Hi, my name is Marsha Oeste, and this is a story about how my life got turned upside down, and inside out – and how God has used this to grow and challenge me AND make me more dependent on Him.
On September 3rd 2003, my husband Andrew and I welcomed our first daughter, Jenna Elizabeth, into the world. We were very excited to be first time parents and had many dreams and wishes for our daughter. Much to our surprise, Jenna was diagnosed with Spina Bifida. Her spine had not developed normally in utero, and she had a big opening in her back. The Neurosurgeon closed her back the day after she was born, and put in a shunt in her brain to manage Hydrocephalus.
We were told that our daughter would likely not walk, and that we would have other health issues in our future with her. Jenna spent a month in the hospital, and then we finally got to bring her home and have a more typical day to day life with her.
During that first day, and the month following, we relied on God in a way that we never had to before. He was our strength and our shield. We had so many people from our church and my home community loving us and encouraging us and helping us. That support has continued through Jenna’s 12 years, and there have been easy years and hard years when it comes to Jenna’s health and our care of her. She has had many hospital stays, doctor appointments, and surgeries, and through it all, God has provided and carried us through.
Right now, we are at another point in life where we are being stretched in our faith, and where our needs are pretty significant in taking care of Jenna. As Jenna grows, we are struggling with transporting her in our current van. We have been physically lifting her in and out of the van, but it is becoming dangerous to Andrew and I to continue doing this. We are in need to a wheelchair lift van, which are very expensive to buy. We have applied for funding from the government and from two other charities, but this means waiting and also no guarantee of funding. Time is not on our side in this situation, so we have started doing our own fundraising.
Please keep us in your prayers for safety and physical strength, to keep going until God blesses us with enough money to cover the van modification for a lift. Thank you and God bless.