Keep Hope Alive
How great that you are reading Keep Hope Alive—a story about the miracle of the sign, and the hope for the miracle. It has been designed to be read as a daily devotion as you join my journey of devoted surrender. My prayer is that this would be a key to unlocking miraculous breakthrough in your life the way it did in mine!
These videos and pictures are for those who want to dig a little deeper into our story and see some of it as it happened. The idea is that you wait until you've read that day in the book before peeping at the footage here. Enjoy!
Nicole Cilliers, a 'bestie' friend of mine, singing "Only You" from the album Redemption Begins by Anthem Worship. She wrote these lyrics:
I was drowning in my fear / My faith could stand no more / My heart was tired, my head was down / I can’t look up anymore
You raise your head / Your eyes, they smile / My heart started beating again / It all falls away…
When I see only you / When I see your face / And you are all I hear / Wanna know your voice
You steady my heart / And I start to breathe / To the sound and pause of your voice...
And as she sings, there is a tangible peace that settles and grows in the room. The roaring is quieted and the reading on the ICP monitor begins to drop. As she continues to sing, it continues to drop. When she finishes, it has landed at a reading that indicates that Kiara’s brain is now able to receive a healthy flow of blood and oxygen. It has been seventy hours since the accident.
Here is the full song that Nicole was singing, which was written by her and produced by Anthem Worship. It is available wherever you buy your music!
Midmorning, while Richard is holding her hand, she reaches up and lovingly strokes his beard and then runs her fingers through his hair, knowing him and learning him again. She smiles up at him and strokes his beard again. She nods that she knows him as Daddy.
For the O.T. she does a puzzle, 24 pieces with a bit of help. She copies a pattern onto a pegboard. We were praying for pattern recognition to come back last night.
For the physio she sits up in bed, then she swings her feet to the floor and is helped to her feet. “Great!” says the physio. “We’ll walk around the ward tomorrow!”
By 5pm Daddy is feeding her her third meal and we have ticked off all of our goals for the day. She has swallowed food; she has put her feet on the floor; she has vocalised words. Rich gives her a fist pump, and she closes her eyes. Claiming inheritance is tough girls’ work.
Kiara greets the People of the World for the first time, thanking them for their prayers.
So we send a video greeting out onto the world wide web: “Hello, Mr. President! Miracles do happen!”
Kiara has a message for you, too, our beloved People of the World. Her handwriting is now perfectly formed when she is copying sentences—a miracle for today. She copies Psalm 37:7 in her own hand, reminding you to #keephopealive.
These four photos were from by far the hardest day of our life, the 26th December. The first pic is of Jacs and me arriving in the hospital having received the news from our neurosurgeon that there was ‘a high probability of the worst outcome’ for Kiara.
The second pic is of Jacs explaining to our boys why they are about to say goodbye to their sister.
The third pic is of her explaining to our nephews why they are about to go in and say goodbye to Kiara.
And the fourth pic is when I was leaving the hospital that day and Kiara’s friends who had prayed unceasingly still had the courage to pray for me.
Our 12th January Christmas miracle! A heaven-breaking-into-today moment.
Many newspaper articles were published, even before Kiara woke up. There was a miracle of undue attention before there was a miracle of healing.
Today, she dreams of ballet shoes, and she tries some adage for the first time. She‘s a bit wobbly and weak, but I show the neurosurgeon and he bursts out laughing. “That would be impressive even if she hadn’t had an accident!”
Kiara reads a bedtime story to the praying children.
Kiara struggles with language still. Heads Up! is like the game 30 Seconds—you have to guess the word being explained to you. The girls hang back and let Kiara have a chance to find her words. Even more amazingly, she is aware and lets them give her extra time in the game. She accepts their help and their patience.
We descend the stairs once more and as we round the corner, the foyer is a sea of balloons and beautiful, happy faces. They’re cheering and we’re just walking—it’s like the one small step for man but a miraculous leap for mankind. And I don’t mean to overstate it, but I’m struggling not to understate it. This is not a great venture of man’s but the marvellous doing of our God.
We leave home with a song on our lips. Brave and ready for the third open brain surgery - this time with the hope of returning her skull piece to her head.
Waiting to go under anaesthetic, Kiara stares into my eyes as I paint her a picture - words to climb into to find her focus.
Fulfilling yet another prophecy to the day, Kiara and I do a little dancing at the hospital.
And we're home for good! The doc decides to send us home eight days after the skull replacement surgery.
We had a crazy idea for Sisterhood... and then Rich leaked a little video...
Where do I begin? From having to move to a bigger venue, to having to open the doors early due to the sheer press of the crowds, people spilling through the doors of the auditorium like a flood, 1500+ ladies filling the 900-seater in minutes, sitting on the floor and in the aisles and still overflowing out the doors and into the foyer. The atmosphere was electric—expectant and thick with faith. And the girls danced beautifully:
Other elements from that Sisterhood evening are available here, too: the podcast of the sermon as well as the song written by Paul Edy, "Keep Hope Alive".
Cartwheels of joy after Maths at her age-level!
The tens of thousands prayed with faith, but yet the unexpected ‘yes’ surprised us all. I myself can’t help replaying the doctors words, relooking at the brain scans, and wondering how it could be...