Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rylynn's Wild Ride

                                                             Rylynn’s Wild Ride

Today marked the end of a wonderful and terrifying week. It was filled with adrenaline, floods, tornadoes, emergency rooms and many prayers. I must say I am glad that this particular week has come to an end; and not just any old end, but a glorious, praised filled end. Tonight I sat in our daughter’s house and held my beautiful little granddaughter Rylynn Eden Dunsworth for the first time. She was home again after a very wild ride that started with her first breath seven days ago. Her ride would take her on an ambulance, helicopter, avoiding tornados in a hospital hallway, and escaping death before she was seven days old. We were surrounded by some of my other grandchildren and my daughter’s housemates. All of us were completely exhausted by the amazing events of the last seven days. As I set there watching everyone hold and coo over little Rylynn, I began to reflect on how living inside of God is both the safest and most adventurous place anyone could ever live. These last few days were proof again of how much He loves and watches over us. Who is like our God?

Last Thursday night we were awakened at 12:00 am by a phone call that informed us our daughter Jerusha was in labor with her fourth child. Now this was wonderful and exciting news. Most all of the women in our Village have their children in the safety and comfort of their own homes surrounded by family and friends. All of us were excited. My wife, my friend’s wife and one of my other daughters had been trained in the art of midwifery and would be part of the team that would assist in the arrival of our little granddaughter Rylynn. Everyone rejoiced to see the little one breathe her first bit of earthly air. Yet in those blessed first few minutes, God began gently speaking to hearts that something was wrong. Jerusha began to grow very pale and Rylynn was having trouble breathing.

It was quickly decided that we should transport both mother and child to the hospital in Selmer. Upon arrival the doctors determined my daughter Jerusha should be admitted and that Rylynn would have to be airlifted to Le Bonheur hospital in Memphis Tennessee. As we waited for the helicopter we all sensed that we were in a life or death struggle for the life of our granddaughter. So we called for reinforcements. Our friends all over the world were alerted and began covering everything with prayer. Friends in Mexico, India, Kenya and all over the United States from California to Florida would enter in the fight through prayer. Soon it was decided that Rustie, Rylynn’s father would go to Memphis with the baby and Jerusha would stay in the Selmer hospital and receive the care she needed to regain her strength.
We watched anxiously as Rylynn was loaded quickly aboard the helicopter and rushed to the hospital in Memphis, but our peace held us fast. After Rylynn was admitted to the hospital and declared in stable but serious condition, we all let down a little and returned home.

The next morning we took Jerusha to Memphis to be with Rylynn and Rustie. Between our brothers and sisters in the Village and the Gatehouse in Memphis there would always be someone to help and encourage them. So we waited and prayed.

[Just a side note about Jerusha’s husband Rustie and the changes this challenge wrought in him. One of the wonderful things about our God and the way He works is that He never just does one thing at a time. During this very stressful and anxious time I watched a man become a spiritual father and husband. Rustie was awesome. Facing things that normally wilt the strongest of men, Rustie believed God and provided spiritual support and leadership throughout the whole ordeal. Having lived through the heart bending trials of a seriously sick child, I know how each ticking second can make you want to run and hide. Rustie neither ran nor hid but stood in the promises of God. We are all proud of Rustie.]

The next day we got word of a strong storm system that would be heading to West Tennessee, where we live. Being in an active tornado area we told everyone in the Village to stay near their phones and be ready to be awakened in the night by the Village storm watchers. I went to bed at 10:00 pm only to be awakened at 2:00 am by one of the leaders saying he thought we ought to sound the warning siren and get in the shelters. Quickly dressing and waking the rest of my household I chanced to look on the computer at the weather map to see what was going on. What I saw made me get my entire house and the rest of our 280 people into our shelters as quickly as possible. The “super cells” were all over us and he weather radio was instructing us to get into a safe place because a tornado was bearing down on us.

Everyone made it into their designated shelter and prayed to the God who has always looked over us and kept us underneath His wing. Two and a half hours later we emerged from our shelters to a dark but still standing Village. We were grateful the storms had passed. The next morning, we awoke to discover a tornado had touched down three and a half miles from us and had devastated part of the little town we live by. The electricity was still off in the Village and we began to check with all the households to see what their needs were.

Some of us drove to Selmer to see what we could do to help. Our young people would find the opportunity to do so over the next few days. As I write this they are still bring food and help to the devastated community.

We would find out later that Rylynn, her mother and grandmother spent part of the night in the hallway of the hospital because of the outbreak of tornados. Yet all through this historic storm that left scores of people dead from flooding and tornados, Rylynn continued to improve and heal. Our Father was answering the prayers going up from friends and family all over the world.

It is now Thursday of the following week and the Village is safe, we are getting the opportunity to help our neighbors and Rylynn is home completely healed, looking beautiful. More and more stories are surfacing about the goodness of our Father who kept us safe in the emergency room and the devastating storm. Our thanks first go to our ever faithful Father. Secondly, we are grateful to all the people of faith gathering in rooms all over the world to pray for us, and finally we give thanks to the doctors nurses, and pilots who were there for us. He who heals the sick and calms the storm once again proved His promises are true for all those who live inside of Him. Could there be anywhere more blessed to live than inside His love? Who is like our God? Answer… no one!

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