New Births

Baby BottleLast week’s Perspectives reported the Christmas night premature birth of triplets to my sister’s granddaughter and her husband, Amanda and Jesse Collins of Evansville, Indiana. Little Logan Christopher passed away on the second day. Emma Grace and Anna Christine continue to be in stable and improving condition. Here’s the latest update from their mother, Amanda:

The nurse practitioner just called with our daily report. Both girls are eating 7.5 ccs now. Anna caught up to Emma. Emma had some residual last night so she did not increase today. Both girls’ x-rays and brain ultrasounds look good. Emma’s blood count is good, so she will not get more blood in the next couple days; Anna’s was borderline, so she will. She said they are getting close to coming off their IVs. They take them off once they get to 14cc feedings. She said once they get to 9ccs (probably in a day or two) they will start giving them Prolacta, which is a breast milk fortifier, and they will be on that until about 34 weeks, then hopefully just breast milk. We will probably go visit soon, because they need more milk!


Praise God for this encouraging report! And thanks to so many of you who responded to last week’s article with assurance of prayers for this family during a time of great need and concern.

A new birth of a different kind occurred earlier this week at Concordia University Texas in Austin. The first official session of the newly formed Christian Leadership Institute took place on Monday, January 13. While not a birth in the traditional understanding of that word, it was nevertheless a very special occasion.

Twenty-four Concordia students gathered in the Board Room for presentations by veteran church leaders whose sum total of experience is well over 100 years. While significant age differences separated students from presenters, the students received us “old geezers” remarkably well!

The multi-faceted topic was: “Building relationships, developing and modeling with courageous humility a biblical worldview, grounding identity in Christ and Christian principles, understanding life purpose, personal strengths and weaknesses.” Wonderful topics, beautifully presented!

To put it mildly, I’m very excited about this new venture, impressed with the quality of the participants, and confident that this endeavor will contribute greatly to the accomplishment of Concordia’s Mission: Developing Christian Leaders! Stay tuned for more updates!

In the meantime, join me in thanking God for the miracle of new births, especially those that truly bring new life!

The peace of the Lord be with you all!


Prayer 1Here’s a December 26 Facebook posting from Jesse and Amanda Collins of Evansville, Indiana:

“Our little Christmas miracles arrived at 11:43 and 11:45 last night. Emma Grace weighed 1 lb. 4 oz. and was 12 inches long. Anna Christine weighed 1 lb. 4 oz and was 11.75 inches long. Logan Christopher weighed 1 lb. 7 oz and was 12.5 inches long. Please continue to pray for these sweet babies, as they have a long road ahead of them.”

Amanda is the daughter of my older sister Carol Wheaton’s youngest son Douglas, which makes him my nephew. Doug and I share a birth date—month and day but definitely not year! I’m pretty sure this genealogical connection makes the triplets my great grand nieces and nephew.

Obviously born quite prematurely in the 24th week of Amanda’s pregnancy, these precious little babies were initially given by doctors a 50-50 chance of survival. On Friday, December 27, Logan Christopher passed away at 7:15 a.m. in his mother’s arms. That same day I wrote in a prayer request to a number of loved ones and friends:

“We know that sometimes our gracious Lord answers our prayers in ways beyond our comprehension or not to our liking. That’s obviously the case here. But our ways are not always his ways. And we trust his promise that “all things work together for good to those who love the Lord, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). So we commend little Logan to our Savior’s eternal love and care and continue to pray for that same love and care for Emma Grace and Anna Christine.”

Today, a little more than two weeks after they were born, Emma and Anna are still hospitalized in stable condition. Both have begun to receive nourishment. Emma has a very large appetite for her condition and Anna is coming along nicely in that category as well. Both little girls have a heart murmur, which hopefully will correct itself with time. Both now have a 75% chance of survival.

In the meantime, Amanda was hospitalized Monday night, December 30, with an infection that subsequently was determined to be MRSA, a serious infection caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. After re-opening her incision and draining the infection, doctors continued to treat her with IV antibiotics. She’s now at home recuperating.

Please continue to keep Emma and Anna in your prayers, along with their parents Amanda and Jesse Collins, maternal grandparents Doug and Diana Wheaton, maternal great-grandmother Carol Wheaton (my sister), maternal great-great-grandmother Elda Kieschnick (my mother), the rest of their extended maternal family and everyone on their father Jesse’s side of the family as well.

The peace of the Lord be with you all!