Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Blattners - Part II
The first line in my book reads, “Please God, don’t ever send me to Africa.” While it was my prayer, Diane Blattner shared my sentiment. But in 2004 when her 17-year-old son Tim wanted to go to Faith Alive, Diane wasn’t about to let him go without his mother’s supervision. Tim’s older brother had already been to Nigeria and said that the rest of the family needed to go and see a man (Dr. Chris) who walked in Jesus’ footsteps.
Diane’s heart was transformed on that, and subsequent, visits to Faith Alive. She and a friend, Joyce Johnson, came back to Baltimore with a passion to raise money—lots of it—for Faith Alive and the Anawim Home in Abuja. Together, they started the Hope for West Africa 501©(3) nonprofit with a volunteer working-Board of five powerful women.
Her seven-bedroom home in Baltimore is Grand Central Station for not only HFWA, but any of her five grown children and their families, extended family, friends, and local and visiting Nigerians who bring jollof rice, pounded yam, moi moi and goat stew for Dr. Chris. The phone rang morning, noon, and night while I was there last week. Diane, a retired nurse, didn’t miss a beat as she designed new business cards, made peppered chicken, folded endless loads of laundry, drove Dr. Chris to physical therapy, and read a book about grant writing. In between all this, she took her son John to the hospital when lymphoma complications sapped his strength.
Hopefully I provided some help around the house and with Dr. Chris. Our time together playing rummy, celebrating her birthday, riding bikes on a historic tree-lined railroad path, and watching the Ravens beat the Steelers (sorry Aunt Audrey) lifted her spirits.
Please keep the Blattners in your prayers as they continue to depend on God’s strength and healing.
Little Chris update: he is now out of intensive care and back in a regular hospital room. He complains about his chest hurting a little, but that's a normal part of the healing process.