the refiner’s fire, part 4

Skip to July 25th, 2016

The beginning of the sleep-vomiting.

Micah and I walked past J’s room, and wafted one of the worst smells we have experienced in our short years parenting.  I went in, and not only had he had diarrhea, he had vomited in his bed as well.  We cleaned him up, Lysol’d [that’s a verb, right?] his room and started the washer.  Little did we know… A beginning of the true trial reared its head on this day.

Poor guy, for the next few days, this was par for the course.  Wake up in his own mess (he had been totally silent all night, so we had no idea this was happening!), get sent straight to the bath to get cleaned up, and deprived of anything except for Pedialyte and crackers. This also started the constant cycles of the washing machine for several days.

It was found wise to go to the doctor with J that day.  Turned out that he had lost half a pound in 4 days, had major malaise, and was not really himself.  Based on suspicions of gluten intolerance and parasites because of the prevalence of Giardia and Shigella in the area created concern, we went ahead and took the stool sample cups home with us.  I was able to take them back to the doctor that day, thanks to my mom’s help.


July 26th, 2016

My 29th birthday.

After having come over the day before and done a lot of chores at my house to help me get up to speed after a rough weekend, my mom, the indelible servant, wished me a happy birthday with an offer to do more for me that day!  Here’s the response text to my mom:

“Prayer is the most helpful. Some evidence makes me believe that all of us have a touch of this virus. E complained of a sick stomach last night and I feel some extra gurgling in mine as well. We’re just laying low today. As much as I’d love to do dinner tonight, we might have to stay home and rest. The girls will want to swim but I don’t know if I should let them since they may have diarrhea!! Yikes!”

The day went on as usual, and I got to use my early birthday present of a Needak trampoline (SUCH the craigslist find, thanks mom!), and enjoy the company of my family.  Reflecting on 29 years was such a blessing.

July 27th, 2016

At this point, I had to go out for supplies.  Mom came over to keep E and J.  I took F with me, and had some time with her!  We picked up my birthday treat from panera and enjoyed it together.

Sharing the “little balls” cookie with my two year old!

Then, in the course of events, I received this text from my mom in the afternoon:

Mom VanDerwerker:

“The Lord must be keeping J asleep til you get back!!! 😄

Alison Brown:

That’s incredible!!!”

Great! He’s sleeping! That’s wonderful!  Only a few minutes later though, I get this text.

Mom VanDerwerker:

“He has thrown up all over his bed again

And diarrhea

Alison Brown:

Oh no.”

This sinking feeling has been as close as my breath since that day.

Now that you’ve gotten an idea for what had been happening so far, here is the first of the petitions we sent out to our beloved church family for prayers.  They should have started sooner, but it was my own pride keeping me from sending them.

July 27, 2016

“Hi everyone!

Will you please join us in praying for our J boy?  For a week now, he has been off and on vomiting and having diarrhea, and after two trips to the doctor, he likely has an enterovirus (gastroenteritis), and there is no treatment. Now the vomiting is daily and despite Pedialyte and occasional food, he cannot keep anything down it seems. He is still happy as ever, just losing his vigor over time.  We have sent away for stool samples to see if he has a bacterial infection or a parasite but right now, it’s just a concern that his nutrition is out of balance and he could get dehydrated.

We do not fear for God hath willed His peace to triumph through us. The temporal ease is the difficult part. Please pray for wisdom with the health care, that God would heal J’s inflamed gastronomic organs to be able to absorb nutrients and that we would be able to make him comfortable!

Thank you dear saints!  Walk in the knowledge that our Lord is good to you today, and find that blessing, even if you have to look a little harder to find it!

If we are not at church tonight, it will grieve our hearts but it will be for the best of J’s health. Poor guy :(”


The responses that we got back from our church family members were so encouraging and assuring of the offering of their prayers.   A long time friend in our church email loop has been an on-call nurse for years, and is a woman that I admire very much,  offered her personal empathy and her personal services to us.  Thankfully, the next day would hold a conversation with her that changed the game for me.

How would the prayers being lifted for us be answered?  In varied ways in the following days.

More to come.

In Christ,

– Alison

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