Monday, July 28, 2014

Introducing our precious baby boy...

Caleb Joshua Oestreich
July 18, 2014
3:24 PM
8 lbs 11 oz
21.5 inches
 








He's 10 days old today and we are SMITTEN, IN LOVE, HEAD OVER HEELS!!!

Thank you, Lord for this beautiful gift and miracle!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

another CRAZY Moose adventure: baby edition

 {this is an email Josh sent to a few pastor friends back home that perfectly captures the last 72 hours...}

This morning I was catching up on Pastor Joe's teaching through the Psalms and I came to Psalm 105. As I was watching and thinking through the Psalm and the things Pastor Joe was saying I was struck with how applicable the truths of this Psalm are right now for Kristen and I.

On Friday June 20th at 1:30 there was a scheduled tour of the OB department of the hospital here on the island. That morning we got a call from our friend Jacob (he and his wife are nurses here) and he asked if him and his wife Meg could see us before our tour. So Kristen and I went over to their apartment at 1:00, and we had no idea what they wanted to talk about (of course we were curious).
They sat us down and proceeded to tell us that the hospital staff was informed that morning that the hospital had to shut down (to a degree) the OB department for over 3 weeks. Evidently, the hospital planned very poorly and were going to be down to only 3 doctors for 3 weeks and only 2 of those doctors are able to deliver babies (usually there would be at least 9 OB doctors). (We are thinking, "What a great time to short staffed...for our first baby!") Therefore, they were advising the ladies who were 38 weeks pregnant and over to leave the island and go south to Timmins Ontario, and have their babies at the hospital there. The moment we heard that, as we were sitting in Jacob and Meg's living room, we both looked at each other and smirked and said, "we aren't surprised." From that first moment we had that peace that surpasses our ability to understand! We had NO idea what we were going to do, where we were going to stay, when we were going to leave, or how we were going to pay for all of the travel expenses!...Yet we had a peace. We knew without a doubt that God would pave the way, and pay the way.

From there we went to our scheduled tour. As the tour was happening we asked the lady showing us around if what we had heard was confirmed and if so when do we need to leave. She said (and I kid you not), "Oh, you heard about that?" (That response affords a big LOL!). Kristen and I couldn't believe that they were not going to tell us on that tour. As we talked we found out that there was a staff meeting at 2:30 to discuss what exactly the hospital was going to do (and apparently they would specifically discuss us and our case being that we are non-Native and Americans with really no where else to go). On our way out we ran into 2 doctors that we know and are friends with and they said that someone would call later and give us the needed details. But one of the doctors looked at us and said, "Oh, I feel so bad for you guys!" (We thought that was funny.)

Later that afternoon we did receive a phone call from a doctor and he told us that we did in fact need to leave Moose Factory and go to Timmins to have the baby (this is still Friday). He said that we would be OK to leave on Thursday the 26th (which was a relief because Meg and Jacob, our nurse friends, said we would have to leave on Monday the 23th--which would have given very little time to plan and prep!). So we began to plan as best we could; we asked around and got in touch with the VERY few contacts we have in Timmins, and of course we prayed and we trusted the Lord. Mind you, the hospital was offering zero financial aid for our trip out, they just said you have to go, and this is all because of poor planning on their part. As you can guess we had to really ask the Lord to keep us calm about that. (If we were First Nations [Native] then our travel costs would be covered, so we are on our own.)
This is getting long so I'll skip ahead to yesterday, Monday the 23rd. Monday morning comes and we still haven't really nailed anything down--we don't know where we will stay and we don't know if we will go to Timmins ON or another town called New Liskeard (also in Ontario but further than Timmins). However, one of our friends here started a fundraiser for us by selling baked goods! It was a total surprise to us, yet a huge blessing and confirmation that the Lord was going to provide. And another good friend on the mainland in Moosonee deposited some money into our account; so the Lord is providing and we are encouraged.
Within just a few hours yesterday (Monday) all of our plans fell into place--or I should say, were divinely orchestrated. Another friend has parents who live in New Liskeard Ontario and she said that their house was empty (her parents are away for about 6 weeks) and we were more than welcome to stay there (and there is plenty of room for my in-laws to stay there as well when they arrive on July 3rd!). The hospital there is great and they have a great OB department and they are willing to take us on short notice. Also her parents said we could use the car that they left once we get there.
Then, another friend who lives up here, who is going out on Friday on the train (same day as us: the 27th), said that he and his wife would drive us to New Liskeard on Saturday after we get off the train Friday night. So in a matter a few hours our housing was covered, our transportation was covered, and people have donated almost $800 towards travel expenses!! It is hard to express to you just how above and beyond God has went in preparing and providing for our trip! He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think! (Eph. 3:20)

To summarize: We were told that we cannot have our baby here, where we live, because of poor planning, and that we have to leave our home and travel over 5 hours away without any monetary aid from the hospital who is telling us they can't take us. We have no where to go, no where to stay and no way of getting there--and this is our first baby! The circumstances on the horizontal were totally against us and could have caused great anxiety, BUT "He brought out His people with joy, His chosen ones with gladness" (Psalm 105:43). "He is the LORD our God" (Ps.105:7) and "He remembers His covenant forever" (Ps.105:8) -- He will never leave us nor forsake! Truly, underneath are His everlasting arms! So all of our plans are covered and accounted for! We are leaving Moose Factory on Friday the 27th on the train and we will arrive in New Liskeard at the house we will stay at on Saturday the 28th. Our train tickets are covered, our 2 and 1/2 hour ride from the train station in Cochrane to New Liskeard is covered and the hospital in New Liskeard has accepted us and we have an appointment there on Monday the 30th.
We could not have asked for a better arrangement. We are now looking forward to this trip and even MORE excited for our son's arrival! "Truly God is good"!! (Ps.73:1).

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pray for my mama




:: Hey family and friends ::

I come to you with a request that is very important to me.

Would you take some time to pray for my mom as she has what we hope to be her final surgery on Friday? 

For those who don't know, my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer last June. She had surgery last October that left her with a temporary ostomy bag, then went through several months of radiation and chemo, and now, on Friday, she has her last surgery to do a reversal, hoping that the bag will be a thing of the past.

The hospital that she attends (Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Illinois) was incredibly impressed with her recovery after her first surgery last October, which my mom totally credits to the abundance of prayer. 

I have been praying so much. Someone who my mom knows who has the same type of cancer and who had the same procedures had a very bad experience with the second surgery (the one my mom has on Friday) and actually preferred to go back to living with a bag. Please pray that my mom's body kicks back into gear, that all the different parts involved will reawaken and that she heals so quickly.

She'll be driving up to Moose Factory with my dad just 4 weeks after the surgery to meet her first grand baby. Please pray that everything before that goes well so that they can have a smooth trip. 

Please also pray for my dad. He has been absolutely wonderful through all of this. He is so unbelievably selfless. My mom brags on him all the time. Pray for strength for him. 

I can't express how much we appreciate your prayers. 

Thank you!!!