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Nov 1, 2009 - Monrovia, Liberia

Trick or Treating in Liberia?!

We had an unusual opportunity today to go trick-or-treating on the U.S. Embassy grounds here in Liberia.  And what a treat it was!!  Not just for our family and the other families that participated . . . but for the embassy staff that opened their doors as well! 

October 28, 2009 - Mamba Point, Monrovia, Liberia

 We got it!!!!

Today it happened!!!  We went to the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia and picked up Keyara's Liberian Passport with an immigrant visa stamped inside.  Here is a picture of it for you to see . . .

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October 20, 2009 - Mamba Point, Monrovia, Liberia

We can see the finish line

Today was the day we have been waiting for since we adopted Keyara over 2 years ago!  The day when she would be interviewed and hopefully granted a Visa to come to America with us.  Thank you for all of your encouraging notes and prayers.  We are thrilled to report that Keyara passed her interview and we have been told that we can pick up her Liberian Passport with an Immigrant Visa to America in it next Wednesday.  It has been a long race but as we approach the finish line we are thankful for all of the turns and adventures we have had along the way.

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October 13, 2009 - ELWA, Paynesville, Liberia

Keyara's Officially an Ecklund!

We stood in shock today as we heard the words “Your I-130 petition is approved”.  Keyara has been officially recognized by the U.S. Government as an immediate family member . . . Keyara Elsay Ecklund.

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October 1, 2009 - ELWA, Paynesville, Liberia


While most parents in Monrovia were “running after” school fees, uniforms and school supplies for their children – Nancy was wondering what would become of her son, Alfred.  Last June Alfred graduated from Kindergarten at the “top of his class”.  As any proud mother, she looked forward to seeing how he would do as he continued with his education.  What she didn’t know was  how much their lives were going to change during the summer break...

September 7, 2009 - ELWA, Paynesville, Liberia

Musu - An Amazing Woman

I hesitate to write this email since you have all been SO GENEROUS recently . . . but at the same time I feel like I should let you decide if you have the ability to continue in your generosity.  Every day we are inundated by the incredible needs of the Liberian people and many times a day have to say,"we wish we could say 'yes', but we just aren't able to help with that need at this time."  Often these requests are things like a half bag of rice for a hungry family, a mattress (cheap foam) to keep them off of the cold/wet ground, a tarp to "patch" the holes in the leaking roof, transportation money to go visit a dying relative and on and on the list goes.  None of the requests are ridiculous - but we can't help everyone with everything . . . .  

August 26, 2009 - ELWA, Paynesville, Liberia


I never thought that death and dying would be a part of my everyday life – but it is here in Liberia.  Today I learned of the death of one child with an inoperable tumor and of another patient, Levi, who was in the process of dying...

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May 14, 2009 - Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia

Mothers' Day...

On Mother’s Day we watched the movie about the life of Mother Theresa.    Although she never had children of her own she was a mother to thousands.  When faced with the impossible she would simply state, in faith, “If God wills it, this will happen”.  Not to say that she didn’t have any hardships...

Mar 19, 2009 - Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia

Why Didn't God Hear My Prayer?

As she leaned over the bowl vomiting, her body heaving as she emptied her stomach contents, Kaitlyn exclaimed, “God didn’t hear my prayers on Sunday.” She had prayed that God would keep her from getting sick like her Daddy who had been vomiting several days earlier... 

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Mar 9, 2009 - JFK Hospital, Sinkor, Liberia

Samuel Update

Samuel is still in the ER at JFK as there is no bed available in the Pediatric Ward. Kreig and I went to visit him tonight and we are so glad we did... 

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Mar 7, 2009 - Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia


We had plans for a quiet day and afternoon at the beach . . . but that quickly changed when we got a call from Mardia saying that Samuel was seriously ill. He had been crying all morning, holding his stomach and hadn’t had a bowel movement in over a week... 

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Mar 6, 2009 - Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia

What a week... for quality control!

What a week it has been. God knew that we need some extra funds to help people with their medical expenses. We had 6 people come to us this week that tested positive for malaria and one that had typhoid and malaria and was hospitalized for two days... 

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Mar 1, 2009 - Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia

We are feeling very loved and supported by our church, Foothill Covenant Church, in California. They took a “love offering” for people needing medical expenses paid here in Liberia. It was a very generous offering and we are thankful to have a fund other than our savings to draw from. It is also very nice to be able to tell people in need that there are people in California that are praying for them and supporting them.

Feb 22, 2009 - JFK Hospital, Sinkor, Liberia

We got a phone call today informing us that the baby Dr. Prudy examined in the NICU at JFK had died. We are sad for the loss and know the family is grieving. However, in Liberia there is no system that cares for special needs children and we know they would have had a battle ahead of them trying to provide for the needs of this child. Please pray with us for the family as they process the emptiness and loss they are experiencing right now.

Feb 21, 2009 - JFK Hospital, Sinkor, Liberia

An Afternoon at JFK Memorial Hospital

Today we ran into a friend whose sister-in-law had given birth to a baby three days earlier. The baby wasn’t breathing initially but with some assistance seemed to be fine. However, a few hours after delivery he had a seizure. The baby was rushed to the Neonatal ICU and the family was left with lots of questions and very few answers. She asked if we’d pray for them... <Click to read more...>

Feb 20, 2009 - Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia

EYES . . . 

Whenever I encounter patients with eye problems I always feel like I should have the answers . . . after all my father is an Ophthalmologist...

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Feb 20, 2009 - Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia

Life without a Hospital Ship in Port (Continued)

I could write a book with all the stories of patients that God has brought to our door – and maybe someday I will . . . but for now I want to highlight a few more people that we have been able to assist.  Through my phone calls and dealings with Koliwo I was introduced to “the best doctors and surgeons in Liberia”.  Those relationships have served me well in assisting others to get the care they need... <Click to read more...>

Feb 13, 2009 - Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia

 Life without a Hospital Ship in Port

When the ship sailed at the middle of December it was with heavy hearts that we said, “good-bye” to dear friends and to the only reliable medical care we knew of in this country.  At the time of sailing, there was a patient, named Koliwo, that was left behind at Island Pediatric Hospital... <Click to read more...>

Feb 12, 2009 - Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia

 Adoption Update

We would like to send a huge thank you to those that have sent encouraging emails, along with financial and prayer support.  Although we are many miles away we have felt very loved and supported by many – which has proven to be quite an encouragement during some challenging days!  
For those of you that have been following our Adoption Saga – we wanted to give you the latest update.   On January 26, 2009, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf made a statement that ALL Adoptions in Liberia, both processed and those in-process, should be stopped until her new adoption task force could look into some serious allegations that had been made against some adoption agencies.  The big question we’ve been asking is what does that mean for us and our situation?! ... <Click to read more...>

Jan 12, 2007 - Tema, Ghana

Taking Out The Trash ... 

I just thought I'd write a real quick note about my experience in taking out the trash tonight.  I waited until the kids were asleep and then gathered the trash and went down to reception, off the gangway and through the security gate to the dumpsters.  It was about 9:00 PM and the dock was empty except for a well dressed African lady that passed me walking toward the ship and said, "good evening".  I wondered to myself what she would be doing approaching the ship at this time of night...  <Click to read more...>