Jonah’s Family Struggles Too

Silverberg Family ’09 Bronx,NY Missionaries

(photo from )

This post is very long for two reasons. One, I was too ill to work at computer even, and two, I included all the information that was sent me. This way, you will have a better idea of how to pray. I will post the two updates on critically ill Baby Jonah (and the entire Silverberg family) that I have received since the last post with the most recent first.


Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011
Dear Praying Family,
Thank you again for your patience and perseverance in prayer for and with us.
Yesterday was a very difficult day. Jonah was struggling all day and in a lot of pain. X-rays revealed his breathing tube had pulled out of his lungs and was stuck in his throat. The tube was then removed and Jonah breathed on his own for 4 hours before failing and being put back on the ventilator. Doctors will meet today to discuss how to proceed. We are afraid tracheotomy is looking like a very real next step. When Jonah will get out of the hospital, we have no idea.
We are very glad he is alive, and hope he gets to come home before he goes in for his next surgery, which is scheduled for age 6 months, but may have to be delayed some now. Jonah is 10 weeks old today.
Last night, Val stayed at the hospital. It was very rough on us all. Shakinah, who is already not dealing well being a sibling of an older brother w/ Autism, was in tears last night. She wanted her mother. I, am suffering quite badly from the 32 foot fiberglass ladder job, which did more damage to my spine and neuromuscular condition than I thought, and also suffering sleep deprivation, had a very hard time putting the kids to bed alone. To get Joshy to sleep, Val has to get in the bed w/ him. She is usually exhausted and ready for sleep. I cannot do that, nor could I sleep all squeezed up like that in my condition. I found a way to finally get him to sleep, but it was nearly 11 PM. As usual, I squeezed in a little more work, till 1AM. Figured I’ d try to be in the bed about 5 hours. Figured wrong. At 3:49 AM, I was awakened by Shakinah, who was very disturbed by the continued absence of her Mom. Josh then awoke also. We didn’t get too much more sleep. Val did come home in time to get them ready for school. I took Shakinah and Josiah, and Val rushed to get Joshy and on the bus, which I fought so hard to get re-routed for a trip under 1 hour for him. Then Val went back to the hospital. I am trying to work, but moving very slowly. Then I’ll get the kids and start all over again.
We really need your prayers. Things are getting harder and harder. Our hired help is no longer available at the hospital. Val’s family will not help. My mom is 83 and not close by. The Church has some very nice people, but this is a type of inner-city mission, and we are also a Church. So no one is helping from the Church. In fact, these dear folks look to us to help them. One women, very new to Christ has offered to take Shakinah for a day. Shakinah does not know her, and we do not know her that well.

The Lakes have helped w/ the kids, and will help more. They also have their hands full w/ their own 2 children and a lot of ministry. So, there it is. We have sought help, and the Lord has deemed we continue to bear up under this load. So we go on, in the strength he provides. 70 straight days, except one day that all of us were snowed in. No end in sight. The isolation of ministry in the Bronx, and in fact NYC as a whole, is a very difficult aspect to ministry here. We have always known this. It is getting increasingly difficult for our children. Please keep us in your prayers.
My greatest joy, is being at Church, teaching the word. When I am doing my calling, while draining at times, this is like a refreshing vacation to me.
Thank you for allowing me to share. Thank you also for your comforting prayers, love and support of our family in this difficult time. Your e-mails have been a blessing to us.
Please accept our apologies for not being able to find the time to respond to your e-mail. We know we are loved and prayed for by many.
This is a huge encouragement to us.
We love you dearly in Christ,
Marty for Val


There was also this update prior:

Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2011 20:11:39 GMT

Dear Praying Family,
All is relatively the same w/ Jonah.
Today he is getting at least one of his lines removed and Having a Bromevac line inserted, to administer meds and draw blood.
Yesterday he struggled w/ an irregular heartbeat.
We are very thankful to not get the kind of news we got last week.
However, we must be prepared for good or bad news.
We are trying to tell ourselves each day is a gift, and we may have to give Jonah back to the Lord at any time.

Please pray for a critical issue:” Jonah needs to be able to breathe w/o the ventilator, or he’ll get a tracheotomy, which may be permanent. We really hope this will not be the case, so please pray about this.

We are still in need of help in the area of people to stay at the hospital w/ Jonah so Val can be home some. Also, Lord willing, when Jonah comes home, we will need some help w/ the Children, so I can get some more work done and Val can survive. I have no family and Val’s Family are not helping. So, all those wonderful young ladies who volunteered to babysit, we can use your help, I hope soon.

Yesterday, I patched the holes on top of the eaves of our house. Dr. Joel Grassi, came over to help me. The 32 foot ladder was definitely out of my league, even w/ help. I had to be the lead guy. This was my first time being the leader w/ a 32 foot ladder. Working in an 11 foot wide driveway, (bet.) house was tough. The ladder was heavy and hard to hold up while extending almost to full length.
That was so hard, picking it up, moving it, extending, and repeating, w/o dropping it.

The Lord helped us. Joel is not a big guy either. Climbing, tarring, using some roof fabric, tarring again, then sticking a little sheet metal on top of the tar was the easy part. Even working at 25 feet above the ground was easy. Getting the ladder down was almost as hard as putting it up. I did get my finger crushed, but that was it. I hope it is not broken. Maybe I’ll just lose the nail. So glad to get that patched. It should last at least a few weeks.
The upstairs of our house smells awful from the water that got in. I don’t know what to do about that water damage except hope it dries up.
We still need help fixing the eaves permanently.

Thank you again so much for your prayers.
In Christ’s Love,
Marty for Val
Friends, you can see how very much this entire family needs our prayers and support. This is taking a remarkable toll on their everyday family life for nearly three months now.  Our church has recently gathered together many cards from our people to forward on to these Dear Ones as they endure this trial.
Please, I implore you dear reader, won’t you share a line or verse or some piece of encouragement with them by simply adding a comment at the end of this post?

Proverbs 25:11 – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”