Apr 17, 2010

Celebrating Bible Translator Anne West

Recently I attended Anne West's 'Life and Work'- A time of celebration given in Anne's honor by the Amganad people she served in the Ifugao province of the Philippines. It was also a birthday bash as Anne is 75 years young and pressing on in her translation project. The day held a thanksgiving service...

...prayer, public testimonies, a slide show...

...heaping piles of food, music and traditional song & dance (NO I did not dance!). When it came time to dance, I suddenly found great interest in busying myself with taking more pictures!

The day's MC was Landing, who's father was Anne's first translation assistant. Here is Landing standing next to his father and holding his adopted son.

Landing truly is a standing miracle. Born very premature, his entire body fit in the palm of his fathers hand. Landing remained very small for years to come, in fact at age 11 he weighed a mere 40 pounds. It was determined that he had 'Patent ductus arteriosus' (PDA), a condition where the duct that bypasses blood away from the lungs fails to close shortly after birth, starving the lungs of much needed oxygen.

While in surgery, the surgeon concluded that instead of having PDA, Landing had a hole in his heart and would need open heart surgery.

However, God intervened and the pediatrician talked with Anne, in secret, reassuring her that the initial PDA diagnosis was correct and that if the surgeon knew he was talking to her the surgeon would kill him. The pediatrician found a surgeon who agreed to do the surgery free of charge, at a different hospital.

Once he found the duct and tied it off the cardiac surgeon signaled an "A OK" to Anne who was watching the surgery from the viewing deck. Immediately Landing's arms and legs were moving frantically, receiving for the first time in 11 years the oxygen they needed.

While in recovery, Landing awoke and asked his father, "Dad, why are all those nurses standing around my bed?" As there was not a single nurse in his room the Holy Spirit gave his father the answer saying, "Those are not nurses, they are angels God has sent to take care of you".

Landing is a standing miracle. Long gone are the days when he was referred to as a "squatter", as children with heart problems often squat when they are short of oxygen. Landing is now a full grown man, with zero side effects from his childhood PDA.

Throughout the telling of this story by Anne, a recurring theme was that she continually found herself to be in a place where the only thing she could rely on was God. As I listened it struck me that we so often rely on Him...last, and instead rely on man and his machines. I was once again encouraged to fully trust Him who says "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel and watch over you".

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