amidst the incredible trial this family has been facing.
If you would like to make a donation or send a word of encouragement to the family, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can share with you how to do so.
If you would like to visit the website that has been set up for Keshia and Presley, you can do so here. It does require you to log in, but I'm sure the family will appreciate any words of encouragement you may want to leave. And of course, your prayers are greatly appreciated.