You have followed along with us this last week as we sent off Mark to take on the Swim Extreme and as we eagerly awaited the arrival of baby Denise.
Today with very heavy hearts we share with you that sweet baby Denise has passed away.
What we know is that she was born with complications. Thursday we got word that Denise was here and weighed 9lbs, she seemed healthy, but as hours passed doctors realized her lungs were not expanding enough for her to breathe on her own. They gave her oxygen at first and then put her on a breathing machine. Saturday morning Pastor Denis was told by the doctor’s that it did not look hopeful and just a few hours later Denise passed away.
Oh how we prayed for a different outcome for this family and we know you prayed right alongside us for that miracle. We thank you for this! Many of you haven't even met them personally and have been pouring prayers over them for the last few days. We are so grateful for the Fox River family and the way you have shown love to these very important people!
Although this is not the outcome our hearts wanted we believe that God has better plans than us. As We wept with our families here for our family there I asked God to make His presence known, to reveal a small piece of His plan so that peace can come.
I was standing in church Saturday night and honestly there were moments when the words of the songs were too heavy, they meant something new in that moment than they have in the past. We were singing 'Who You Say I Am' and God was reminding us, (all of us, even baby Denise) are His. But, he was also telling me, He has her and has saved her from this world of pain and suffering...
"Who the Son sets free... Oh is free indeed... I'm a child of God...Yes I am... In my Father's house....There's a place for me... I'm a child of God...Yes I am"
She is so free! And she has a place! Today as our hearts hurt because that place isn’t in the arms of Karen and Denis, we rest in knowing that our God is still good and He promises to never leave us. I share this knowing that Pastor Denis and Karen believe the same. We believe this, but this doesn't take away the pain they are feeling now for the loss of their child. So I ask you to pray for them with me. Pray that they feel God's presence, that they lean into His strength, that they have people surround them to show them God's love when it's hard to see for themselves.
As all of this was unfolding Mark was jumping into the water Saturday morning to make his swim around Key West, Florida. A swim that is fueled with pure passion and Jesus! Mark wasn't swimming for fun (I mean who swims 12 miles in open water for fun) or for himself, but for other people. Some he knows personally and many he will never know. The entire time he was swimming he was praying over Denise, Karen and baby Denise.
Mark was swimming to raise funds to help a local family in a trying time and for funding for improvements in the clinic in La Esmeralda.
Two major areas the funds will go towards in the clinic. Improving the grounds surrounding the clinic to make for a more sterile and clean atmosphere for healthcare. This will include paving around the entire facility. And there is a desperate need for a birthing center in the clinic. Right now, women have to give birth in a room which is not an optimal spot to be bringing new life into the world.
Oh, how a safe place for mothers to be cared for throughout their pregnancy, during birth, and for mom and baby after birth weighed heavily on him yesterday as he swam knowing Denise was fighting for her life.
He finished his swim in the top 10 and placed 2nd in his age group. That is what swimming with a purpose looks like right there! Way to go Mark!!!
Even though his swim is over there is still time to join in on the the purpose behind it. Today we ask that you pray about giving in honor of baby Denise. Give knowing that your gift WILL make a difference for not just one life, but for many!
To read more about the why and to give check out SwimExtreme.
Thank you for praying with us this week!
Pastor Denis y Karen... Te Amamos! Sé que nuestros corazones están ahí contigo