During a visit to the government orphanage in late June, we were introduced to a sweet baby girl named Tedeg with hydrocephalus. At six months old, she weighed less than 13 pounds. Additionally, she was malnourished and had severe pressure sores on her head. Her caretakers were unable to properly treat her and could not advocate for life-saving surgery due to a lack in Ethiopia of the shunt needed. Within one week, God orchestrated everything that needed to happen for a donated shunt to be delivered here from the US. We will forever be grateful for the visiting doctor who saw Tedeg and set the plan into motion and the faithful people along the way who gave of their time, resources, baggage space, and more.
Upon receiving the shunt, we quickly delivered it to the orphanage and urged them to make an appointment for her surgery. To our dismay, this appointment never took place. After more than a week of excuses, we called and asked to be given custody of Tedeg. On Friday, July 19, our team drove to the orphanage, and Tedeg officially became a part of our HFTF Faith House family!
She needed surgery before coming home, so she was taken directly to the nearest government hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital, the team was met with contempt and disgust. One nurse actually said that our little girl was “better off dead.” Finally, Tedeg was given a bed in the ER but everyone continued to say that she didn’t deserve it. Our team fought round the clock to get her a bed in the ward. She stayed for three days in that hospital in horrid conditions, but at least she was being seen regularly by medical staff.
Monday, July 22, we received amazing news. A Norwegian doctor at a prestigious medical center called and said they had a bed for Tedeg and would perform the surgery. In the following days, Tedeg transformed before our eyes! She began to gain weight, respond to our voices, cry, move around, and more. The doctors were honest with us though-we had a long road ahead with multiple surgeries. Prayers flooded in from around the world on behalf of this tiny little baby, filling us with encouragement and hope. Those few days sitting in the hospital were some of the most beautiful days of our lives. God caused such great love to grow in our hearts for this tiny little girl-love that could only have come from Him.
Tedeg fought so hard, and her medical team worked around the clock to provide her the best care imaginable (at one point manually bagging her for over 20 hours). Tragically, Tedeg slipped into the arms of Jesus on Sunday, July 28.
We are devastated at the loss of our tiny little light. We are also filled with righteous anger and determination to continue fighting for those abandoned and ignored.
The name Tedeg means "let her grow". We will not physically get to see Tedeg grow in this life, but we absolutely will have an opportunity to let the Lord daily grow His love in our hearts. This is Tedeg's legacy.
May God’s love abundantly given to you, take root and stir you to radically love those around you.