Sunday, January 25, 2009


Just thought you might enjoy seeing one of the slideshows that we are sharing with some of the churches and small groups we are sharing with about our 1st year of ministry in Zambia.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Kerri's Health:
Kerri is doing much better. She has not had any episodes since last Thursday and is off all medications except for the blood thinner. Her first appointment with the neurologist, since being released from the hospital, is scheduled for next week. This appointment will help us in determining the timeframe for our return to Zambia. Please continue to pray for her health and wisdom for us as when to return to the field.

Speaking Engagements:
Since being home, Kerri and I have had the opportunity to share about our ministry with a few churches and small groups. This past Wednesday, we shared at CLC. This is a group of believers primarily from BlueCross BlueShield who meet once a month to encourage one another in their personal walks with Christ. The time went pretty well and it was good catching up with many of our friends who I haven't seen since leaving BlueCross.

We will continue to be on the road speaking with different churches through the middle of February. This Sunday, we share with a Sunday school at First Baptist Church of Columbia and then I will be sharing during the sermon time at Rehobath United Methodist Church. After that, we travel to Whitmire, S.C. and Hartsville the following Sunday, followed by a trip to one of our supporting churches, Lake Oconee Presbyterian, in Georgia the weekend of the 15th. Please pray for us as we share about what God is doing through ACTION's ministry in Zambia.

Our Zambian Pigs:
Since we've been in the States, our two pigs have become escape artists. If you don't remember, we bought some pigs to investigate the costs associated with raising and breeding them. It was an effort to see if piggeries were a viable income generation activity in Zambia. Unfortunately, for Wilburn and Fern, there isn't a spider weaving encrypted messages in her web in an attempt to save them. So, due to us being out of the country, the pin not being able to hold them and our inability to care for them, we decided to find them a new home - Hog Heaven!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Update on Lydia

For all of you who have been praying for Lydia Sitali, here are the latest two updates.  Thank you all so much for lifting up and financially helping this family.


Hi all
Thank you for your support and continued prayers for Lydia. It has been a truly amazing response from you all.

The latest is that two days ago they had had her sit in a chair for a couple of hours, and although the progress was slow, she was responding a little better and she had feeling back in her right side. Yesterday they operated again as a routine procedure to move the drain of the shunt to the stomach. However since this time, she has been less responsive and is not talking. The doctors had expected her by today to be at least back to where she was before they operated as they had hoped the lack of response was just the effect of the anesthetic. However, as of this evening, she is still not talking and only eating porridge fed to her by her parents. The doctors have said she will now have to stay longer in the hospital which is quite a blow for the parents who are exhausted. Please pray she will become more responsive and that her sight will start to return and also for her parents.


Today I went to the hospital specifically to talk to the doctor since he always was busy in surgery at visiting time. He was delayed so I first spent about an hour with Lydia. She seems to be spending most of her time sleeping. She was sat in a chair and her parents were just finishing giving her a drink. She was given 70ml of fruit juice and it was a slow process as she kept falling asleep in between and sometimes even before she swallowed! The doctors want her to be more awake in the day so the parents have to keep trying to wake her up. After a short while I held her hand explained who I was (Graham the mzungu man with the scary dogs) and asked if she remembered me to squeeze my hand which she did. She was not talking other than she managed to say “fine” when I asked her how she was. The night before she had a bright spell where she asked her parents about her sisters but was confused on her mother’s name. Just before the doctor came she ate a mashed up banana fed to her by her mother, but fell asleep on the last mouthful – it looked like she was foaming at the mouth!! The doctor then came in and said that they were disappointed that she was not recovering faster but demonstrated that she was very much functioning by prodding her. He was a little harder on his waking her up than her parents had been and she lifted her arm to move the finger that was jabbing her in the chest. He asked her to lift her leg and also pinched it when she didn’t try. She said a loud ow! and tried to lift her leg. After this she seemed much more alert and was waving flies off her (yes we get flies inside hospitals n Zambia) and lifting her blanket when it started to slip down her. She is very pale so they will be giving her blood over the weekend and they hope this will also make her more alert. She cannot see at all and the doctors do not know if and when her sight will return. The doctor said that the pressure exerted on her brain had been for a very extended period, the fluid was not drained from her skull until she got to this hospital and by that time she had been sick for four weeks, it is amazing that she did not die. They want her to go home Tuesday and be cared for at home especially as the parents are camped out at the hospital and exhausted.

The main things they want is for her to eat more, sleep less, talk and move, so please pray for these things, and also that the blood will make a difference and the transition home will go well.

Blessings on you all

Graham & Sarah

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Couple of Updates


Kerri ventured out of the house yesterday morning for a few minutes. We had a baby dedication for Ellie at our church. She showed up for the first few minutes of the service and stayed through the dedication, then went back home. We went to the hospital today for her first blood check. They are trying to regulate the thinness of her blood with medicine and todays test was to see how thin it was. As for her recovery, it seems to be going well. She is still experiencing ocassional headaches and other symptoms, but each day seems better than the day before. I cannot express how thankful we are for all of you who have been praying for us, sending e-mails, calling, etc... You have all been a tremendous source of encouragement to our family.

Lydia Sitali

The latest is that Lydia is doing well. She is more responsive and talking a little more. There is still a lot she cannot do though –such as sit up, eat and drink by herself, so there is a long way to go. She also still has no sight in either eye although the right eye is now opening. At least she is in the best possible place she could be and there is a lot of prayer support for her. Ernest and Laikah her parents who run both the church and the school are at the hospital practically all the time. Since Lydia and her parents teach at the school, the school opens on Monday three teachers short which members of the church are temporarily filling.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Help Us Help Her

After what happened this week, Kerri and I wanted to make you aware of another health issue facing the daughter of one of our friends in Zambia. An issue eerily similar to what Kerri has been going through. It concerns the daughter of one of the pastors that we work closely with in Zambia, Pastor Ernest Sitali. Please read the correspondence we received from our director.

From Tim Hilty, Action Zambia Director:

"We have a crisis that we would like your help with. The pastor that Graham works most closely with is Ernest Sitali. He pastors Living Waters church and that church runs a very successful community school which Action Zambia works with. A few days ago we discovered that one of his daughters, Lydia Sitali, who is also a teacher at the school, had been sick for about three weeks with the right side of her body paralysed, diminished sight and general confusion about who people were. She was unable to sit up and needed a CAT scan but of the two machines in Zambia, only one was working and that took a 220 mile journey to the town of Kitwe. Tim, our director took her and her parents to have the scan and she is now in a private hospital in Lusaka being operated on. It is very likely that if she had gone back to the government hospital, the main one in the country here in the capital, that she would have died. Hopefully she will pull through but the bill for all this will be in excess of $2000. Some funds have come in but we need more. If you can help with this crisis, it would be so much appreciated."

Kerri and I have both felt the tremendous blessings of being able to be in the States under expert medical care during this past week. We have been extremely thankful for access to all of the latest medicines and technology. Pastor Sitali's daughter doesn't have these privileges. In thinking of her situation, we thought that maybe our trial was a way to bring blessing to her. We just wanted to encourage you to pray about how you might bless this young woman and her family.

If you would like to make a donation to help click here. This link will take you to our financial giving page with Action International. Fill out all pertinent information and in the comments field at the bottom of the donation put 'Medical' in the comments box. Please be sure to put 'Medical' in the comments or we will have no way of identifying the gift as marked for Pastor Sitali's daughter. Thank you for prayerfully considering helping this family in their time of need.

Friday Afternoon Update (Headed Home)

After experiencing more symptoms yesterday, things settled back down and Kerri started feeling better that afternoon.  The doctor ordered another CAT scan, which showed nothing new.  He said that because of the damage already done from the clot,  that part of her brain would be sensitive and symptoms could recur occasionally until she is completely healed.  

The good news is that he also said that this stroke, which is what he called it, was the mildest of its type that he had seen and she should make a full recovery.  He has now given orders for Kerri to be released from the hospital this afternoon.  Praise the Lord for his faithfulness!  And thank you to so many of you who have been praying on our behalf.

Please continue to pray for her recovery.  The doctors have prescribed two separate types of blood thinners, one that she will take for the next week to two weeks and the other that she will take the following three months.

Pray also for wisdom for us.  Our desire is to return to Zambia and continue the ministry to which God has called us to there.  We are trying to understand all of our options concerning her treatment and also what treatment is available in Zambia.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Thursday Morning Update (Another Setback)

Just wanted to give a quick update so you would know how to pray.  We were expecting to be heading home this morning, but had a setback. Kerri woke up and for a brief period of time was unable to use her left hand. She has experienced some numbness and tingling in her left side, her headache has come back and she is having problems with her vision again. The doctors said they wanted to keep us in the hospital another day for observation. So, it looks like we will be here for at least another day.  We're not sure whether or not they will do any further tests or just keep her for observation, but please continue to pray.

You can specifically pray for her health as well as comfort.  She is really struggling with not being able to take care of our newborn daughter Ellie.  Thank you again for your prayers and encouragement.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Wednesday Update

Thank you so much for all of your prayers, visits and e-mails of encouragement.  Today has been another good day.  This morning at 7:00 am, Kerri had a second MRI.  The results of the scan showed that the blood clot had begun to resolve itself.  A new development is that some of the smaller vessels that drain into that main vessel are showing blockage.  The doctor said that it was not surprising.  He equated it to a main highway being blocked and the surrounding roads getting backed up with traffic.

The good news is that Kerri has now progressed to the point where the neurologist feels safe releasing her from the hospital.  So, tomorrow, it looks like we'll be heading back to my parents house.  The plan going forward is for Kerri to begin blood thinning medication on her own and continue on the medicine for the next three months.  Please continue to pray for her as she recovers.

We cannot express how thankful we are for each of you praying on our behalf.  We've been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, support and encouragement we have received.  You have truly blessed us during this difficult time.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Update on Kerri

Just wanted to give you a quick update on Kerri.  She is doing better today.  At 3:30 pm, her headache was all but gone and she has reduced her pain meds from morphine to darvocet.  Her left arm and leg are still not 100%, but are getting better.  She is scheduled for an MRI tomorrow to see if there has been any progress with the blood clot.  Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Please pray for us

For those of you who didn't know, Kerri has been in the midst of a medical emergency the past 24 hours.  We figured the best way to keep you up to date and let you know how to pray, would be to post updates to our blog.  Below is all of the information that we know to date.  We'll use this post to keep you up to date with what is going on.  Please be in prayer for Kerri and our family.

3:00 AM:
Last night, Kerri and I ended up going to the emergency room at 11:00 pm. Kerri has had a headache for the past four days and tonight started experiencing other symptoms. She has lost partial control of her left arm and has at times lost motor control of her right leg.  Initial CAT scans revealed that she had a small amount of bleeding on the brain. They have scheduled an MRI tomorrow morning to do some further investigation before deciding on treatment options. Best case scenario, it fixes itself with no treatment. 

2:00 PM:
Kerri had her MRI.  We are awaiting the results.  During the MRI, her whole body went numb and her headache has gotten worse.

7:30 PM
The doctors have told us that Kerri has a blood clot on the outside of her brain right at the top of her head.  We're waiting on the specialist to provide a plan of treatment.

9:30 PM:
The specialist came by and looked at Kerri's tests.  He has told us that it can be treated without surgery.  She has started taking a blood thinner that should break the clot up and allow it to be absorbed into her body.  He informed us that she will be here for the next several days for observation and another MRI.  All signs point to this being able to be treated with little to no long term effects.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Want to Join Our Distribution

Since we're beginning to speak at churches, we thought it would be a good time to remind those of you who have not signed up to join our blog distribution. Simply click the link below and follow instructions. After confirming, you will receive all of our blog posts via e-mail. This means you don't have to visit the site to check for new posts. They will be e-mailed to you. So, take the time and sign up. The address list is private and is not shared with anyone.

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