Posted by: Philip Rushton | November 14, 2012

Advent Mission Opportunity: Give the gift of life saving heart surgery to a child from Bolivia

Discovering that James had a life threatening heart defect and then seeing him go through his open-heart surgery has been a draining experience. However, we are very grateful. We are grateful for the support we have had from you as a church, and we are grateful that he has had access to such great medical care. We are 3 months out of surgery and James is thriving. It has been amazing to see the difference in him. Had he not had the surgery he probably would not have lived past 12-15 years of age. Now he has the chance at a full healthy life.

What troubles me is that there are so many kids that do not have access to the same type of surgical procedure that James has had. Many countries do not have the medical capability or performing these life saving operations. The difference between James and these other kids simply comes down to where he was born.

This Christmas Julie and I would love to share some of the good will that James has received with a family that is less fortunate then us. Samaritans Purse has been reaching out to kids with heart defects in countries that do not have adequate medical care. Over the past 10 years they have flown over 800 children to the U.S. to receive life saving surgery. I’ve been in contact with the director of the Children’s Heart Project, and they told me they currently have 200 kids on the waiting list. For the cost of 2200 dollars we could give the gift of surgery to one of these kids.

Julie and I feel compelled to take on this project personally, and would love to invite you to join us. One of the children have the opportunity to sponsor this Christmas is a boy named Tiago Chavez. Tiago is 6 years old and lives in a small village in Bolivia. He shares a small home with his mother Silvia and a number of other relatives. Bolivia currently does not have the capability of performing open-heart surgery on children. He is cleared to receive heart surgery in Indiana this February. We will have the opportunity to follow his story and receive updates about his experience.

On Wednesday December 12, Julie and I are going to host an evening to raise awareness for this cause and provide an opportunity to support Tiago. We will talk a bit about the journey James has gone through and then show part of a moving documentary put on by the Children’s Heart Project that follows three kids from Mongolia who came to the U.S. to receive surgery. All three of these kids have exactly the same condition that James has.

We would love to have you join us on the December 12th at 6pm in the fellowship hall. We will start with our usual simple supper and then watch the documentary together. Childcare will be available.

It is amazing how much money goes in to Christmas each year. It is estimated that last year Americans spent 450 billion dollars on Christmas. Much of what we spend usually goes to unnecessary gifts. What if we all took part of our budget this Christmas to partner together in this life changing cause? We would love to have you join us!

Here is the trailer of the documentary we are going to watch:

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